Insomnia . . . continued

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Judging by the comments I had last week lots of you suffer from insomnia or occasional sleepless nights. I wanted to let you know what I've been trying this week to get a better night's sleep, including getting a map of my brain waves.

But first, I want to apologize for not getting back to everyone who visited, and for not visiting anybody last week.

In order to try and help my insomnia, I've stopped using my laptop after dinner; this has seriously cut into my blogging/visiting blogs time. And I was gone almost every day this past week, three days where I had no internet access. Anyway, I promise to catch up with you all at some point, and thank you for your visits here . . .

Still making washcloths . . . hope to "graduate" to socks one of these days . . . 
So, a friend told me about an advertisement for a company called Brain Life Center. There are franchises around the country if you want to look them up. I paid half price for a map of my brain waves ($75 versus $150) because I mentioned the advertisement.

I was hooked up to sensors on my skull and then asked, variously, to read a selection to myself, answer simple math questions, close my eyes and just let my mind drift, and listen to a story and answer a question. This all took about 45 minutes. I then watched a video about the science behind the technology while a technician analyzed the results. She called me in and went over the data with me.

Basically, I was told that the left and right sides of my brain weren't communicating well with each other (I think everyone is probably told this), and that I was dealing with insomnia and anxiety. I could come in seven times in a 10-day period to listen to my "optimized" brain waves played back to me. Then I would listen to them at home several times and go back into the clinic for one more session. (I think I have that right.)

Anyway, the total cost was around $2,000. They boast a 91% success rate for insomnia. (They treat other conditions as well with this therapy, including pain and addictions.)

Well, I'm not sure why, but I felt skeptical of the whole thing. This technology has been featured on major news outlets like Fox and ABC, and has been endorsed by a neurosurgeon at Wake Forest where it is being studied. Perhaps the technician I talked to was new, but I had a lot of questions she didn't seem to know how to answer. Like, what does "success" mean? I'll fall asleep in one and a half hours versus three? I'll sleep three nights out of the week rather than just one?

If I knew it meant I would fall asleep every night within a half hour, and sleep well every night, I would seriously consider it, even at that price. But I had too many questions and frankly, for some reason, just didn't feel right about it. I'm keeping it on the back burner, though, and may have another look at it if I have no luck with trying other things.

So, I'm down to just one cup of coffee a day, and plan to totally wean off this week. I will probably  drink a cup of decaf coffee in the morning, and then switch to herbal tea.

I'm taking a bath at night with Epsom salts (the magnesium is supposed to promote sleep), and taking a little magnesium powder in warm water before bed. And, no computer after dinner. I felt like things were a little better this week (still taking about two hours to fall asleep, though), but then last night I couldn't fall asleep until 4:30 a.m.! Can't figure out what that was all about. Didn't feel particularly anxious or stressed.

Do you mean I'm giving up my coffee and computer for NOTHING!?!?

I've been prepping cabinet doors for painting at my daughter's soon-to-be home. 
I also signed up this week for a program called SHUTi (Sleep Healthy Using the Internet). It is an online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program to help with insomnia. It goes for 16 weeks and cost $135. So far, I've just read some introductory materials and been keeping a sleep diary. I'm not sure I'm going to learn a lot here that I haven't already tried.

I guess I sound kind of discouraged. I'll try to stay positive and believe things will work out well! After all, I've been on sleep medication for close to eight years, and only off it for less than a month.

I've also talked with my doctor and am going to go off some other medication I take that may be contributing to the insomnia. 

Well, that's my story this week, friends. Life is good, with lots of good things happening. And I'm grateful that I have options to explore, and that the Lord is with me whether I'm waking or (not) sleeping.

Linking to No Place Like Home.

19 comments :

  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your sleeping problems Deborah. I do hope it will improve for you. Your knitted dishcloth is so pretty. Take care.
    Julie

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  2. I have not have had a drop of caffeine in about a year now, except once when I forgot and ordered and drank half of a glass of iced tea before I thought about it having caffeine at a restaurant one time. Another health issue required me to give up caffeine. Going caffeine free has not helped my insomnia one iota as far as I can tell. I believe either thyroid problems or the medicine used to treat it are behind the insomnia I have.

    I think the brain study sounds very interesting. But I agree with you that it is a bit expensive for something that has no guarantees. I appreciate that you share the information that you are finding about insomnia. You never know who may be helped by information that you share.

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  3. Deborah,
    I'm sorry for your continued insomnia. Perhaps, after being on sleep medications for so long, it will take awhile before your brain adjusts to being without. But really, I have nothing to offer except my sympathy and best wishes. Hang in there, God will make a way.

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  4. I can offer no advice, but I can pray that things will get better. Take care.

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  5. Bless your heart! I hope you will get some relief from your insomnia soon.

    And yes, the Lord is with you whether you are awake or asleep. He knows exactly what you are going through. May you feel His peace each time you have at attack of insomnia and fall asleep in His tender care.

    I have times where I awake in the middle of the night and can be awake for anywhere from a half hour to 3 hours. I am thankful every morning when I've had a good night's sleep. My prayer is that you will have more sleep filled nights.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

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  6. I'm sorry that your sleep study didn't work out, Deborah. I think you were right to trust your gut. $2K is quite a bit of money to spend on a treatment towards which you harbour reservations. I hope that you'll find a combination of treatments that will work for you.

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  7. I think I would be like you - skeptical of the clinical therapy at the high cost. Your question of how they define success was excellent. Keep pressing, Deborah. I wish you the best.

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  8. Wow, $2,000.00 is a lot of money to dish out. I'd be skeptical, too, Deborah. I'm like you and add Epsom salts to my bath water. One thing I forgot to tell you is that my yoga teacher said that elevating one's legs in the air, or against a wall for several minutes, is supposed to help promote a better night's rest. You might try that, as it can't hurt! God bless you, sweet friend! xo

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  9. Keep pressing on, Deborah. You asked a good question about the definition of success. That is a lot of money and I'm sure the Lord will lead you down the right path to answers. Wishing you the best, my friend. Do take care!

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  10. This must be so frustrating but it sounds like you are getting more and more information that will hopefully help you. I've never had this particular problem but I know if I get up a little earlier, I fall asleep quicker that night. I walk every evening now for 45 minutes or so and that makes me feel tired. But like I said...this isn't something I've struggled with. I sure hope you can get some good advice...sleep is so important for good health. I'll keep you in my prayers. Hugs, Diane

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  11. Dearest Deborah,
    Well, you might be sleep deprived by insomnia but you sure are smart enough for being suspicious to such a 'vague' treatment! Better see what the next steps, being off some more meds, is yielding and focus on their positive outcome.
    We had about 3 days of heavy rain and I had to drive to Atlanta on Thursday and back on Friday. Doing all the driving and in terrible traffic wears me out totally. So I have been sleeping like up to 10 hours and I'm very, very pleased with that ability! So getting certain projects out of the way and leaving behind some negatives, being toxic people or whatever, does work out well.
    Sending you hugs and encouragement,
    Mariette

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  12. So sorry to hear about your struggles with insomnia, Deborah. I have suffered with it for years, too. It comes and goes, according to my stress levels and what is going on in my life at any given moment. I hope you find some relief. It sounds like you are on the right track by cutting back on caffeine and taking mineral baths. Sometimes it's so hard to shut down....Hope the sandman comes for you tonight :) Hugs xo Karen

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  13. Querida Deborath ,, no hay nada peor que no poder dormir ,, yo ta,bien sufría de insomnio y ya lo solucione ,, hoy tomo flores de Bach y duermo toda la noche ,,
    que tengas un buen día
    Cariños

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  14. Not fine: insomnia! I once did a neurological evaluation to control my melatonin level. That was a medical examination in the hospital. Here such things are paid by the insurance company. I learned a lot from the neurologist and assistant :-) and the control. But I came here because I saw the nice photo. LOVE IT! http://momentsfrozentime.blogspot.nl/

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  15. I'm sure having Insomnia has to be difficult. Only rarely do I have a problem sleeping. I actually sleep with the television on all night and a fan running. I hope you find relief soon.

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  16. I've had troubles like that off and on in life, noticing it goes in cycles...maybe for two weeks then back to normal / that sort of thing. I was thinking about them wanting to play your brain waves back to you....
    Here's an idea / since you are trying this, that and the other. I am Christian but off and on for meditation I play a beautiful Buddhist chant softly in the background...or sometimes before I go to sit and pray and meditate just to relax me ahead of time. So anyway, if you had specific music that was very calming and you practiced a calming session during the day for however long you wanted, then listening to the music in your mind at night may help. Not sure. Here's what to type in on You Tube if you want to listen to this particular one that I like :) Om Mani Padme Hum - Imee Ooi Her voice and the tune are just so lovely to me. I think the fact that it is repetitive and not in English helps as well.

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  17. I don't want to jinx myself but I don't have a problem sleeping. There was a few times and it usually ends up being someone that's not settled within me. Listening to music does help calm me down. I hope this settles down for you. Lavender essential oil is a relaxant and I use a few drops on my pillow and on the bottom of my feet.

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  18. Oh, Deborah, I can totally sympathize with you. I, too, have a problem sleeping---not in falling asleep, but in staying asleep. It's not noises that waken me, as I sleep with some "white noise" going. I just seem to wake every hour or two all through the night. While I sometimes am able to fall right back to sleep, most of the time, I'm awake for at least a half hour. Then one or two hours later, I'm awake again. The cycle repeats itself about 5 times every night. No wonder I'm exhausted when it's time to get up at 6:00!

    As you know, I've pretty much ceased writing on my classic film blog. I've wanted to get back to blogging, though...just not classic films anymore. So, I am in the process of starting a new home-centered blog. Since I no longer use the email address associated with my film blog, I opened a new Blogger account. (It wasn't possible to change the email address...or at least I couldn't figure out how to do it.) All that to say, I will be "following" you again through the new account.

    Hope you are having a beautiful Memorial Day weekend.

    Love,
    Patti

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  19. I'm reading this with interest, Deborah. I've been taking benadryl for 17 years - I might have told you before. I tried going off it and using heavy doses of melatonin, but that was not effective for sleep, and after a week I was a wreck. So I'm back on the benadryl. I'm wondering what you'll find out ....

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