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can't sleep can't sleep can't sleep

(18 Posts)
Sugarmagnolia Tue 01-Sep-09 00:00:55

help sad

what can i do? never been a great sleeper (always have to get up 3 or 4 times a night to wee) but over the last year I find i have periods where I can literally lay awake all night. I've been taking herbal sleeping tablets which sometimes help and sometimes do nothing. I can find myself worrying about the smallest thing - I'll forget about it right up until the minute I'm ready to drop off to sleep then suddenly it will pop into my mind and my heart will start to race and that's it for hours. I can drop off in front the of the telly but hate, hate hate the idea of spending all night on the sofa just so I can sleep - I want to sleep in my own bed next to my own husband. I'm pretty much desperate enough to ask my GP for proper sleeping pills but don't know if there's anything else i can do.

lost4words Tue 01-Sep-09 06:51:16

there are relaxation exercises you can try - there was a tv prog on BBC1 a while ago. One technique was to relax all the muscles in your body. Another theory involved eating casrb-based meals in the evening.

I'll have a go at finding a link for you...

lost4words Tue 01-Sep-09 06:54:12


this page

frostyfingers Tue 01-Sep-09 15:34:56

I have the same problems as you, and after 3 years of it gave up a couple of weeks ago and went to GP.

We went through what I did to try and get to sleep, talked about hypnotherapy etc and after deciding that I was doing as much as I could to help myself settled on some low dose pills to try and break the cycle. Assuming you do all the following: no active exercise immediately before bed (although I assume that doesn't exclude sex!), no caffeine based drinks or heavy meals, no alcohol, regular bedtime routine - hot bath, read/listen to radio to wind down. Also, keep a pen and paper and write down all those thoughts swirling about in your mind when you do wake up, do the ironing, walk around the house.....I tried all of that with no luck which is why I went to GP.

What I have done take them for a week, and then stop. For the last week I've taken them every other night. The dose was very low, and initially was no help - I have increased (GP's advice) dose and have had a few reasonable nights. I was absolutely terrified of becoming addicted, and more importantly not being able to function the next day because I felt so drugged up. I'm not sleeping like the dead, but do at least manage to get back to sleep when I've woken up which is more than I used to do. I do feel better, even though I haven't had a completely unbroken night yet, but at least I'm getting a couple of hours unbroken at a time, rather than the waking regularly through the night and never having more than about 30 mins sleep at one go.

It's an absolute bugger not sleeping properly, and so debilitating and until you've been there, it's impossible to really understand what it's like. My DH sleeps like a log, and has been very understanding, but sometimes I'm really resentful of his ability to sleep through pretty much anything, whereas I'm awake at the slightest noise, and then awake for hours!

Don't be afraid to see you're GP, if they're sympathetic you should get the help you need. Sorry, this is very long winded (maybe it'll get you to sleep), but it's a subject close to my heart at the moment. I hope you get what you need.

Sugarmagnolia Tue 01-Sep-09 18:54:10

Thanks so much both of you. lost4words - am just about to go and look at the link now.

frostyfingers -am going to my GP about something else on Friday and think I will ask about sleeping pills then. My only worry is that she'll be annoyed that I've come with more than 1 problem and might make me come back for another appointment! I think I do all the right things - don't drink caffeine after lunch, regular evening routine, read in bed to help me fall asleep and on the nights when I CAN sleep i have no trouble dropping off or getting back to sleep when I wake up. But then there's nights where absolutely nothing seems to help. Will see what she says.

alypaly Wed 02-Sep-09 10:48:19

Sugarmagnolia just found your thread. i have just started another thread as i am having eactly the same problems. nod off in front of tv but once i get to bed i lie ther wide awake. i have been like this in total for 2 years and it seems to be getting worse

alypaly Wed 02-Sep-09 10:53:24

frostyfingers ...tried everything that you have and nothing seems to work. Doc has given me 2 nitrazepam and a surmontil antidepressant as it has sedative side effects. feel really groggy in the morning but they dont really seem to work. dont appear to have lots on my mind when i go to bed and i never seem really tired. just slightly overwhelmed at this virtual no sleep problem. it started when i had my first baby. if i ever do sleep ,i am so lightly asleep that i seem to hear everything that is going on and i agree about the resentment thing

Sugarmagnolia Wed 02-Sep-09 12:52:40

Yes, totally agree about resenting DH for sleeping through anything and everything. Then again if he were up and moaning in the middle of the night it would probably just annoy me more. And if he were up when I was sleeping it would probably just wake me, so on balance better that he does sleep.

warthog Wed 02-Sep-09 12:57:42

a couple of things that help me:

if i have a good night, DON'T sleep in.

if i have a bad night, DON'T sleep in.

get up at a regular time eg. 7am and don't be tempted to 'catch up'.

NO day time naps. not even sit down with a book and a doze. make sure you're active all day.

are you getting exersize?

if you leave a pad and pen next to your bed and you're just about to fall asleep and one of these worries pops up, write it down with action points that you can do. then go back to bed.

don't TRY and fall asleep. you can't! it just happens to you. let your mind drift and not fix on anything.

alypaly Wed 02-Sep-09 13:40:17

yes a play serious badminton 3 nights a week and keep extremely fit. in fact never sit down. Im not hyper or anything like that, just hate sittin down watchin telly as its so boring. I dont tend to worry when i go to bed.....even when i was workin i tried the pad and pen thing...i work from home noew so i am not in the least bit stressed either...

Sugarmagnolia Wed 02-Sep-09 14:01:53

alypaly - just saw your other thread. Don't think this will help the overall problem for you but specifically when noise is a problem have you ever tried sleeping with ear plugs? I find that really helpful - there's really good comfy ones here -

alypaly Wed 02-Sep-09 14:06:50

its not specifically the noise thats the problem as i live in a quiet cul de sac. i just find it really difficult to get off to sleep and then if i do i dont stay asleep very long. if my boyfriend stays the night i end up listening to him breathing or snoring and just feel jealous that he is such a deep sleep. I have got some brilliant ear plus that i took on hols with me because my DS2 was sharing a room with us a the hotel and he was coming in at 2-3 oclock in the morning.

really appreciate the conversation...i was beginning to think i was one of the only ones suffering such bad sleep problems

alypaly Wed 02-Sep-09 14:08:25

if your heart is racing when you wake up in the might be suffering from slight undrlying panicky type attacks. I used to get that b4 i had a slight breakdown and i was told it was panic attacks

NotQuiteCockney Wed 02-Sep-09 14:08:32

I know you say you're not hyper, but you do sound a bit manic. I think relaxation exercises or hypnotherapy or similar might help ...

alypaly Wed 02-Sep-09 14:13:10

which part of thread makes you say manic

warthog Wed 02-Sep-09 14:29:24

don't do strenous activity 3 hours before bed as makes your body temp rise. don't eat a big meal just before bed.

don't fight with dh before you go to bed.

don't read an exciting book just before bed.

make sure your bedroom is really dark. make sure you get lots of sun during the day.

personally sleeping tablets have never worked for me. and half the time i'm pg or bf anyway. i followed those rules and it sorted me out. i can tell you that i didn't sleep AT ALL some nights. was terrible. and was ready to murder anyone that had the usual trite suggestions like having a bath before bed. but sticking to ALL the rules somehow worked. i now take about 5 mins to get to sleep and if you'd talked to me a year ago i probably would have told you to piss off. i was awful.

Sugarmagnolia Wed 02-Sep-09 15:16:33

alypaly - I don't know you but I have to say you do sound a little bit hyper to me as well. It was the "never sit down" that made me think it. Also, I feel exhausted on even 5 or 6 hours sleep - on 2 I would be totally nonfunctional so when you say you don't really feel tired I just wondered. I wasn't going to say it but since someone else thought so too....

have you ever explored that possibility with your GP?

alypaly Wed 02-Sep-09 15:51:56

hyper maybe but not manic.....dont know what was meant by that but never mind eh. I say i dont sit down. I hate tv.i am really sporty,love DIY,gardening,cooking,and generally just love life... TV is os boring and i now dont do much reading except for autobiographys and cookery books...I love experimenting with new recipes.
Never have arguements with DH as i dont have one. Just have a boyfriend who rarely stays as he likes living in his own place and its convenient as its his office.

I have sat down more since a have joined MN in fact its almost taking up too much time. Not got much done since a came back from hols.My boyfriend sits down alot but just falls asleep and doesnt talk or have a will to live sometimes and i find it so frustrating. I have a few friends at badminton and two goos neighbours who wud definitely tell me if i was hyper. I just have lots of energy and a joie de vivre...and i hate putting things off til tomorrow. My 2 boys who are 21 and 16 luv my get up and go, becos i join in all the sports on hols ...volleyball, tennis, table tennis, pool volleyball etc....they think some of their friends have really boring parents cos they dont join in anything. I recently went scuba diving 2 weeks ago with my 16 year old.. we had a ball..and i am 53 ....but a very young 53 in every way i hope.Sleep has only been a problem since i had my first child and it brought back awful memories of being sexually assaulted when i was a child. Maybe that is still in my subconscious..i dont know

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