Online forums

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile

Complete your profile

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Forums / Staying well / SLEEP

Topic: SLEEP

  1. Sean S
    Sean S avatar
    41 posts
    2 April 2021 in reply to quirkywords

    Howdy quirkywords,

    I should have been more clear. I was directing it towards people who don't understand the cause of their sleep disturbance and may have an underlying sleeping disorder but are falling through the cracks (many people are because sleep difficulties have a bad reputation in our culture and people with sleeping disorders face a stigma: the amount of times I've been told to 'go to bed earlier' haha. Chronic pain or other conditions are just as valid and difficult when it comes to sleep I can imagine, and I can't speak to those issues or their solutions.

    Sean :)

  2. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    12313 posts
    2 April 2021 in reply to Sean S

    Thanks for explaining . I found your detailed post understanding and helpful as I am open to learning new ideas.

  3. pinkandgrey
    pinkandgrey avatar
    13 posts
    20 May 2021
    I've been having consecutive sleepless nights recently due to anxiety. I had never had trouble sleeping and as late as last Wednesday I still managed a solid seven hours. The past few nights however my sleep pattern has been significantly disrupted - the first few nights I would get a few hours in before being rudely woken up in a panic, and I would try to calm myself to get a few more broken hours of sleep before my alarm went off. I went to my GP and she prescribed melatonin which I tried last night, but the result was that I couldn't even fall asleep and spent a fitful night with little to no rest. I also noticed last night that just as I'm about to sleep one of my leg or arm muscles would twitch, or my throat would suddenly close, waking me back up.

    These are all new to me, as mentioned I've never had a history of sleep disorder, so I'm not a candidate for sleep studies and other similar things. The frustration and fatigue is all adding to the anxiety and getting up in the morning is getting harder and harder. I've tried meditation and sleepcasts and sometimes they work, but when it doesn't I just become more anxious. Furthermore I'm developing dread at the constant thought of another sleepless night. How do you cope with these feelings?
  4. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    20 May 2021 in reply to pinkandgrey

    Hi pinkandgrey,

    Sorry to read you are having trouble with your sleep.

    Sometimes medications can take a while before they become effective and can work differently with each person taking them. Give the Melatonin more time and see how you go.

    I have noticed when I start to become anxious about not sleeping my sleep pattern becomes worse.

    Recently I contacted "This Way Up" on the internet and worked through their sleep therapy section. I have also had a sleep study done that stated I have mild sleep apnoea but the Dr doesn't think a machine at night will be helpful, so I still have the fan on each night so I feel like I can breathe better.

    Hope you find some solutions. Have you Googled "Sleep Hygiene practises"? You might gain more knowledge about sleep issues and how to deal with them.

    Cheers from Dools

    3 people found this helpful
  5. pinkandgrey
    pinkandgrey avatar
    13 posts
    20 May 2021 in reply to Doolhof
    Thanks Dools

    Out of some paranoia last night I skipped the melatonin, but I may give it another try tonight. While it may be counterproductive I ended up sleeping in my mom's arms and this gave me some rest in the night. I think I also got tired of all the meditation and psyched myself out that they were not helping. I will check out This Way Up. Thanks again for the advice.

  6. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    20 May 2021 in reply to pinkandgrey

    Hi pinkandgrey,

    My Dr recommended some herbal tablets to help with sleep. The chemist suggested I might need to take them for a month before they became effective.

    If something doesn't work for you one night, it doesn't mean it might not work another night.

    You mentioned falling asleep in your Mum's arms, that is a beautiful picture of peace and calm. I'm wondering if maybe cuddling a pillow in bed might provide you with a sense of comfort and support as well. You could even place a hot water bag in the pillow case for extra warmth on a cold night.

    Some people have also stated a weighted blanket helps them, as it provides some a greater sense of comfort, maybe Google that.

    I'm going to try some gentle stretches before bed and writing about stuff that is bugging me a couple of hours before bed. Reading helps me to relax as well.

    Wishing you well. Cheers from Dools

  7. pinkandgrey
    pinkandgrey avatar
    13 posts
    21 May 2021 in reply to Doolhof
    Hi Dools
    I used to sleep alone in a nest of pillows and that was always quite comfortable, but that changed when the sleeping problems started. I've taken your advice and resumed the melatonin, and I'm pairing them with some magnesium sleep tablets to see if it'll make a marked difference in the long run. Last night I ended up drifting off by myself for one or two hours, but again ended up sleeping in the same bed as my mom. I have been able to get a few broken hours of sleep like this. Will let you know how things turn out.
    Please also let me know how you fare with your nighttime routine. Thanks again for taking the time to reply to me and the advice

    Regards

    Pinkandgrey



  8. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    21 May 2021 in reply to pinkandgrey

    Hi pinkandgrey,

    It has been my experience that we need to try different things to see what helps us sleep. It is always good to check in with your Dr as well, even when try herbal remedies, it may depend on your medical conditions and other medications you may be taking.

    I am no expert! Just sharing some thoughts and ideas that may help you.

    I've not slept well since I was a child. Life in our home was sometimes traumatic. I awake often to noises and have trouble returning to sleep. I have tried various ear plugs, I tend to take them out of my ears while I am asleep or subconsciously. I found them in my slippers one morning!

    Falling asleep is easy enough, I just don't stay asleep for more than a couple of hours. Having a fan on helps me as does having a dark room.

    When you wake up, does your mind start running away with itself telling you all kinds of negative stories? When my mind does that I will read for a while or I try to change the subject in my mind. I think of things to be thankful for. Some people count back from 1000 in 3's .

    Sometimes I just concentrate on my breathing. Count a breathe in for 4 seconds hold for 4 and let out for 6 or 8 seconds. What ever is comfortable for you. Helps to calm the mind a little.

    Hope you have a more restful night! Cheers to you from Dools

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Sean S
    Sean S avatar
    41 posts
    28 May 2021 in reply to pinkandgrey

    Hey pinkandgrey,

    Sleep doesn't improve without cognitive work. Someone might object 'what about chronic pain'. Most sleep issues aren't caused by physical pain but emotional and psychological causes.

    Let go of all attachment to the idea of sleeping well. Accept it. The more you care about sleeping well the further you'll get from attaining it, the more you'll fear bedtime. Seen Harry Potter? When they're caught in the Devil's Snare in the first film? The paradox is the more you struggle the worse it gets. Sleep isn't something you do, it's something that happens to you when you stop interfering with it. Your body knows far better than you how to sleep. Trust it. Same with relaxation. Therefore, do nothing, let it happen. If you wake up, suspend value judgments. Don't say 'I'm awake now and that's bad'. It isn't. You are simply awake at that point. The only thing you should strive to achieve is an indifferent attitude; sleep will then take care of itself. Read the following:

    https://sleephub.com.au/mindfulness-practical-tips-for-sleep/

    Best of luck :)

    1 person found this helpful
  10. fred4761
    fred4761 avatar
    122 posts
    14 July 2021
    I just wanted to share that I am currently participating in a sleep study. I have to wear a special headband overnight with lots of sensors on it and it tracks my brainwaves. Apparently I spend a lot of time in Stage 1 and Stage 2 of sleep which is the falling asleep/light sleep phases. I have a daily sleep diary that I have to fill out based on how long I think it took me to fall asleep that night. Each night I think that I that I have been awake much longer than I actually am, but interestingly it very closely matches up to how long I am spending in Stages 1 and 2 of sleep! It is normal to feel awake during those stages or to be not sure if you have been dozing or not. On average it takes between 10-60 minutes to get through the first 2 stages of sleep and yet it takes me on average 113 minutes! It also makes so much more sense to me now when people say to get out of bed and do something if you haven't fallen asleep within a certain amount of time. I have really struggled with this as sometimes I am so tired and so sleepy that it is hard to talk, move, or even get out of bed and yet I do not feel as though I have been sleeping. I am guessing that I have been stuck in the first 2 stages of sleep - where I am too asleep to get up but not asleep enough to fall into a deeper sleep. I am not sure what any of this information means for me. I am yet to discuss it with my doctor but I feel very optimistic that I am finally getting some answers about my sleep patterns and sleep cycles.
    1 person found this helpful
  11. Missy72
    Missy72 avatar
    15 posts
    17 July 2021 in reply to Doolhof
    This is me. I sleep restrict. I was doing so well..for months, I thought I was back on the right path..and then boom...3hrs a night again..
  12. Sean S
    Sean S avatar
    41 posts
    17 July 2021 in reply to fred4761

    Hey fred4761,

    I think it's a really positive step to participate in that study. I hope your sleep doctor can shed some light on what is going on when you're sleeping, and that you can get the best help available.

    What you're describing is very familiar. Stuck in a sort in-between zone of light sleep, that isn't very refreshing. If I don't snap myself out of that space I can be stuck there all night, half awake, half asleep. I like to reset, get a drink, then practice some mindfulness of body, or noise. Hopefully, then, I gradually relax and fall into a deeper sleep.

    Good luck at your appointment. Feel free to share the outcome, I'd be interested to know how you go.

    Sean

    1 person found this helpful

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up