Emotional Wreck

I’ve been an emotional wreck the last couple days which is why I haven’t been posting. Well, that and because I haven’t had anything to say.

The other night the fire department had a call. It wasn’t a particularly emergent call but it was disturbing for other reasons which I can’t get into because of privacy reasons. The call went out at about 10ish, maybe closer to 11, so it wasn’t wicked late at night. As a matter of fact, Wolf and I hadn’t gone to bed yet. Anyhoo, we got back from the call about an hour later and, following our routine for night calls, we both had a cup of tension tamer with a ball of catnip. It worked well on my body but my brain would NOT SHUT OFF. After about an hour I got up and took two melatonin. The pills put me right to sleep. But then.

But then on Monday I was a wreck. I’ve noticed this side effect with the melatonin before though I’d forgotten about it because I don’t take it often. All day on Monday I could feel the anxiety and panic in my chest. Wolf walked in the door from work and I was in tears, bawling like a baby. We ate dinner then went down to the station (this is our normal Monday night sans bawling) and I was cranky, bitchy, and temper tantrum-y. I hate being like that and I especially hate it when I’m like that in front of people. I made a bunch of snide remarks which isn’t good. The melatonin certainly inhibits my already poor impulse control. Combine the lack of control with physical feelings of panic and anxiety and you have one Howling Hill in a craptastic mood.

Yesterday I spent the day knitting which is when I realized I just cannot take the melatonin as a sleep aid. So my herbally friends what say you? Is there something I can put into a tea, or a pill, which will shut my brain off so I can sleep?

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11 Responses to Emotional Wreck

  1. I don’t know about herbs, but I have a lot of trouble falling asleep/ shutting off my brain, and I listen to audiobooks at night and it really helps. Definitely stops the obsessive, spiraling thoughts, and I usually fall asleep pretty quickly. One tip- don’t listen to anything too interesting!

  2. Howling Hill says:

    Punchline: I could try that but it may keep Wolf awake. When we go to sleep it silent in the house as neither of us likes any noise when we’re drifting off.

    A great suggestion though. I will look into it.

  3. Paulette says:

    A few years ago I was having a horrible time sleeping. I got a hypnosis tape to listen to (I’d go to bed before my husband so it didn’t bother him). It was about 10 minutes long (you know, relaxing from head to toe, then walking down a garden path, blah, blah, blah.)
    Well, I guess I was really susceptible because after 4 nights I’d drop off after about 3 minutes. A week later I could just lay down without the tape, start the dialogue in my head, and drop off before I ever made it to the garden path.

  4. farm mom says:

    I go thru the same thing, monthly. I have a good few nights in a row where I just cannot shut the brain off. I’ve been like this for years, I’ve never been able to find anything that works. Sorry, my friend! :/

  5. Popular Natural Herbs for Insomnia
    Kava kava (Piper methysticum)
    Kava kava is often used as a herbal insomnia remedy. This particular herb is extremely popular throughout the South Seas, and is quickly growing in popularity throughout the United States. When used as natural sleep aids, kava kava can impart a natural calm feeling, as it helps relax the body, as well as enhance dreaming. This herb for insomnia is also often recommended for chronic fatigue. Long term use should be avoided due to the possibility of liver damage.

    Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
    This is another herb that has been used for a long time as a herbal sleep aid. Valerian is the most popular herb for insomnia and it is is the natural source of Valium. It eases nervous tension, muscle tension and anxiety. It can be used as an occasional treatment for restlessness, but may be most beneficial for insomnia treatment over the long term. It works well in combination with other sedative herbs. Valerian root does not have the harsh side effects of many pharmaceutical treatments, like Valium, but in high doses this herb can cause nausea, headaches, dizziness, weakened heartbeat and even paralysis. Taken in recommended dosages it is considered safe. Due to the tonic and relaxant effect it should not be taken when driving or when reactions and mental acuity are needed. It should not be combined with pharmaceutical medicines that have similar effects.

    Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
    Chamomile has been used for centuries as a herbal sleep aid. It is a very gentle herb and is considered safe both for adults and children. As a herb for insomnia is most often drunk as a tea, which has a mild, pleasant flavor. It has a mild soothing effect which aids sleep and reduces restlessness. It also has a positive effect on digestion. The active ingredients in chamomile include a volatile oil and a falconoid, apigenin, with other components helping as well. Science has not yet determined the exact mechanism by which this herb aids sleep. Chamomile is a very mild herb and does not lead to dependency. It has not been shown to have any side effects. Individuals with allergies to plants such as ragweed or daisies may have a reaction to this herb. It may increase the effects of other sleep aids and should be used with caution when combined with other drug therapies.

    Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata)
    This herb, used by the Aztecs as a sedative, has a calming, sleep inducing effect. This herb is commonly found in the list of herbs to help you sleep. This is a gentle, non habit-forming herbal sleep aid. This is a very safe herb and has been used by both adults and children to counter the effects of stress and tension. It helps relax the mind and body to induce restful sleep. The active ingredient, harmine, and related compounds help inhibit the breakdown of serotonin. This herb can be taken as a tea, tincture or as capsules. The only noted side effect of this herb is sleepiness, which in this use is a very positive effect.

    California poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
    Another natural herb commonly used as a herbal insomnia remedy. California poppy can be found in many herbal sleep aids sold in the United States today. This natural herb can help promote sleep, relaxation and ease mild anxiety. Because of this herb’s mild sedative properties, it is also safe to give to children who have trouble sleeping.

    Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)
    Traditionally used for restless leg syndrome and other causes of insomnia. Skullcap reliefs nervous tension and renews the central nervous system.

    Hops (Humulus lupulus)
    This common flavoring for beer also has a calming, sedative effect. It is a nervous tonic and helps relieve pain, as well. It can be taken in tea or tincture form. Pillows are sometime made of hops to help induce relaxation and restful sleep. This herb should be avoided by individuals who have depressions due to its depressant effect.

  6. Howling Hill says:

    Paulette: I’ve tried the hypnosis tapes though not in quite a while. That’s another great idea thank you.

    Farmmom: It’s so effing frustrating. I try really hard to keep to my sleeping schedule. If I eff it up it takes forever to get it back to normal. I know I need at least 8 hours of sleep — 9 or 10 is best — but it’s so damned hard to fall asleep sometimes. Drives me crazy when my thoughts keep going round and round like a gerbil on a squeaky wheel.

    Silverwolf: wow! Thanks! I’ve tried a few on the list which haven’t helped (valerian, kava kava, and chamomile) but there are others you listed I have not tried. I’ll see if I can get my hands on some. Thank you!

  7. Noelle says:

    I’m really sorry to hear that you’re sad. And I wish I had a solution for you, but I too suffer from sleep deprivation when something weighs heavily on my mind. Have you tried something more psychological than physical, like meditating? I don’t do that, but I’ve heard it works for others.

  8. Allie says:

    I’m sorry you’re having such a rough time!

    I have a hard time getting to sleep sometimes too. I know it’s bad, but I watch TV until I fall asleep if I can’t. My doc actually recommended it, b/c I have ADD and sometimes I just can’t shut my mind off.

  9. Matriarchy says:

    Sex helps some folks relax and fall asleep. DH and I both have a history of insomnia.

  10. Howling Hill says:

    Noelle: Yes on the meditating. I find my mind just wanders back to whatever’s bothering me. I know I should practice some more but…

    Allie: I totally can’t sleep with the tv on. My doctor recommended this before and it just doesn’t work. The flickering lights and the sound keep me awake. I need darkness and silence to sleep.

    Matriarch: you’re totally right. Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling sexual after the call. It just disturbed me too much.

  11. Green Change says:

    If it’s stuff you’re thinking about that’s keeping you awake, I’ve had success with getting up and writing it all down. Usually for me it’s either new ideas racing around, or it’s mulling something over and/or worrying about something happening.

    Sometimes I write for pages and pages, sometimes just half a page. But getting it out of my head and onto paper (or into the computer!) really seems to help me stop thinking about it.

    Sometimes the next morning what I wrote makes no sense and I can’t figure out why I was losing sleep over it. Other times it’s really useful and helps set my course for the day.

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