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A bath to help cure insomnia?

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PeteBateman

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Hello all! I'm new to this forum and I'm trying to help cure my sleep issues one step at a time and I'm now giving baths a go to see if it can help me relax and detoxify. I developed insomnia after an operation last year and now I would just like to get back on with regular life; not waking up in the middle of the night multiple times and feeling tired throughout the day. Doctors have been close to useless on the NHS and I've tried multiple things to try and solve the issue; everything from months of counselling to strong sleeping pills (both herbal and non) and nothing seems to work. I'd like to hear any insights, but also if you could recommend any bath products/ recipes to help sleep – that'd be great. I did search the forum and found some useful topics such as this one below, but it would be interesting to see if I can follow the idea of relaxing my body and mind, ready for a good night's sleep.

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?p=254589

I'm also trying to document anything that goes on in my life and made a blog to place all that down, almost like a modern diary. Wednesday's I make a craft, as I like doing that stuff, but on a Sunday I try out something new to combat insomnia. This isn't a plug for my website, it's a genuine request for help and it really is annoying not being able to get on with the life I was used to. Please check out www.petebateman.com for these updates though, it'd be great to hear from you all!

Also, apologies if this is in the wrong forum board, I thought it might be the best one as it's for bath and body. Feel free to kick me in the right direction if need though ;)
 

snappyllama

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Howdy and welcome. I'm also a lifelong insomniac, from a proud/exhausted family of night owls.

The biggest thing I've personally found to work for me to fighting insomnia is to keep to a schedule. I try to get up at the same time every day and go to bed at the same time. I follow the same pattern of getting ready for bed every night. Also, I try to banish lights, reading, playing on a tablet, and watching TV from the bedroom. Once I get into bed, I want my brain to figure out that no matter how much it wants to stay up and play, it's bedtime. If I'm having a bout of insomnia, I do not allow myself to take a nap - no matter how tired I am. I just push through the day and crash at the proper designated bedtime.

I'd say relaxing scent can help (like lavender and chamomile). Perhaps a bath tea... but I'd make it part of the routine. I think the routine (at least for me), is the main thing.
 

PeteBateman

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Thank you for the reply. I have tried to give myself some routine and I'm hoping that's putting me on the right track, but I think I need to be a bit more dedicated to it, like you suggest with your schedule. Taking naps is my Achilles heel I think. I've tried lavender spray, that's always nice, but I think keeping to a good routine, especially with a nice relaxing tea, would be a good idea. I'll keep at it ;)
 

lsg

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I take Valerian and Melatonin tablets when I have trouble sleeping. Chamomile and lavender are both supposed to be relaxing. You might also try an aromatherapy essential oil diffuser. You can add a few drops each of the above essential oils to a carrier oil and put a small amount in bath water or rub it on your shoulders and the back of your neck.
 

PeteBateman

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I'll give that a go, thank you. Actually, I've been meaning to ask how people feel about melatonin supplements. Do they work well for you?
 

LBussy

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Turkey puts me to sleep! A great American tradition - eat lots of Turkey and take a nap while football is on. At least it works once a year. :)

I know you may be looking for a more natural route but I have found something that works for me. My job thankfully has settled down to where I don't travel as much, but when I did; Ambien was a part of my travel kit. I woke up one morning surrounded by Taco Bell wrappers (and there were no Taco Bells in sight) so that scared me a bit. I took to tying a leash to my ankle and to the bed when I was in a hotel.

Anyway, sleeping pills can definitely be habit forming and I really have this "thing" against anything that could possibly become a dependency so I maybe used 1-2 a month. I have a very good doctor who really takes the time to listen/talk and he suggested Nortriptyline (brand name: Pamelor). It's an antidepressant he said is an "old school" one that was found to put people to sleep just a little too much for normal use. He prescribed 10mg capsules and said to take 1-3 of them, the normal therapeutic dose for depression is up to 150mg a day so I could take the whole damned bottle and not really be overdosing.

Unlike the Ambien and other sleeping pills, it does not leave me groggy the next day. It sort of has a "mental pillow" effect, calming me and allowing me to just drift off (and stay asleep for once which is nice.) I have been paged out in the middle of the night after taking them and I was able to function quite normally.

So, maybe something to discuss with your doctor. I think insomnia is "off-label" for the drug but it's working for me.

Also I've found a cat laying next to you and purring really puts you to sleep, but that's an acquired taste. :)

No herbs, and I am not a doctor so don't take this as medical advice. Just one insomniac to another. Oh, and +1 for the schedule. You really do need to train your body to fall asleep on time. I wake every morning at 4:15 without fail; I have not used an alarm clock in years. The other side of that is me making sure I get to bed no later than 8.
 

Seawolfe

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A nice relaxing bath certainly won't hurt, lavender is the obvious choice. I like mine in Epsom salts :).

I have found that reading relaxes me before bed, but it takes longer to fall asleep if I've been at the computer or tablet.

Long a go I read about one man who cured his insomnia with the help of a therapist who told him to pick a chore that he dislikes doing (in this case it was waxing the furniture), and if he didn't fall asleep within a certain amount of time he had to go do that chore. Interesting behavior mod that worked in this case. Or you get a chore done that you typically put off :)
 

kumudini

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Howdy and welcome. I'm also a lifelong insomniac, from a proud/exhausted family of night owls.

The biggest thing I've personally found to work for me to fighting insomnia is to keep to a schedule. I try to get up at the same time every day and go to bed at the same time. I follow the same pattern of getting ready for bed every night. Also, I try to banish lights, reading, playing on a tablet, and watching TV from the bedroom. Once I get into bed, I want my brain to figure out that no matter how much it wants to stay up and play, it's bedtime. If I'm having a bout of insomnia, I do not allow myself to take a nap - no matter how tired I am. I just push through the day and crash at the proper designated bedtime.

I'd say relaxing scent can help (like lavender and chamomile). Perhaps a bath tea... but I'd make it part of the routine. I think the routine (at least for me), is the main thing.
You are practicing what is called sleep hygiene. It is generally advised for people with migraines but it also helps tremendously with insomnia. There are other components to the sleep hygiene than what you have already mentioned, like getting some exercise in early on in the day, limiting caffeine intake after noon hours.
To the OP,You would want to first eliminate any structural causes like obstructive sleep apnea. After you have done that, you could assess your lifestyle, identify stressors, even the more subtle ones like say you have the best life yet your mind can't stop working (I personally think sleep is your biggest stressor from what I have seen on your blog). Once you have identified any, try to decrease their impact on yourself. Practice relaxation techniques, meditation is superb.Also exercises like yoga, Pilates or tai chi are great. Avoiding spicy foods along with caffeine, avoiding disturbing media content before bedtime all help.
One thing I have noticed recently is that rubbing a couple of drops of pure lavender essential oil on the back of my hands or behind my ears help me sleep through the night. I think you should give it a good try.
If you want to try a bath, again lavender and straight Epsom salts in the lukewarm bath water will help. Hot baths/ showers tend to wake you up more. Hope I'm being helpful here.
 

new12soap

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Turn down the thermostat.

There is a lot of great advice here. Follow a schedule and get a bedtime routine. Unplug from electronics and even keep lights to a bare minimum. Certain fragrances can be very relaxing.

Melatonin is the only supplement I have ever heard recommended by my doctor as well as several pharmacists, and it works very well for some people. Here's a tip, you should take it for at least 2 weeks, then if it isn't working well you can adjust the dose. I know people that took it one or two nights and it didn't immediately put them to sleep like a narcotic, so they stopped taking it. I would say start with the 3mg tabs (after checking with your health care professional, of course), then after 2 weeks if you need to increase it, you can take two. I am told you should NOT exceed 10mg in 24 hours.

A hot bath before bed helps. Turn down the thermostat and as your skin cools from the bath it will relax you. Research (and my personal experience) says that you will sleep much better in a cooler room, too.

HTH and good luck, insomnia is miserable.
 

Jstar

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Im a night owl at heart, and rarely sleep over 4-5 hrs a night, but I find a nice warm bath with low lights {including a candle} then into bed with a fan running {white noise} helps me drop off to sleep. I used to have an aquarium that I listened to bubbling, but I no longer have that so I use a fan now.

Also, I trained myself to fall asleep faster by reading while in bed..something I wasn't interested in and boring...I'd force myself to read until I couldn't hold the book up any longer, and I was zonked after that. Only issue with that method however is now when I read, I get sleepy..even if its something interesting I want to read :lol:
 

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Have you heard of Delta waves? Dr. Jeffery Thompson, Amazon has the cd's, so does his website. It's better to buy the CD, convert to a lossless format (like i Tunes has) and use with headphones (real ones, not earbuds. You want to get the full range of frequencies) I love the sound of rain, so I bought "Sleepy Rain".

And welcome to the forum and wish you success in finding a good night's sleep!
As I get older, I value my sleep!

Oh, and I second the computer/tv screen thing. The type of light produced by electronics really messes with our circadian rhythms and scientists are beginning to suspect that has a huge impact on future health. I'm trying to kick the habit myself but no success yet - I can't find any good books.

Oh. Just my two cents worth, but I'd really do some research, and preferably consult with a Dr. before messing with melatonin. It's sold at much higher doses than recommended and isn't to be used long term. After all it is a hormone; when you start adding some hormones a body often stops or lowers production of it.
 
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LBussy

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Also, I trained myself to fall asleep faster by reading while in bed..something I wasn't interested in and boring...I'd force myself to read until I couldn't hold the book up any longer, and I was zonked after that. Only issue with that method however is now when I read, I get sleepy..even if its something interesting I want to read :lol:
I tried that with my kindle and bashed myself in the face with a bit of electronics.
 

Dahila

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I had tried everything, baths in herbs , herbs, meditation, acupuncture and for the last 15 years I suffer with terrible insomnia. Nothing can cure it if you have it in your genes........I have
If worry and stress causes insomnia you can help yourself with meditation:))
Melatonin supplement helps to to sleep but not to fall asleep
There is a thousand quided meditation and brain sync or brain waves on you tube. To have access to it , one does not need to buy the cd's which probably are not going to work.
good mattress, and low temps helps too
 

Jstar

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I tried that with my kindle and bashed myself in the face with a bit of electronics.
LOL..get a soft book Lee. I learned the hard way myself after almost dropping my lappy a few times onto the floor :lol:
 

lenarenee

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I had tried everything, baths in herbs , herbs, meditation, acupuncture and for the last 15 years I suffer with terrible insomnia. Nothing can cure it if you have it in your genes........I have
If worry and stress causes insomnia you can help yourself with meditation:))
Melatonin supplement helps to to sleep but not to fall asleep
There is a thousand quided meditation and brain sync or brain waves on you tube. To have access to it , one does not need to buy the cd's which probably are not going to work.
good mattress, and low temps helps too
You've been through a massive struggle with insomnia, for that I'm sorry.

I stand by my suggestion the op look into learning about Dr. Thompson cd's and research into delta waves and binaural beats. My very good friend has used it in his practice and has seen good results for many people. Insomnia is complex; and different things work for different people. It's been an absolutely blessing for my uncle. I don't have insomnia, but at times have trouble sleeping and use the sleepy rain cd, which almost always helps me a lot.

Also, while I'm not an audiophile, I know that converting music to other formats decreases the quality of the sound. Bitrates make a difference. Whatever free YouTube things are out there, I've got to think that the uploader had to convert file to mp3, and then upload to YouTube - and who knows what sound frequencies were sacrificed in that process. And again....quality of headphones makes a difference in the quality of sound delivered.

(this is not a commercial for Dr. Thompson's cds. I'm simply stating what product my friend uses in his practice, which he suggested for my uncle, and which I also used.)
 

PeteBateman

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Thank you all for the brilliant responses, it's put a smile on my face thinking that I've got quite a lot of options to try out! LBussy, if that's really true about the Ambien story then that definitely sounds like it should be a scene for a film :p Did you really tie a leash around your ankle? My doctor did mention about using mild anti-depressants, but I never really knew why so that's really interesting to hear.

Although I'm sorry to hear others of you had or still do have insomnia, it is reassuring to know that there are steps to improve the situation. In response to lenarenee, you're absolutely right - Youtube tends to compress audio quite heavily, which will mean certain audio frequencies will be cut off and therefore if the science behind delta waves is to have a certain frequency response then one might assume that it is no longer possible under heavy compression. Either way, that would most certainly not be the case with audio on Youtube with the 240p setting, the audio is awful at that level...

Check out this link for more info: http://goo.gl/Desejy

I used to do a lot of filming and audio recording so I have a nice pair of flat response headphones so I might just give that a go.

Also, as a quick mention - I really didn't know about bath and room temperature changing things so that's a really useful piece of knowledge.

Likewise all the tips everyone has given makes me look forward to trying these tips out!
 
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LBussy

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Did you really tie a leash around your ankle?
I did ... I mean imagine it: I had to have gotten up, assumably gotten dressed but that's an assumption, and driven at least 5 miles to Taco Bell. Then I came back to the room and ate a good 2500 calories of bad "Mexican" food and then went back to bed. Scared the hell out of me.
 

snappyllama

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I did ... I mean imagine it: I had to have gotten up, assumably gotten dressed but that's an assumption, and driven at least 5 miles to Taco Bell. Then I came back to the room and ate a good 2500 calories of bad "Mexican" food and then went back to bed. Scared the hell out of me.
DH had a similar experience with Ambien. He didn't leave the house. Instead, he used a gigantic cleaver to cut leftover ham off the bone, made an omelette on a gas stove, and toasted bread in the oven for some reason. The cleaver was found in the bedroom, put on the bed between us. The plate was in the tub upstairs. I guess he ate it while taking a bath in the guest bedroom. Freaky!

We don't use sleeping pills any more.
 
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LBussy

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I don't want to be Debbie Downer here - but people DO need to know that it affects everyone differently. A gent I work with was called home from a business trip because his mother-in-law committed suicide. She shot herself in the head. That's a strange way for a lady to commit suicide statistically, especially because she DID have a large bottle of Ambien. The best the family Doc could guess was that it was a side-effect from Ambien (and environment, and food, and ...). She was not depressed according to her medical history.

Do I *know* that I went sleep driving? I don't. For all I know I invited a bunch of college-kids in for a 12-pack of beer. I do know that I don;t know how those wrappers got there. There is at least one case of sleepdriving documented (Doane JA, Dalpiaz AS "Zolpidem-induced sleep-driving." Am J Med 121 (2008): e5).

These occurrences are in the fractions of a percent area of course. It's lottery-level coincidence that my experience and a co-worker's experience came together with the same month. Folks should be aware they can happen and make sure they follow the directions to a T.
 

Jstar

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The cleaver was found in the bedroom, put on the bed between us.
OMG..now THAT would've freaked me to no end!

As for Ambien and other sleep aides..I dont take them..anything that has a side effect of suicidal thoughts, or sleep walking, or amnesia..nope, Id rather keep my insomnia. {that goes for pain meds too..I'll keep the pain and figure something else out}
 

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