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How to calm down in the middle of the night. Help!

(16 Posts)
IfYouSeeMeSayHello Wed 26-Sep-12 22:03:01

I just started a new job after a couple of years as a SAHM and am feeling out of my depth. Despite the fact that it was the most rigorous interview process I have ever experienced so they obviously think I am smart I am silently freakinf out. I am missing my children and am choked with a cold. Anyway I am going through a phase of really bad sleep and it is really getting to me. I go to sleep ok then wake in the middle of the night with this nervous feeling in the pit of my tummy. I can't get back to sleep for ages, if at all. Last night it was 2am, 4.30 and then 5.40 when I was pretty much awake for the day.

I know lack of sleep is making it hard for me to see the wood for the trees right now so would really appreciate any tips or coping strategies you might have for those dark early morning/middle of the night worries.

Thanks in advance.

BigFatLegsInWoolyTIghts Wed 26-Sep-12 23:01:34

Oh it sounds like you're suffering from anxiety...I know how awful that is! The best thing I can recommend is to not have any caffeine at all after 4.00pm....to eat simple foods...not spicy or very fatty...also, yoga...it really helped me with stress.

Can you book into a class one evening?

Another thing that helps me, is if I wake up I never lie there....I always get up, go down...have a drink and a llittle read or surf...then back to bed after 15 mins.

Lying in bed sleepless is terrible and getting up can help to break the cycle.

hiddenhome Wed 26-Sep-12 23:02:05

Passiflora is very good to regulate sleep.

Also, try Valerian and also Hops (buy the hop flower heads from home brewing stores then soak in hot water - they smell unpleasant, but are great for helping you to relax and sleep).

If you're feeling unwell and anxiety ridden during the day, then ask your doctor to prescribe you some beta blockers (propranolol). They block the action of adrenaline on the heart and help you to feel more calm.

Hope you feel better soon and settle into your new job, I'm sure you're doing fine smile

urbanproserpine Wed 26-Sep-12 23:02:13

My midwife taught me this when pregnant witht twins and stressed out; but I still use it, especially in the middle of the night, on occasions when I have experienced similar to your post.

Golden breath:
yogaworks.me.uk/goldenthreadbreath.pdf.pdf

Sephy Wed 26-Sep-12 23:06:42

Hiya, hopefully someone who's better at dealing with it than me will cone along, but the things I try to do are:
Distract myself and try to think of something else, maybe really vivid memories of holiday destinations, favourite places etc
Try to think of different animals, fruits, names etc beginning with each letter of the alphabet
Listen to some quiet 'speech' type programme on my iPod, such as Radio 4 podcasts (woman's hour etc) or comedy audiobooks like Just William. The latter only works because I know them so well I don't need to keep listening to find out what happens- really gripping stuff like novels doesn't work for me as I never get back to sleep.
Lastly I try and plan something to do before work, such as go for a walk or something so I can think about that rather than whatever I'm worried about at work. Guessing with kids at home that's not a great option for you!

Hope some of these ideas might help -if nothing else hope it helps to know you're not the only one!

IHeartKingThistle Wed 26-Sep-12 23:15:41

I can panic in the middle of the night really easily if I'm not careful. I will be reading this with interest as currently my only strategies are to go to bed stupidly late so I don't wake up in the middle of the night, and taking paracetamol. Not great.

Congratulations on your new job OP.

ExitPursuedByABear Wed 26-Sep-12 23:17:32

Sephy I play the Alphabet game as well grin

I have been waking like this since I had my DD, and she is 13 next week sad

I think motherhood sent me into a blind panic and I have never fully recovered. I am fine in myself, I just don't sleep.

Sephy Thu 27-Sep-12 09:15:07

Did you get any sleep last night OP?

Sometimes the first good night after a few bad ones leaves you more exhausted though, if you've been really deeply asleep

Greatresult Thu 27-Sep-12 09:21:13

I can really recommend "I can make you sleep " by Paul McKenna. Especially if you can listen to his CD in bed through ipod or similar. Are you anxious when actually at work?

poozlepants Thu 27-Sep-12 09:29:44

I have a free app for hypnosis to get to sleep - which is great and the breathing exercises at the beginning are enough to send me off again if I wake up in the middle of the night. I think the app was by a guy called Glenn Harrold.

IfYouSeeMeSayHello Fri 28-Sep-12 20:26:52

Thank you all so much. It has definitely been pure anxiety. I have really been doubting myself and my abilities and this is the result. Feeling better about things so I hope to sleep well tonight. Thanks again

BlueChampagne Mon 08-Oct-12 11:20:24

Hope you're doing better OP. I find the following useful:

Kalms (available over the counter)
Dr Stuart's valerian tea

There's also the Bach sleep remedy. It never worked for me but does for some.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Mon 08-Oct-12 11:24:34

One thing I can definitely recommend is cutting out any sort of caffeine. So, coffee, tea (except decaf) and cola, also power drinks, and chocolate.

It makes a massive difference to me. That's all I can think of - also not focusing on the panic, not allowing yourself to worry about it, or what is happening to your body/mind, as thinking about it apparently will make it worse. (CBT!)

Try to ignore it and assume it will go away. Try to keep your mind busy - I often do sudoku in the middle of the night if I can't get back to sleep.

downindorset Tue 09-Oct-12 19:00:35

I can tell you a technique for relaxing in bed which means you are resting, even if you aren't asleep - all you do is focus on your body and the sensations in it - a small buzz here, a little fizz there and see if you can find the least strong sensation and then focus on it. Then when that sensation becomes stronger and another is weaker, switch to the weakest one again. Keep doing this and coming back to it if your mind wanders off. Even if you don't actually sleep a wink, you will feel rested and you're likely to fall asleep anyway as it's a bit like counting sheep.

Good luck - the job thing will get better. x

Aquelven Tue 09-Oct-12 20:17:21

Valerian, like others have said, & a banana an hour before you go to bed. It contains tryptophan or something that's supposed to help you sleep.

Worst thing is to lie in bed when you wake up, with your mind churning. I get up & make a warm drink, read a bit then go back to bed with my Kindle, or book, & carry on reading. Usually find I've nodded off still holding the book.

CunningPlan Tue 09-Oct-12 20:35:45

I sometimes find that running through a familiar routine - the drive to the supermarket or your mums or something can help. Force yourself to go through every traffic light, every click of the indicator. So boring that you automatically stop thinking about your worries and fall asleep!

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