Terrible trouble sleeping, need some helpful advise

For the past couple of months, I have been having trouble sleeping. Not every night, but I never know. About once a week or every other week. I remember reading some helpful hints on this site. But, at the time, I was sleeping okay, so I didn’t look into the responces. Now I am having a problem, and it sucks, so any help?

I would suggest googling "sleep hygiene ". There will be lots of good ideas there. Some things I do are, wear orange glasses the last hour before my bedtime. Because light interferes with our brain making melatonin, orange lenses block all blue light. I also make sure all the little LED lights in my bedroom are covered with electrical tape. Turn alarm clock away from me. Keep bedroom cool and very dark. Go to bed at the same time every night. Get up at the same time every morning. Get natural sunlight on your face as soon as you get up.
Exercise daily. Do what ever you can do. Don’t drink any liquids after your evening meal. A sip is ok. Turn off the television, computer, music, smart phone etc an hour before bedtime. Turn down or off lights an hour before bedtime. Read a boring book just before bed.
Hope that helps! Sweet dreams.

And…use a white noise maker.

There are lots of good ideas if you google things like "help with sleeping" "insomnia" etc ranging from good bedroom hygiene ie no clutter, no TVs or phones or computers in the bedroom to good practice like relaxing bath before bedtime or warm milky drink etc. If it becomes a serious problem you may need to see a doctor. I had depression and the main issue was insomnia which went on for 18 months and the only thing that got me sleeping again were anti-depressants.

I've had the same problem. Sleep well for several nights, and then wide awake at 2 or 3 AM and can't fall back asleep. My doctor recommended eating Cherries (Fresh or dried) at dinner time or before bed. I forgot the details, but she said they help your body get into sleep mode. I have also noticed that I sleep much sounder if I have a glass (or two) of red wine at dinner. My doctor says the red wine has the same sleep inducing effect. Good luck as it is a real annoyance.


I find the darker the room the better I sleep and until we can afford black out curtains I just use a black eye mask to sleep in.

I always used to read until I got too drowsy but it had to be something that didn't stimulate

my imagination. Now, I do Suduko. It clears my head before sleep.

If I have a lot on my mind I cant sleep. I also have a cocktail or two at home before bed. If I don't have a lot of bad on my mind I sleep real good.

I was waking up quite a few times each night and that got really old fast. So I too have been working on this and add idea's all the time it seems. What I do now (and it's taken time to get this down) I have to have our celing fan going all night for more air flow. I find that I just need more air flow even though I have covers around me.Having the room much cooler really helps me sleep thought the night.

Sometimes I take 500mg of Calceum about 1/2 hour before bed time with just a little milk not allot. I also turned off my alarm clock and face it away from the bed so I can't see any light. I have my alarm on my phone in another room so it won't disterb me

I also have been told not to go on any computer or check my phone for one hour prior to sleeping and schedual sleeping at the same time.i find it hard to go passed the schedualled time anymore. If I do I wake up during the night. Believe it or not it becomes just a habit as I get into a routine.

Just resently I heard about the white noise thing like Julie talked about. I was told to try having a bathroom fan on that made a very low low noise to drowned out any noises. It did help me.

Occasionally if I've had a very roudy overly busy day I prepair for my sleep by taking either a warmer shower than usuall or bath to calm down before bed time and I set the mood!

Everynight I kneel by my bed and pray for other's then get in bed and read my nighttime devotional before the lights go out.This way I know I'll have good dreams.

Typing this, I didn't realise all the things that I do untill I wrote this down. I seem to play allot of tricks because of this ataxia. We sure have lot's of challenges don't we? :0) It is amazing how these evolve and continue to evolve for me. But hey I think it's worth doing everything that I do now. One it keeps our brain challenged. :0)

I have tried everything that is suggested as ideas for 'sleep hygiene' and what I know for myself and for my daughter (who has ataxia), for her, her brain literally can NOT shut off. I don't know if it is related to her ataxia or to seizures or what. But what we have to do for her is give her melatonin. The doctors have also prescribed a valium type medicine, but that sort of seems scary to me for a 6 year old child......now, for me...that would be great :) So what we feel comfortable doing is giving her melatonin and the doctor's have prescribed quite high doses, especially considering she barely weighs 40 pounds. The health food clerks always freak out when they here the amount of melatonin she is on, but I trust all our doctors whole heartedly and go with what they suggest.

What I do know if that good sleep is ABSOLUTELY critical when having ataxia. If my daughter has a rough night of sleep she is 'doomed' the next day. She just will not be able to function.

Hope you find something that helps. Please share with us what you find helps you.

This tip may sound funny! I imagine my old self absolutely healthy. In this imagination I try to draw all the positive energies to enter my body and will strongly that I will get better. In this process I close my eyes and imagine and finally within 1/2 hour I fall asleep! If this tip works enjoy good sleep!!!

Another thing is progressive relaxation. Start at your head and work down to your toes. First off tense every muscle you can in your face - even your ears if you can and hold them tense for as long as you can then let them relax. Then move to your neck and tense for as long as you can then relax then shoulders.......arms.......hands.......back........buttocks.....thighs........shins.........feet..........toes etc all the same.....tense the muscles in each then hold as long as you can then relax.

I do "light" stretches of my muscles about 1/2 hour before bed. It helps me release tension. I also journal a bit, writing down my thoughts and feelings. I find if I write a couple lines, I feel free to rest. Because my writing/printing is so bad, this is also good practice for me...,ha! I say my prayers, remembering who and all I'm thankful for. Everyones suggestions were wonderful...,hope this all helps! ;o)

Rose, I'm going to do some light stretching at night now too, because you brought that to my attention! Thank you! I don't know why I never thought about doing that before. But when I think about doing that it makes since to do that! I hold allot of tention in my body from just trying to funtion with everyday things. I'm looking forward to doing this!

I also write out my Greatfuls but do them in the am. Hummm I'm going to try to do them at night too. Thanks for the tips!Thanks!!!!! :0)

I thought this might help also, I forgot to mention it eairly that when I take a nap to help me/make me nap I close my eye's with the fan etc just like at night but I use a eye pillow to keep light out and do deep breathing very slow and count them. This makes me go to sleep even when I don't want to but need to! I was given a article that talked about power napping. Not to nap more than 20-30 mins. So if I have something I have to go to I schedual it. hahahahaha it works for me!

My pleasure Jeannie! Sometimes one has to try different things until they hit on something that works! ;o)

Yes that's me. Natural things! :0)

rose said:

My pleasure Jeannie! Sometimes one has to try different things until they hit on something that works! ;o)

Interesting! Thanks Lori!

Lori D said:

I take 50mg of Amitriptyline at about 7pm. It helps me fall asleep and stay asleep. I also take it because it is a maintenance dose to help minimize with my Migraines. I do not drink alcohol as it brings on headaches and just messes with my Central Nervous System too much!

Here's a "white noise maker"


There is also a sleep app for smart phones "I Can Make You Sleep" by Paul McKenna. I use my ear buds and during the process of listening to it, I fall asleep. It's really good! I've wondered about getting a pillow speaker so I didn't have to have cords and such in the way while trying to sleep.

Interesting Julie! Thanks for the link..., ;o)