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Facing change in sleeping pattern. Getting constipated after taking medicine. Any solution?

Dec 2012
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Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 1704 Questions
Yes thank you , I'm 83 years old and just can't sleep for any length of time. I used to be a wildlife carer ant getting up to tiny baby animals at 2 hourly intervals for 18 years, has destroyed my sleeping pattern. Doctor has prescribed many different tablets but none work , they just make me constipated. Can you help please? XXXXXXX
Posted Wed, 20 Mar 2013 in Sleep Disorders
Answered by Dr. Nsah Bernard 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your health query on XXXXXXX

Your problem seems very complex given that it is psychological and it appears most of the drugs ( as you present it) seem not to work.
You will need more of psychological " rehabilitation" rather than drugs. As you said, the origin of your problem is because of your early sleep pattern which has made your system to become use to the sleep pattern acquired when you were taking care of the animals. Sleep disorder or somnipathy or insomnia can become a serious problem if it interferes with your daily activities. Polysomnography is a test commonly ordered for some sleep disorders. Insomnia can be short term (up to three weeks) or long term (above 3–4 weeks), which can lead to memory problems, depression, irritability and an increased risk of heart disease and automobile related accidents. So your treatment will depend on the type of insomnia you are having. Specialists in sleep medicine are qualified to diagnose the many different sleep disorders. So I will suggest you consult one. Pharmacological treatments have been used mainly to reduce symptoms in acute insomnia; their role in the management of chronic insomnia remains unclear. So the reason why the medications given by your doctor were ineffective.
What to do? Try to use non pharmacological strategies which have long lasting improvements to insomnia and are recommended as a first line and long term strategy of managing insomnia. The strategies include attention to sleep hygiene, stimulus control, behavioral interventions, sleep-restriction therapy, paradoxical intention, patient education and relaxation therapy. EEG biofeedback might be recommended by your neuropsychiatrist.
Your problem is chronic and there would require the attention of a specialist like a neuropsychiatrist.

Hope this will help and wish you the best
Dr Nsah
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