Worsening insomnia during COVID times

posted 2 months ago in Wellness
Post # 19
4550 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

View original reply
@zstbee84:  I’ve struggled with insomnia for over 15 years – I feel for you bee!  What has always worked pretty successfully for me is finding the right melatonin.  For me, pills (in any dose) would stop working after a couple of days, but certain brands of gummies have worked consistently.  I do take them every single night, and rely on them – I ran out early in COVID when amazon was super backed up and had terrible insomnia every day until they arrived.  I’m not sure if they’re pregnancy safe but god I hope so because we’re TTC and I don’t know what I’ll do without them!!

ETA: Having a consistent exercise routine has also helped me, especially when I was running more frequently.  I’ll have to pick that back up. 

Post # 20
7808 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

You are not alone, Bee. I’ve found drinking less coffee, exercising (even if it’s just heavy yard work), decreasing news coverage and increasing friend contact (even via text), an occasional Xanax or Unisom and the Calm app have helped. I leave the Calm app on rain or bird/water or insects chirping all night sometimes. Escaping into a book here and there can help me shift as well. Good luck and hugs. It’s not an easy time. 

Post # 23
1098 posts
Bumble bee

Hi bee! Like some of the other PPs, I’ve struggled with insomnia my whole life which is related to my anxiety. So when my anxiety flares up, so does my insomnia. And it gets bad, like really bad. I will go 2 or 3 days without sleeping at all. It is awful. I have a high stress job (attorney) so I end up getting physically ill sometimes because I’m not getting the proper rest. I have tried literally everything – oils, pre-sleep rituals, apps, a sleep machine, herbal supplements, Ambien, exercise, reading, special sheets/pillows, Sleep Number bed, etc.) My PCP finally put me on Sonata (which doesn’t have the side effects of Ambien and supposedly is not habit-forming). For the most part, it’s working well although I still don’t sleep a ton but I never have. I still occasionally get a bout of extreme insomnia even with the Sonata. I also have a weighted blanket, which I loved for several months. Now it seems to almost have the opposite effect. Arrrrgh. I’m a mess! And COVID hasn’t helped as I seem to spend most nights on the couch these days. 

I really hope you find some relief!!! Insomnia is a b**ch! 

Post # 24
151 posts
Blushing bee

OOf, yes, my insomnia has had some brutal upswings during covid! 

The main things making it hard for me have been: Anxiety, Trapped In House-ness, and Too. Many. Screens.

When I stay put and spend the whole day in my head rather than participating in the actual world, it’s way more likely that i’m going to thought-spiral and be unable to shut off my mind while I’m trying to sleep.

So, things that have helped me are: time in nature, lots of excercise, and minimizing screen time. Yoga has been really beneficial for me in staying present/getting out of my head. Also running, walking and hiking outside when possible. Minimizing screen time is also huge – reading instead of watching tv, delete social media off your phone for a while etc. 

Also, Melatonin & Magnesium Citrate powder are great natural sleep aids. 

Post # 25
226 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

I echo everyone who says exercise and long walks help. I have life long anxiety insomnia plus regular insomnia plus i’m very sensitive to noises/not a deep sleeper so I feel for you.

For me supplements do not do anything. I have a few things that work for me.

One, having a small fan or humidifier in the bedroom- I don’t really like white noise machines generally but any sort of small regular machine noise helps me sleep through other noises better.

Two, I have an ipad that has a stand and while I know conventional wisdom is no screen time, I actually find that a TV show I’ve already seen before set with the screen to the absolute lowest sound and brightness is a life saver. Books I get too into, podcasts I end up with my phone or earbuds in bad places- but the ipad by the side of the bed just quietly playing Fraiser or Pride and Predjudice for the millionth time knocks me out.

Lastly, if you are unable to sleep after 30 minutes, i get up and go to the couch. I usually drink a glass of water, or herbal tea and read or keep watching my ipad on low. Sometimes that change of scenery allows the  tired feeling to catch up better. Its a weird trick but it does work. Also make sure you can’t check the time- checking the time only makes the anxiety about not sleeping worse.

Post # 26
151 posts
Blushing bee

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@19mattituck:  Ooh yes, I agree about the sleeping ‘distraction.’

If the above mentioned TV doesn’t work for you, I’d also recommend trying out audiobooks.  Especially light mostly positive things like comedian autobiographies. They’re usually more like short stories, so you don’t have to follow a long plot all the way through and there’s less of a ‘hook’ that keeps you listening on edge.

I use a blackout sleepmask with bluetooth speakers that I love. That way you don’t have to deal with airbuds, plus you block out any light (which helps your brain produce more melatonin).

Post # 28
840 posts
Busy bee

Ive been the same way! Cant shake it

Post # 28
1486 posts
Bumble bee

Oh insomnia.  I’ve suffered from horrible insomnia since high school and have tried many different things in my desperation to get some sleep (unisom pills, wine, meditation, weighted blankets, music, Nyquil (in pure desperation), xanax, etc).  But none of these ever worked for me and some had terrible after effects (like unisom).

I second the CBD.  For people who want all the therapeutic effects of cannabis without the psychoactive part, CBD is the way to go.  It is fantastic for pain relief, taking the edge off, and helping you relax without feeling like you took anything.  

I gifted some CBD chocolate to my Mother-In-Law and SIL (who both have very bad insomnia) and after eating just a few pieces, they both swore they had the best sleep in forever.  They sell CBD in many forms (oils, topicals, candies, bath bombs, etc) so you can try to see which one works best for you.

I personally love cannabis-infused 100% organic coconut oil. (I used to live in a state where recreational marijuana is legal)  By far this has worked the best for me.  I just swallow the tiniest little dab of the coconut oil about 3-4 hours before bedtime and I sleep like a baby.  The best part is, no grogginess, no aches and pains in the morning, and I actually feel RESTED.  

Now the caveat is, the cannabis used to make the coconut oil I use is also grown 100% organically with no synthetic chemical fertilizers.  How the cannabis is grown makes a huge difference in how you feel, esp with the groggy cotton-ball-brain morning effect (comes from cheap or synthetically grown flowers).

Now I have friends and coworkers who swear by cannabis-infused tinctures. With having to work from home and now schools going virtual for this new school year, they have been having a very very rough time with the stress and anxiety. They just take a few drops of tincture and they tell me they’re able to handle the emotional ups and downs and any challenges with  much more ease and clarity, without the anxiety and stress overwhelming them and causing them to either blow-up or go into deep depression.  

I’ve tried tincture myself, and it also works great.  But since I have a medical GI issue, sometimes it can irritate my stomach. So the coconut oil works best for me, no stomach upset at all.

Post # 29
1286 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - Turkey

Yes I suffered from insomnia for the feirst 3.5 months of the quarantine but I have always been a  night owl. I started to get out of the rut when I started to follow the 10 minute morning yoga movement challenge by Yoga with Kassandra. She made me want to wake up early and do something. After that, I started working full time and things have sorted itself out pretty much immediately.When I particularly tire myself during the day, it worked. Hope it helps. Lots of hugs. 

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