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Forums / Staying well / sleep struggles.. why can't I sleep?

Topic: sleep struggles.. why can't I sleep?

10 posts, 0 answered
  1. TWLOHA 4 LIFE
    TWLOHA 4 LIFE avatar
    15 posts
    19 April 2015

    Hey everyone.

     

    So I'm hoping someone might be able to sleep. For the past few years now I have struggled with sleeping, whether it be trouble getting to sleep, broken sleep or just no sleep at all sometimes and I'm wondering if anyone had any techniques at getting a decent nights sleep?

     

    Any help would be great!  thank you

  2. Zeal
    Champion Alumni
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    Zeal avatar
    1737 posts
    20 April 2015 in reply to TWLOHA 4 LIFE

    Hi,

    As you have struggled with sleeplessness for years, seeing a doctor is wise. I've experienced insomnia before, and still do on occasions. Waking up during the night is frustrating. Firstly, having a regular bedtime routine is good. This should involve not only getting into your PJ's and brushing your teeth,  but also extra things such as turning off technology, packing your bag for the next day, jotting down things that need to be done, and so on. If your mind is racing before bed and you can't stop thinking, writing down your thoughts is helpful. This is like writing in a diary, except that it's more casual, and done purely to help quiet your mind and get thoughts onto paper. Don't worry about the expression, grammar, or the neatness of the handwriting. Just getting your thoughts out is important. You can throw out the piece of paper afterwards.

    Going to bed hungry can make it hard to sleep. A pre-bedtime snack can be nice, so long as it doesn't contain caffeine or too much sugar. You could have some fruit, nuts, or a piece of toast, for instance. Also, eating a heavy meal just before bed can give you indigestion and make sleep uncomfortable.

    For quality sleep, your room should be completely dark and as noise-free as possible. Make sure you are the right temperature, too. If you are too hot or cold, you will probably wake up in the night. I find having a warm shower before bed can sometimes help me sleep. If you struggle to fall asleep, try rereading bits of an old novel you know well. Reading a new novel before bed can be a trap, as it can be hard to put the book down. On one occasion I actually read until 6am - don't do this! Sometimes I fall asleep listening to my iPod. I have a playlist of more relaxing songs, and I turn the screen brightness to the lowest setting, so that the blue light isn't too bright in the dark.

    I recommend telling your GP about your sleeping problems, as this has been fairly long-term for you. Lack of sleep can negatively affect many aspects of your life; it results in fatigue, which can cause reduced productivity and memory function; it can lead to overeating and caffeine-reliance; can cause moodiness and irritability; lower immune system functioning; and it can worsen depression.

    My advice for you is to make an appointment with your GP.

    Good luck with your sleep,

    SM

     

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Pixie15
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    721 posts
    21 April 2015 in reply to TWLOHA 4 LIFE

    Hi TWLOHA 4 LIFE,

    I would be interested to know why you have chosen your display name.

    I tend to be a deep sleeper once I get to sleep but can have trouble falling asleep and having my sleep disturbed with lots of dreams if I am stressed and anxious. I think the things that help me are regular exercise, not drinking coffee after midday and not too much alcohol or chocolates or other stimulants in the evening. I also try to spend the last 20 minutes or so in the evening listening to some of my favorite music and writing in my journal to process the day. If I have trouble getting to sleep I have a prayer that I repeat which is relaxing and a bit like counting sheep I guess.

    thanks,

    Pixie.

     

  4. TWLOHA 4 LIFE
    TWLOHA 4 LIFE avatar
    15 posts
    22 April 2015 in reply to Pixie15

    Hi pixie and SM.

     

    Thank you.both for replying to my post..@SM i'm not 100% comfortable with doctors as I seem to clam up pretty quick in hospitals, Dr surgeries and the likes I used to see a pysch who suggested sleeping meds if all else failed but personally I don't like the idea of popping pills for something that seems so trivial.

     

    I avoid caffeinated drinks or sugared foods at night, I'm not a big eater either so I usually eat once a day which is either midday or dinner all depends on my mood I guess.

     

    @Pixie.. Long story short about the name is that the Marks will be there all my life (used to self harm) so I guess I found it fitting as to keep who I am under wraps in case people I know use this sight..

     

    I'm not religious so praying is a definite put of the question.. I just have strong stands against any and very religion (not trying to bash religions or faiths) so yeah I don't do that

  5. psyciceman
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    psyciceman avatar
    3 posts
    23 April 2015 in reply to TWLOHA 4 LIFE

    Hi TWLOHA,

    I too have had difficulty sleeping some nights, and have found a few things that have helped me: first being to drink some Camomile tea before bed (like right before bed) and the second being meditation.

    I've found that personally my sleeplessness relates back to stress and/or overthinking and Camomile really helps to calm me down, and meditation helps to quieten my mind.

    I know you've said you don't like doing religious activity, but don't think of meditation as being religious, many different people do it for many different reasons (I myself am not religious in the slightest).

    I'll also assume you've tried a lot of the methods that are often suggested (like avoiding looking at phone/computer screens, exercise, etc.). But I think the most important thing to find something that works for you is to figure out why you're not sleeping, I know it's easier said than done, but at least then you'll be able to try to tackle the problem.

    Also, when you do end up getting to sleep is it a solid block of sleep (until you get up in the morning) or is it interrupted?

    Best of luck to you,

    psyciceman

    2 people found this helpful
  6. Zeal
    Champion Alumni
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    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Zeal avatar
    1737 posts
    23 April 2015 in reply to TWLOHA 4 LIFE

    Hi TWLOHA,

    I'm sorry to hear you feel uncomfortable going to a doctor's clinic. I wasn't actually suggesting you take medication for your sleep problems :) Doctors have other strategies they can suggest.

    I'm a bit worried that you only eat one meal a day. You don't have to answer this if you don't feel comfortable, but are you underweight? I ask this because I know from personal experience that being medically underweight increases the likelihood of having sleep problems. I actually started experiencing insomnia for the first time when I was very underweight.

    Best wishes,

    SM

  7. JessF
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    JessF avatar
    1548 posts
    24 April 2015 in reply to TWLOHA 4 LIFE

    Reading before bedtime (from a book, not an electronic device) I find helps tire my brain and get me into sleep mode.

    Having a regular exercise routine can also help.

     

  8. mizzy83
    mizzy83 avatar
    10 posts
    25 April 2015 in reply to TWLOHA 4 LIFE

    Hi mate.

     

    I would recommend:

    develop a set routine that you follow every night, including going to bed and waking up at the same times, 7 days a week.

    Audiobooks via earphones when you're in bed. I use Harry Potter read by Stephen fry. A pal uses War documentaries. It takes away the boredom aspect of being in bed and unable to sleep. Helps prevent you getting anxious about and prevents your mind from running wild.

    Magnesium supplements, and a Valerian based sleep tablet an hour before bed.

    a night time beverage that you enjoy. Caffeine free tea, or warm Milo.

    Write down some positive thoughts about sleep and read through them a few times a day. I.e "Bed is a great place to relax." " lying here relaxing is almost as good as sleep" "sleep is peaceful and relaxing"... and whenever you start thinking negative sleep thoughts try to stop yourself, and think about these instead.

    Exercise for 30mins during the day. run a few kms, or ride an exercise bike.

    consider seeing a doctor and asking for a referral to a psychologist. They will look at what's causing your poor sleep and teach you to deal with it.

    2 people found this helpful
  9. TWLOHA 4 LIFE
    TWLOHA 4 LIFE avatar
    15 posts
    10 May 2015 in reply to mizzy83

    Hey everyone.

     

    Sorry I've been away from the computer for a while, I've been trying out different suggestions from you all and still am failing to catch a good nights rest :/

     

    The one time I did get a good nights sleep was the day I'd completely and utterly exhausted my body and so naturally I crashed out for a solid 14 hours (probably not the most healthy way to get sleep but it worked) I haven't done it since then because I know completely exhausting the body isn't a healthy thing to do.

     

    I'm not a huge eater so half the time I barely eat during the day and even when I eat at night I have maybe half my dinner and that's enough for me.. I've tried reading, cammomile tea, tried eating a bigger meal which resulted in me being sick, tried going to be at 8 every night and none of its worked, thank you all for your suggestions.. Guess I'll keep trying different things and if all else fails I guess sleeping meds will be my go to for sleep..

     

  10. Pixie15
    Valued Contributor
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    Pixie15 avatar
    721 posts
    11 May 2015 in reply to TWLOHA 4 LIFE

    Hi TWLOHA 4 LIFE,

    Sorry you are still having trouble with your sleeping.

    I am wondering if part of your difficulty is that you are worrying about it too much. Maybe you do not really need that much sleep. I know there are recommendations about what is the healthiest way to do everything including sleep. However we are all individuals. 

    The time of night and number of hours which is best for me is not necessarily what is best for someone else. I go to bed earlier than my partner and sleep through the night whereas he will be up at least once. We were blaming the dogs for disturbing his sleep at one stage but have since worked out that they are responding to his waking.

    I think if you search online you might find a test you can do to help work out how your own biological clock is set. 

    cheers,

    Pixie. 

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