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BorderCollieLover

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Reply with quote  #1 
I think everyone here can relate to this. I'm still not sleeping well. I doze off for a few hours but keep waking up in the early AM hours and can't get back to sleep. I'm trying different things like using an Amino Acid called: l-theanine. This is supposed to help quiet the mind - and it does to a certain extent - but the efficacy is limited to a few hours. I added something called Passionflower last night. This is a botanical that has been studied extensively as an all natural sleep aid. I put about (10) drops (it's a tincture) under my tongue and laid back down. Did it work? Not really. I may have dozed off for a brief period but nothing substantial.  I know that I may have to increase the number of drops I'm taking (the instructions recommended taking many more drops but I always start slow and build up to a more potent dose) but I always err on the side of caution when taking anything - synthetic or natural - until I know how it affects me. As far as prescription or over the counter sleep aids go, I won't take them. I've tried them before and didn't like the side effects. I felt groggy when I woke up. It was worse than not sleeping at all.  It's a unnatural sleep cycle induced by a strong pharmaceutical. I tend to stay away. I've always been a big exerciser but lately I haven't felt like doing any strenuous physical activity. I'm going to force myself to lift some lights weights and do my push-ups. maybe this will help. This has not been easy.

Jim

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Sayuri

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Reply with quote  #2 
Try going to a sauna or steam room if your gym has one. Unfortunately there isn't one in my area. Last night I fell asleep about 10:30, woke up at two, slept for a few minutes and had to be up at four. I have taken Clonazepam, it's prescription. Hate to do it, but I couldn't deal w my guilt, pain or lack of sleep. Hope you find something. The longer without sleep, the worst the guilt, it feels like.
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BorderCollieLover

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Reply with quote  #3 
Sayuri:

  Thanks. Sounds like your sleep cycle is similar to mine. Yes, I need sleep to function. I'm going to try some different things today. No easy, quick fix with the grieving process. It's just something that we pet-lovers have to go through. 

Jim

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Mistysmama

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Reply with quote  #4 
Those nights are hard BorderCollieLover, and I'm sorry you are going through that.
I also had and still sometimes do have -bad nights, just feel things have changed too much, and there's an uneasiness. I used to love those easy nights.....looking forward to the next day.....listening to my dog's breathing as she lay next to me in bed.
And now nights like that aren't there any more.

Passionflower (Passsiflora) is quite nice and helpful for calming, but nothing seems to cut through grieving. Not entirely. Camomile tea can help too. But sometimes I haven't been able to sleep till dawn for missing my girl and feeling too weird....then have got up, got her picture to be beside me, got a coffee and some cookies. Then gone back to bed at an unearthly hour and managed to fall straight to sleep (yes even with the caffeine!)

I have sat downstairs, remembering her, just re-living happier memories and sending her all my love from my heart, and that is the only thing that sent me to sleep again.

I always had delayed sleep-phase (couldn't sleep till late at night) and my girl was an early to bed-early to rise kind of dog. It always made me laugh. We were so different in that respect!
I used to stagger about after only 5 hours sleep to make sure she had a happy morning walk!

Just after she passed I slept when I could and woke when I wanted. It worked because I was retired and had nobody else to answer to.
That broken sleep did provide some interesting dreams though.

But it is natural to have sleep disturbance when we are upset. Just ride it out and it will balance in time.

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Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
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Michelemh

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Reply with quote  #5 
I also can't sleep. I lost the love of my life a few weeks ago. My once in a life time dog. She was going to be 18. I also used to hear her breathing at night and it comforted me. I miss her so much. I wake up after a few hours and sometimes stay awake all night. I use melatonin but when I am upset like this it doesn't work.
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BorderCollieLover

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Reply with quote  #6 
Mistysmama:

  Thanks for your perspective on all this. You've experienced this before and know exactly what I'm dealing with. I've come to the conclusion that most sleep disturbances are emotionally based. When my grief has been properly acknowledged, processed and dealt with, then - and only then - will I be able to resume sleeping. As far as natural aids go: Passionflower, Lemon Balm, Valerian, l-theanine, melatonin, GABA, etc, all can provide some degree of relief but the root cause has be addressed 1st (emotional conflict) and that can take some time. If we didn't love our pets so much we wouldn't be in so much turmoil. I don't know how some people can pass through the grieving process so quickly. They seem to rebound within a few days or weeks. How is that possible? That sure isn't me. My dog was much more than just a dog to me. She was my world and I miss her dearly. This is going to take some time. For now, I'll sleep when I can but it doesn't feel right. 

Jim

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BorderCollieLover

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Reply with quote  #7 
Michelemh:


Thanks for your reply. Sorry about the loss of your precious dog a few weeks back. Like your beloved friend, my dog had just turned (18) yrs. old too. It's been 2 and 1/2 weeks for me and I am functioning but everything seems so out of control. Sleep has been hard to come by. My energy level has plummeted tremendously. I am eating but food just seems to be a basic necessity that I need to take care of. I work at home so I can adjust my schedule as to how I am feeling - which currently is not good. To help with the grieving process, I am reaching out to family and friends via phone conversations. This has helped some. Joining this Forum is also therapeutic. Knowing that there are so many others going through the exact same thing can be comforting. I've come to the realization that this healing journey is going to take time. No quick fix here. I'm glad that you decided to join this Forum. Please feel free to post often. We all want to hear from you. You are not alone.

Jim 

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LauriP92

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Reply with quote  #8 
Oh Jim we all know how you are feeling-and its awful. I, too , am having trouble sleeping-up every hour. I take melatonin and recently a Benadryl too which makes me sleepy. Maybe you would consider that? 
Nothing can bring our babies back sadly. Please write as often as you have to and reach out for help. We are all here to support each other in the loss of one of the most important family members.
Hope today is a better one for you
Lauri

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BorderCollieLover

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Reply with quote  #9 
Lauri:

  Thanks. I think most of us on this Forum are having some degree of sleep problem.  I've tried Benadryl before and it made me feel groggy the next morning. It didn't feel right, so I discontinued it. i think time and healing are the answer here. Sorry that you are going through this too.  We just have to persevere and keep healing. No easy answers here.

Jim

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Mistysmama

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Reply with quote  #10 
Jim....yes, just sleep when you can. You have some great treatments lined up there. Skullcap is another herb that can help, and St John's Wort. But of course, do check any contra-indications, and if what you take is suitable for you! Herbs are powerful medicines.

But yeah....it's the ache in the Heart that no medicine can cure, not even Nature's medicine. The best medicine for it is Love. But even with Love, there is still a piece missing....I know.

I have been shown the most graceful, peaceful wonderful state of Being by my dog. That is the level she's on, and sometimes I can reach up and just touch that with my fingertips.
It is beyond all the cares of this world, and all I can hope for is that we will join each other a bit less tentatively, in that state one day.
Meanwhile we're here, figuring out this puzzle, and working every day to just manage, and whatever we do, the Heart has taken a blow, and there's a gap here ....in our bedroom, our kitchen, on our sofa, out on walks.....where there used to be a beloved companion. No matter what glimpses of Heaven they (bless them!) have given, we still feel that.
And we feel it even worse I think, in the middle of the night.

 I did find, with time, generally my sleep balanced out, so there is hope. But even now I can sometimes have a bad night.

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Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
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BorderCollieLover

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Reply with quote  #11 


Mistysmama:

  No doubt about it. We've all had something  very near and dear to us taken away - and it hurts. When we're depressed and have emotional conflict, sleep and energy levels are usually the 1st to be affected. The nights are horrendous. I toss and turn, wake up frequently and can't fall back asleep. I'm getting, maybe, (3) hours a night. And yet, despite that, I still feel alert and can work. Thank Goodness I work from home. I don't think I would be able to deal with the hustle and bustle of the business world - especially in an office setting. I did call one of my friends last night She's a genuine pet person and understands exactly what we're all going through here. She's been there before. I spoke with her for about an hour and did feel better afterwards. I may start exercising again. Just a little to start out with and go from there. I have come to the realization that you have to help yourself. No one else is going to do it for you. Yes, the pain is still intense but I have to keep going. It's not easy.

Jim



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Mistysmama

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Reply with quote  #12 
Yes Jim....apart from the incredible pain, there is the exercise issue. Those whose dogs have passed over are probably missing daily exercise.
Even with an older dog, there was probably still some form of outdoor exercise daily.

I did find that resuming the same walks we used to go on helped me. At first it was awful and I would sometimes break down and cry in the middle of a field. But as I continued to take those walks, they became sacred pathways in fact, filled with love and sweet memories, and occasionally I would even sense her with me when I went to such places.

It might be that walks will help restore sleep a bit better than just going to the gym and crunching muscle. Walking is gentler exercise and less likely to ramp up adrenalin  etc.

__________________
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
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Sayuri

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Reply with quote  #13 
Yesterday I thought I wouldn't be able to go on any more. I was in such pain that I my sobs became screams. My poor Baby suffered. She was so sweet, I can imagine her looking around in total fear. How could they not see that her labored breathing and panting was due to stress bc she was semiferal. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it, get ready while thinking about her, then put on a mask to appear sane when I feel I'm going crazy. This is not going to go away. Seems like meds are just Band-Aids when I'm hemorrhaging. I've been occupying myself doing research on how it was that my little girl died when there's an 80% survival rate and in her case it was so mild. And for them to try to tell me she had a fever when she was brought in but those numbers aren't medically considered a fever. I don't want to think about it any more, but she meant so much to me, how can I not. I will take a few days off from forum and instead look into those things you mention to help quiet my mind.
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Michelemh

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Reply with quote  #14 
Mistysmama
I have not walked in over a year since mine was older. She stopped taking long walks before that. I am not sure I can go to all the places we walked. It will be so painful
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Michelemh

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Reply with quote  #15 
Sayuri

So sorry for you. I don't know your story but hope you find some peace.

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