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    Old 11-25-2005, 08:13 AM   #1
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    Waking Up Too Early in the Mornings

    For the past three or four months, I have started having some real issues with waking up too early in the mornings. I used to be a great sleeper and given the chance to sleep in, I would sleep as long as possible. I would also love a good nap on Saturday or Sunday afternoons. Sleeping for nine to ten hours felt really good to me. Now I am lucky to get six and I haven't been able to nap for months (despite my best efforts).

    I don't have a problem falling asleep at night, and as a matter of fact, I seem to be asleep minutes after my head hits the pillow at night. If I wake during the night, I also seem able to get back to sleep. But as soon as the clock strikes 4:00 a.m., I am awake. For good. It doesn't seem to matter whether I stay up later or go to bed early, as soon as it is 4:00 a.m., I am awake. I am pretty sure it is anxiety causing this, because I can almost feel an anxious "hum" in my body in the mornings. I don't get out of bed this early and pretty much stay in bed until 6:30 a.m. (mostly because the house is cold and there really isn't that much for me to do anyway).

    Does anyone have any suggestions at all for extending sleep? I've tried relaxation exercises and the breathing exercises, and while they do help with feeling a bit more relaxed, I never get back to sleep. I have cut out all caffeine, drastically reduced my sugar intake, don't drink alcohol, and up until a week or so ago, I was exercising every day. I just feel if I could get a good night's sleep, my mood would be so much brighter.

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    Old 11-25-2005, 02:36 PM   #2
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    Re: Waking Up Too Early in the Mornings

    Hi jitteryme,

    Since I was a teenager I have had to deal with insomina off and on. Now that I am in peri, I too wake up very early. I also have to get up a couple times during the night to go to the bathroom. When I awaken, I feel the buzzing in my head and whole body. It is so strange. My friend, who is a nurse is in peri too, and has the same buzzing when she wakes up.

    Last night, after a big day of Thanksgiving food and lots clean-up (and some fun with family), I thought I would sleep really well, but today I have very dark circles under my eyes, so my sleep was fitful instead of restful. I do take a low dose sleeping aid, which I have always needed, but now, with everything changing in my body since peri symptoms began, my sleep has been greatly affected. I work full-time, so sleep is very important. I have a wonderful doctor, and he is really trying to help me during this difficult transition in life.

    What does your doctor say to you about waking up so early? I hope you can get the sleep that you need. This is an up and down period of life!


    Old 11-25-2005, 03:50 PM   #3
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    Re: Waking Up Too Early in the Mornings

    Well, I am not overly fond of my doctor. When this whole mess started, I saw her primarily about the anxiety. I explained to her my other symptoms (heart palpitations, extreme muscle tension, feeling keyed up and nervous, among other things) and asked her if it could be related to menopause. I am 46. She said that if I was still getting my period regularly, that it would not be menopause. Not once did she mention anything about Perimenopause and tell me about all the fun it can cause. Since anxiety seems to run in my family, I thought that it had finally just caught up with me. Now I am pretty sure it is hormonally related. Anyway, she tried me on both Lunesta (didn't work at all for me) and Ambien for the insomnia, but I don't want to take them. Like I said, I have no problem getting to sleep, I just can't stay asleep past 4:00 a.m. and both of these meds have worn off by then anyway. It just seems so odd to me going from being a great sleeper and napper to having problems staying asleep. I just know that if I could sleep in a bit longer in the morning, my whole outlook on the day would be much better.

    Old 11-26-2005, 04:11 AM   #4
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    Re: Waking Up Too Early in the Mornings

    Jittery me,
    I too have been going thru the same exact thing you are.
    I too am 45 and was told by many, that this is the age to start going thru the changes. I found that I'd wake up like an alarm clock. same time, everyday, 4 a.m.
    I was one of those type of woman that needed my full eight or nine hours of sleep because if I didn't, I'd be short tempered, aggitated and exhausted by the time I got out of work to make dinner. it's hard to keep pushing yourself physically like that when you already know the problem that's causing it, yet you can't correct it.

    I have already adjusted to those changes and accept it. I am a type A type of person. I have more than enough energy to use as back up if needed even if I wake up at 4 am.
    what I found that helped me is to accept the fact my body and mind had enough sleep, wake up, have all the time to myself, quiet time, to take time out for me,(linda) to read a great novel, learn about the gifted authors that have given us such wonderful literature. I escape thru reading.
    since then I've read so many books, and it's the only time I find myself reading, and I also find that extra time to go on the computer and come here or where ever after I've read.
    it's weird and I find it hard to accept these new and quick changes. they come right out of the blue. one day it just appears and then we don't know how to deal with it.
    it's part of our new passage in life.
    I too have no problem falling asleep. it's awakening too early that's the problem. the older ones body gets, the less sleep we need. it's a fact.
    so find that time you have to yourself while everyone else is sleeping and make a special moment for yourself.
    I only had one ovary and tube to begin 5 weeks ago. I already started getting symtoms of crazy hormonal changes. I felt like I turned into this grouchy, witchy woman. I feel jittteray all the time, nervous, anxious, etc.
    my blood pressure went up, I started getting palpitations, and I'd get sharp stabbling pains in my chest, and at night, my arms and fingers would go numb while laying in bed.
    I was stressed out!
    they put me on blood pressure pills. I have hypertention. remember, I"m type A personality. anxiety can make you sick. mentally, and physically. it's both the same body.
    I for the longest time did not want to be put on any type of anti anxiety medicine because I personally felt I wasn't strong enough if I had to take medicine. it was just some weird thing I thought about myself.
    I suffered for many yrs doing it my way. until I couldn't take it anymore and my dr sent me to a therapist, and the therapist hooked me up with a psychiatirst to prescribe me an anti anxiety med.
    I've now been on prozac for one yr. and it's changed my life.
    now I've entered full blown menopause, five weeks ago by the surgical method.
    I had a full hysterectomy due to my poor gynocological health and physical health was declining.
    I'm glad I made this decision after pondering it for one long yr.
    the older I got, the more screwed up I became from some type of hormonal imbalance because of having chronic cysts on my ovary.
    I felt the difference in my health dramatically and still do since the surgery.
    I'm supposed to be returning to work next week.
    I didn't realize that the next thing that hits us in menopause is the horrible night sweats. I've had them before on and off before the surgical meno, but I never knew what it was like jsut by hearing woman tell me.
    I had to experience it for myself. everyone's bodies are different.
    some woman can go thru meno easy and others not so easy.
    I quit smoking cigarettes so I can take medicine if need be for lack of hormones. you know. the HRT. alot of woman fear this because they heard it causes an increase in breast cancer.
    so it's a decision that has to be really investigated and thought of before taking.
    it's how bad the woman is suffering whether she'd take it I'm assuming.
    I'm a risk taker anyway. I don't like to suffer. who does?
    the sweats is horrible. you have to purchase new sleep wear, ( only cotton) take off the down comforter on the bed, and then have to lose more sleep because you're waking every hour soaking wet. (it wakes you up) it's like having an internal furnace kick off into high gear as if the kids put the thermostat too high.
    so I have to accept that I am going to lose even more sleep now that I am in full blown menopause. it's just a matter of getting aclimated. I'll shall soon see how it effects my job when I return.
    then I will see what to do about it if anything.
    Oh, how's your memory doing?
    I keep thinking I'm at the early stages of alzheimers disease. how do they know when it first starts?
    menopause effects even our brains? our precious ontop of everything sort of gal, is now asking how to spell common words that we learned in the first grade!!
    yikes! how am I going to stay in the work field?
    How can I communicate with others at a party? I feel as if my brain has turned to mush. this was before the surgery. what's going to happen now?
    I find some humor in our transition into this new life that I had no idea exhisted until I personally went thru it.
    so the body can work and function normally if one gets up at 4 am, you only get a mushy brain like i explained above about mid day.
    this is going to be some expedition for me, the path of menopause.
    I'm going to miss having my period. I never in my life dreamed I'd say that.
    I've had my family. all four of them. all I had to do was look at my husband and I'd get pregnant. one of our old time friends thought something was in the drinking water, because all of the woman that hung out got pregnant together.
    I'll shut my mouth and finally end this long post.
    I promise,

    Old 11-26-2005, 06:12 AM   #5
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    Re: Waking Up Too Early in the Mornings

    Jittery me,

    I know to well what you are talking about. I too have no trouble going to sleep. As soon as my head hits that pillow, my husband says I start snoring. But, if I have to wake up to go to the bathroom, I'm awake for the rest of the night. Sometimes it has been as early as 1:00 a.m. Doesn't matter what time I go to bed either, I can still wake up at 1 or 2 and be up from then on. I have tried everything my doctor has said. Get up and read. Watch T.V. till get get sleepy, the problem is I don't get sleepy. So she put me on a low dose Ambien. Doesn't help. At least not for me. It sux!!!! I still wake up, and can't go back to sleep. I have the dark circles under my eyes also. I look like a racoon. I go back to her the first week in December, I hope she does something more for me. But she is pretty good about things. Hasn't let me down yet!!! I just wanted to add my two cents worth. I hope you get some satisfaction. And some sleep!!!!

    Old 11-26-2005, 08:18 AM   #6
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    Re: Waking Up Too Early in the Mornings

    Well, I have been awake since 3:40 a.m. I was seeing a therapist for awhile when the anxiety first hit, and he also suggested trying to "accept the fact" that I am awake early and that I have had enough sleep. I probably have had enough sleep because I usually don't find myself getting tired until about 7:00 p.m. and I can make it through the day okay. I think I am just missing my old life of sleeping in and taking a nap on the weekends.

    Thankfully the night sweats haven't started for me yet and I sleep straight through from when I go to bed until about 4:00 a.m. I'd probably be really mad if I were waking up a bunch of times during the night too.

    So, until we get a good night's sleep again, does anyone have any suggestions of good books?

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