Re: Anyone out there with some suggestions???
I know exactly what your hubby is going through. I also work shift work.
I get insomnia from the constantly changing back and forth from days to nights and then back again. It used to be much worse, every time I worked days, I'd get myself so worried about how much time I had left to sleep, that it was all I could focus on and there's nothing harder than trying to sleep when all you can think about is how you HAVE to get to sleep. Feeds on itself.
Now what I do when this happens is I get out of bed. Laying and thinking about not sleeping isn't helping anything. So I get up. I don't turn on the TV, that's a big mistake, then he'd end up watching really bad infomercials all night and still not sleeping. So have him get up out of bed. Maybe he could do something relaxing like read or go online and check his email, work on a crossword puzzle. Something that will get his mind off of the time. Once he feels himself relaxing and getting tired again he should go back to bed. Once he's in bed he shouldn't think about getting to sleep. Instead think about something that he did during the day, replay that over in his head. Or think about something he'd like to do. Something fun though. Like where he'd like to travel to or what he'd like to do when he retires, or if he has a hobby like fishing or golf, think about the last time he did that or the next time he'll be able to.
Things to avoid thinking about are things he needs to do the next day. If he's anything like me, this is a big time sleep killer. Listing all that out in his head is bound to get him wound up again, like paying bills, going grocery shopping, getting the grass cut. Those things should be avoided. If that does happen he could get up and write a list of these things to do, that sometimes gets it off your mind. Then he knows he doesn't have to remember it, it's written down.
Now if it's getting to sleep in the morning that's the trouble there are some things that might help. He should avoid caffienated drinks while he's working the night before for the last half of his shift. Once he does that he may fall off to sleep easier.
Make sure the room is dark enough to be able to fall asleep, room darkening shades are good. A quiet house helps as well.
Something that I miss when I'm sleeping during the day is having my boyfriend in bed with me. I don't know what your specific situation is, but if it's possible for you to lay down with him when he's falling asleep might help. You can get up once he's out, but just being in bed with you might make it easier for him to drift off.
He could go through the same routine in the morning before he goes to bed just like he would if he's going ot bed at night. That way he might be able to trick his body into feeling like it's night time.
I know you said without drugs, but if all else fails he may want to talk to his doctor and get something. I have a prescription of Xanax on hand for when I can't sleep. I use it as a last resort and most times I never touch it. But for those times when I can't get my mind to stop going over how I MUST SLEEP, I'll take a half a pill and usually within 30 minutes I'm out like a light. Sometimes just knowing that I have the prescription there does the trick for me, because I know it works and if all else fails I can take it, that relaxes me enough and eases my mind so that I fal asleep without it.
I know some people are against medication, but when you go without sleep that's really hard on the body and taking something and solving the problem is better than the effects of going without sleep.