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How Do I Get Back to Sleep?

(8 Posts)
whoreandpeace Tue 27-Jan-15 07:34:51

I don't have small children, mine are all teens now, so I can't blame them, but I have not had a decent night's sleep for months now, perhaps years. I always wake at around the same time - 3am - and then I cannot get back to sleep. If I lie in bed my head whirs with thoughts I don't want and life's problems grow larger and seem insurmountable. So I have taken to listening to the radio or to an audio book on my phone to divert my mind. sometimes I doze for 15 mins or so and then I am back awake fully alert. I've taken to going to bed as early as I can (10pm last night and 8.30pm the night before) so that I get as much benefit before 3am strikes.

I am not taking any medication. Should I? I don't want to be a daytime zombie.

Please help me. How do you fall back to sleep?

TheGirlOnTheLanding Tue 27-Jan-15 10:16:44

I started a very similar thread last month and got several good tips, see here in case any are useful for you
I've still not really fixed the problem but I'm working on it. I've found mindfulness exercises somewhat helpful. I'm trying to do these in the daytime as well as when I can't sleep. I hope you find something that helps you soon, it's miserable being so tired and stressed and sucks away the joy from life.

hiddenhome Tue 27-Jan-15 10:19:41

Try Passiflora capsules. You can buy them online and make sure you get the capsules, not solid tablets. You can also get tincture - the Vogel brand is good quality. You add a few drops to water. These are proper herbal medicines not homeopathy.

Other herbs you can try are Valerian and Hops.

The Passiflora may take a few days to get into your system. The hops will work straight away though. Dh buys Stuart's Nightime Tea bags for sleep, these are good, but the taste isn't great. They contain Valerian and Passiflora if I remember correctly.

Something else which may help is an amino acid called 5-htp. I used to take this years ago for mild depression, but it is used as a sleep aid as well.

whoreandpeace Tue 27-Jan-15 11:26:41

Oh thank you both so much. I did do a search on MN for 'insomnia' but that didn't pick up your original thread TheGirl. I've just read through that thread and I am going to look into mindfulness and meditation. I have done it before and it was good(ish). Is there a good app you can recommend?

Obviously a lot of us are listening to Radio 4 podcasts in the night. Thank goodness for daily Women's Hour! I'm going to have to start listening to the Archers too. With podcasts you can drift in and out and set it to turn itself off (same with audio books - but I have to set a bookmark where I start as I usually have to go back over it all over again.)

This morning I decided to get up at 5.30 so that I could get some paper admin/emails done as I used to do those in the evenings but I am so tired now that I just want to crawl into bed as soon as I possibly can. So my start and end of day have just shifted a few hours. I think I am going to do that on a daily basis so that I do get things done and don't have that to worry about as well and get myself to bed as early as poss.

I do like the idea that 'thoughts are not facts'. At night I am in the middle of a maelstrom of hell. In the daytime my worries get back into perspective.

Will go on line for those Passiflora capsules and off to the chemist for rescue remedy. Thank you!

TheGirlOnTheLanding Tue 27-Jan-15 11:50:42

The two guided meditation apps I've been using are the free versions of Stop, Breathe & Think and Mindspring (both US voiceovers). I've also used the Mindspace website, but I find the apps quite handy. I've been trying to do it on my own without the app as well so I know I can take myself out of the stress if needs be even if the iPad isn't to hand. I've also been trying mindfulness when I eat at least one of my meals in the day - really taking my time and savouring the food - rather than bolt it down then dash off to do the dishes and the next task. I'm hoping the more I practise, the easier and more natural it will become. My goal now isn't to sleep through without waking up (and so getting stressed about not sleeping) it's just to be able to quell the panicky feelings and rest if I can't sleep. I'm trying to accept my sleep patterns may have changed - possibly temporarily, but maybe long term - and the key thing is to manage the anxiety at the moment.

whoreandpeace Fri 30-Jan-15 07:07:22

TheGirl - thank you so much. I'm gong to try all of that. Yes, managing panicky feelings is the key. Yesterday was terrible. I felt sick and anxious all day but had calmed myself by the evening. I went to bed early (9) and watched Broadchurch on ITV player on my ipad and that helped set me off on a lovely sleep till 4, for which I'm grateful - 6 hours. Then up to do some admin, so I'm feeling on top of the day already. Luckily a busy day at work ahead. I try to keep my mind and body as busy as possible. Exercise also helps to tire me out. Good luck to you. I hope you find some inner peace. Those who sleep well do not know how lucky they are!

whoreandpeace Thu 05-Feb-15 17:07:13

Quick update to all your lovely kind people with your suggestions. I downloaded the Stop, Breathe, Think app and those meditations have REALLY helped. Lots going on at home to worry about and when I'm at work I have major lurching stomach churns and chest-tightening pains. I've been doing a quick 3 minute meditation at work when it gets too much and then feel much calmer. So two days after doing that and last night I must have got 8 hours sleep! I even woke up in the middle of the night and just went straight back to sleep and woke at 6.30. Bloody brilliant! Passiflora caps have just arrived so I'll try them as well. Thank you all and SLEEP WELl!

whoreandpeace Fri 06-Feb-15 08:30:52

Wow - took the Passiflora capsules last night and slept from 10.00 through to 7.15 - I OVERSLEPT! Feel great this morning. THANK YOU!

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