Discussion in 'Life After Caregiving' started by paul tinker, Mar 3, 2020.

  1. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    Hello Everyone.
    I may have posted this topic somewhere but as many experience grief fog and memory problems. I am at 15 months so better. The insomnia was horrific and unstoppable. There is a good deal of time for mental processing in grief. That may take as long as it takes. I will just update you a little. These ideas are OK but would likely not be effective till more recently. So just ideas pending your own stages and severity. The obsessive thoughts are draining but we do this no matter. There is so much to process and all at once. That is overwhelming for anybody.'

    The February Time magazine has an article on sleep. Many have sleep apnea and the airway closes. There are sleep clinics and a CPAP device may be needed. Basically force air down the nostrils. It has taken a good while and most recently some eight-hour sleep time. This may be just time for my brain to calm or a combination of time and more active attempts to calm. Hard to say.

    I have added exercise. Mostly walking. There is relief from doing that. A little more tired and more relaxed so sleep may have a better chance. Very Gentle Yoga is very good. Really any activity that diverts our 24/7 minds. Any that calm or relax. Pleasant conversations are great for that. If we are engaged in visiting then we may not self-talk as much. Dance like clogging or line, singing/sound work, Thi-Chi, acting, more well-known exercise. Just movement, music, social. All are helpful if you can. No matter how much or what type. Calming is needed for that overworked brain.

    I have added some more herbal sleep aids and focus aids. These are usually not researched. May work for some and not others. Hopefully, the more plant-based and vitamin-based supplements are helpful. General well-balenced dies should handle all that. I have added herbal no caffeine tea but still coffee and tobacco.

    Lots of sleep environment ideas. Darkroom. try to not be in front of electronics an hour prior to your attempt to sleep. Good luck there. Coffe has a 12-hour half-life. If I think of more I will post it. Hope this helps!!
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  2. cathy jeanne

    cathy jeanne Well-Known Member

    Did you have sleep problems before? Or is this since your partner died.
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  3. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    Hi Cathy

    Perhaps for a long time. Very much in the caretaking that was over a few years. But next to no sleep for months from her passing. Before just lifestyle issues. The early and erratic hours from a work schedule. The fairly intense coffee drinking. The sleep article talks about people's careers like nursing or police work. These have rotating shift work schedules. We all get so busy and life is demanding. Because of stress and poor diet. Diabetes got unmanaged. All were there just so much worse from her illness and passing.
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  4. cathy jeanne

    cathy jeanne Well-Known Member

    So sorry you have to go through that. i don't have much sleep problems but I take a pain killer for something else so it makes me automatically sleepy plus I listen to audiotapes and it puts me to sleep. My problem is that I panic when I wake in the middle of the night and notice I am alone. Have you tried all the over the counter stuff like Melatonin? I assume you have. Would it be worth it to you to get a regular sleeping pill from your doctor. Not sleeping makes your health worse for sure. I miss my husband every day and every problem I had before he died is now magnified. It sounds like its the same with you too.
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  5. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member


    We are in the human being business and are complex creatures to be sure. The Melatonin is brought up for sleep. That one evolved a bit from dose rates. Naturopathic people and supplements people have commented a little go a long way. My Apnea doctor is of the opinion most people have adequate Melatonin and most people do not actually benefit. The regular sleeping pill is what I hope the supplement for sleep helps with. The over the counter products and prescribed sedatives tend to dehydrate and certainly take a while to sweep the mental fog away in the morning. My regular doctor has commented that as people age sleep gets to an issue.

    The nightmares and panic attacks. Two people that I know suffer from those. One gal from here who lost her son has night fits and panic breathing attacks. She uses CBD oil for that. There is another magazine that went into that whole world. There is a division of labor things in our relationships. I have to cook now or someone did the taxes. Those are sort of things that are learning curve items. The loss of companionship and acute loneliness is far more difficult. For years we were together. Something would come up and ten hours of conversation went into it. That continuous flow of being together there is no pill for. I dog sit a 5 pound Yorkie. She will throw a fit if I go to the store for a few moments and don't take her. When she back with her owner it takes a few days of looking at her dog bowls and feel the loss.

    Connection and separation are difficult. That primary relationship is not replaceable. Several smaller ones make it more manageable. That is if we even feel up to it is a big void to fill. I know another person that also uses audiobooks. As you mention that it makes a good deal of sense. Just the human voice fills some silence. Thank You for mentioning that. That person is going through a divorce type loss. She uses that tool. I initially thought just more entertainment but as you point out really much deeper. That is a very good insight. Thank You, Cathy.

    The first thing my Hospice counselor said was BE SOCIAL. That was grief groups or here for that matter. We have been reduced to riding a tricycle and the ten-speed two-wheeler independence is a long way off.
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  6. cathy jeanne

    cathy jeanne Well-Known Member

    actually Melatonian makes me grumpy so I cant take it anyway. I think social is good but it is difficult to force something until you ready. My kids are always trying to make me more social and I am not quite ready. I need my time alone too much still. I know the time will come. This counts as being social :)
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  7. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    A qualified update. The qualified is in week one and for several months insomnia was dominant and any of these techniques would have been useless.

    The February Time Magazine article is a very good overview. Certainly the more understood restorative value of sleep. We live in the information age and some good science. So much goes into our well being. So much is interrelated. I have logged some eight hour nights.

    Herbal no caffeine teas. I put the coffee pot away. The CPAP breathing machine works OK. Some sleep aids like herbal bedtime supplements. Some other aids. Good physical work during the day and always music.

    Hope all of you are holding up as best you can.
    David Hughes likes this.
  8. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone!

    Sleep, ah the quiet time we might get at night. When I look back to when my wife first passed, I know sleep had to be an issue, but for some reason I can't remember anymore. I know I was troubled, had many times my mind would race and I was alone in dark for once in my life.

    I honestly can't say I ever thought about my sleep at first. I was just too troubled with her loss. As time went on and the time just seemed to crawl some days and then speed past events other times, I never thought much of my sleep. Sure my mind was heavy with the loss, and no one was around to talk to about it.

    After the initial period of grief, and everyone said their ..How sorry I am.. they scattered in the wind, and life went slowly forward for me. I know I kept myself so busy. I did so many things, trying to keep my mind off the loss and trying not to bother my sons at the same time. As those days, weeks, months and then years passed I still never thought about my sleep.

    My days were long, they still are today. When night came around I think I had exhausted myself to the point of time for bed, put the cpap mask on, and out like a light. The one constant I took from the three sleep machine I have had, and the sleep monitoring by those that paid for the machine was to keep the room I sleep in cool if possible. Seventy (70) degrees appeared to be the point where I could put blankets over me, no matter the outside temperature and time of year.

    It seemed that this cooler temperature made me comfortable. Today, it is still the same, the room is kept at that temperature and sleep comes quicker even when my mind has been filled with thoughts. This is no joke, I have actually had 16 ounces of coffee right before I went to bed and still had no problem sleeping. I guess I have trained my mind and body that when I pull the covers over me in bed it is time to sleep, no matter what preceded it.

    I know we are all different. We each carry so many thoughts that might be heavy during our waking hours. But if you can help convince yourself, from training over time that your sleep is important, it just might work for others as well.

    I do hope everyone will have more restful nights. Peace be with each one of you. I hope your way forward in life will get easier until the weight of grief has been lifted off your shoulders.

  9. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    Thanks, David

    The sleep issue is better. That is time and as you say be active to channel the energy so earned fatigue helps. Your comment about room temperature is good. The sleep magazine covers the bed is for sleep. The habit of pulling the covers over your is a behavioral habit associated with now is the time. The excessive thoughts that occupy our minds that is another matter.
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  10. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Hi Everyone,
    When I saw the subject was about sleep, I had to read through your posts. Sleep has been very difficult for me, this isn’t terribly new but definitely quite a bit worse. The empty bed causes me such angst. I had panic attacks sometimes multiple times a night. They’ve lessened a lot. Thankfully.
    I totally agree that to keep moving is helpful, stay busy. I try to keep my mind active too, but it’s hard. Lately I’m sleeping some better, I plan to try herbal no caffeine tea, thank you for that info. I currently take CBD oil for arthritis, hasn’t been much help, however it’s helping me sleep. At least it’s helping in that way. I also bought a weighted blanket, I believe it helps me sleep, but it hurts the arthritis in my hands, so I don’t use it often. My daughter has one, it definitely helps her sleep since she lost her dad. Might be worth a try for anyone interested. They seem to work. And I have a sound machine playing.
    What we all need and want is our spouses with us, sadly we need to come up with other ways to help us get a good nights sleep. I don’t know if I’ve added any helpful info but hopefully I have. It seems a lot of us are troubled with sleep, at least we’re not alone.
    This is a rough road we’re trying to get through, our bodies need sleep.
    Best of luck to everyone!
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  11. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    Robin, after my dad died I developed panic attacks. I was diagnosed and treated for them, it took about 5 months. I have never had another panic attack, so the treatment was successful, sorry I can't remember the drugs name they gave me.
  12. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve talked to others on here that have had panic attacks too. I’m doing some better thankfully. When my dad passed I was 35, I didn’t think I could live another day without him. I had attacks not like a full panic attack. But not good. And I felt I had to be strong for my Mom and young children. That’s when I was diagnosed with RA. After my dad died. Was a bad time in my life. I’m glad you haven’t had them again. Like I mentioned I have them less lately.
    Losing our loved ones is just so exhausting.
    Thank you Robin
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  13. ainie

    ainie Well-Known Member

    Hi Robin. I too have RA which interfered with sleep. A friend suggested honey and cinnamon, I doubted it but was willing to try anything. So now I have a 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon with 1 tablespoon of honey every morning. It took 3 weeks of having it every day but I have had NO arthritis pain since. I will either put it on some yogurt, on oatmeal, or in my coffee every morning...it amazes me. Mind you it doesn't help me sleep but no more arthritis pain is a good thing. So now I just started another old fashioned remedy...hot milk before bed. It does seem to help some but not as effective as I hoped.
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  14. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member


    Thanks for the comments. The weighted blanket I have not heard off. I will look that up. The CBD"s was another Time article. That was mixed in opinions. The research lags a good deal due to controlled substance issues associated. The debate was about pure CBD or a blend with THC, Then there is full spectrum. Most knowledge is antidotal at best. So if you could comment on the sleep part are you using just CBD. Always with supplements is quality control and purity. The night panic attacks I feel for anyone having to deal with that. The friend I have here has horrific dreams that originate from child abuse. These remedies are really trying to deal with some core issues. But if externals help just get some normal functioning then perhaps better will come sooner. Sorry about arthritis.
  15. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Hi Ainie, Thank you so much for sharing! I’ll be having that in my coffee tomorrow morning. I hope I get the same results you've experienced. I can’t even imagine life without arthritis pain. I don’t even remember what it feels like to make a fist. I’ve been taking turmeric for quite a while and it helps quite a bit. But I still have pain. As you’re aware I’m sure, stress and lack of sleep, aren’t good. I have osteoarthritis in some joints as well. Any help is welcomed. Again thank you so much for sharing.
    Now we need to get us sleeping. CBD and weighted blanket has helped me some.
  16. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Paul, I’m taking full spectrum CBD, it was recommended for my arthritis. But it’s helping more with sleep. The guy in the store said to start dosage at .50ml and work up as needed, bottle says start at 1ml. I listened the shop owner and now I’m up to 1.50ml. It’s possibly helping the arthritis but it’s helped with sleeping definitely even at the .50ml dosage. All the sudden I noticed, hey I’m actually sleeping. In my opinion it’s worth a try. I’m lucky I found a store where the owner is so knowledgeable and helpful and not at all pushy. He takes it himself for anxiety
    You should definitely look into weighted blankets, they’re not cheap, but when I do use it, I sleep quite a bit better.
    That’s so sad about your friend and they’re nightmares, how could anyone abuse a child, it’s beyond me. I feel for them. My daughter as a child had night terrors. Doctor told me due to too much stimulus, and also during a night terror we should change her temperature. So if she was cozy under a bunch of blankets, pull some off, if no blankets, add some. Calm quiet evenings and the temperature change both worked like a charm.
    Ainie, has given me hope with her cinnamon and honey RA help. What a wonderful community of people on here. I desperately miss talking to my husband about these things, I feel alone trying to deal with things that I’d always had so much support for. But I’m learning I’m not so alone, everyone here offers help and support in every way.
    It’s heading towards 1 AM, going to try and get some sleep
  17. ainie

    ainie Well-Known Member

    Here, in Canada, cannabis is legal so I very recently tried it. The store clerk was very helpful and taught me about CBD versus THC and recommended a high CBD, low THC strain. Have tried it a couple of times and slept a full 7 hours without waking!! I am nervous of it so will keep it for only those days that I feel exhausted.
  18. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    Robin and Ainie

    Thanks for the recommendations. My 43-year veteran nurse friend has recommended, Lazarus Naturals. Online order of High Potency Full Spectrum best value is a 6000mg tincture for $200.00. So, 1 ml is 50mg. They suggest 1ml. Robin your dose rate seems about right. Ainie the local pot shop has the 2 to 1 CBD/THC blend. I liked that one a lot but more pricy. Very mind on the THC effect.

    A gal I met here is an on going friend that uses CBD for anxiety. She of all things has recently started working for a CBD supplier as their new CFO. I trust her judgment a good deal.

    A side notes the Cinnamon was referred to as a diabetes blood sugar regulator. Used in countries where pharmaceuticals are either too expensive or hard to get.

    The friend up here had a bipolar father and she is by genetic and some horrendous upbringing. She does so well most of the time but when the mental wheels fall off. They fall hard. That is also why I am interested in sleep. Most all I read for many mental disorders sleep is a common factor. That was sited again in the Time magazine article. The restorative brain chemistry is done only with proper sleep. A good number is seven hours. This is not a shot at our primary doctor's as they are overworked already but the number of doctors that address sleep as a curative health issue was maybe 3%. That whole field appears underrepresented and as important as heart, diabetes, and most other health-related issues.

    Good discussion. Robin, I agree that our marriages were companionship but also that joint problem resolution and support. We all miss that a great deal.
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  19. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Paul, Ainie
    The CBD I have is the Lazarus Naturals, that you My bottle is 900mg, so 1ml is 15mg. Maybe I need stronger. The store I buy from does offer a stronger bottle. I am actually sleeping though. Thats a plus and as you mentioned sleep is needed for mental health, and just plain helps be and stay healthy.
    I’ve started the cinnamon and honey that Ainie recommended I’m hoping for good results from that. I did know cinnamon was good for diabetes, regulating sugar. No idea it helped arthritis. It’s giving me hope.
    Wish I could share this with Ron. He would be so happy if I found something that helps me. But I wouldn’t know about the cinnamon and honey if he was with me, I wouldn’t be on this site. Thank you Ainie for sharing. Thank you Paul for your input on CBD. I might be purchasing a stronger bottle next time.
    Take care to you all.
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  20. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much for the acknowledgment. I am so pleased this site offers support for each other. A place to be and contribute in as kind a manner we humans can do !! I do hope you get relief from the honey remedy.

    I just finished writing a friend I met here. She lives in NM. Our topic was about current events and gratitude. She had mentioned this last email and I was reading a book by a Ph.D. Nutritionist that combined with diet also recommends emotional well being by invoking graduate. Just the writing and allowing my thought to be in that mindset is countering a good deal of primal feat I can be swept away by.

    David has posted many uplifting music videos that he finds comfort.

    So, Robin gratitude for you, the builder of this site and all that come here.
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