Did you sleep well?

Hi, does anyone know of any sleeping pills available non-prescription over the counter at the pharmacy?

My Nytol supplies are now exhausted. *yawn*

oh - and I also love listening to podcasts - they send me to sleep super quick

Absolutely right Kit, I'm with you on that and thanks for suggesting to read read 'Buddhism Without Belief' by Stephen Batchelor, I will certainly get hold of it - John

Well, being used to drinking a bottle and a half of wine per night to find sleep, A glass won't do it for me, not even heated and with spices (I live in Haute Savoie... Vin chaud's our thing here).

Some people have reasons for not sleeping other than just plain ole restlesness.

2 sachets of camomile tea, in a small pot, can't keep your eyes open after 15 minutes long restful sleep,

that's what they gave us in hospital long term , better no drugs.

Try Melatonin which I have found at Intermarche. It is classed as a herbal remedy but is an artificial form of the chemical your brain naturally produces to tell you it is time to sleep. In England it has to be prescribed by a consultant but in Europe it is available over the counter. It has no known side effects and no after effects in the morning. I have used it a great deal for children who struggle to sleep because of anxiety and related reasons when I worked in Child And Adolescent Mental Health before coming here. It can be amazingly effective but will only work if you wind down before going to bed and then lie down to sleep rather than continuing to stimulate your brain with things like computers or phones etc.
Good luck!
Pat Compton

Well I don´t think you will find safety studies at the doses you use, maybe I am wrong (I just had a quick look).

It is absolutely certain that the levels in your bloodstream taking the doses you do will be many times higher than the levels in any person who hasn´t taken a pill (except perhaps a young child). There is one single human being who has taken melatonin daily for decades (last I knew she was healthy and a good age), that doesn´t amount to evidence.

I would absolutely agree that absence of melatonin is harmful and not just to sleep

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/melatonin-and-sleep "Large studies are needed to demonstrate if melatonin is effective and safe for some forms of insomnia, particularly for long-term use"

https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/melatonin-for-sleep-disorders-safe-and-effective/ "never seen such widespread abuse of any drug or therapy in all my years of practice" "Melatonin’s long-term effectiveness and safety are unclear."

AJ Lewy J Arendt are the researchers who have done most to advance our knowledge. The authors of your book, one sells "special" melatonin from his website and the other hasn't done any research for 20+years.

As I said, we all have different metabolic rates. Many years ago, when I discovered the benefits of melatonin, all I needed was .25 - .5 mg. Over the years that need increased. Insofar as a one-size-fits-all dosage, it doesn't exist. We have to figure that out for ourselves.

Melatonin is a benign substance. There are several safety related studies which can be found online. Recent research has discovered that the body utilizes and needs melatonin for far more that just sleep regulation. As we age we simply do not make enough.

Anyone interested in the science behind melatonin should read http://www.amazon.co.uk/Melatonin-Miracle-Age-Reversing-Disease-Fig..., cowritten by a PhD researcher and an M.D.

Not if you took a proper low dose.

If I took melatonin at 7pm, I'd be asleep by 8

What nature does with melatonin is produce it in much smaller amounts than your 1.9mg and earlier than bedtime. If you find yourself going to bed later than you want to (and probably waking up too late as well) then a low dose (say 0.5mg or less) at typically 19h is worth a go.

Don's way of using it is more like the traditional hypnotic sleeping pill, and it should be said that there isn't much safety data, and as the dose is a lot higher than you would get naturally it is not evident that because it is "natural"it is safe.

Your pineal gland, when in balance, produces melatonin after dark which brings on sleep, naturally. Unfortunately as we age our ability to produce our own melatonin diminishes, which is why those of us in the golden years have so many sleep issues. Any bio will sell you a melatonin supplement. I take one at bed (1.9 mg), then read for 15 to 30 minutes and drift right off into a 7 - 8 hour restful sleep. You really should give it a go. You may experience some vividly graphic dreams for the first few nights, some quite erotic if you're lucky. Melatonin, aside from being a naturally produced substance of the body, contains 5 times the antioxidant power of vitamin C. My bio sells The KAL brand melatonin, formulated with vitamin B6, which is synergistic. I much prefer this to over the counter pharmaceutical nostrums.
Note: We all have different metabolisms, so a bit of experimentation is needed for the first week or so to find the right dosage for you. If you take too much you can awaken at 4h00, mentally alert and ready to go, but with a still tired body. Also a cup of Nuit Calme tea before retiring is helpful.

Mulled wine is good at night. Honey, spices (cinnamon, cloves, allspice, cardomom or whatever takes your fancy), a half a clementine squeezed in too and - of course - a nice bottle of red Bordeaux. Then heat up without boiling for 10 minutes or so. I'm not advocating you drink the whole bottle at one sitting! I store mine in the fridge and just take a glassful out to heat up when I've got a head cold. Don't know about this remedy being good for all ailments people have mentioned but it certainly helps bring on sleepiness if you only drink a small glass (or two), or so has been my experience. And, yes Zoe, it's all in the mind! :)

I like the celestial seasonings "sleepy time" myself. A friend in the US sent me a few boxes of them, along with "throat tamer", but we have a bit of hassle finding them here. We buy a lot of artisanal locally prepared blends of tisanes and while they're soothing, they're not going to put me out.

I've not tried reflexology yet, but when I get that far down the list of fixes I'm sure I'll give it a whirl.

I say "most folks", and I mean it. Yes, times have changed, but the majority of people will seek out pharmaceuticals, whether prescribed or OTC before turning to alternatives. I've talked about insomnia over the years to work colleagues, sports team mates, friends, plenty and when it comes up in group conversation you can see people quite literally WINCE when people mention anything that isn't coming from a pharmacy. The same wince people have when someone says they're building their home with ecological materials.

Oh well, it's all in the head, right? lol.

I wouldn't say 'most people scoff at' alternative treatments Zoe. Times have changed and people are more open to different ideas. Herbal teas don't help me but infusions do. I use either Clipper brand 'Marchand de Sable' which are sachets in a blue box and/or Pukka brand 'Night Time' which I order from the UK and which works even better for me.

Also relaxation methods such as EMDR also works for me along with various breathing techniques.

Another treatment which can be very powerful is Reflexology. When done correctly it can be a very useful weapon to induce sleep.

I would also go with something other than medications, I am also a pretty severe insomniac... have tried everything, pills, stronger pills, went through the list of zeapms till the doctors gave up. Alcoholism worked for a while, but who needs that, right?
Then came all the remedies most folks scoff at. essential oils, herbal teas, breathing excercises, visualisation techniques, excercising more, reading, watching fishing tutorials on youtube (that actually wasn't that bad, was drowsy after 15 minutes) Lavender bags.... tried it all. ALL, I tell you.

Then I discovered hypnosis. I went to hypnosis for another reason altogether, but it helped me a lot to focus, think more clearly, remember things I had not, be more sure of my thoughts. know for a fact if I'd locked the back door or not, or plugged out the iron, instead of pondering for hours in the bed.
just sayin... if all else fails, there's hypnotherapists all over the place... although I am counting on the idea that you have enough French, or that you find an Anglophone.

As a long-term insomniac (since the late 90s) I agree strongly with those who have commented on the efficacy of medication. In my case the problem had two main causes, an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and stress.

I've had prescription and non-prescription medication, cognitive therapy, hypnotherapy, acupuncture and minor surgery. The only really effective solutions for me have been taking daily exercise (minimizing the time spent sitting down each day, gardening and cycling, even if only 30 minutes on an indoor training bike, walking or swimming are ideal), conscious stress management (learning to say no, setting realistic targets, cutting down on commuting, avoiding caffeine, limiting sugar intake, avoiding all food and alcohol late in the evening, learning to switch off at night) and rigorous sleep hygiene (going to bed and rising each morning at the same time, avoiding lie-ins, taking a book to bed and avoiding falling asleep in front of the television, avoiding napping where possible, wearing ear plugs at night, ensuring the bedroom is a real haven - no tv, blocking out artificial light sources, ensuring correct temperature, comfortable mattress and pillows).

I drink a cup of herbal tea, which works most of the time, even now when I am also having to take strong painkillers.

The type of herbal tea depends on the country - for France, Verveine works best. Fennel for Germany and Switzerland.

I try to reduce the amount of illumination in the room, although it's particularly difficult now, as I live in a small studio.

Sounds a bit off to ask you to turn the light out because he can't sleep. One way round that is to have your books on a tablet, ebooks. You might say I'll never do that, I did but now I do all my reading on a tablet and you don't need the light on. Also I always have several books lined up, I can get new books from my library in UK apart from a mass of other sources for free books and very low cost books. It is also lighter to hold in bed.

No matter how tired I am and even when he has had a "nap" he is always asleep before me! It does not seem fair. My routine is shower and about 10 mins to half hour read before trying to sleep. Reading is sometimes restricted as he asks me to put the light out coz he can't sleep!! I tell him that is absolute nonsense as he goes to sleep during the day and when my light is on. I, on the other hand, need complete darkness and, preferably, silence. I am not sure why, but luckily for me in recent years (possibly since moving to France even - he has worked hard here) he has stopped snoring and puffing which helps!! Only thing now which wakes me up is the geothermal heating is so efficient that I get too hot - shouldn't complain about that in winter though as cold feet used to keep me awake.