Raisin Hope Foundation

Raisin' hope for survivors of traumatic brain and spinal cord injury

How is your sleep after your TBI? How do you get a good night's sleep?

Like so many of us, I had issues with sleep as I recovered.  My MD told me that insomnia was a trademark side-effect of the injury I sustained.  I just dismissed it...that is, until I could not sleep more than three hours a night.

My solution?  I would exercise.  At first before I could balance on two wheels, I would take long hikes with friends on the mountain bike trails I loved so dearly, or go for early morning walks with my wife.  Later, when I was back on the bike, I would do hard workouts every day.  I slept like a baby.

The same thing goes today.  If I do not exercise, I am up at 3 AM pacing (or working).  If I do a long ride, I have no problems getting good sleep.

So, what has worked for you?

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Randy, I am right there with you.
One reason I still push myself working out is in hopes to get a good nights sleep.
I have been on and off sleeping medication for the last 8
years to get a good nights sleep. I am trying to break the habit and the only thing
that helps is pushing myself physically until I am extremely tired.

Yes, my circadian rhythms got knocked way off.  Over time I got back able to fall asleep at night and get up in the morning, but aht could be asleep between 10PM and 6AM, and sleep til 9AM the earliest, sometimes til noon.  Widely varying range of asleep and waking times, and sometimes not connected to how much sleep I got in between.

The LOWEST available dose, 25milligram, of Seroquel is mostly effective in helping my mind settle enough for my body to be able to fall asleep within a few hours, however if I have a lot going on or an hyperfocused on a project then it doesn't matter and I'll stay up working right through it.

Getting up early in the morning is mostly impossible, and I plan my schedule around not needing to be anywhere before 11:00AM.

Totallly hear you Randy and Saul, Same here. I had the other problem, getting too much sleep lately. Always tired, sleeping 12-15 hours and never had energy. Went to take a nap at 3pm and Mary had to wake me up at 5pm. Still tired. Soo tired that even during MTB rides I had to stop at a bench and....fell asleep there. No energy and each ride I got slower. Everything was too much. I am taking anti depression and the doc added Effexor 6 weeks ago to it. I stopped taking it now I do not feel like a zombie anymore.  Well, kind of the wrong answer, after all you were asking how to get some sleep. I surely thing movement does help. Riding especially, but even a strong 40 minutes quick walk ( not a dog walk) and getting pulse and breathing up, short before dinner, tv and then sleep helps me. Hopefully you too! Randy, this weekend we are here, in case you want to go for a MTB ride...?

I'm a type A personality that is always thinking. I just had way to much dopamine in my brain after my injury. Serotonin is what I needed. My doctor finally prescribed the correct medication to calm down the over thinking. Celexa with the generic being Citalpram 20 mg once a had me returning back to deep sleep.

So what has worked for you?

I don't have sleep problems but I get headaches around once a month and when I have a headache it is harder to sleep.  

For me, getting to sleep is a big problem unless I am extremely tired. By extremely tired I mean when you are unable to look straight ahead of you. This is why I usually don't get to sleep until early in the morning, no matter how early I get to bed. Actually, when I go to bed early I tend to sleep later. Once I do get to sleep, and I don't set an alarm, I tend to sleep really well through the night and morning, for about 6 or 7 hours in a row. So ironically, when I'm really tired in the evening and go to bed late, I wake up ealry and well rested while I wake up late and tired when I don't feel tired in the evening and go to bed early.

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