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Tackling sleep problems

answered 11:36 PM EST, Tue May 28, 2013
anonymous anonymous
I have clinical anxiety and I was medicated on a swath of anxiolytics for more than 20 years. I am not going back to that hell. Now I am 36 days straight after more than 10 years of pretty much daily cannabis. I expected to feel a lot better after quitting and I do feel a lot sharper and more able to remember things. The one concern I have is that I am having sleeping problems. I can fall asleep without a lot of difficulty now (though it was hard at the start) but every night I wake up in the middle of the night after a bad dream. They are not always nightmares but they usually are and they always leave me feeling unsettled. I do not know what to do. I cannot and will not touch sleeping pills of any kind. I have tried drinking alcohol to knock myself out so I won’t have nightmares but this just seems to delay them to the early morning. And then I am hung over too. Can you give me any advice on how to minimize this problem I am having?

Andrew Nichols Says...

Andrew Nichols A. Nichols
M.S.W., L.C.S.W.

Given your reported history above, I would strongly discourage you from any further use of alcohol. It will only worsen your sleep problems, and you may have a vulnerability toward developing a dependency.

Have you tried any herbal sleep aids. Melatonin is a safe one that works for many people. if you find the capsules don't work for you very well, try some of the liquid, which you take under the tongue. Certain fast-acting tablets for sublingual use are also available.

Also, make sure you are eating a healthy, balanced diet, and getting regular exercise daily. Limit exercise to periods at least two hours before time to go to sleep.

Good luck.

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Page last updated May 28, 2013

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