Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns we suggest you consult your GP.

Frequent waking in middle of the night - positive help only please

(36 Posts)
Confused687 Tue 29-Sep-15 09:15:06

Can anyone give me some tips on not waking up in the middle of the night? I think it's called Sleep Maintenance Insomnia. I fall asleep fine but then wake at 1am, 2am, 3am, etc. This morning I woke at 2.30am and was awake until 5.30am when I fell back to sleep for an hour.

There's nothing waking me up - no noises etc - I don't drink alcohol which I know is a stimulant, or coffee, in fact I don't drink anything after 7pm so I don't wake needing a wee. I don't use laptops, phones close to bed time and I don't watch adrenalin pumping TV shows before bed...

Please only post with positive help and success stories, any doom and gloom will push me over the edge. sad

I'm feeling pretty low, it's been going on for weeks.

Abernathie Tue 29-Sep-15 10:32:11

I have this as well so will be watching for hints and tips to break this cycle wink

ChattingAway Tue 29-Sep-15 10:36:26

Not about helping you not wake up, but some help to get you back to sleep quickly.

I've had some rather bizarre success actually. I've been trying to lose weight with the Paul McKenna 'I Can Make You Thin', which has a CD on it which you listen to and are supposed to go into an almost hypnotic state.

I've used it when the DC have woken me in the middle of the night, and whereas before it would take ages for me to get back to sleep, the CD sends me to sleep really really fast. I didn't even made it through to the counting bit at the beginning..... (which is less than a minute in!)

poocatcherchampion Tue 29-Sep-15 10:38:21

I find I go back to sleep quicker if I read for a while rather than lie there thinking about how I ma not asleep.

Its horrid - so hard to function when you are exhausted.

maggiso Tue 29-Sep-15 12:24:07

I've read that a small protein meal (eg slice of cooked chicken, boiled egg) at suppertime -before bed can help if low blood sugar is causing the waking. (I eat a sliver or 2 of cheese, but the old wives tail says it cause nightmares - not a problem for me). I too read if I wake- something not too interesting.

Adarajames Tue 29-Sep-15 13:00:21

Ask your gp for melatonin (or get friend in Europe / USA to send to you as no longer available otc here) it's been an absolute miracle for me in terms of sleeping and staying asleep

Whatevva Tue 29-Sep-15 16:39:17

I fell asleep last night trying to work out how to get across three unfathomable continuous junctions in my local town to go up the road that I want to go up, next Thursday.

It distracted my from the usual angsty stuff that keeps me from going back to sleep as it took a lot of concentration. Better than meditation. grin

Usually, I lie on my back and make sure my body is straight and symmetrical, then go through my yoga relaxation exercises, before turning onto my side.

goingmadinthecountry Tue 29-Sep-15 23:52:38

I have this. One thing that helps me is blocking the light from the digital clock - I don't wake and worry about the time. Normally use remote to block the light. It's horrible and totally exhausts you so you have my sympathy.

Confused687 Wed 30-Sep-15 08:08:05

Thank you x

Funnily enough I have the Paul Mckenna CD 'I can make you sleep' and it did work wonders for falling asleep but not so much the middle of the night waking - maybe it's the act of having to faff about putting it on that wakes me up even more. I think I have some melatonin that a friend in Europe bought me - I'll try it tonight.

Last night I woke at 2.30 and 3.30, awake for 30 mins each time then awake at 5 then back to sleep until 6.30 so a better night but I took diazepam (2mg on the advice of my GP) when I woke at 2.30 and 3.30 so feel like c**p today. That's not a route I want to go down so will try the CD again and the melatonin and a light protein meal - I already have zero light in the room.

Has anyone ever considered a hypnotherapist or acupuncture?

Thank you so much for replying. I'm not alone it seems, and am determined to break this awful cycle.

Mintyy Wed 30-Sep-15 08:10:31

Go to your GP and ask for temazepam or zoplicone. Take half a tablet when you wake in the night.

Penfold007 Wed 30-Sep-15 08:31:49

I am a frequent night waker and understand your frustration. I found acceptance was the key to coping for me. The concept of eight hours uninterrupted sleep is fairly modern. As late as the 1920s the 'normal' sleep pattern was four hours sleep, a period of being awake followed by four hours sleep. The wake period was used for chatting, sex etc. I have found accepting the non-sleep time and using my kindle turned down very low and reading has been a great help. I think an average night is 10:30 to 2:30 sleep, then read, around 04:00 drift off until 06:30.

ImNoVanGough Wed 30-Sep-15 08:39:53

I occasionally suffer from this and I was recommended this breathing technique:
metro.co.uk/2015/01/27/the-4-7-8-breathing-technique-is-your-new-bff-for-a-good-nights-sleep-5038429/
I felt really silly the first couple of times but it definitely helps me get back to sleep faster and I do feel I sleep longer after using it too.

VimFuego101 Wed 30-Sep-15 08:43:30

Have you had your thyroid/ vitamin d checked? Under active thyroid/ low vit d can cause insomnia.

Confused687 Wed 30-Sep-15 11:07:51

VimFuego101: I have had thyroid checked but not Vit D, I'll get a supplement to cover that base too.

Mintyy: I already have zopiclone and temazepam - I haven't taken the temazepam as I have been holding back but have taken zopiclone in the past, half an hour before bed and I STILL woke up!

Penfold007: I feel I am hard wired to wake at 2.30 as it's the same time every night but only for the past few weeks. Prior to that if I ever woke in the night for a wee I was straight back to sleep. I'm afraid I can't accept that it's the norm as I am unable to function the next day and know that for me the norm is to sleep through as it has always been thus.

I'mnovangogh: I have tried that breathing technique but probably not properly as I'm so tired and feel I'm running out of air when I do it but will give it another try. How many times do you breathe like that? Just keep going until you fall asleep?!

Thanks everyone, every little scrap of help and advice is appreciated. x

ImNoVanGough Wed 30-Sep-15 11:30:35

I start feeling a bit sleepy after 4sets but usually do about 8 then drop off quite soon after it. I sometimes get a bit light headed when I start doing it but it passes for me. Hope you find something that works, there's nothing worse than night waking when you're shattered.

Pleasemrstweedie Wed 30-Sep-15 12:26:02

This could be caused by upset in your cortisol levels, which should be low at night so you can sleep, rising at dawn or thereabouts so you will wake.

To investigate that you would need to talk to your GP.

Whatevva Wed 30-Sep-15 12:32:02

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06db5tv

You could try listening to this - it still has a few days left on I-player.

AwkwardSquad Wed 30-Sep-15 20:07:13

Mintyy, when you say half a tablet of zopiclone, is that half of 3.75 or half of 7.5? Thank you!

Mouthfulofquiz Wed 30-Sep-15 20:19:58

I listen to ASMR videos on youtube if I go through periods of waking a lot in the night and struggle to drop off. For me - it switches off whatever I am thinking about which is stopping me sleeping.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Wed 30-Sep-15 20:26:04

I suffer from this too, I didn't realise it had a name. In my case working shifts and the menopause have really compounded the problem so following with interest.

Mintyy Wed 30-Sep-15 20:45:01

Awkward - I have been prescribed 7.5 but I'm like the op and sleep fine for the first part of the night, so I take a half of one of those when I wake up at 3 or 4 am and sense that I'm not going to get back to sleep. I have to be up at 7 for the dc so I don't have the luxury of sleeping it off.

I've also had temazepam before (which I prefer as it doesn't leave the horrible taste in the mouth) and again took a half a tablet.

It's best to cut them up with a sharp knife on a chopping board when you get the prescription. The tablets are tiny and you can't be doing with trying to snap them in half in the dead of night!

Confused687 Thu 01-Oct-15 09:57:15

It was the taste and hangover effect that zopiclone gave me that put me off too.

Will look up ASMR videos.

wfrances Fri 02-Oct-15 09:12:21

i wake up between 2.30-3.15 every morning too
it doesnt matter what time i go to bed.
i m unconscious as soon as i hit the pillow - i just cant stay asleep.
i never nap during the day ,and am out of bed by 7am every morning.
my gp told me routine is very important.

ive been told there could be 3 reasons
i have ptsd - so extreme stress levels (especially at night)
i have an arrhythmia -which sometimes occurs during sleep
i have night terrors and sleep walk(so already have a sleep disorder)

i started taking mirtazapine ,its sedating in low doses.
but it stops working after a while.
you could ask for some and you should get at least 2 weeks proper sleep.
im back to square one but ive been like this for years now ,and just accept it.
if its only been going on for weeks can you think of a trigger?stress ? illness?
whats your gp said?

Confused687 Sun 04-Oct-15 11:18:51

I'm under a load of stress at the moment, more than I've ever been under. I try not to worry but it's overwhelming. Now the night waking is joining the other worries and adding to my pile of worries and stress...

I've had this to some degree for 20 years. I strongly believe that worrying about insomnia is actually worse than the lack of sleep.
Do you have to get up / go to bed at a particular time? How tired are you during the day? Is it really the not sleeping that's the problem or is it the mental stressing that is always at it's worst in the middle of the night?
I do boring alphabet games and listen to ocean waves on a 2 hour recording.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now