Sleep Starved: A site by insomniacs and for insomniacs who are looking for something new…
Mar
2

“Nobody ever died of insomnia,” it’s often said.

Gayle GreeneBut it’s not true….
Gayle Greene, “Bring the agony of insomnia to light,” Providence Journal, projo.com, Feb. 15, 2008. Read more….
“Snooze Alarm: What the deaths of celebrities can teach us about the dangers of insomnia,” Opinion, Los Angeles Times, March 30, 2008
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-op-greene30mar30,0,5833902.story

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15 Responses to ““Nobody ever died of insomnia,” it’s often said.”

  1. ji_bardell

    I apologize in advance for adding one more “cure” to the list. This is what I do: I take a decent dose of CALCIUM and two aspirins before bed, AND about 10 minutes later, close my eyes while awaiting sleep, and “look” for pictures. Sometimes, I try to view a road, with trees beside it winding down a valley. This doesn’t come at once unless you are REALLY tired, but eventually, in snatches you should see colored views, and this will help you relax to sleep.

    And remember, even 2 hours of sleep is enough to survive the next day.

    Good luck, Judy

  2. Tina

    All I have to say is the world is missing out on a potentially talented, vital work force and community by continuing this farce of making everyone conform to an 8am – 5pm school and work day.

    I’ve been a “night person” all of my life. I had difficulty in school starting in kindergarten due to the morning class times. I dropped out of college after trying 6 alarm clocks going off at 15 minute intervals, having friends give me wake up calls and I still couldn’t make it to a class regularly before 11:00 am.
    I am currently a productive member of society. My job gives me satisfaction even without benefits or cost of living increases – yeah, a non-profit. I’m happily married to a supportive husband and my son graduated from high school. Getting up and driving him to school on 2 or 3 hours of sleep all the way through elementary school was actually a little scary, but we survived.

    Why can’t everyone else adjust to us?

  3. marginal1

    I am SO GRATEFUL to Gayle Green for writing this book which will hoepfully highlight the crazy plight of those of us stuck in the twilight zone. And thank you for this forum to unload decades of…well…ANGER and frustration I have about having such a dumb disability!

    A book about insomnia BY an INSOMNIAC is so much more meaningful than the pap put out by RESEARCHERS. I am grateful to research, but I think for the most part…they haven’t a clue. I think this book could play a part in gaining the respect (and better research) this condition deserves.

    THANK YOU again. I’ve only heard of the book today and am encouraged by the reviews and plan to purchase it soon!

  4. foodie1741

    I’ve found that this website has been a helpful guide for me to figure out what works for me as far as techniques and being educated about insomnia and other sleep disorders.
    http://www.sleepphones.com/how_much

  5. linda2232

    Gayle, thank you for writing this book. I work at the public library and came across it in a journal. I just checked the book out, but haven’t read it yet. In reply to the first post from ji_bardell, 2 hours of sleep a night over many years is not adequate and no one can function properly. I too have been prescribed at least 12 different sleep/depression/anxiety drugs and am current seeing a psychologist. Some days are good, but without any cause, some days and weeks are unbearable. I’m anxious to read other posts on this site to hopefully find some answers!

  6. DE

    Gayle, I want to thank you for your book. It has me reading paragraphs to my husband to prove that I am not the only one like this. My sleep has always suffered when I am under pressure, even as a child, if we were going on vacation for instance, I would not sleep well for a couple of days. The problem gradually became worse with age. I am now 59, have attended a couple of sleep clinics, and have probably taken most of the medications on the market. Some work for a while, but eventually I stop sleeping again. Most recently I was taking Doxeprin, which for about a year gave me at least 5 hours most nights. When it stopped working and my doctor prescibed doubling the dose, and that didn’t work, I decided to go off all prescription medication. Like you, I think, I rarely have trouble going to sleep, it is staying asleep that is the problem. I average 4 hours before I wake up. I feel like my brain is turned on and thinking before my body actually is awake. Anyone else get that feeling? Then the mind won’t stop racing. I usually get up and go downstairs to read, and hopefully get sleepy and go back for another couple of hours. This is not occasional, but every night. I worry that I have formed a “habit” of not sleeping. I usally sleep better on vacations, when I am more relaxed. One OTC medicine that has helped me is Benadryl. It does not help keep me asleep, but if I take it in the middle of the night it usually will help me go back to sleep. I have suffered from depression more recently, but I don’t want to take anything regularly. I quit my job last July, it was really getting me down as I kept making mistakes, transposing numbers etc. and I felt tired constantly. At least now I can sleep during the day if I need to, but I am not really feeling any better. Please keep up your work Gayle, no one should have to suffer this disorder. I think hormones and menopause were a factor, as my sleeping definitely got worse after that, but they were not the cause. I remember the doctor at the sleep clinic telling me I was probably going through “empty nest syndrome”. Each day is a challenge to be cheerful and not let anyone know how many hours you have spent alone, longing for a good nights sleep. If only…….

  7. marginal1

    I am trying to post the following information under the category NEWS & RESEARCH, although the previous posts (and one of mine) do not seem to pertain news or research. But this really is regading research and I’m a sucker for some-day miracle cures and hope others find this of interest also. It’s involves the holy grail of DEEP SLEEP.

    Hope for insomniacs as scientists unlock secrets of deep slumber
    Tuesday, May 01, 2007

    By Steve Connor

    Scientists may have discovered a way of triggering deep sleep in people suffering from chronic insomnia.

    A study has found a way of stimulating the brain so that sleep-deprived people can feel the full restorative powers of an eight-hour period of slumber.

    The researchers have developed an electronic device that stimulates the brain with harmless magnetic pulses which cross into the nerves that control a type of deep sleep called “slow-wave activity”.

    Giulio Tononi, professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said that about 80 per cent of sleeping hours are composed of slow-wave activity. In response to each burst of magnetism used in the study, the brain produced the typical slow waves of deep sleep, he said.

    “With a single pulse, we were able to induce a wave that looks identical to the waves the brain makes normally during sleep,” Professor Tononi said.

    There are two broad categories of sleep. One is when the brain starts to dream and the eyes moves rapidly from side to side under the closed eyelids. The other type of sleep is when slow waves wash over the brain at a rate of about one a second 1,000 times a night.

    The scientists have shown that by stimulating a particular part of the brain of sleeping volunteers with harmless magnetic pulses they were able to induce slow waves to move across the entire brain – just like they do in deep sleep.

    “We don’t know why, but this is a very good place to evoke big waves that clearly travel through every part of the brain,” Professor Tononi said.

    One of the aims of the research is to understand the nature of sleep and to find a way of helping people suffering from chronic insomnia which may result from an inability to carry out slow-wave activity.

    “We have reasons to think that slow waves are not just something that happens, but that they may be important in sleep’s restorative powers,” Professor Tononi said.

    The importance of slow waves can be seen from the fact that when sleep-deprived people are allowed to sleep they produce larger and more numerous slow waves, which become weaker as sleep progresses.

    It may be possible to produce an electronic device that stimulates a deep-sleep power nap that mimics a full eight-hour period of rest in a fraction of the time, the scientists said.

    Another possibility is that the magnetic stimulator might be used to aid the retention of memories that are normally formed during the day and consolidated at night, Professor Tononi said.

    One theory is that during the day the brain is having to cope with masses of new information which is constantly stimulating the connections between the brain’s nerve cells. The function of slow-wave sleep may be to weaken these connections so that they do not overload the brain, he said.

    “During the slow waves, all the connections, step by step, are becoming a little weaker. By morning, the total connection strength is back to the way it was the morning before,” Professor Tononi said. “The trick is to downscale all the connections by the same percentage so the ones that were stronger are still stronger. That way you don’t lose the memory,” he said.

    The latest research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

  8. DE

    Wow! Sounds like something that might help us without drugs. I am going to look up this reseach. This maybe the break-through we have been waiting for.

  9. marginal1

    I found the following of particular interest in the article I pasted above: “chronic insomnia which may result from an *INABILITY* to carry out slow-wave activity.

    The implication is that perhaps for some people there really is something defective about the biological processes of the insomniac’s brain…and not about the psychological aspect of the brain.

  10. Tori

    Neurontin (gabapentin), an antiseizure medication, is being used now as an off label drug for insomnia because it was found to increase slow wave sleep activity. It supposedly has been under research to reduce menopausal symptoms. I’ve been taking it now for about 3 months at the lowest dose and notice no difference in my sleep. I still need ambien. I’m intrigued by the magnetic wave stimulator… wonder where I could get one… any research studies being done? Sign me up! ;o)

  11. very interesting post hope to see some additional comments here…

  12. Alex

    If Ghb actually works to induce sleep in even the worst insomniacs, why not push to make it more readily available?

  13. emma

    very interesting…these discoveries feel like “tip-of-the-iceberg” in getting the help we need. All my life i’ve been told that insomnia is “my fault”, when I tell people i’m not sleeping they ask, “well what’s on your mind that’s keeping you up?’ I resond…”jellybeans…polarbears…the colour pink…shoelaces…cheese…songs…horseshoes…butterflies…Ireland…bow-ties…”…everything and nothing, really. I could be having the happiest, most content, relaxing day spent with loved ones, and still not sleep a wink. Doctors like to fall back on the ol’ well, it must be anxiety…But IT’s NOT!!! The only anxiety I feel comes from worrying that I might lose my job due to insomnia! Chronic insomniacs who feel their very lives, livelihoods, families, and sanity are threatened by this DISEASE need to ban together like we are here, create pressure and fund-raising groups similar to any other affliction. I really hope the future holds more studies like this, because I think the world is ready to listen.

  14. Cameron

    Insomnia dosnt kill you directly it what it dose to you over a long period of time that kills you! depending on your Health of course it can cause Heart Attacks, Strokes. What helps Relaxation and Mediation but not Drugs…

  15. Micheal

    Again I hate to add to the list but feel obliged because of all the internet research.
    Has anyone tried MELATONIN supplements!! Its worked for me. Started sleeping and was amazed and what a different person I had become. I’ve been sleep deprived for years. Hope it helps someone else ! http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2001/melatonin-1017.html

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