Listen to MNers talking about sleep, stress and energy on the Boots Feel Good Forum and tell us what you think - voucher to be won

(132 Posts)
TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 12-Apr-13 10:39:39

We hope lots of you tuned in to the Boots Feel Good Forum about sleep, stress and energy, but if you missed it, please listen to the podcast. The show discusses ways to improve sleep, cope with stress and feel more energised. MNers have been posting about this - please see their comments below.

The show features Sleep Expert Professor Colin Espie, Behavioural Psychologist Emma Kenny and Registered Nutritionist Sarah Bernard. Professor Espie and Sarah have also answered some MNers' Qs that they didn't have time to cover on the show on this thread so please have a read of those below.

Please do listen to the podcast and then come back to this thread and tell us what you think.

As a thank you for taking part, Boots will be giving a £50 voucher to a poster picked at random from this thread.


Please note that your comments may be used by the Feel Good Forum in advertising but your MN nickname won't appear.
The views/content expressed within this forum are those of the participants and not those of Boots UK Limited or its agents.

HotCrossPun Fri 12-Apr-13 16:09:26

It's well worth posting a question. I got some really valuable advice when I did smile

Why are some people habitually stressed and others are not? I rarely feel any stress (and never experience high stress levels), despite some "interesting times" in my life, but some of my friends worry over the littlest issues.
Is there a genetic/upbringing link, or are individuals differently affected by the same situations for other reasons?

JS06 Fri 12-Apr-13 17:25:33

I often find myself wide awake in the early hours despite keeping window open, being tired, not needing to go to the loo. I just find my mind buzzing with what's gone on and what is to come the next day. I wouldn't necessarily say that I'm anxious, just seriously awake. Should I try and persevere with sleep or is it ok to get up and do something to occupy my mind?

Sparklymommy Fri 12-Apr-13 17:37:03

Why do I always wake up with a headache? I have a glass of water by the bed, and sip it through the night. But I always have a headache first thing in the morning. I don't drink coffee, smoke or take anything.

bluebump Fri 12-Apr-13 17:38:19

Ditto the question above actually about being awake in the early hours. I could have written that exact post myself!

tripecity Fri 12-Apr-13 17:41:28

I can only sleep through till 6am if I have taken an over the counter sleep aid (like Nytol). I do that for about 5 nights then have a couple of nights off just because I think I should. Is this doing me permanent damage? I am not sure what to do, I have been to the doctor and he prescibed me some sleeping pills for 7 nights - these didnt work, so I am limping along feeling exhausted and I dont know what to do - any advice?

JessicaDuncanson Fri 12-Apr-13 17:45:12

I'm 14 weeks pregnant and sometimes during the day I get really, really tired. I've been drinking coke and the caffeine seems to really help the energy levels. Is there anything that doesn't contain caffeine (and/or is a healthier option) that would do a similar job?

Uzma01 Fri 12-Apr-13 17:49:03

With the extended winter we've had this year - it just seems like we've been ill constantly. As a result I've just been totally lacking in energy - too many aches and pains. Is there anything I could do to top up my immune system that is proven to work? I eat fairly healthily, with a varied diet though I don't eat red meat.

Ramblings Fri 12-Apr-13 17:52:42

I regularly suffer from restless nights, I'm not really stressed but find it hard to wind down and switch off at night. Any suggestions?

IwishIwasmoreorganised Fri 12-Apr-13 17:54:02

I have hypothyroidism and take levothxroxine (125mcg od). My T4 and TSH are within normal range, but I continually feel lethargic and lack lustre.

Any ideas how to perk myself up?!

DinoSnores Fri 12-Apr-13 17:56:15

I've got an 8 week old baby. Everyone tells me that I should nap when the baby naps, but I've never been able to sleep much during the day. Any tips?

EmberRainbow Fri 12-Apr-13 18:06:48

I find i'm tired enough to go to bed between 9 and 10pm but then often lie awake until after midnight with, like JS06 said, a mind buzzing away.

I have tried to limit and even cut out caffine in the afternoon/evenings and i often have a relaxing bath/shower or read before bed and although i do feel both physically and metally tired, once im in bed i can't sleep.

I often feel tired when i wake and struggle to get up out of bed on a morning. although i find it easier to get up with lighter mornings.

what might be the reason for this, and are there any tips for dealing with it?

Roseformeplease Fri 12-Apr-13 18:11:53

The only way I can sleep through is by taking anti histamines. Is this OK.

Glitterfairys Fri 12-Apr-13 18:15:48

I always seem to wake up at 4am and then I struggle to get back to sleep. I have a 16 week old baby and the lack of sleep is really starting to show and I never seem to have any energy. Any suggestions?

goldenretriever Fri 12-Apr-13 18:25:56

I always spray a few drops of sleep pillow from Boots every night which helps to relax me before sleep.

youmaycallmeSSP Fri 12-Apr-13 18:32:41

I have a baby and a toddler, never get a good night's sleep and feel generally exhausted. When I work up the energy to go for a run in the evening I feel great but even more tired the next day. Am I doing more harm than good?

IceNoSlice Fri 12-Apr-13 18:38:16

I have no problem falling asleep when I go to bed but find it difficult to get back to sleep when I wake in the night. With a baby still having a night feed this happens pretty regularly. All the tips I've seen are around bedtime (warm bath, lavender, hot milky drink etc). Any tips for getting back to sleep at 4am? Without waking DH? Thanks

insanityscratching Fri 12-Apr-13 18:57:19

I am a longterm insomniac, for more than twenty five years anyway, I occasionally resort to Nytol and once or twice a year the GP prescribes me a week to ten days worth of sleeping tablets but even then these only help me drop off they don't keep me asleep.What else can I do?

Doogle2 Fri 12-Apr-13 19:09:36

I am often very tired early evening but when its time to go to bed I have 'woken up'. Any tips on how to change this pattern?

CabbageLeaves Fri 12-Apr-13 19:11:36

Are there any supplements you can take which have been researched an are proven to help with stress

CMOTDibbler Fri 12-Apr-13 19:13:21

I suffer from a chronic pain condition, and though I'm taking a nerve pain medication, my sleep is very disturbed and I am always tired. Apart from more drugs, is there anything I can do to feel like I've had the worth out of 10 hours in bed

LittleLaroo Fri 12-Apr-13 19:39:18

I'm often really hungry about an hour before I go to bed and often have a late night snack (usually bread or cereal) but I still wake up loads during the night. Does what and when I eat affect my ability to sleep?

Both my kids wake in the night so I have very little sleep and the sleep I do get os broken - can this have a long-term health impact?

malachite Fri 12-Apr-13 19:45:11

I am up a lot in the night with my two children and also suffer from insomnia. I can't take sleeping tablets as I need to be able to look after the kids. Is there anything I can do to help me get to sleep when I have the chance?

littleboo21 Fri 12-Apr-13 19:58:54

Lack of sleep is part and parcel of family life but I get very grumpy and stressed when tired, is there anything you can recommend to ease my grumpiness/stress

Spirael Fri 12-Apr-13 20:00:07

I don't have any particular problems getting to sleep or staying asleep... But I have incredibly vivid, action packed dreams! My nights are spent taking on a different persona and battling foes, hunting for clues, fleeing from danger, high speed chases, dodging explosions, last minute rescues, etc.

I remember my dreams in perfect clarity. It all sounds great and very exciting, but I wake up in the morning more tired than before I went to bed-!

I don't watch much TV or films, I don't drink caffeine after noon, I avoid food after 8pm and I rarely drink alcohol. I try and find creative outlets whenever I get time through drawing/writing/crafting. None of that has helped... So what else can I try, in order to curb these dreams?!

ballstoit Fri 12-Apr-13 20:06:05

Is it true that you can train yourself to cope on less sleep? And if it is, how?

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Fri 12-Apr-13 20:26:40

I have heard people say great things about magnesium and zinc for energy levels. Is there any evidence to back this up and, if so, do they need to be taken at different times of day (one at night, one in the morning, can't remember which way round) or is a multivitamin just as good?

nearlyreadytopop Fri 12-Apr-13 20:29:43

I have been having a lot of emotional stress lately. I have started sitting up and talking/screaming in my sleep. As I child I used to sleep talk and walk. Is there anything I can do to prevent it getting to the sleep walking stage?

ThePskettiIncident Fri 12-Apr-13 20:33:19

I'm suffering really badly from tinnitus at the moment, due I think to tiredness and stress. Gp says there's no ear infection. Any ideas how to minimise or cope with it?

gazzalw Fri 12-Apr-13 20:35:56

We are an alarm clock-free household (hate clocks as my grandma had loads of them making too much noise when I was a child!) and DW really suffers with hyper-anxiety about over-sleeping with school runs to do and me to get off to work. Is there any way for her to train herself not to wake up hours in advance of designated getting up time (6.00 am)? All thro' term-time she is working on quite a marked sleep deficit because of this issue. Is there any solution other than relying on the hated alarm clock???

linkainka Fri 12-Apr-13 20:55:41

I always feel weak and tired during the early weeks of spring. It's the time when I want to feel energised and active because the weather improves.
Is there anything I can do/ take supplements to overcome this?

fuckwittery Fri 12-Apr-13 20:58:12

Any suggestions how to avoid reaching for carbs and sugar to get me through the last few hours of the day when I'm exhausted (also have middle of the night stress wakings)

MrsIgglePiggle Fri 12-Apr-13 20:59:02

Do bed bugs crawl up your nose while you sleep ?

fuckwittery Fri 12-Apr-13 20:59:06

Gazza why don't you just let your wife set an alarm hmm

montiefletcher Fri 12-Apr-13 21:05:22

I find that as I am becoming older the more times I have to got to the toilet during the night. Is this something that I have to just have to put up with or is there any suggestions anyone can help with. I have tried not drinking at least an hour before bed but it doesn't make any difference. Has my bladder met it's sell by date!!!!!!!!!!!

katiewalters Fri 12-Apr-13 21:18:30

what is the best way to wind down before sleep, as i always go to bed when i feel tired and then it takes me over an hour to fall asleep. i will have all the lights off, and then i end up reading as im fed up of lying a wake for ages

weenwee Fri 12-Apr-13 21:20:04

I find myself going to bed as soon as my spouse comes home, exhausted,and take 5 hour naps, wake up for an hour, and then go back to bed! I'm a full time mum, grad student, and am just stressed to death. I've also got awful pain in my back/kidney area. Should I be ridiculously concerned, or just concerned?

gazzalw Fri 12-Apr-13 21:27:49

Can't stand ticky clocks - sorry! ;-(. It's a childhood phobia caused by lots of excessively loud ones in my Grandma's house!

IceNoSlice Fri 12-Apr-13 21:37:09

Clocks don't have to be 'ticky', especially digital ones?

IwishIwasmoreorganised Fri 12-Apr-13 21:57:40

gazza. We're living in 2013!

Alarms don't have to be ticky! Let your poor wife set an alarm and get some proper sleep.

CabbageLeaves Fri 12-Apr-13 22:05:01

It's simple Gazza. Get a digital clock. Let your wife get some sleep!

sharond101 Fri 12-Apr-13 22:10:14

I am a terrible worrier and as a result a very poor sleeper. HOw do I stop worrying all the time?

WildThongIYoniKnowForSure Fri 12-Apr-13 22:11:29

My question is about energy levels during the day. I mostly get 7ish hours sleep which should be enough, but around about 2 o'clock every day I seem to hit a wall. Honestly I could fall asleep at my desk it is so bad, even my speech seems to get slurred! I drink plenty of water and don't eat heavily during the day, is there anything else I could do to prevent this happening?

Tortington Fri 12-Apr-13 22:13:36

hello Boots advisors

during the week i aim for a low sugar diet and a small amount of carbs - surprisingly however i don't actually eat that much red meat

i am taking a B vitimin combination thing, to help with feeling fatiqued, i dont feel tired, i feel fatiqued - i hope someone knows what i mean. anyway - is this the best vitamin to take?

elizaco Fri 12-Apr-13 22:19:34

I work regular night shifts (2 per week). Have you any tips/advice for optimising my daytime sleep and health.

4lovelychildren Fri 12-Apr-13 22:42:25

What are the recommended hours of sleep for children. My youngest children early risers and I worry that they are causing my older 2 to miss out in sleep.

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Fri 12-Apr-13 22:54:40

gazzalw - hardly any clocks 'tick' anymore, and obviously digital ones don't. I can't stand ticking clocks either, and actually put a watch with a slight tick in the drawer at night. Personally I find a talk radio station fine to wake up to, but if you are really not keen on waking up to noise, try one of those light clocks. Mine was a Lumie, but sure there are others.

EffieTheDuck Fri 12-Apr-13 23:20:34

How long should you take Vit D supplements for when there is little sun and what is the dose for children especially in north of Scotland? Dose for babies, toddlers, school children and teenagers?

Are forgetfulness, hairloss, chest pains and numbness symptoms of stress?

issypiggle Sat 13-Apr-13 02:12:30

I am finding that I am awake 2 or 3 nights a week at the moment. I'm not aware of anything bothering me, I just go up to bed and suddenly I'm wide awake and then get restless. It's getting me down in the day, I'm running out of ideas to wind down at the end of the day.

lightsandshapes Sat 13-Apr-13 06:44:18

I work part time and have a ds 16 months who regularly wakes at night. I have to care for him in the night and be on form in the day. The exhaustion is really piling up and I have no time or energy to do fun things. Any suggestions? confused

Kveta Sat 13-Apr-13 08:21:48

I've always been a poor sleeper, and since having children have survived on incredibly little sleep.

Is there a way to train yourself to sleep, even when you are inevitably going to be woken several times a night? I can never get back to sleep after being woken, so will often get through a day on 2 or 3 hours sleep, and it is not doing me any good at all!

I never really suffered with insomnia until I got pg, them it was a nightmare. So little sleep I was signed off sick from work. My Dd is now 11m & generally sleeps pretty well. I am back at work but my sleep pattern has never gone back to anything like normal. Even on nights when Dd has been asleep for hours, I often can't get to sleep until the early hours. I have to get up at 6 for work so it's really inconvenient. I don't have caffeine after midday, rarely drink & even then I only have 1 glass. Please help as I can barely get through the day sometimes.

fuckwittery Sat 13-Apr-13 09:28:40

Has gazza come back? I think he must be winding us up! (Geddit)

GreatGooglyMoogly Sat 13-Apr-13 10:06:13

Do you have any tips to stop snoring?

Blatherskite Sat 13-Apr-13 10:15:24

I find I can only sleep on my front but this means I wake up with achey shoulders and neck. Is there anything I can do to help this?

PolkaDotCups Sat 13-Apr-13 10:22:24

When my baby wakes up (she is 7 months old so not that little now) I just can't get back to sleep. She does sleep through about one night in three and I sleep soundly these nights but on the nights she does wake, that's it. It's not a problem when she wakes at 5am but twice last week she woke up between 1.30 and 2am.

I've tried making a hot milk, lying quietly in the dark, reading in bed, browsing the internet, getting up and doing things but nothing makes me sleepy again at all.

How can I get back to sleep? I do have quite a lot of work related stress which doesn't help.

My DH has worked nights for the best part of 20 years. At the moment due to our different work hours and childcare demands he's often unable to get more than 3-4 hours uninterrupted rest at a time (At best).

He ends up sleeping for two limited sessions a day. He's always grumpy when he wakes up, often sleeps through alarms and is generally more stressed.

What are likely to be the long term effects on his health?

And, As there is no immediate alternative unless he finds another job, how can he make the best of the sleep he can get?

Ida3456 Sat 13-Apr-13 11:57:36

I was wondering what the benefits/risks are of taking pro plus or other caffeine-type tablets, in comparison to loading up on lucozade or other energy drinks? I realise neither are ideal - but sometimes there is not alternative (shift workers know what I mean!)

BadRoly Sat 13-Apr-13 13:35:44

I have been suffering from chronic idiopathic urticaria for years now. I am currently 'under' 3 specialists who are trying to treat the symptoms (dermatology, immunology and gynaecology) due to a massive flare up that I've been suffering for just over a year now.

All agree that stress is the underlying cause. I initially "flared" after a bad viral cold/flu like infection. Shortly afterwards my husband was made redundant. He quickly found work but 4.5 hours drive away leaving me home with 4dc during the week (in a town we moved to 2 years previously for work!)

This was followed less than 2 months later by the death of both my father in law AND my Dad in the same week!

Written down it all reads like a soap opera script (and it feels a bit like I one too)! I have been/am coping with everything but clearly the subconscious stress is coming out in the hives.

How would you suggest a begin trying to tackle treating the stress? I am not averse to complimentary therapies but have no idea how to avoid the charlatans or where to begin.

Sorry it's long and thank you

fuckwittery Sat 13-Apr-13 14:25:50

Oh, can I post another one please, on behalf of dh? He also works shifts. He works a pattern comprising of early shifts (7am to 5pm), lates (3pm to midnight), half nights (5pm to 2am) and nights (10pm to 7am)
It's a complicated 5 week pattern but looks something like this
Early, early, early, rest, rest, night, night, night, rest, rest, early, late, half night, half night, rest, rest, early, early, early, rest, rest, night, night, night, night, rest, rest, rest, late, late, late, rest rest, early etc.

Have you got any tips for trying to constantly change shift like this, he gets his body clock stuck on days or nights and finds the transition really hard.

Littlecherublegs Sat 13-Apr-13 16:23:41

Is there any evidence to suggest working night shifts has any negative health implications - long or short term?

serendipity1980 Sat 13-Apr-13 16:30:39

My husband has a real problem with waking up too early on a regular basis and not being able to get back to sleep. This leaves him very tired in the day which is affecting our home life. Please do you have any suggestions?

BadMissM Sat 13-Apr-13 17:52:15

As a pregnant mumsnetter, I wondered what advice the FeelGood Forum could give on actually getting a good night's sleep whilst pregnant? I was on lots of pain medication before I was pregnant, and am struggling both with bump and pain...

GetKnitted Sat 13-Apr-13 21:22:45

sometimes it feels like I never really really get a break, I have me time in the evenings after bedtime, but I'm knackered by then and it seems to go so fast. any advice?

florencebabyjo Sat 13-Apr-13 21:59:33

Hi, I have 5 children aged from 1-11 and seem to have got myself in a bad sleep pattern. I have no trouble getting off to sleep but then wake up at 3ish and can't get back to sleep. I don't feel stressed particularly but not sleeping properly is definitely taking its toll!

flamingtoaster Sat 13-Apr-13 22:17:23

What are the best ways to deal with stress? I do the 4-7-8 breathing exercise and it really helps but are there other things I could do which would help?

Mehrida Sat 13-Apr-13 22:45:56

I go back to work after mat leave next month. At the moment, DS sleeps through about two nights per week and wakes once or twice on the others.

Although this is a HUGE improvement on six months ago, it's still pretty tiring and likely to be even more so when I'm back to work and can't have my own naps during the day.

What are your top tips for managing to stay focussed/awake/compus mentis at work when you're totally knackered?

lorisparkle Sat 13-Apr-13 23:32:54

I've had 7 years of limited and broken sleep due to pregnancy and children who don't sleep well and now my youngest has just starting sleeping through the night occasionally. Unfortunately I am really struggling now. If he does not wake I wake up and can't sleep, and if anyone does wake up I feel really awful in the morning. I seemed to be able to cope much better with very limited sleep every night than with occasional limited sleep. Why is this and what can help!?

caci Sun 14-Apr-13 01:02:18

I can't sleep without reading and i need to fall asleep with a book otherwise my brain doesn't stop buzzing. Trouble is then I sleep with the lights on which i think doesn't help with sleep quality. Any suggestions?

Ginga66 Sun 14-Apr-13 01:15:24

I have not slept properly since my first son, now four, was born. He is in his own room now but I am co sleeping with my second who is now ten month. I find that I sleep best when cat napping when I'm putting four year old to bed so get maybe half an hour. Then I'm up again with ds2 maybe waking four or five times in night.
In the morning I am cross eyed. I am quite anxious anyway by nature but have to go back to work in six weeks and have no idea how I will Cope on the frugal amount of sleep I'm now getting. I struggle to relax but try a bit of yoga a few times a week. Mainly I'm on my iPad late at nigh for company as dh has decamped to ds1 room to avoid being in same sleep deprived boat.

Springforward Sun 14-Apr-13 01:23:46

Is there anything I can do to overcome middle of the night insomnia during pregnancy?

missorinoco Sun 14-Apr-13 02:08:28

It's two am now and I can't sleep. This happens periodically, probably a combination of stress and an overactive mind make it worse.

I don't drink caffeine after six, don't eat heavy meals in the evening, rarely drink more than two glasses of wine when I drink. (I really am quite boring looking at this.)

Tips on how to avoid it? ANd how to stop milling over everything in my mind when I want my brain to switch off and sleep.

CheeryCherry Sun 14-Apr-13 06:57:52

My husbands excema keeps us both awake at night, he itches and scratches so much that he bleeds on the bedding sad We keep the room cool, have cotton bedding and use non bio washing products. At a loss to solve it for him. Any ideas gratefully received. Thanks.

Wheresthecoffee Sun 14-Apr-13 07:24:06

As a mother of two under 5's what can I do to keep stress levels down whilst I'm 'on the go'. I often can feel myself getting steadily more wound up, are there any techniques (breathing or otherwise) that would help here?

littledid Sun 14-Apr-13 07:31:07

My DH takes ages to wake up in the morning and needs a good 30 minutes to show signs of being able to function, whereas the minute I open my eyes I feel ready to get up and go. This has always frustrated me slightly (an excuse to have a lie-in, in my eyes!) however our youngest DS, who is two, is also showing signs of being the same way. Is this lack of energy upon waking due to a poor quality of sleep or just part of their make-up? Thanks!

Filibear Sun 14-Apr-13 09:03:04

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

blue2 Sun 14-Apr-13 12:05:52

My DS (now 14) had terrible sleep patterns as a baby, and would have me up almost hourly. He now sleeps through (phew!) but my patterns are terrible.

I have no problem falling asleep, but rarely sleep past 3 or 4 am. I'm not even waking up worrying about something. Its as if a switch is switched in my body.

Sometimes, I'll fall back asleep, then wake at 6.00 when the alarm goes off and feel like a zombie.

nextphase Sun 14-Apr-13 13:04:55

So, the general advice when you have children who don't sleep is stay off the sugar and caffine, they don't help, so is there anything that WILL keep you going when your ready to drop with exhaustion (yes, already napping with the kids, going to bed early, and getting out of the house most days)


Euphemia Sun 14-Apr-13 13:55:56

I am very grumpy in the morning, no matter how well I've slept. How can I improve my mood?

ginauk84 Sun 14-Apr-13 15:07:08

I chatter my teeth in my sleep and it gives me severe neck pain which wakes me up. I am told it is stress related however I don't feel stressed. Is there anything I can do to stop other than resorting to a gum shield.

ataraxia Sun 14-Apr-13 20:12:53

Sometimes I get too little sleep and feel fine the next day, other times I get an early night and I'm exhausted. How can I balancde it out?

kinkyfuckery Sun 14-Apr-13 22:09:35

I suffer from chronic pain and the cycle is such that it affects my sleep, then the lack of sleep affects the pain - great fun! At night I suffer badly with painful, aching, restless legs which mean it can take hours to fall asleep. Painkillers don't help much, other than take the edge off. Other than prescription sleeping pills, is there anything else you can recommend?

kinkyfuckery Sun 14-Apr-13 22:10:17

Also, I have an 8 year old with ASD and ADHD. She struggles to fall asleep at night, no matter how well fed/exercised she is. Any recommendations?

ArtsMumma Mon 15-Apr-13 02:13:22

I work hard all day, have a toddler to run after and by evening I am exhausted. However, I find that by bed time I feel wide awake and end up staying up late... then I'm exhausted in the morning. If I go to bed despite feeling wide awake I don't sleep! What is going on with my sleep pattern?! (sent at 2am - still wide awake!)

Hummymummy Mon 15-Apr-13 11:40:28

My 13 year old daughter struggles to get to sleep at night and subsequently can't get up in the morning. Not a big surprise I hear you cry! But it's causing stress. She wants to sleep but can't and wants to get up and be relaxed in the morning but isn't. The doctor has suggested sticking to a routine to train her body. Any other advice please?

FattyMcChubster Mon 15-Apr-13 11:48:58

The nights baby sleeps through, I seem to be unable to 'shut off' and lie awake for hours just thinking about things hmm.
I'd love to have a fail safe way to just sleep (like an off switch please!) as I'm a monster if I don't get my shut eye!

I have a very stressful job/life balance. I aim to get at least 7 hours sleep every night to manage this but constantly wake up tired. I find myself getting through the day until mid afternoon when I am struggling to stay awake at work. Are there any supplements I could take to help with this? I tried a multi vitamin but it hasn't made much difference.

Also I have taken to snoring [bush] at night quite badly - this is always followed by aking up with a sinus headache. Is there anything that I could do about this apart from taking decongestants?

Mouseface Mon 15-Apr-13 12:42:08

DS is almost 4 and has never slept through the night. He has a variety of SN/LD and suffers from PTSD due to traumatic operations in the past.

He'll go to sleep but wakes regularly in the night and won't be soothed unless I get into bed with him for the rest of the night, which is dreadful for me as I'm disabled and suffer with horrific back pains.

We are under CAMHS and also waiting for a referral to see a sleep specialist, which is going to take a long time.

We've tried night lights, soothing music, mood lamps, lavender, regular bedtime routine as much as possible as he's tube fed by a pump....

Is there anything else I can try? HELP!

pdb Mon 15-Apr-13 12:57:47

I'm currently anaemic (due to heavy periods) and have been prescribed iron tablets which i've been taking for around six weeks now. I haven't noticed any improvements in my energy, i'm always on the go with small children at home, I just keep doing what I have to do but every few days or so I have a real slump and need to take a 2/3 hour nap in the day. I do sleep well when left alone, however on an average night i'm woken up 4 to 6 times by my son, once he's settled I go straight back to sleep. My sleep has been like this for the past 4 years so i'm used to it. Apart from eating lots of vegetables, which I already do, what else can I do to help myself feel more energetic and less like napping?

Mzyellow Mon 15-Apr-13 14:13:47

Most days I often get the mid afternoon energy slump.

I dread that feeling of so little energy and often wonder how im going to get through the rest of my day. I obviously do but it's not pleasant!

I sleep well and always feel well rested so I'm pretty sure it's diet/fluid related.

I would love advice on how to combat this and the possible causes as I have a toddler and am expecting my second child in June.

Stircrazyafteralltheseyears Mon 15-Apr-13 17:00:18

I've heard that melatonin tablets can aid sleep naturally in children. Are they available over the counter? and is this an entirely natural product without negative side-effects?

Moominsarehippos Mon 15-Apr-13 17:27:15

Too much stress and too little energy! I assume these are linked.

When I'm stressed, all I want to do is sleep but wake very very early, stressed! Could any dietary supplement help?

HellesBelles396 Mon 15-Apr-13 21:57:38

sometimes I seem to be hypersensitive to, particularly, sounds and touch. friction is a major issue whether the sound of sweeping or clothes touching me.

I'm told it is probably linked to stress. any ideas on whether it is and how to get rid of it?

FrantasticO Mon 15-Apr-13 22:23:26

I'm not menopausal yet I suffer from night sweats.
Wakes me up, disrupts OH sleep too.

I wake up freezing.

Disrupted sleep impacting on rest of my life, mood, kids etc..

Normal life work stresses that I have always managed to juggle in past.

Any advice would be great.

Contradictionincarnate Tue 16-Apr-13 00:45:50

if you are woken lets say by dawn chorus or outside noise (but in reality by a baby) how can you get back to sleep quickly to make the most of it.

lottie63 Tue 16-Apr-13 05:35:44

Have just had yet another night without sleep. I'm menopausal. What advice would you give?

NoGoodAtHousework Tue 16-Apr-13 06:26:40

Both me and my partner do a lot of driving to commute to and from work and with a son as well who can still wake occasionally at night or very early we are both exhausted and run down. As a result we catch everything that's going round and both struggle to have a full weekend (we have to have a lie in each!). Any tips for vitamins or supplements that can help? We've tried multi vits but they don't seem to do a lot.

ArtemisKelda Tue 16-Apr-13 09:08:27

I struggle to fall asleep, it can take hours some nights. Not ideal when I have a small baby!

Also, I try & nap when the baby does but always end up feeling worse as I don't seem to fully wake afterwards. Is there any way I can make the most of a short nap?

lottietiger Tue 16-Apr-13 12:54:33

I have a 12 week old baby and i am going back to work in 7 weeks time as im sharing maternity leave with my partner. Im getting stressed about returning and starting to wake and not be able to get back to sleep at night. Every new day just seems like a countdown til i return to work. Any tips please.. i dont want to feel like im wasting the time worrying.

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Tue 16-Apr-13 13:26:11

I have a Q about sleep; when I sleep I get really hot. I don't feel hot (only sweated at night in pg) but apparently I burn up. I have noticed that DD is sweaty when she co-sleeps with me (presumably because she insists on lying on me and gets too hot!) and wondered if there is a reason behind it or if I should be concerned? I usually feel the cold a lot in the day.

thereonthestair Tue 16-Apr-13 16:05:53

I struggle to get enough sleep as I always seem to have a cough which lasts weeks and weeks with any cold. My GPs say there is nothing they can do about it and I just need to be less stressed so I get fewer colds. What they can't suggest is how to be less stressed (I have a child with SN and also work). Is there anything I can do which stops me coughing and therefore stops me sleeping all night?

CountryBelle Tue 16-Apr-13 18:43:37

How can I calm myself down during my extremely busy day? If I try deep breathing I only manage about 3 breaths then I realise I've got about a million other jobs to get done, so best get on with them!!

Energy levels always though, motivation zero, stress and anxiety levels through the roof.


Only 26 and feel like I can't face a life of this.

2712 Tue 16-Apr-13 19:55:17

I feel completely worn out all day long as I cannot seem to sleep for long periods at night. I seem to be waking up practically every hour and tossing and turning all the time.
Am going through first stages of menopause so am having hot flushes which mean I tend to get into bed and throw the cover off immediately even when it's freezing outside.
The only good nights sleep I have had in the last few months was when I persuaded our GP to give me some sleeping pills was heaven as for two whole weeks I slept like a log and woke feeling refreshed and ready for the day. Of course when the 2 weeks was up I immediately went back to sleeping badly again.
Really tired .....any advice?

rachel19784 Wed 17-Apr-13 12:56:44

I suffer from M.E so I really do need my rest, yet find myself still wide awake at 2am paying bills on line, writing my blog, unloading the dishwasher ect and i have to be up at 6am for the kids for school.I need help and advice please.

rachel19784 Wed 17-Apr-13 12:58:41

I suppose the best tip would be to stop using your computers, mobile devices ect and let yourself unwind before bed, hard though when the evening is the only chance you get to catch up on things.

CarrieDon Wed 17-Apr-13 14:09:17

GP said last week that most of the population is probably deficient in Vit D especially after this long winter we've had. DC has been recommended to take a Vit D supplement to try to boost her energy levels.

I do wonder about whether the router being on affects the quality of our sleep - difficult to know. Having black out blinds in the bedroom has helped.

worldgonecrazy Wed 17-Apr-13 18:16:01

Best advce I had was "An hour before midnight is worth two after."

zzzexhaustedzzz Wed 17-Apr-13 19:33:31

Sleep: Celestial Seasonings 'sleepytime' tea. Lavender, if you like the smell. If you can't sleep stick the world service on or read a book for a bit. Meditation/ breathing exercises.
Energy: berocca. Big breakfasts. (Porridge or the full English even!)
Exercise and fresh air obviously help both.
Obvious things but sometimes, when stressed and or busy with children it is hard to remember to do anything!

PavlovtheCat Wed 17-Apr-13 22:22:03

I am bookmarking this, not so much to give some tips, but to read the tips given! I suffer from tirednes and sleep problems so I am going to read some fab tips I am sure. In particular looking for tips on how to wake up with energy as I struggle to get up in the mornings, due to feeling groggy.

One though quickly. I cannot live without berrocca. Or rather, boots own much cheaper version (identical). Not sure if it's placebo affect or what, but it lifts me a little. Also cut out caffeine. You will notice a dip in energy to start with, but soon that will fade (or cut down if you're a caffeine addict like me!). My skin is soooooo much clearer, the bags less obvious. Still exhausted, but feel less so.

marl Thu 18-Apr-13 11:52:36

I used to have lots of sleep and good sleep. Then I had 3 children and my whole sleep pattern was decimated as well as becoming cat-like so I wake if anyone even stirs. With DD3 now 3, I have just regained some of my old good sleep. These are my tips that I think are working:
- I sleep with ear defenders (yes really, the big ones kids wear at festivals). I am no longer bothered by DPs snoring or anything else. I am a new woman. If there is a crisis with the kids then DP wakes or wakes me...if it is just low level dream/shouting in sleep then I don't wake and don't need to. Definitely not sexy, but I like them!
- If I have time, a nice bath and hot chocolate mid evening.
Trying where poss not to drink if I'm just 'in' in the evening. If I can get downstairs after kids bedtime and have a soft drink and avoid alcohol until 8 then I'm generally less inclined to want it.
- I take rhodiola for 'calm' just before bed rather than in the morning with my multivit as before. This seems to help me but I've read for some people it has the opposite effect.
- I have had a surgical procedure to separate me from my iphone and now leave it downstairs when I go to bed. It takes this obsession away and also stops it flickering in the night if someone texts etc
All very very boring I know and I wouldn't fully admit to this level of obsession face to face, but I do feel a lot better and now hop out of bed early morning for a peaceful cuppa before anyone else is up. And most of the above don't count for the weekend of course.

inzidoodle Thu 18-Apr-13 12:15:40

- How to get a good night's sleep
- How to cope with stress - could be work or just general life stess!
- How to stay energised during the day

The magic answer (for me!) is simply fresh air and exercise!! I make sure at some point every day I walk between 1-3 miles no matter what the weather. I have a DD 5 and DS 2 and a dog and always find the time to go walking. My favourite time which really helps me unwind and relax is going out at 7pm just me and my dog and walking a brisk 3miles........I sleep much better, I unwind and I feel energised.

Belo Thu 18-Apr-13 14:58:02

My husband suffers from severe work related anxiety and finds it very difficult to switch off. Any suggestions on how he can affectively manage this? (and enable for us both to get a good nights sleep?)

BubblesAndBeans Thu 18-Apr-13 20:19:29

I have a 15 month old dd who has been teething badly for the last few months which has resulted in a lot of restless nights. I struggled in the beginning to keep my energy levels up, especially as my job is quite stressful. I have discovered that exercise on my lunch break and small, healthy but regular meals helps me to maintain my energy levels and has helped me to keep coughs and colds at bay, whereas before I was ill every other week.

leanneth Thu 18-Apr-13 22:06:57

I find that acupuncture helps with all three issues stated- sleep, stress and energy. A feeling of wellness and internal balance helps to improve all of it!

Hopezibah Thu 18-Apr-13 22:30:47

my top tip re: stress is not to pretend it is not happening but to face up to it and ask for help if you need it. I struggled throughout last year and only reached out for help recently when things began to totally overwhelm me and I'm so glad I did because everyone has been so understanding and supportive.

SetFiretotheRain Thu 18-Apr-13 22:56:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dittle Fri 19-Apr-13 19:33:49

I find that if you get some fresh air during the day it really helps you de-stress and help a good night's sleep.

JedwardScissorhands Sat 20-Apr-13 15:46:36

I have been taking a magnesium supplement before bed and it has really helped. I now wake up refreshed in the morning and feeling like I have actually slept. Apparently it relaxes muscles / relieves tension etc

curbyourenthusiasm Sun 21-Apr-13 14:17:50

I am new mother of a now 3 month old baby . I often find i cannot get back to sleep after feeding her at 5am ( breast feeding at present) . As a result i would only fall back asleep at 7.30 am and this leave me tired for rest of day. Any tips?

fergieek Sun 21-Apr-13 18:16:28

Hello! I am really enjoying the forum, thanks. Could I ask Colin Espie please - do you think the psycho education of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy works well for people with insomnia? Does it make a difference whether the insomnia is primary or secondary for CBT to work well? I'd be really interested in your views/experience. Many thanks

hannahbeanie Sun 21-Apr-13 19:36:28

I have been getting mostly 2 hours sleep for 16 years since my 2nd son was born, I have tried every trick/pill in the book. Im getting really desperate for sleep, I don't think I can cope much longer this way. I kept a sleep diary and then was told not to clock watch. I cant do both. I have been to the doctors so often the receptionist know who I am before I tell them.

TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 28-Apr-13 21:11:45

Thanks to everyone who posted a question about sleep, stress or energy on this thread - experts Professor Colin Espie and Registered Nutritionist Sarah Bernard have answered some of the questions they didn't have time to cover in the show here - please do have a read below.

Professor Colin Espie has been researching sleep and sleep problems for over 30 years, and is one of the world's leading experts on sleep. He co-founded, a clinically proven sleep improvement programme, to allow the widest population possible to benefit from his findings.

Alongside his role as Clinical and Scientific Director of Sleepio, Prof. Espie recently joined the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences / Sleep & Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford.

ProfessorColinEspie Sun 28-Apr-13 21:19:34


I often find myself wide awake in the early hours despite keeping window open, being tired, not needing to go to the loo. I just find my mind buzzing with what's gone on and what is to come the next day. I wouldn't necessarily say that I'm anxious, just seriously awake. Should I try and persevere with sleep or is it ok to get up and do something to occupy my mind?

Could you be a morning lark, at your best in the morning, preferring to be up early and to make the most of the early part of the day? If so, it is important to get to bed at a reasonable time each night to ensure you get enough sleep.

Ignoring your body clock and attempting to fight your mind from planning the day ahead is likely to leave you more frustrated and awake. These kinds of thoughts often require concentrated attention, which is why they are best dealt with during the day, when you are awake!

If you find yourself wide-awake, mind racing during the night, try getting up and out of bed and only return if you feel truly sleepy.

ProfessorColinEspie Sun 28-Apr-13 21:20:05


I've got an 8 week old baby. Everyone tells me that I should nap when the baby naps, but I've never been able to sleep much during the day. Any tips?

It’s natural for new parents to worry about getting things wrong but really there is no wrong or right! Just experiment and find what works best for you and your baby.

It is important however that you get enough sleep over a 24-hour period – whether that’s made up of multiple naps throughout the day or fewer, longer periods of sleep.

ProfessorColinEspie Sun 28-Apr-13 21:20:54


I am often very tired early evening but when its time to go to bed I have 'woken up'. Any tips on how to change this pattern?

Everyone has a natural rhythm, also known as the 'body clock', which regulates many physiological processes including sleep timing. It may just be that you are something of a 'night owl'.

It is important to differentiate sleepiness from tiredness though. It is normal to feel tired after a long day but still remain relatively alert. On the other hand, when we are sleepy, it is a conscious struggle to remain awake. You should only head to bed each night if you feel sleepy enough to fall asleep immediately.

You may also find it helpful to make time each evening to relax and unwind before you head to bed - finishing off work in good time and preparing yourself for a restful night with relaxing music or a jigsaw puzzle perhaps?

ProfessorColinEspie Sun 28-Apr-13 21:21:31


I'm often really hungry about an hour before I go to bed and often have a late night snack (usually bread or cereal) but I still wake up loads during the night. Does what and when I eat affect my ability to sleep?

During the night our digestive system continues to work, just like other bodily systems that are on a form of automatic pilot. It is important therefore, not starve the system, or overload it.

Eating close to bedtime means that the body has to work extra hard, digesting food as you sleep. You might try eating a snack earlier in the evening, before you become very hungry. This way you keep hunger at bay without overwhelming your digestive system late at night.

ProfessorColinEspie Sun 28-Apr-13 21:22:11


I have been having a lot of emotional stress lately. I have started sitting up and talking/screaming in my sleep. As I child I used to sleep talk and walk. Is there anything I can do to prevent it getting to the sleep walking stage?

Sleepwalking and sleep talking belong to a group of sleep disorders known as 'Parasomnias' and occur when we are deeply asleep, rather than when we are dreaming.

Parasomnias are relatively common in the general population, occurring in around 4 percent of the adult population and in almost 20 percent of all children and adolescents. Often however, people have no memory of these episodes.

You're more likely to experience episodes when you’re under pressure or overtired - so it is important to find effective ways of managing your stress and to get enough sleep.

SarahBernard Sun 28-Apr-13 21:30:26


Most days I often get the mid afternoon energy slump.

I dread that feeling of so little energy and often wonder how im going to get through the rest of my day. I obviously do but it's not pleasant!

I sleep well and always feel well rested so I'm pretty sure it's diet/fluid related.

I would love advice on how to combat this and the possible causes as I have a toddler and am expecting my second child in June.

Most of us experience that 2-3pm dip in energy to some extent - although some people feel the effects of it more than others. It's called 'post prandial somnolence' - which literally means the sleepy feeling we experience after eating. It's a natural cumulation of the activities going on within our bodies at that time - normalizing blood sugar levels after eating and shifts in amounts of circulating hormones like serotonin and melatonin. But the fact that everyone experiences it doesn't make it any easier if you're running round after a not so sleepy toddler, and you may find it is exacerbated by the tiredness associated with pregnancy.

Try to ensure you have a well-balanced and varied diet, with plenty of fruit, vegetables, lean protein, wholegrain carbohydrates, nuts and seeds, and aim for 3 meals and 2 healthy snacks a day. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, as even mild dehydration can lead to feelings of fatigue. Try having a lighter lunch of lean protein and veg - like chicken with salad and chickpeas - as opposed to a heavy carbohydrate lunch like pasta, as this may help keep blood sugar levels steadier and prevent peaks and troughs in energy. If all else fails, pop the toddler in the pushchair and take a brisk walk after lunch - just 10 or 15 minutes can really make the difference over the next few hours. Try to head off before the tiredness sets in or you may have difficulty motivating yourself!

If you feel your symptoms are not relieved by simple lifestyle changes, do speak with your doctor, particularly when pregnant.

SarahBernard Sun 28-Apr-13 21:35:11


I have heard people say great things about magnesium and zinc for energy levels. Is there any evidence to back this up and, if so, do they need to be taken at different times of day (one at night, one in the morning, can't remember which way round) or is a multivitamin just as good?

There is evidence to show that supplementation with magnesium can reduce feelings of tiredness and fatigue. We also know zinc is involved in numerous energy-related functions within the body; including as a key part of enzymes that break down carbohydrates in our food. However, supplementing with individual vitamins and minerals can be complicated. For example, zinc interferes with normal copper absorption, while magnesium and calcium need to be taken in balance to ensure maximizing bone health.

Following a healthy balanced diet should be able to provide all the vitamins and minerals you need, but you can bump up your magnesium and zinc intake by eating plenty of whole grains, nuts, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, shellfish, cheese, meat and eggs. If you feel your diet would benefit from a supplement, consider taking an 'A-Z' type multivitamin and mineral formulation - this will have done the thinking for you as it should have all the nutrients in balance. Taking the multivitamin with food can help as you may find a vitamin tablet on an empty stomach makes you feel nauseous. Avoid taking with caffeine-containing drinks and cereals which also affect absorption. If you are unsure, or have any questions, speak to your local pharmacist who can help find a supplement suitable for you.

SarahBernard Sun 28-Apr-13 21:36:46


I always feel weak and tired during the early weeks of spring. It's the time when I want to feel energised and active because the weather improves.
Is there anything I can do/ take supplements to overcome this?

Many people expect to feel vibrant and full of energy as the days get longer, but for some, the opposite is true and you may find yours is related to the clocks changing. When we put the clocks forward to British Summer Time we are effectively giving our bodies a small experience of jet lag, and for some this is tougher to adapt to, particularly if you are a regular waker.

Following a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables, lean protein, wholegrain carbohydrates, nuts and seeds will help keep you as energised as possible through this difficult period. Try to avoid reaching for caffeine as too much can further upset your sleeping patterns and could make matters worse. You might like to think ahead to the next time the clocks change and try one of the 'sunrise' alarm lights, which gradually create an artificial dawn.

Move bedtime and waking times forward/backwards 10 minutes a night rather than having the full impact of the one hour change.

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