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I can’t sleep! What to do, besides drugs?

taking drugs to sleepDear GreenSmoothieGirl:

I’ve been searching your site for information about sleep. I have a friend who has struggled his entire life to sleep and it is affecting his health dramatically.  There are very few places on the web where I feel that I can find truth when searching about information on health, but your website is always where I go first for answers. As of now, he’s stuck on either Ambien or Tylenol PM just to make it through each night.  There have got to be alternatives that are more effective and healing.  So, what have you learned over the years and what would you do? Thanks, Valerie

asleep at work2Answer:  Valerie, that’s great you’re helping your friend. I have an ex-boyfriend who takes Trazadone at night (way more hardcore than Tylenol PM or even Ambien!) and still gets only an hour or two of sleep many nights. He occasionally falls asleep at work (in surgery!) and is perpetually sleep deprived. To be sure, the drug approach is a cycle that can ultimately lead to more problems. Watching his struggles, and as a former 20-year insomniac myself (I resolved my sleep issues a number of years ago), I have a lot of sympathy.

My mother can pull over on the side of the road and take a 10-minute power nap. I’ve seen her lie down on a bench in the BYU football stadium or at the Marriott Center, during football and basketball games in huge crowds. She actually FALLS ASLEEP and wakes up rested. When my son was in the state playoffs last year for a week straight, I saw her lie down on concrete and take a nap between games. I don’t know why I didn’t get the Sleep Anywhere Anytime gene from her.

sweet dreamsHERE and HERE are my past writings on natural ways to solve sleep problems.

I also recorded a webinar with sleep specialist and Intellibed founder Bob Rasmussen, HERE, where he and I talk about sleep research. I also explain how I recovered from insomnia and am no longer ever sleep deprived despite spending at least 10 nights every month in hotels.

Valerie, I hope this is helpful to your friend and also to anyone looking for answers to insomnia problems.