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Night after night not sleeping enough

(16 Posts)
Seren2017 Thu 20-Apr-17 08:07:51

Having great difficulty getting off to sleep and then, eventually, staying asleep. A few hours a night, if I'm lucky. Have to be up for work in the morning.

Have a good a routine as I can in the evenings, including winding down, going for a walk, no coffee, no late meals or snacks. Older DCs at home can be a bit noisy but not excessively. Ongoing worries about them, though, especially student DC whose health clearly isn't good but is saying very little to us and not wanting help.

We have ongoing money worries, too, but I try to manage as well as possibly. So lots going on in my head at night time (and the state of the world ..).

Last time I went to GP (few years ago) with similar problems, but compounded by probs at work, I was sent in the direction of 'talking therapies'. This time, I would really appreciate something to help me break this awful cycle. I'm trying some natural remedies, including Weleda, at home but nothing seems potent enough. I'm just exhausted. Any suggestions re something I could ask for which wouldn't hook me, and would be gentle but effective?

Many thanks.

prettybaubles Thu 20-Apr-17 08:20:56

Sounds silly but do you feel tired in the evening and then go to bed or do you stay up? I find if I don't go when I'm feeling tired/sleepy then I get through the tiredness and am more alert and then stay up too long.

Also do you take magnesium? I find this helps me a lot. Interestingly there have been studies recently on the effects of lack of magnesium and sleep issues.

acornsandnuts Thu 20-Apr-17 08:30:24

I would try your GP again. Maybe a different one.

Lushmetender Thu 20-Apr-17 09:06:54

Do you snore? I was diagnosed with sleep apnoea- might be worth checking

JaneEyre70 Thu 20-Apr-17 09:16:31

DH has got an awful sleep pattern that gets much much worse if he is stressed/worrying about work. We were recommended this by a friend who suffers similar and swears by it ....
I was highly dubious but it works really well for both of us. It does help you relax and without taking anything that makes you groggy the next day. You can get it in Boots or quite a bit cheaper online.

ifcatscouldtalk Thu 20-Apr-17 09:25:14

As a terrible sleeper myself I am joining this thread out of interest at any suggestions.
I am so alert at night i can only get to sleep with a white noise app. I can hear my neighbours walk up their stairs, i can hear a car door slam 3 streets away hmm.

I think camomile tea helps to relax me.

I know you shouldn't use phones etc but i do sit on mumsnet to take my mind off the fact I'm still awake!

Pestilentialone Thu 20-Apr-17 09:31:05

How old are you?
I found that sleep disturbance was the worst symptom of the menopause. However, as I had no clue this was what it was, I ignored it for a couple of years (until other symptoms kicked in).

misscph1973 Thu 20-Apr-17 09:48:53

You are stressed. No amount of good routines and/or natural remedies are going to get you to sleep better. When you have sorted the problems that are stressing you, you will sleep again.

Having said that, keep up the good routines and get yourself a magnesium oil spray or lotion, get them on eBay or Amazon, they are not very expensive. It's like rubbing in tranquilizer, very relaxing. Do it after a warm bath.

I don't sleep well either, and I have always been a great sleeper. But I am now 44 and my theory is that it's partly due to peri menopause and lower stress resilience after a decade of putting myself last and prioritising looking after my family and meeting my deadlines at work. I am on the road to recovery, I am finally sleeping through the night again, but I still wake too early, often 4am.

What has helped me is attacking those problems that I have avoided for years, saying no more often, telling myself it's okay if I don't get everything done and generally being more selfish. I have also stopped working evenings and weekends. I go for walks in nature.

I have also started using a guided meditation app, I choose a meditation every evening, the longest possible, sometimes that's only 5 minutes, sometimes it's 25 minutes. And I use the magnesium spray/lotion I mentioned above.

Good luck!

Seren2017 Thu 20-Apr-17 22:46:40

Thank you so much, all, for your helpful, constructive responses. Going to re-read them all again tomorrow.

Take the points about magesium (will set to and obtain); deep pillow spray (will look at that); stress from years and years of putting family first (I accept that in many ways but I have too rarely thought about, let alone done very much about my own ambitions and physical and mental health). Also, meditation. Something that I think a lot about but perhaps it's time to make the time to do it for real.

May yet go to the GP but would very much prefer to follow the suggestions here first.

I suffer from sleep envy! Colleagues, friends, family who sleep soundly - pleased for them but I wish I didn't have to get through each day tired whilst trying to sound wide-awake when I'm anything but. It actually amazes me that those of us who sleep so badly get through each day intact.

Let's keep the ideas coming - thanks again.

Deux Fri 21-Apr-17 00:08:25

I can second the magnesium. I use a supplement anyway and take it in the evening. Also a 20 - 30 minute soak in the bath with Epsom salts (magnesium) works for me too. You need a good mug full in a bath. They're quite pricey to buy in the chemist or in a health food store as often the pack size is quite small and would only do for one or two baths. I buy mine from Amazon in large packs of several kgs and it's much cheaper that way. Add a few drops of essential oil like lavender to the water for good measure. I buy Westlab brand Epsom salts.

Something else thats worked for me in the past is Kalms taken at bedtime.

Deux Fri 21-Apr-17 00:10:35

Oh and if you're using a device in bed set it to night shift mode to remove the blue light.

Hope you get some better sleep.

Obsidian77 Fri 21-Apr-17 00:16:53

Sorry op I have experience something similar and found it terribly difficult to keep on going when I was so stressed and exhausted.
It sounds like you already have a sensible approach re diet and exercise.
I also found that talking therapies were completely ineffective.
Don't rule out sleeping tablets, they can work for some people. They're not ideal long term but if they can help you get a few nights in a row of decent sleep, you just feel much more capable of dealing with the world.
I have also tried various meditation and mindfulness techniques. I have developed something that works for me where I acknowledge my worries then kind of lock them in a box until the morning. Sounds a bit daft but it makes me feel more in control...

Therealslimshady1 Fri 21-Apr-17 08:33:23

Yoga? I find conscious breathing helps you to relax.

I go through phases of insomnia, and can sleep badly for weeks, spending most of the night awake, and I start sleeping fine again for a bit confused

I manage to get out of the sleepless phase by totally accepting it and just read a bit and pretending to myself I don't mind and it does not matter.

In yoga lessons I am asleep after 5 minutes of relaxation/meditation, so I should use those techniques!

Therealslimshady1 Fri 21-Apr-17 08:34:28

My doctor says insomnia is normal at my age btw (late 40s) ....

misscph1973 Fri 21-Apr-17 09:27:05

I hear that a lot, Therealslimshady1, but that doesn't mean I am going to put up with it. Sleep is incredibly important, and lack of sleep affects you negatively in so many ways. I am working very hard to fix my sleep problems, and it's a long proces. I know that I will need a lot of healing to recover from this. For me the sleep problems are a symptom of a lot of personal issues that I need to sort out.

Deux Fri 21-Apr-17 12:00:11

If you're late 40s then plunging and fluctuating oestrogen levels can cause insomnia and disturbed sleep and wakefulness.

When oestrogen drops it triggers a surge of adrenaline which in turn wakes you up. The joys.

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