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Forums / Staying well / Night Owls (for those awake late and can't sleep)

Topic: Night Owls (for those awake late and can't sleep)

  1. Croix
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    18 January 2021

    Dear All
    The purpose of this thread is as a meeting point for those that can’t sleep and it is late (I.E. AFTER midnight.)

    It can be a useful space for users to share their issues with insomnia as well as coping strategies. It can also be a general space for users to converse and support one another throughout a difficult night.

    Please note – for those that are just bored or lonely we already have a place - the BB Café, which I recommend instead of here.

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/bb-social-zone/the-bb-cafe

    Croix

    7 people found this helpful
  2. Missing user
    Missing user avatar
    18 January 2021 in reply to Croix

    Hey Croix, thanks for making this thread as per my suggestion, I appreciate it. I'm sure others do too.

    Anyway, I struggle with Insomnia. I haven't been to a sleep clinic or anything like that, but I know that I have it, and my Psychiatrist diagnosed me with it (I see him over Telehealth and have since I first saw him in 2019, plus he's in another state). I was thinking of seeing if there were some sleep places like that around me though, I have no idea what they'd do or anything. I was thinking about sleep meds too but I'm worried I'd take them all on purpose & it would interact with my other meds (1 SSRI & the pill, not related to mental health) & maybe if I take a med my Psychiatrist recommends for my nightmares/PTSD.

    No matter what time I try to go to sleep, it takes me 1 hour to fall asleep, then I wake every hour pretty much, to go to the toilet, just waking up & can't get back to sleep, nightmares or weird dreams, thirsty, whatever, all of that stuff happens. The nightmares are often, I don't watch or look up scary stuff, they just happen.

    This makes me sleep in to try & catch up on sleep. I seem to sleep better during the day when the light comes through my blinds, because for some reason I feel safe then? I've always hated the dark & night time, I think I did as a kid too, I'm not 100% sure. When I've been away from home, in familiar surroundings or not (fair enough with unfamiliar surroundings), I've also struggled to sleep.

    I've been this way since I was 12 when I first got mental health issues, so in 2011. I know it's a waste of power but I leave my TV on for the light & sound. I've tried forcing myself to sleep with a night light, but I need the TV on & I'm worried something would burn or something if I left it on. I usually put the sleep timer on on my TV but then I turn it back on when I wake up again. I can't sleep in complete dark no matter where I am because I hear noises & I feel unsafe, & I feel like I see things.

    I've tried Lavender (I love Lavender), tried counting sheep or other things, tried to calm myself down, tried listening to relaxing music, tried imagining I'm in a peaceful place, etc. Nothing seems to work that I've noticed anyway.

    I don't know what to do, it's exhausting. I feel like not getting out of bed most days/afternoons. I'm lazy but I'm mentally ill & I'm also in pain which is also making me depressed (yes my parents, GP & Psychiatrist know my insomnia & pain), & it also wakes me.

    Sorry for rambling on everyone.

    2 people found this helpful
  3. geoff
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    19 January 2021 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix, thanks for your thread, but isn't it much easier to just use The BB Cafe, otherwise there will be too many threads for people to click on because this thread has been open for a very long time and anyone and everyone can comment on it.

    It has produced many great comments, some to make people laugh and whatever is said is to produce a much lighter side to those suffering from any type of depression.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

    3 people found this helpful
  4. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
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    19 January 2021 in reply to Croix

    Sleep or lack of sleep is a huge problem for so many people. While I can get to sleep, like mb20lover I wake early and often during the night. There is medication of course but I would hesitate to take this road unless it was for a stated time and I did not become reliant on pills. To me that's not very helpful.

    mb20lover I discussed this with my GP some years ago. Her suggestion was to think of a book (or something similar) and recap the story from the beginning to end. Turn over every page so to speak and follow the action. It requires heaps of concentration which may allow you to forget, or at least put on one side, the concerns of the day. Like you I have tried watching TV but again my GP said no because it stimulates us to stay awake.

    I have been sleeping with a small light on for a little while. Not sure why but it does help. You can get music CDs with beautiful sounds or gentle music and perhaps set them to play constantly. I'm a big believer in the power of music.

    Why not ask your GP for a referral to a sleep specialist It may be you have a physical reason for waking constantly. I have sleep apnoea. Like you I woke constantly often not being able to get back to sleep easily and became very tired. This is a condition where your throat closes during the night that you cannot breathe or not take deep breaths and you are roused from sleep. Often I am in REM sleep which is our deepest state of sleep. This is where the brain is processing the day's events. I did not fully wake up during the times so I really had no idea how often I woke.

    I was constantly tired and felt I was unable to cope with my life at times. I was sent for a sleep test which showed when I had these episodes of waking. It was a quite a revelation. You may find it beneficial to sleep propped up a little. Not sitting up but just have your head a little higher than the rest of you. There is less pressure on your throat. I used two pillows and made sure my shoulders were on the pillows. It did make a difference.

    I think to some extent my reluctance to sleep in the dark came from constant waking sometimes after horrid dreams. I hope this is helpful.

    Mary

    2 people found this helpful
  5. Matchy69
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    19 January 2021 in reply to White Rose

    Hi Mary and Tayla I was interested to hear you to have sleep Apnea I to was diagnosed with this a few years ago.I went to a sleep clinic at the hospital and they kept me overnight with all the monitors on me and camera watching.I was really suprised at the number of times I had stopped breathing during my sleep.The doctor told me to go a nd get a mouth guard made which would help.He didn't think I needed the the machine as I was not that bad.Lately I have been feeling more tired then normal and wondering if my sleep Apnea has got worst or it is something else.I feel like a zombie at the moment I am so tired.I try and see my doctor in a couple of weeks when school goes back.

    Tark care,

    Mark.

    2 people found this helpful
  6. Missing user
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    19 January 2021 in reply to White Rose

    Hey Mary, thanks for your suggestions. I wonder what they'd do at sleep clinics, I've never been to one and don't know much about them. I'll try asking but I don't see my current GP until Feb. I see a replacement one on Thursday though (idk if I'll still go). I'm not a big reading person.

    Mark, sorry to hear you and Mary have Sleep Apnea. I think my Dad has that too. I've apparently snored so loud before that I've woken people up without realising it lol, but that was years ago on school camps, and they did it anyway. I don't think I snore anymore but I have no idea.

  7. Matchy69
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    19 January 2021 in reply to Missing user
    Hi Tayla when I was married my wife use to wake me up when I was snoring telling me to stop snoring that I was snoring that loud.It wouldn't hurt to get a referral to a sleep clinic from your G.P and discuss it with them.Sleep is so important for our physical and mental health.I feel like I am a Zombi at the moment.
    Take care,
    Mark.
    1 person found this helpful
  8. Missing user
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    19 January 2021 in reply to Matchy69
    I'm sorry you feel like a Zombie Mark, I know that feeling. Would a Sleep Clinic cost any money or can it be done on a plan like a MHCP? I've never been to one so idk what they do.
  9. Matchy69
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    19 January 2021 in reply to Missing user
    Hi Tayla my sleep clinic was at the public hospital so it didn't cost anything for me done through Medicare.
  10. Missing user
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    19 January 2021 in reply to Matchy69
    Oh okay, thanks Mark. I'll have a look on Google to see if there's ones local to me. I know there's a place that sells Sleep Apnea machines as I've seen it and seen ads on the TV but I'm not sure if there's anything else.
  11. Missing user
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    19 January 2021
    Hi everyone, if there's anybody around who can't sleep like me. I'll be awake for a while if anyone feels like chatting. No pressure for anyone to do so though of course.
  12. Croix
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    19 January 2021 in reply to Missing user

    Dear mb20lover~

    A sleep clinic (as far as my experience goes is a specialized area of a hospital or private premises, normally supervise by a doctor. You go to bed in a comfortable room that does have a fair amout of technical gear in it and an observation window.

    The idea is to see if the way you move in sleep (if you do actually fall asleep) can give clues as to why you do keep awake.

    This can be a very wide range of hings, You mentioned sleep apnea, which I believe could be is one of the causes.

    My own reasons for not sleeping are pain and discomfort from a spinal condition together with anxiety. Unless I can get to sleep straight away I know it will be hours before I do and get up and read a book and have cocoa (or write a post:).

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  13. Missing user
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    20 January 2021 in reply to Croix

    Hey Croix, thanks for the explanation.

    I'm sorry to hear about your pain.

  14. Croix
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    21 January 2021 in reply to Missing user

    Dear mb20lover

    You said your psych mentioned an anti-nighmare sleep promoting medication. I can't take these (I have PTSD and nightmares still -though they are not as strong any more) however it dropped my blood pressure too low even on a minimal dose.

    I'm told that happens with some people. I've also heard others get reasonable results. I'm not sure exactly how many different ones there are are in this category. I think it would be a matter of careful discussion wiht your medical team.

    If I have a nightmare I get up (wife wakes me or I wake up myself) , make a hot drink and read a calming book (fiction fantasy), then try again. Takes a long time.

    Croix

    2 people found this helpful
  15. Missing user
    Missing user avatar
    22 January 2021 in reply to Croix

    Hey Croix.

    Yeah I've discussed this with my Psychiatrist and GP. I have had meds I've taken at night (antidepressants) that have made me dizzy also, some days I was more dizzy than others and then it lead into the next day. So I'm worried about the blood pressure side of things.

    1 person found this helpful
  16. demonblaster
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    22 January 2021

    Hi peeps just tagging.

    Thx Mr Croixy ☺

    2 people found this helpful
  17. Croix
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    22 January 2021

    Dear mb20lover and all~

    We have now been tagged by DB, a singular honor, please do not be surprised if we get inundated with emoji and incomprehensible NZeze :)

    mb20lover~

    Can I ask apart from medication what strategies you use to try to make things bearable when it looks like you are going to be up most of the night?

    Croix (who is always willing to learn:)

    3 people found this helpful
  18. Missing user
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    22 January 2021 in reply to Croix

    Hey Croix, and hey demonblaster, and others here of course.

    Croix - I usually just listen to music, watch videos (I try to find funny ones or lately I'm looking at colouring book flip throughs to see if I want to buy them, if I can find them) which have relaxing music or just someone talking, stuff like that. Or sometimes I come on here, play my colour by numbers app or word search app on my iPad. That's about it. Nothing really helps. I struggle with self care.

    3 people found this helpful
  19. Croix
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    23 January 2021 in reply to Missing user

    Dear mb20lover~

    There has been a lot of people who have taken to intricate coloring in books for relaxation, I think it started with children but becuse used by adult. Many clinical settings will provide them. They can take enough concentration to take you mind away from daily troubles and anxieties without being in the least demanding. So if you can find any give them a try

    If you Google (note the spelling)

    coloring in books for stress

    you should not only find books but more detailed explanations of their effects. Using Google Images gives you lots of examples.

    When I'm certain I will not sleep due to the day's events I stay up, if I'm not sure I go to bed and try my meds and relaxation exercises. If that works great. If however after an hour I'm still awake and ruminating I get up again. One of the reasons is I believe those circular thoughts based on anxiety get stronger if not interrupted and getting up again helps to do that.

    Then I read, it is the most relaxing for me.

    Croix

    3 people found this helpful
  20. Missing user
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    24 January 2021 in reply to Croix

    Hey Croix.

    Colouring can be therapeutic at times, I have some colouring books and bought some more (waiting for those to arrive, hopefully some come tomorrow).

    I have a short attention span though unfortunately so I get bored of things easily

    2 people found this helpful
  21. Croix
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    24 January 2021 in reply to Missing user

    Dear mb20lover~

    Yes, just concentrating on the coloring can pall if just done by itself). I tend to combine two things, something relatively mindless (a coloring book is a good example) while listening to a hear a book or comedy at the same time. I find it works well, either by themselves would reveal my attention span could use some work too:)

    Together they seem to mesh.

    Croix

    5 people found this helpful
  22. Missing user
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    24 January 2021 in reply to Croix

    I haven't listened to any Audiobooks or Podcasts, but sometimes when I colour in, I listen to music too.

    Thanks for your suggestions and replies, I do appreciate them even if it doesn't seem like it.

    2 people found this helpful
  23. monkey_magic
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    25 January 2021 in reply to Missing user
    It's my turn to be a night-owl cuckoo....

    It's just muggy tonight and I'm sweating all over and my back's in pain.

    The heat isn't helping me and I'm feeling like life isn't fair being in pain. I just joined a gym and that's when this pain decided to flare up so I haven't even had a training session.

    I'm also stressed and frustrated that my mum is still at the club playing poker machines as she's been there all day.

    I don't like hot, muggy nights.

    Ok, rant over.
    2 people found this helpful
  24. Croix
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    26 January 2021 in reply to monkey_magic

    Dear Ranting MM (wiht a wave to mb20lover)~

    No the heat and humidity does not help in the least, it leaves one uncomfortable with abrasive clothes all by itself, combine that with back pain and it makes for a very miserable time

    Do you have meds or some other way of soothing your back? I'm lucky as my GP is happy to give me the meds I need and at the same time I have an old Jason recliner that exactly supports my back as it needs, a wonderful thing to know one can get pain reduced to a manageable level.

    True it is old cracked vinyl and would get sweaty too, however I cover it in 2 blankets to sit on and all is good. I'll have to get the vinyl replaced fro the third (I think) time soon.

    Today went up to 34, but is now down almost cold, which helps. I tried aqua-therapy for the second time today after a long break. It was v hard, after 20 mins of a 45 min session I'd had it, and that was despite not doing most of the exercises.

    Do you have a doctor to guide you though how best to exercise your back and how to avoid making things worse at your gym?

    So why does your mum like the pokies? People have all sorts of reasons, I know you can get addicted even if always losing money, as it is the mechanism, not the win that attracts. Did she have enough to keep her entertained and occupied in her life so she did not feel the need? It sounds as if somethng might be missing.

    I use the buffet restaurant for cheap meals in the casino but never have ever gambled, not even those cards on the table with the TV on the wall. Best time I had was watching a tribute to the Blues Brothers in their theater, it was great.

    (You do not want to hear a walrus singing along with Rawhide:)

    Hope the back settles down and the car is fixed cheaply.

    Croix

    3 people found this helpful
  25. monkey_magic
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    26 January 2021 in reply to Croix
    Life is a pain in my back! ( Deliberately pushes walrus out of his recliner in a desperate attempt for relief)
    Oh, only joking, I could never do that.

    I was very close to swallowing some pain relief but held off and managed some sleep. I used to see an osteopath who showed me some exercises and recommended yoga, which I have at my gym. I've also had cortisone ( ?) injections but they've worn off by now.

    I think I just have to be patient and rest it. I would love to fix it though ( surgery) isn't out of the question.

    Mum- I think she's lacking. Didn't have a good marriage, has a lung condition so struggles to breathe at times, been single 22 years, has a challenging job and at times difficult mother she cares for. I think pokies are her stress relief/ downtime.
    I hate to think of how much she is losing. I'm sure the guilt and depression will lead her away from those machines eventually. The problem is when you've had huge wins like she has, you chase that high.

    Me, on the other hand have been excellent at staying away for quite some time now. I don't even have that urge to go anymore.

    I've got a 4wd so it's a little pricey to fix...I love it though so will spend the $$$ when I have it...buying it plus repairs is sending me broke though...but, theyre's always next paycheck!

    I managed a few hours sleep and am feeling ok.

    2 people found this helpful
  26. Mike La
    Mike La avatar
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    27 January 2021 in reply to Missing user
    hi (1st time) Not rambling that's what this is meant for, I know how you feel except that I like the tranquility of night, sleep is all over the place etc. makes it hard to get anything done as well as medical issues. what can you do at that time of being unwantingly awake ? I waste most of it but pick up book, draw, explore google, i drink so its a relaxing time (not excessively) too. I am looking for ways to change things so keep it up. mikeXL
    2 people found this helpful
  27. Croix
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    30 January 2021 in reply to Mike La

    Dear Mike La~

    OK, being away at random times, or even on a more permanent basis, can seem to be a waste of one's precious life, not only with lack of sleep making daytime tasks that much harder, but it also seems to be a time when it is is impossible to accomplish anything worthwhile.

    I have found that although all the above may be true it can have an unexpected and great side effect -self reward. When depressed or always anxious it is easy to regard oneself wihtout respect or appreciation. I was convinced I was a failure.

    Over time I found having something that one enjoys doing each day has benefits, not only the enjoyment of the activity, but also over time a feeling that grows that this time devoted to one's own personal enjoyment can make one feel more worthy, more entitled to enjoyment and time to oneself. A more significant person in a world of demanding others

    I personally user reading, and if it is at night time deliberately choose books that do not over-stimulate. A crime novel with lots of gunfights is out, a romance with gentle people is in.

    It is probably my age that makes me reach for books, perhaps you have other things you could use -

    What do you think?

    Croix

    2 people found this helpful
  28. Missing user
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    30 January 2021 in reply to Mike La

    Hey Mike La, hi to everyone else.

    Welcome Mike. I'm sorry to hear you struggle with sleeping also. I've hated the dark ever since I was a kid, it scares me. I know that sounds stupid saying it's scary but it's true.

    What I usually do is just channel surf the TV (not that there's really anything on late in the morning/night, especially on Digital TV which I have in my bedroom), listen to music, try to find funny videos and memes, watch music stuff like music videos etc, browse through here, browse through websites I find, play my colour by numbers app or wordsearch app on my iPad. I'm not really a reading person.

    I wish I could draw but I have no artistic talent whatsoever.

    1 person found this helpful
  29. Croix
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    31 January 2021 in reply to Missing user

    Dear Mb20lover and everyone else in the same boat~

    It can often be hard to settle into one thing, a video, a set of music tracks, a game, painting or whatever. I find if I use the free smartphone app called Smiling Mind first for a few minutes it settles me down and allows me to enjoy just the one thing right through, rather than skipping all over the place. A more relaxing way of being.

    It takes little practice and patience however even the 5 minute introductory scan works surprisingly well. I've the concentration span of a gnat, but can find the one out of many that gives me guidance frequently enough to work.

    https://www.smilingmind.com.au/

    Hope this helps

    Croix

    2 people found this helpful
  30. Rynn
    Rynn avatar
    26 posts
    1 February 2021

    Hi All,

    just wondering if anyone was around?

    1 person found this helpful

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