Sleeping aids when mind just can't stop working

previous topic · next topic

Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 184

Posted: 14 Jan 2013, 18:04
You know those nights when you just can't shut your brain off? It happens to me when I have a fight with my loved ones, when I'm excited about some new idea, or when I've spent all day working hard trying to solve some problem and it's still not quite done.

Anyhow, I usually sleep pretty well. I'm organized in terms of going to bed at the same time, and my wake up time is quite consistent too.

But going to bed doesn't always mean falling asleep. Some days I just can't fall asleep.

Once I tried taking NyQuil syrup and it was like magic! Hubby came to bed later that evening and tried to tell me something, but I was totally out and just made some non-human sounds and went back to sleep. I was also very well rested in the morning and felt great.

It's all good, but I don't think NyQuil is good for you on any kind of regular basis. So I heard about ZzzQuil from people here. After some research I found out that it's the same active ingredient as Bendryl, which I buy dirt cheap from Costco (their home brand) - oh joy! Last night both me and my hubby took some Bendryl and hit the pillows.

The good part - it did knock us out.
The bad part - it knocked us out around 4am, so when my alarm went off at 7:30am, I was still very much out. I spent all morning dropping things and it's 4pm now, and I'm still not fully here.

Now, what else can I use to get NyQuil effect without too much side effect damage?

I heard of Melatonin, but I also heard that if you take too much (or take it at the same time as your body produces a lot of it), you can end up with psychosis. I think I did take it a couple of time to fight jet lag, and always ended up with a head ache in the morning (although it might have been due the jet lag itself, and not the pills).

I also used to drink a cup of hot milk on the nights when I couldn't fall asleep. But I'm wearing invisalign braces now and taking them out to drink milk and having to brush my teeth again to put them back isn't the most convenient option.

Anyone here has a secret sleep remedy they use?


The first person who should be in love with you is yourself, no matter how imperfect.

Joined: Jan 13
Posts: 2

Posted: 14 Jan 2013, 18:38
I would suggest not going the drug route unless it's medically prescribed sleeping aids under the care of your doctor.
It sounds like we have a similar problem; normally sleep well, but once in awhile just can't do it.
I tossed and turned and couldn't shut down the brain and lost a lot of good time sleeping until I discovered this: What I do now when I discover it's liable to be one of those nights is I immediately get out of bed, go to my computer, and write about it. If it's emotional, I talk to my computer. If it's a brainstorm, I explore every angle I can think of. If it's a worry, I write down the "what ifs". No matter which it is, it generally takes just 20 to 30 minutes and I go back to bed and fall right asleep. I find that lingering in bed just hoping to fall asleep doesn't work for me. Get up, confront your brain, and get it under control by writing it to sleep.
Hope this helps some. Insomnia is awful!

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,052

Posted: 14 Jan 2013, 20:03
I have a couple of prescription sleep aids that I take every now and then. I find that Ambien is useful if I haven't slept well in a few days and I really want to catch up on sleep-- it'll knock me out for a good eight hours. I have to take a half-dose, though, because a full one will leave me zombielike for the first few hours I'm awake.

Sonata works well when I just can't get to sleep-- it helps me turn my brain off.

I have prescriptions for both of these from my doctor, and I tend to refill them about once every year to year and a half.

Joined: Dec 12
Posts: 102

Posted: 14 Jan 2013, 21:12
I do have sleeping problems...and I do have some prescription sleeping tablets, but if you are looking for something that is over the counter then I would suggest's technically an antihistamine but is also used as a sleep aid for both adults and children. Best to take an hour or two before you want to sleep. I have also tried Melatonin, but don't actually remember it doing anything at all.

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 31

Posted: 15 Jan 2013, 10:19
For me it takes different things on different occasions to fall asleep sometimes. Often it's as easy as eating a small bowl of cocoa wheats or a cup of tea (something warm and making me feel full but not too heavy) listening to something relaxing, and maybe taking a hot shower before I lay down. I suffer from insomnia. I have looked to cannabis in a medicinal way for it in the past and it helped me because a lot of my sleep trouble revolves around what you said originally, not being able to shut my mind off, that constant buzzing of stress and anxiety seems to cease with it and considering it has no harmful effects like NyQuil and it isn't damaging to your bodies own natural productive of melatonin, it's pretty safe across the board. But if you don't live in a medicinal state and you live near an organics store/or a nice grocery store with a specialties section you can find these herbal tea/juice drinks with trace amounts of Melatonin and Valerian Root and Passion Flower. They will help too. I don't know, I definitely wouldn't take NyQuil or Benedryl just to sleep though! The Melatonin would be MUCH better for you to take in place of those things.

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 234

Posted: 15 Jan 2013, 12:35
Melatonin is pretty natural and comes in various doses. I have taken it on an off now for a couple of years and for me it helps me to stay asleep the whole night and I wake up feeling refreshed (rather than drowsy like when I take NyQuil). It doesn't knock me out as quick as NyQuil, but seems to help me fall asleep more naturally. It's suggested not to take melatonin for prolonged periods of time (not more than a week or 2 without breaks). I will usually take it only a couple days in row. I have had no side effects and I take the 5mg dose, but it also comes in 3mg doses if you are concerned with side affects.

You may want to consult with a doctor to get advice catered to your health needs, but melatonin gets a thumbs up in my book.

Joined: Mar 10
Posts: 15

Posted: 16 Jan 2013, 13:50
I had the same problem and here's a drug free solution that worked for me. If you have a droid or iphone, you can download a free app called Relax Melodies. On it you can play sounds such as the ocean crashing, birds, thunder, meditation music, chimes, wind and the list goes on. I turn it on when I go to bed at night and set the timer for 30 minutes when it automatically shuts itself off. I've yet to make it to the 30 minutes... Worth a try and it's free!!

Joined: Nov 11
Posts: 810

Posted: 16 Jan 2013, 14:04
Oooh, I will have to download that sound app, I think it would be great!

Sometimes what works for me is trying to just relax my whole body, starting at my toes and working my way up to my head. I mean, focus *really* hard on visualizing and relaxing each and every part slowly and completely. Toes, heels, ankles, calves, knees, thighs.... As soon as your mind starts to wander, you have to start back over with your toes.

Someone who is busier than you is working out right now.
There will come a day when you can no longer do this. Today is not that day.

Joined: Mar 10
Posts: 200

Posted: 16 Jan 2013, 14:54
Tart cherry extract promotes the production of melatonin in your brain. It's a natural product. For me, though, I have a bath or hot shower just before I crash, and drink a large glass of water. My brain is most active in the p.m., which is isn't ace for my 9-5 job. If I'm really tired and hyped up, I have a really light early dinner, like at 5:30pm, and then take some 5-htp and turn the light off at 9:30. It might take an hour or so to go to sleep, and the dreams can be pretty wacky, but it definitely helps. That's partially because my sleeplessness (and often night terrors) is caused by the blues, and 5-HTP promotes seratonin production, which calms and balances me.
I've never met a cheese I didn't like.

Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 184

Posted: 16 Jan 2013, 15:09
Thanks for all the advises! I really like the ideas of how to use your own brain to relax and let go of the busy thoughts.

The first person who should be in love with you is yourself, no matter how imperfect.

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 1,286

Posted: 16 Jan 2013, 15:39
Try hypnosis. There are lots of free relaxation recordings out there you can use.

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 31

Posted: 01 Feb 2015, 17:20
I use these sublingual melatonin that are 2.5 mg, orange flavored, you can easily find them on amazon by searching sublingual organge melatonin Wink they are safe, kick in usually around 30 minutes or so.... helps sleep til morning for me

Forum Search
Advanced forum search

Latest Posts

LADIES - Buying Bras while Losing Weight
Yes!! and I hate how expensive they are and no one sees them!! That's the first thing I had to buy when I started losing inches. But a good fit makes me happy!
by rrayburn1 on 02 Apr 15 04:46 PM
Counting Calories
[quote=Connoni]This is a link to mine from's $20 and I'm really pleased with it... I have the exact same scale. I love it, especially the fact that ...
by kushka1 on 01 Apr 15 12:58 AM
Giving up the scale?
Weighing every day keeps me on track. If my weight is up a little, I walk more that day. I weigh every day, but I only record my weight here once a week.
by Deb_N on 30 Mar 15 03:40 AM
Challenge question
every group/challenge has different rules for joining, so if you want to join you need to abide by them, or look around and find a challenge that suits you and doesn't require what you don't r ...
by howzat4u on 26 Mar 15 11:59 AM
"The Last Mile Anxiety"
I program the treadmill for my workout then throw my towel over the front so I can't see where i'm at. It goes thru the program and I never know when the end is near. and sometimes I'm w ...
by mummydee on 24 Mar 15 08:20 PM