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To ask bad/ disturbed sleepers how you sleep???

(69 Posts)
MoneybagsIamnot Tue 21-Jun-16 08:20:05

Posting in here really for traffic I guess as I'm at my wit's end!

Woke up at 2.30 last night, after not getting to sleep til gone 11 and I just couldn't get back to sleep. This is happening more and more.

I've tried not looking at my phone for half an hour or so before bed, listening to music, herbal remedies etc. Sometimes ill manage a half decent nights sleep but more and more I'm only Managing a few hours and I can't live life the next day (I've got such a busy day ahead of me at work, I just want to cry!)

Any tips for disturbed sleep?

ToastMakesMeHappy Tue 21-Jun-16 08:37:47

Have you tried listening to meditation or using a sleep app? I went through a stage like this and listening to meditation or relaxing music, headphones plugged into my phone. Worked a treat.
Also chamomile tea before bed.

SunnyL Tue 21-Jun-16 08:44:34

When I got really bad the doctor prescribed sleeping tablets for me. That was after I'd done a 2 week stint of only sleeping from 11-2 and was destroyed. Since then I now have 1 night a week (Sunday normally) where I take a sominex and sleep from 10 - 7. I find I can cope with 6 nights crap sleep if there is 1 good night.

I tried all the same things as you but found they made little difference. For me it's any stress in my life affects my sleep and that could be anything from a rude bus driver to a full blown argument with someone

nutbrownhare15 Tue 21-Jun-16 08:46:33

The effortless sleep method by Sasha Stephens sorted my insomnia out. Check out reviews on amazon. The roots of insomnia are psychological (worrying about the fact that you can't sleep) and she gives straightforward advice on how to deal with this and relax so that you can sleep. Highly recommended.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 21-Jun-16 08:47:26

A filter on my phone helped enormously as did a relaxation app.

HPFA Tue 21-Jun-16 08:48:16

I'm a big fan of this book
Not a quick fix but has worked really well over time.

justwondering72 Tue 21-Jun-16 08:48:37

I feel your pain. The things that are guaranteed to give me a crap night's sleep are...

Drinking wine in the evening (a glass at dinner is fine, a couple more in the evening is not)
Staying up too late and missing my 'sleep window'. I naturally get tired around 1030. If I'm watching something on TV and carry on watching past 11OO or later, then I can't get to sleep for ages. I read somewhere that it's like missing a train... you have to wait for the next one to arrive.
Playing / browsing / looking at my phone or any other screen.

Conversely, the things I do that help get a good night sleep...

No alcohol, no caffeine / sugary drinks - herbal teas only
Going to bed at a set time when you feel tired
Reading a book until ready to sleep - not phone, not IPad etc.

I think putting all the above together into bedtime routine really helps. So I get into jammies at 9pm, clean my face etc. Then I watch some TV / colouring / whatever. Have a cuppa herbal tea around 930pm. Then heading to bed around 1030.

TheDisreputableDog Tue 21-Jun-16 08:51:08

I like to listen to an audiobook (especially one I know so I don't have to pay too much attention). Stops me thinking about anything else and I can drift to sleep, do the same when I wake up in the middle of the night

Mytummyisnotatrampoline Tue 21-Jun-16 08:53:12

Truthfully the only thing that has ever made a difference was no caffeine after 4pm. I used to be addicted to diet coke and it was only when I gave it up did my sleep improve. Now if I have any caffeine after 4, I'm up until 3-4am.

A mindfulness technique works well for me too, especially if I'm anxious or have lots on my mind. Lie on your back and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. As your breath slows, focus on a single part of your body. Start with your toes and just "feel" them - don't move them as the idea is just to be conscious and in the moment. Work your way up your body (toes, calves, knees, thighs, fingers, arms, shoulders and head) doing the same. If it doesn't send me to sleep, it certainly relaxes me enough to make sleep a possibility.

Reading for 30m before bed works well, as does listening to talk radio podcasts.

I went through a period of insomnia about a year ago that lasted about two weeks. I ended up going to the GP to get a few nights worth of sleeping pills. They were enough to help my system "reboot" - might be worthwhile if the other things don't work.

NarcyCow Tue 21-Jun-16 08:55:22

I have to have tonnes of bedclothes and pillows around me. I took the winter duvet off recently and put the summer one on, then wasn't able to sleep for a week. I finally tried putting the winter one back and was out like a light that night. I don't put any of them over me though, they're just there for cuddling.

If I wake during the night, I'll turn on the light and read for a bit, rather than lie there wishing I could sleep. I find I'll get sleepy again fairly quickly that way.

thedogdaysareover Tue 21-Jun-16 08:55:57

Anything stressing you out?

Are there noises that wake you? How long has this been going on?

I sleep crap so you have my every sympathy. I go off ok but wake early. This has been going on for a couple of years. Mine is related to stress and extreme noise sensitivity, from pissed up people in the street. The thing that helps me is going to sleep with the tv on in the bedroom, my DH turns it off when he gets to bed. I know this sounds counter intuitive, but I wake up because of people shouting and the tv drowns it all out.

I think the key is not letting the actual sleeplessness stress you out, easier said than done I know. It is worse when I let it get to me, "oh my god I am awake at 3am, I will be unable to function tomorrow, oh no". I have kind of accepted that this is my lot and it's got a bit easier. I have a cuppa (no caffeine) and then I think I'll try again. I kind of have two stages to sleep now, the main bit from 10pm until 3 and then maybe I'll grab an hour between 4 and 5. Not ideal but it's just the way it is. And apparently that was the sleep pattern of people in times past. They would get up early doors, feed the cattle, stoke up the fire, feed the babies and go back off. Must be channelling the ancients.

What do you do when you wake? Is there a place you can go and have a cup of herbal tea in the night? Insomnia is shite.

Atlas15 Tue 21-Jun-16 08:59:01

Make the room really cold then snuggle under the cover.
Put a really boring documentary on.
Folding clothes makes me sleepy for some reason.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Tue 21-Jun-16 09:07:49

I need a window open, stuffy room always wakes me up.
Have a wee right before bed.
Lots of pilllows.
Most importantly ear plugs. I sleep so much better when I can't hear DP snoring every little creak in the house.

Joolsy Tue 21-Jun-16 09:09:14

I've suffered with insomnia for about 25 years. It's fairly under control these days. The things I've found that work are:

- Do NOT look at your clock at all during the night
- Camomile tea 1 hour before bed
- Read when you get into bed until you find your eyes getting heavy
- Exercise as much as you can (even just 20 mins a day or so)
- Deep breathing if you find you can't nod off - breathe in for 7, hold for 4, breathe out for about 10 seconds
- try not to worry about not sleeping! Easier said than done I know

Hope this helps

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Tue 21-Jun-16 09:24:45

How old are you? Peri-menopause can bring sleep disturbance, along with other delights!
I listen to sleep or healing hypnosis apps; I wake up about every two hours but no longer have the protracted period of lying awake. I keep the earplugs in all night as they also help to block out DH's snoring!

DontDead0penlnside Tue 21-Jun-16 09:28:25

I listen to talk radio (stations like LBC, 5live etc) Sounds like it would have the opposite effect but I find I nod off with that gently burbling along in the background.

And while I'm awake enough to be listening, it takes the attention away from thinking about the time and how I can't get to sleep!

AprilLoveJ Tue 21-Jun-16 09:35:22

You may want to try a little salt right before bed. Mix it in with some milk for added benefit. Poor retainers of sodium struggle with sleep. (Contrary to popular mainstream belief this will not cause water retention. In fact adding any of the minerals will help with water retention if this is an issue. Drinking more water is not the sole cure.) The tryptophan in the milk will also aid sleep (however it is important not to have too too much tryptophan in the diet that it outweighs the other essential aminos.)

An Epsom salt (magnesium) bath before bed is also helpful and very relaxing. Excellent for restless leg syndrome.

Keep your circadian rhythm in check. Get up and moving, get that daylight as soon as you can in the morning. Maintain a moderate amount of movement throughout the day. Not too sedentary, not overly active (don't over-exercise). Both are detrimental to health and will affect sleep.

If your liver and metabolism are as such that you can not tolerate even a small amount of caffeine without feeling shaky or affecting sleep then it is best to avoid altogether until these issues are rectified.

Have a close look at your diet. Everything you put in your body sets off a chain reaction. Increase your protein - eggs, milk, meat, gelatin. Sugar in the form of fructose or simple cane sugar is not bad (not laddened with polyunsaturated fats ie doughnuts, pastries etc) however I've found if your liver/metabolism can't support it then it can affect sleep too close to bedtime.

I would stay clear of benzos that it is a path you do not want to go down. Although it may help temporarily there is no reboot effect and you may end up much worse than before. This is how people become addicted. Not to mention the changes in your body chemistry it can cause. If you need, try a sedating anti histamine as a temporary measure.

Most importantly lower your stress. Easier said than done with the lives we lead today. But try as hard as you can. Any time you feel stressed you are triggering a chain reaction of the stress hormones, adrenaline, cortisol etc which as we all know do awful things to the body. They can hang around a long while and seriously affect sleep if you don't have enough of the other hormones to supress/outweigh them. You may want to look into L Theanine for its calming effect. (It isn't supposed to make you very drowsy, you don't need to feel such serious physical effects in order to change body chemistry and feel better.) Niacinimide (not to be confused with niacin the flushing version) ie B3 is also very relaxing and beneficial to the body in other ways too.

Agree with avoiding technology and any form of blue light (tv) a couple hours before bed. Getting enough daylight/sunshine and not being in a dark place until near bedtime is important. As the sun is so lacking in the uk (if you live here) you may want to consider testing and taking vitamin d3. This plus increased quality protein will help your progesterone synthesise which is the calming hormone (and will also help with stress) If your estrogen is running rampant this can affect sleep (hence why menopausal ladies suffer with insomnia). Remember the body works synergistically. You can't just change one thing or take one supplement and expect miracles, you need to treat it as a whole and be kind to it.

Any 'Peata' will recognise all this of course.

Good luck op, insomnia can really wreak havoc on your life and health. Hope this is just a temporary blip for you.

FeelingSmurfy Tue 21-Jun-16 09:41:34

Really bad night last night

I try to pretend to sleep, sometimes making myself stay in one position etc means I end up going to sleep, but even if it doesn't it's the next best thing because my body is getting as much rest as I can possibly give it.

I struggle with pain so can't stay in one position, but I stay for as long as I can and then tell myself I can move and get as comfy as possible but then same rules apply

I let my mind do whatever sometimes, other times I focus it on my white noise machine and nothing else, every time it drifts I bring it back to white noise. This generally makes me more likely to go to sleep, but not always possible

HeckyWithTheGoodBear Tue 21-Jun-16 09:43:09

Place marking. Really useful posts that I want to be able to refer back to.

Natsku Tue 21-Jun-16 09:52:00

Agree with not going down the benzo route - have been on them a year or two now and my sleep is still shit and I'm probably addicted.

Reading in bed works best for me but any stress negates that. Have struggled with insomnia since early childhood sad

Fomalhaut Tue 21-Jun-16 09:56:26

I'm a lifelong insomniac (who now has an insomniac baby so getting about 1 hour a night... Urgh.)

Anyway, these things help me:

No alcohol - none at all. Even a little will increase the chance you wake early
F lux on your phone (if android) or the inbuilt spectrum shift if iPhone
Get up early, every day.
Small snack before bed
Melatonin- benzodiazepines don't work for me but melatonin does.

I'd also go to the GP for a checkup to exclude any physical causes. Get a full thyroid panel, blood sugars/hba1c, vitamin D and ferritin.

Fomalhaut Tue 21-Jun-16 09:57:14

Oh and while you're lying awake don't stress about it. Just think 'I am resting, even if I'm not sleeping.)

ElspethFlashman Tue 21-Jun-16 10:05:03

Ear plugs
Ear plugs
Ear plugs
Ear plugs

Without them a mouse could far out in the street and my eyes would snap open. I buy those pink and yellow ones off Ebay in bulk. Laser Lites they're called. They're far superior to anything you can get in pharmacies. They don't hurt and block out everything.

I learnt a good trick last year which works too - counting backwards from 1000. It's bloody hard. You have to really concentrate. I refuse to give up and keep on going no matter how many times I lose my place and I'm always back asleep before I get to 850.

mayhew Tue 21-Jun-16 10:07:54

Ive tried a lot of the above but would like to add, attend to your mattress! Having a softer mattress helped me be much less aware of aches and pains. I fall asleep more easily and am much less likely to wake up completely in the night.

BayLeaves Tue 21-Jun-16 10:08:17

What Formalhaut said!

It's very psychological. You need to somehow break the cycle of waking up and thinking things like this:

"Oh no, I'm awake again, and it took me SO long to fall asleep the first time, how am I supposed to get to sleep again now? God I've got to get up at 7am tomorrow. I'm going to be so tired. I really need to get back to sleep! Ugh, it's not happening. Come on, sleep!"

That frame of mind will never help you sleep. The best thing you can do is take a few slow breaths to calm down if you wake up feeling tense, then if you do hear that voice stressing about not being able to sleep, just think things like "Ahh, this is so nice and cosy being snuggled up in my bed. It's so nice and comfortable. I'm getting a nice rest right now. Lying down with my eyes closed is still replenishing me."

If its hard to distract yourself from worries you can always try and think about relaxing/boring things. For example, one by one imagine all the beds you've ever slept in. Visualise what the surroundings were like and how comfortable they were. You might find your mind wanders off to other memories about the past, and that's fine as long as they're not too horrible memories.

Eventually this way you'll drift off to sleep but don't try and anticipate it or catch yourself!

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