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Ladyxkaa
10-13-2014, 12:00 AM
I've had it since i was very young. like.......7 or 8. my father has a severe case of it too and sometimes even the meds we take don't work. I personally have been awake for more than 24 hours right now. and my dad's record is 5. I used to wake up at like noon(homeschooling, hell yes) and be awake to like...I dunno nine am the next morning. my dad worked from 4 am to about 5 pm back then so I'd sit with him as he made his morning coffee and get permission to watch hamtaro since he could say yes, even when mom said no xD usually laying in bed and listening to music helps me, especially if I write stories to myself, making up odd little things that amuse and relax me until I can sleep, but I also have to take my medicine and such. herbal remedies have never worked for me, but that's different for others. I was wondering what kind of tricks other people use, and maybe could suggest some to people.

Osulagh
10-13-2014, 12:27 AM
Start on a regular sleep schedule. Seriously. Staying up will throw your circadian rhythm around. Your body will need more time to recover (meaning you'll need to sleep longer) which will interfere with more later on. Find and set a period to sleep. I require 8-9 hours, and head to bed at 9pm. If I stay up or sleep in, my rhythm gets out of whack and it's hard to readjust. If I stay in my schedule, I fall asleep at 9pm on the mark and wake up at 6am at the latest with no problem.

Wind down before you head off to bed. Going straight from the TV to sleep will make your mind more active. Read a cozy book, listen to relaxing music. Find something that will calm you and that you want to do, but not stay up all night to do it.

Go outside and get exercise. Recent studies have shown that people who spend all their times indoors might take on a longer sleep/wake cycle that might not work well in the long run. The sun helps regulate your circadian rhythm, though some people can stand night shifts--some can't at all either. Exercise will burn calories and weaken your body--which is the primary reason why we sleep; so the body has time to repair.

Of course, your diet has a major role here. Don't eat fatty foods later in the day. Don't eat 4-5 hours before bedtime. Lay off caffeine and sugary drinks as well. Make sure your nutrient balance is proper as your body will seek a missing nutrient and keep you up (those late night cravings my be evident of this). Eat lean, protein-rich, nutrient-rich foods. Lay off the processed carbs and high-fat meats.

Monitor how you try to sleep. Don't let thoughts keep you awake--you simply can't fall asleep if your mind is racing. Focus on long, deep breaths. Try counting each one: Inhale, "one", exhale, "two", and repeat (in your head). Relax and keep from tossing and turning.

Also, beds do play a large role. Sometimes the bed is too firm, sometimes too soft, sometimes too hot or cold. Sometimes people don't like sleeping on traditional western mattresses--I love traditional Japanese futons and camping hammocks and sleep a whole lot better on them. If you toss and turn, or wake up due to being uncomfortable, this might be a problem.


Take all of this with a grain of salt; you should go see a professional if you haven't already. A general doctor isn't the best person to diagnose sleep disorders--especially if the disorder might be genetic. You should see a sleep specialist, because really we spend a third of our lives sleeping; why suffer during or before that time?

Ladyxkaa
10-13-2014, 12:37 AM
these are all really great suggestions o.o about the whole schedule thing though? um, that's never worked for me. mom used to make me go to bed at like 8 pm every night and I'd never sleep. I'd lay there til dawn. but the rest of it's pretty good. and I have a doctor, um...from helan farabee, a psychiatrist, who gives me my meds. my problem IS genetic sadly, my mom and dad both have it. hell my whole family does. and the mattress thing? no worries about that. my bed is heavenly when I get in it

Wilde_at_heart
10-13-2014, 12:52 AM
Try to find what set of hours suit your natural sleeping patterns best and try to adjust your life to them, rather than the other way around. Some people do find it easier to be active at night than during the morning and are suited to jobs like nursing, bar work, etc.

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/early-bird-night-owl

When I was younger, I had a lot of difficulty getting up before 9am and if I had a job or something that required me getting up earlier, I was plagued with insomnia, other sleeping disorders and had to nap when I came home. Once I managed to get an office job that started at ten, the rest of my life became a lot easier.

CrastersBabies
10-13-2014, 12:53 AM
What do you feel is the source of the insomnia? For example, I struggled for a long time because of racing thoughts. When that hits, I have to get out of bed and write, journal-style, until the thoughts are sated.

I also went through a phase when i was in my early 20's with sleep patterns and schedules. I stayed up late and when I did fall asleep, it was usually around 4, 5, 6am. I would sleep until 3 or 4pm. Looking back that was a combination of erratic sleeping times and (the big one) lack of exercise. When I started an exercise program, I was amazed at how much easier I fell asleep.

Also, I rarely drank caffeine. No coffee until I was well past 35. And having a cup in the morning and one around 11am actually helped me get to sleep (because of the crash at the end of the day).

I remember breaking my crap sleep patterns by simply staying up for a whole day and then going to sleep the following evening around midnight (instead of 4am). Making myself go to bed at 8pm would have been a disaster. You need a more realistic and manageable goal sleep time.

And this all has to be stress free. No obsessing over the clock to see how much sleep you might get. Maybe something in there will help.

Ladyxkaa
10-13-2014, 12:54 AM
I see. well I'm glad you found some relief. I actually sleep best during the day, (it's pathetic but I actually am quite afraid of the dark, so night-time just makes me too nervous to sleep) the problem with that is all my friends get online during the day, so it's like...gawd, I can't sleep during the day or night. I have to just keep going until my body finally just...wears down, y'know? the only way i've found to be able to sleep when that happens is listening to music for hours, just laying there and humming along.

Ladyxkaa
10-13-2014, 12:56 AM
What do you feel is the source of the insomnia? For example, I struggled for a long time because of racing thoughts. When that hits, I have to get out of bed and write, journal-style, until the thoughts are sated.

I also went through a phase when i was in my early 20's with sleep patterns and schedules. I stayed up late and when I did fall asleep, it was usually around 4, 5, 6am. I would sleep until 3 or 4pm. Looking back that was a combination of erratic sleeping times and (the big one) lack of exercise. When I started an exercise program, I was amazed at how much easier I fell asleep.

Also, I rarely drank caffeine. No coffee until I was well past 35. And having a cup in the morning and one around 11am actually helped me get to sleep (because of the crash at the end of the day).

I remember breaking my crap sleep patterns by simply staying up for a whole day and then going to sleep the following evening around midnight (instead of 4am). Making myself go to bed at 8pm would have been a disaster. You need a more realistic and manageable goal sleep time.

And this all has to be stress free. No obsessing over the clock to see how much sleep you might get. Maybe something in there will help.

thanks a lot ^^ I'll look through it all. I do the whole 'stay up a day to fix the schedule' thing too, when I can actually sleep(AKA when I have my beloved trazodone) and the cause is just pure hyperactivity. I have bipolar disorder and when I try to sleep, no matter the time of day, I get really, really, REALLY hyper mentally and physically. it's part of the manic phase of it.

Ian Thompson
10-13-2014, 01:07 AM
Start running or cycling. It will kill you and lead to you being so tired you will want to sleep. Then build on it from there with sleep pattern stuff.

Ladyxkaa
10-13-2014, 01:10 AM
Start running or cycling. It will kill you and lead to you being so tired you will want to sleep. Then build on it from there with sleep pattern stuff.

I actually....sigh. I actually can't do that. I have something called fibromyalgia, it leaves me in serious pain if I even so much as TRY to do any exercise. trust me, I've tried. I used to rollerblade and ride my bike everywhere, but when it really finally kicked in I just...wow....it hurts so bad I cry sometimes.

Lavern08
10-13-2014, 01:18 AM
You must be exhausted, Lovey. :Hug2:

I've wrestled with bouts of insomnia (since I went thru menopause), but I get around 5 hours of sleep now.

Things I Do To Get More Sleep:



I avoid caffeine and chocolate after 3:00 PM
Don't drink anything after 7:00 PM (so I won't have to get up during the night, because if I do, it's wakey-wakey time)
Avoid watching anything scary or violent or disturbing before bedtime
Pray until I doze off

Ladyxkaa
10-13-2014, 01:21 AM
oh you get used to it over time xD me and dad just chill and hang out while everyone else in the house sleeps. it's actually quite handy for reading or just writing. but thanks x3 and those are great suggestions. I know my mom has issues with sleeping so i can suggest the prayer thing

Osulagh
10-13-2014, 01:53 PM
If you have a medical condition and genetic predisposition that causes your insomnia, then you should seek a sleep specialist. A psychiatrist might help, but surely--since you're asking a writer's forums on tips and tricks--it's not helping. A sleep specialist will be able to evaluate how you sleep and prescribe you a sleep regiment.

Everything you should be doing should be towards establishing a regular sleep schedule. Humans are creatures of habit; we have an internal clock. If the habit is not synced to the clock, then you have disruptions. If you sleep better during the day--some people do--then accommodate to that lifestyle. And then, some people have different sleep cycles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyphasic_sleep I know a man who always had sleep problems and started on a "Everyman" sleep cycle with two nap periods. He takes three hours of his day, one and a half hours each, to sleep in his car. He says it was one of the greatest decisions of his life.

My family too suffer from sleep problems. My mother always woke up randomly at night and had problems getting to sleep--though she could fall asleep at 9pm at a drop of a hat. My father had a hard time getting to sleep, but could sleep well once he did. I have both, and the tips I gave you are what my sleep specialist--after many sleep studies--prescribed to me.


And I will repeat myself: See a specialist.

jaus tail
10-13-2014, 02:58 PM
If you have challenges in exercising your body, you can exercise your mind. Solve puzzles, sudoku, riddles, read a novel, write a diary.

LJD
10-13-2014, 05:34 PM
Some of the sleep hygiene stuff recommended by a psychiatrist did help me a little, but it took a while:
-no reading in bed
-no napping
-get up at the same time every day
-if you are awake for more than 30 min, do not stay in bed. go to another room and read, etc.

But ultimately, I still had to start taking clonazepam sometimes. I have taken melatonin several times but have been unable to establish whether it does anything for me.

veinglory
10-13-2014, 07:00 PM
Insomniacs actually often go to bed too early according to recent research. Here are a few things I have learned about.

Encourage sleep by kick starting a cooling process. Have a very hot shower just before bed and keep the bedroom cool.

Have two separate sources of quirt sound in the bedroom. e.g. a radio turned to static and the TV on a music channel. It breaks the mind's focus.

If you are absolutely wakeful for a half hour after trying to sleep, get up for a while. Otherwise you can 'condition' the bed as a wakeful place.

Shakesbear
10-13-2014, 07:43 PM
-if you are awake for more than 30 min, do not stay in bed. go to another room and read, etc.


THIS! A doc told me this decades ago. He said that you start to associate bed with not sleeping. It really works for me. Over the years other things have helped - I was always uncomfortable when I was trying to fall asleep and did not realize it was because I had my hands under my head. So I now have a teddy bear to cuddle - also stops me from moving about as my arms are occupied with cuddling Clarence the Bear. One other thing a doc told me was always make sure the bed is warm - you do not need an electric blanket - lift up the bedding and use a hair dryer to warm up the bed. Move the dryer about and do not cover it up or leave it on.

Gringa
10-13-2014, 09:02 PM
cover any and all tiny dots from electronics with black electrical tape -
change your sheets often
cool down your bedroom
and wear socks - there's something about wearing socks which helps some people sleep better

Sweet dreams.

mirandashell
10-13-2014, 09:08 PM
Fibromyalgia also affects sleeping patterns. The brain just won't be quiet. Usually best just to get up and do something when that happens.

But keeping the bedroom cool is a good one. I keep my bedroom window open in all weathers. The only time I close it is when the temp drops below freezing. And I still don't put the heating on.

I think it's a form of hibernation. Your brain knows you're cold and need to sleep.

wampuscat
10-13-2014, 09:30 PM
Restorative yoga has really helped me with insomnia (usually anxiety-caused). I don't know anything about fibromyalgia, but I know the woman who used to teach me restorative yoga was a former nurse in her late 60s and also taught classes with older folks (70+) as well as a variety of people with various medical issues.

mirandashell
10-13-2014, 10:07 PM
Yoga won't help with fibro. I know, I tried it.

wampuscat
10-13-2014, 10:36 PM
Aww. That's too bad. I'm sorry. Hope you find something to help, OP!

Ladyxkaa
10-16-2014, 11:48 AM
aaaaaaaaaaaaah so much to reply tooooooo O.e...ok...*deeeeeeeeeep breath, lonnnnnnnng exhale* ok so...reading all these tips? I've tried every single one of them at one time or another o.o...it's all really good info, but I can't get that stuff to work for me, or my dad. the thing that works best for me is taking ALL my meds(which my psychiatrist prescribed each for the proper problem AND the sleepiness side-effect) Listening to music for a while and writing stories in my head. after a while, my body just wears out, even if my mind is racing and i pass into dreamless sleep.

GD'Bohun
10-29-2014, 12:18 AM
I've had it on and off for about the past 30 years. Working nights only makes it worse, I go to bed around 4am and try to sleep until 11:30. Nyquil is the best sleep aid, I find. Scrip sleep aids don't always work and leave behind a really nasty hangover when they fail.

Sleep specialist? Never tried one. Was going to once, but both places I called the conversation went something like this:

Me: Hi, I'd like to schedule an appointment.
Receptionist: Ok, how long have you had sleep apnea?
Me: I have insomnia.
Receptionist: (long pause) Um...all right...(perhaps going to dictionary.com for a lookup?)...Ok, when would you like to schedule?
Me: Hanging up.

Bottom line, it's a bitch of an affliction, and one that constant thinkers often suffer from. I'm sure many fine writers were cursed with it, and perhaps penned their best works while sitting up alone.

GD'Bohun
10-29-2014, 12:26 AM
I'll also add for the benefit of any insomnia-suffering day sleepers that light discipline is a great help. I painted the walls of my room a very dark blue and purchased blackout curtains. If I'm sleeping somewhere else I always bring along a night mask, and I usually wear one ear plug (I sleep on the other ear). The amount of ambient daytime noise of even a small town is enough to easily awaken someone who sleeps poorly.

NinjaFingers
10-29-2014, 12:42 AM
I still have insomnia, but I've managed to cut it down by:

1. Not reading in bed. Or using a laptop or a phone in bed. Unfortunately, when I'm traveling, sometimes the bed is the ONLY place to do so. Hotel rooms with no chairs suck.

2. Not going to bed too early. I usually go for midnight. If I really push it and am tired I can sometimes manage 11. Any earlier and nope, not going to sleep.

3. Cutting out caffeine altogether helped me a lot.

I think a key is that a lot of people with insomnia go to bed and get up too early. But what can somebody do when all the job offers they get are at least 30 minutes away and start at 8 or 8:30? Our society is not very tolerant of people who need to be on different sleep patterns.

gingerwoman
10-30-2014, 04:49 PM
I want complete darkness to sleep, but I have an 8 year old with autism who insists on sleeping between Mummy and Daddy every night, and who is afraid of the dark. :-/

My problems with insomnia started in puberty. Or perhaps not, my parents had to play the same long playing record over and over for me to help me sleep when I was a preschooler.