I need to sleep! Got any suggestions?

The rundown: On Mar. 28, I had a scratchy throat that turned quickly to a postnasal drip, leading to a sinus infection/congested ears/facial pain mess. It kept me up for about four nights straight, despite Nyquil or Theraflu. I take a prescription decongestant once a day.
On April 1 I went to urgent care and came back with amoxicillin, to be taken twice a day. They advised me to take Tylenol PM before bed. It works eventually, but only for a short time. I can’t tell if the antibiotics are working.
In the meantime, I’ve had very little sleep for several nights. Aside from a blow to the back of the head, can you suggest anything that might help me to get at least six hours’ worth of shut-eye?

Do you have a vaporizer? I found that helped me out a lot with the “cement sinuses” thing. I have a nasty sinus infection at least once a year.

Nyquil doesn’t have any of the good stuff in it anymore; thanks a lot meth junkies.

Otherwise, I got nothin’. Sorry for your pain.

2 Benedryl.

I take them in lieu of sleeping aids, no serious side effects, or dependence etc…etc… and they knock me out quick and no groggy feeling…

However, you can still get pseudoephedrine, even though it’s behind the pharmacist’s counter. Still, if vivalostwages is on a prescription decongestant, that would be overkill.

Have you looked into a neti pot? That might help with getting rid of some of the crud up there.

I feels for ya. I had a cold a month or so back and for the first 2 nights, the postnasal bleyuchhh made me so miserable I could not sleep at all. Which of course played merry hell with the ol’ immune system. That blow to the back of the head was sounding might good :frowning: I actually was using the neti pot at 3 AM. Didn’t help me all that much but it’s a harmless thing to try.

The decongestant might be part of it. Pseudoephedrine makes me really twitchy.

Have you tried sleeping reclined but not laying flat? Whenever I’m sick like that I prop myself with pillows and the arm of the couch to get a hospital-bed-like position. My mother used to have a big foam wedge for this, it was great.

When I really need to sleep I take like 4 NyQuil…you’re not supposed to take 4 obviously but I do. Helps when I get a migraine and can’t sleep.

As any insomniac will tell you: Feeling tired and feeling sleepy are two separate things. If you don’t feel sleepy, don’t try to sleep. Play soft music. Think about nice things. Read something light.

I have insomnia, and one of my standards is NOT to lie in bed for more than 30 minutes if I don’t feel sleep coming on. I’ll get up and go read, or surf the Dope, or whatever, for an hour or so or until I start feeling sleepy.

It also helps if you can get on a set schedule and stick to it 7 days a week. Get up at a set time even on days you don’t have to. Get up even if you don’t feel like you got enough sleep. It will make it much easier to get to sleep that night.

If your symptoms aren’t too severe, or the medication is bringing them under control, go exercise. Moderate swimming usually helps me with allergy throat (so long as I don’t work out hard enough to trigger asthma). Even a treadmill or a nice walk with the dog right before bed might help.

The prescription decongestant is a generic form of Entex, gauifenesin (sp?). I don’t know if it has any pseudoephedrine in it. I only take it in the morning because it works for up to 12 hours.

Yes, I have a vaporizer that I run quite a bit. We have very little humidity here.

I sniff warm salt water up both nostrils to try to clean things out. Is that similar to the neti?

The Tylenol PM contains the active ingredient in Benadryl, I believe.
I think I’ll try staying up for a while longer until they really kick in.

Thanks for the comments, folks. Wish me luck tonight!

The exercise in the evening is a good idea, but not within a half hour of sleeping. You’re still too keyed up from exercise to sleep properly then. Some warm milk and a banana before bed can help - they’ve got that good sleepy stuff in them naturally - tryptophan, I believe it is. A warm bath or shower can help (warm, not hot - hot is too stimulating).

A sleep aid we used to use in the hospital for shift work was Gravol. I’ve heard that it is addictive, so use sparingly.

For long term sleep aids, I’ve never found anything that works better than meditation. The ability to relax your body and mind in any circumstances is absolutely wonderful.

Ditto with the ‘tired’ and ‘sleepy’ are not the same thing.

Another thing that might help is the ‘ironic mind’ theory (or ‘model’). If you lie in bed wanting to go to sleep but not going to sleep, the more you tell yourself you really want to sleep, the less likely it is to happen and your mind will keep buzzing. But if you say to yourself, ‘Actually, lying here awake is just fine, I don’t care, it’s all right even if I don’t sleep’, you are more likely to actually drift off to sleep.

Why does this work? It’s comlplicated. Read ‘A Mind Of It’s Own’ by Cordelia Fine. It’s a great book about the workings of the mind and she explains the theory very well.

I can certainly go for a walk. I don’t hit the sack till 11pm, so there’s plenty of time to do it before then.

A hot bath right before bed. Afterward your body temp will drop and trigger sleep. I tend toward insomnia, and this works for me every time. Plus it just feels nice.

White noise.

Lavender (incense, pillow sachet, in your bathwater, whatever).

Sex (with a co-pilot or flying solo).

You do know that the active ingredient in Benadryl is the same active ingredient as in a lot of sleeping pills, right?

Compare Benadryl to Sominex or Unisom Sleepgels and look for diphenhydramine hydrochloride.

A vote for Tylenol PM here. But start with 1/2 a dose unless you can afford to be totally groggy the next day (it is extraordinarily powerful stuff and takes a while to wear off), and obviously make sure it doesn’t conflict with any other drugs you are taking.

A night spent in the embrace of Tylenol PM feels more like getting knocked out than getting a normal night’s sleep, but in a situation like yours, where the alternative is tossing and turning from discomfort, it is a definite improvement.

2 Benedryl? :eek: I have to take half of one or I’m dopey all morning! I think 2 would knock me out for a couple days. They sure do work, though. My sleep cycle will go off every now and then so I can kick it back into a normal patter with a few nights on Benedryl (which I should be taking more often for my allergies anyway).

If you have a La-Z-Boy, then I’d try sleeping in that until the postnasal drip clears up. Also, it’s old fashioned, but Vicks VapORub really does work. You slather it on your chest, neck and underneath your nose and then wrap a towel around your neck. Breathing the menthol really helps soothe a raw throat. I actually did this last night because I’ve been battling the flu for the last week. I dreaded coughing because it hurt so badly. Vicks allowed me to go almost the whole night with no coughing.

Good grief…I didn’t even remember the Vicks remedy! D’oh! I can add that tonight.
Actually, the two CVS-knockoff Tylenol PMs don’t leave me groggy at all; they don’t last that long.
I took a walk last evening, cut down on my water drinking before bedtime, had a bit of cereal with milk while watching TV earlier, put the vaporizer on, and only spent a couple of hours coughing and carrying on until I finally dozed off and slept for SIX hours! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Thanks, folks, for all the suggestions. I think I’ve finally turned the corner on this mess.