Gut Rumbles

February 22, 2006

yeah, I know

Yeah, I know what time it is. It's very late. Or very early, depending on how you look at it.

I thought my insomnia problem was history. For the past couple of weeks, I've been sleeping like a log every night. In fact, I was beginning to think that I was sleeping TOO MUCH, although I figured that I just needed to catch up on all the sleep I missed after rehab.

But for the past three nights, I've managed to fall asleep at a reasonable hour and then wake up shortly thereafter with aching joints and some kind of crampy, Restless Leg Syndrome. I can't go back to sleep after that. I've gotta get up, walk around and stretch for a while before I even get fit enough to sit on the couch. I ain't sleepy anymore after that.

I've noticed a strange thing. I ache, I cramp and I fidget. I feel uncomfortable all over. Nothing I do makes it any better. Then, in the middle of my fretting, the sun begins to rise. Then...

I don't understand it. Just as soon as it's daylight outside, all the bad-feeling crap goes away and suddenly I'm fine again. No more discomfort. No more pain. No more crampy, crawly, sweaty aches. It's as if sunlight cured me.

When this stuff first started, I thought that I might be getting a Post Acute Withdrawal aftershock, a holdover (hangover?) from rehab. That PAW crap had me averaging about two hours of sleep per night for a while, if I slept at all, when I first got out of Willingway. But THOSE crampy, crawly, sweaty aches didn't disappear when the sun came up. THESE do.

What causes THAT?


Could be restless leg syndrome like you said. Doesn't always have to happen at night, but that's when it is more frequent. My Dr. gives me Loracet for it. It works. But he hands out pills like candy....Have also been on Levodopa, but it didn't work. RLS can also be caused by iron deficiency, pregnancy, renal failure, and brain lesions...

Posted by: Steph on February 22, 2006 06:17 AM

I would say to take magnesium. Magnesium with a glass of milk at night is an excellent sleep aid. The calcium and magnesium act together as a sleep aid and milk has trytophan, too. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer and will help with the restless legs. Do you sleep with any kind of light on? Light inhibits the production of melatonin, which is the brain chemical that tells us to be sleepy and regulates our sleep/wake cycles. Melatonin is only produced in the brain at night, when it is dark. If you have any kind of light on in the room in which you are sleeping, the brain won't produce the melatonin, or not as much of it and your sleep patterns are disrupted.

Posted by: Kelly on February 22, 2006 06:33 AM

There are glands behind the eyes that absorb the sunlight and give off endorphines
(or whatever they're called) similiar to those released during sex...........or eating chocolate

Have a hot cocoa before going to bed! Since you say you're not getting that much sex. hehe.

Spend as much time outside as you can...btw how's the garden coming?

Posted by: Maggie on February 22, 2006 06:40 AM

If you are taking Lipitor welcome to the club ! Drop it for three months and see what happens.

Posted by: Dan on February 22, 2006 07:32 AM

I read the medical column of Dr. Gott at the Jewish World Review everyday. Interestingly enough, there are those who write in to tell him they sleep with a bar of soap, and it sometimes works wonders for Restless Leg Syndrome. No one knows why it works, but he suggests that people try it and let him know if it works for them. Supposedly, the type soap is important, as well. People report that you should use something other than Dial or Dove, and place it under the bottom sheet of the bed near your feet and legs.

Posted by: Tessa on February 22, 2006 07:38 AM


RLS is dealt with nicely with a tab of quinine before bed. You could also try drinking tonic water (without the vodka ofcourse).

Posted by: Florida Bill on February 22, 2006 07:44 AM

i hope youget something out of this -- i'm gonna type it word for word from "loosening the grip: a handbook on alcohol information" by jean kinney (it's a college text but i think you'd greatly benefit from it ... here goes): "what happens when an alcohol dependent person ceases alcohol use? first, there is the rebound of dreaming. increased dreaming can last up to ten days before subsiding. often there are nightmares because dreaming is so intense. the sleep fragmentation lasts longer. a loss of delta sleep can go on for as long as 2 years after drinking ceases. even in sobriety, those with alcohol dependence, as a group, still have more sleep disturbances than others. the reasons are unknown. it could be due to chronic damage to the nervous system during binges, as has been produced in alcoholic rats, or it could be that some alcoholics were poor sleepers to start with. in any case, it appears that, the longer one refrains from drinking, the more sleep will improve."

Posted by: yer pal erica on February 22, 2006 09:50 AM

Maybe you should sleep in the sunlight.

Posted by: og on February 22, 2006 11:37 AM

What I find is that I sometimes get a cramp in the legs such that it wakes me up. My doctor told me that it was a shortage of potassium. I should eat a lot of spinach or bananas. Now I have oatmeal and banana for breakfast each morning and no more leg cramps. Helps me sleep much better.

Posted by: dick on February 22, 2006 09:29 PM

A number of years ago I went through a spell of waking up in the middle of the night with severe cramps in my calves. Eventually I seemed to remember having read something about lack of calcium being a cause of leg cramps. Throughout most of my life I have drank a lot of milk but during the time that I was having the cramping problem, I had pretty much quit drinking milk. I resumed buying and drinking milk and the cramps promptly ceased. If you don't like milk, a calcium supplement might help.

Posted by: Glenn on February 22, 2006 09:34 PM
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