OT: Can't sleep

Hi all, or should I say whoever’s up at this hour (12:30 est). I have been having trouble falling asleep for the longest time now. I’m one of those that needs (preferably) 9 hours of sleep a night in order to function like a normal person. I can live on less, but who am I kidding, I’m a monster when I’m tired. Plus I get a headache. Poor me. :frowning: And I’m finding that I’m going to bed later and later every night. ARGHHH!

But whenever my head hits the pillow that’s when my brain goes into overdrive. And I CAN’T SHUT IT OFF!! I can even be really tired and I still can’t fall off. I take sleeping pills from time to time if its really bad, but I don’t want to become dependent on them.

And then my Eddie Bauer catalog came in the mail today and a shirt I wanted is finally on sale, but I can’t remember which one it is. :blush: There are 2 or 3 that are quite similar and I tried it on a few weeks ago (no I didn’t write down the damn number) :doh: and now I’m obsessing about it and I tried calling but they closed at midnight. Jerks. So I emailed them. Yes I can call the store tomorrow but that won’t shut off my head now!!! I’m a real piece of work, hey?? :rofling:

Well, I’ll stop boring you with my life and let you go on your merry way, have a good nights sleep.

Thanks for listening…

Awww Hugs to you! :heart: :heart:

I don’t have any advise for you but I will send sleep vibes your way!

Don’t feel silly about the email, I have done the same thing :blush: :wink:

Doglover–I am the SAME WAY!!! As soon as I’m lying in bed, my mind starts going over things that happened that day, things I need to get done the next day, things that I need to do some time in the future, things that I shoulda/coulda/woulda done, etc. It drives me NUTS! My husband gets mad at me because he falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow, but for me, it doesn’t always happen. And I’m not going to lie in bed staring at the ceiling for three hours waiting to fall asleep! I usually try to do something constructive with my time. Since I have three kids, keeping the house straightened up during the day isn’t always possible, so I’ll usually do some light housecleaning (nothing major or I’d never get to bed once I got into a large project). I also do 90% of my knitting in the wee hours of the night, but I have to try to do projects that don’t require a lot of concentration! :wink: I read at night sometimes too and that helps. If you’re a praying person, sometimes it helps lull you to sleep while praying while you lie in bed (well, it does for me, anyway). I’ve also kept a notebook at bedside so I can write down those seemingly “urgent” thoughts I get that I need to do the next day that keep me up, and that helps too as my memory is getting really bad, and what could be worse than forgetting something that kept you up all night? :wink: I’m a real cranky person if I don’t get a lot of sleep. My husband can take “power naps” once in a while and feel great–me, if I don’t get my 3 hour nap when I need it, I’m a bear! Maybe try some lukewarm no caffeine herbal tea (I shudder to say “hot tea” as we’re in a heatwave here in the midwest right now!) or a nice cozy bath to help you get ready to sleep. I’m going to be headed that way soon myself (hopefully!)…I was having trouble getting to sleep, too, which is why I’m on KnittingHelp! :rofling:

When I get like that, I find eliminating all stimuli 30 minutes to an hour before bed helps. Turn off the television/radio/computer and just sit and read or maybe knit! Give your brain time to slow down. Doing proper deep breathing also helps a lot. I sometimes do that when I get into bed. Take a deep breath, forcing your belly OUT, not sucking it in. Try to do this for a count of three. Then breathe out, pulling your belly in and your chest up for a count of three. Count to three, and repeat. It helps slow your pulse and is very calming overall.

Setting a regular sleep schedule is essential–regardless of the day, go to bed and wake up at the same time.

And, ironically, the worst thing you can do when you can’t sleep is to think about how you can’t sleep. That’s the most difficult problem to overcome, I think!

I wish you the best of luck–and know you’re not alone! :heart:

I second Angelia’s suggestion – and also, have you ever taken melatonin? It’s a natural supplement that helps you sleep. DH and I take it on occasion, when we know our minds won’t let us go to sleep, and we have found it to be quite effective. :thumbsup:

I agree with Angelia too I have to do that sometimes… give my brain a break… also when I was still drinking pop I had to cut that out before bedtime… if I’m worried and have all that running through my mind I find a journal sometimes helps get all the worries out on paper or what ever else maybe running around in there… I hope you can get some sleep soon I hate when I can’t sleep…esp. since no matter how much sleep mommy gets the kids will be up earlier that morning its like they know… she didn’t sleep last night so lets get up before the sun does … :rofling:

I HATE those nights and I have more of them than I want. DH MUST have the TV on to fall asleep, I can’t sleep if it’s on. Good thing he falls asleep fast. One thing you might try is changing where you sleep. If the bed isn’t working, try the sofa. That works for me sometimes.

Melatonin is great for once-in-a-while, but in my health class in Sophmore year of high school we learned that continuous use of melatonin is very, very bad for you. It was like the ephedra of its day: No one knew it was bad for you until a bunch of people started taking it all the time.

A weird breathing exercise that works for me is to close my eyes and inhale as loudly and deeply as I can and then exhale the same. And each time, breathe just as deeply but try to make it quieter. I usually do this by slowing down my breathing, and it becomes quieter. By the time you’re parsing the silence with your breath, I’ve usually slowed down enough to fall asleep. It works really well when you’re in that “too tired to sleep” phase. Also, you should keep your focus on your breathing the whole time. That’s part of what the listening does, I think, is that it makes you pay attention to the way you’re breathing.

I hate when that happens, and my children were prone to it also.

I find soaking in a bath with a couple of cups of epsom salts in it (no soap, soap scums in epsom salts) really helps.

Also, some people have trouble sleeping when taking Vitamin B supplements close to bedtime. Just a FYI.

Mama Bear

Good Morning everyone. Well after I posted my pathetic post :blush: I tried going back to bed, to no avail. I laid there from 12:45 to 1:45. Then I got up with my trusty pillow and went to watch some tv. As luck would have it Benson was on tvland!! Who knew? So I watched that episode with my little girl in a ball by my feet. After it was over I shut it off and actually fell off!! Then she woke me up scratching to get into our bedroom!! argh. So I got up and went to bed. I got up at 11:30 and am reeeaally tired. Oh, I ended up taking a sleeping pill around 1:45. I couldn’t take it anymore.

My hubby’s the same way, head hits pillow, off to dreamland. I really hate him for that. :wink: I must be getting my mother’s sleeping system. She was always up really late when I was a kid. Always doing laundry, making lunches…you name it.

I have tried the melatonin and found it didn’t work for me. And I don’t drink caffeine. Makes the old bladder go into overdrive. :rofling:

Thanks again for all the suggestions. I’ll try the no tv tonight and see how that goes.

Melatonin is great for once-in-a-while, but in my health class in Sophmore year of high school we learned that continuous use of melatonin is very, very bad for you. It was like the ephedra of its day: No one knew it was bad for you until a bunch of people started taking it all the time.

That’s very interesting-- there’s a large body of research that suggests quite the opposite: that melatonin is very, very GOOD for you. It is an extremely powerful antioxidant and may slow the body’s aging process in some respects. Add that to the fact the growing body of research that shows how sleep deprivation leads to other serious health problems like obesity, and well, you be the judge.

I am a night owl working on an early bird’s schedule, and I use melatonin to help me sleep (which it does!) but also as a supplement for its antioxidant properties. Been using it for years, no ill effects (I am sure to buy the vegetarian variety-- some of it can be made from the pineal glands of cows, I believe, hence some mad cow concerns have been raised).

Anywho, a quick google will give you loads of info if you’re curious.

i generally find putting in a movie that i know very well works for me. it occupies my mind enough that i don’t start racing through other thoughts and i know it well enough that i can still drift off because i am not concentrating a lot on the story.

i have taken melatonin on occasion and the only thing that i have noticed is that i have reeeeeeeeeeeally weird dreams! :shock:

When I was in junior high, my grandfather gave me a tape of chopin music, and I started listening to it every night. The routine of the same music every night really helped me fall asleep (and gave me fantastic dreams to boot). Now I don’t listen to the same music all the time, but I do listen to music every night. It has to be music that I know. My husband hates having the radio on, so now I listen to my mp3 player with headphones. I focus on the music instead of on my racing thoughts and it helps me sleep.

Sometimes, however, nothing will help me sleep, and I’ll take a benadryl or one of my prescription sleep aids to help me sleep. I don’t need to do it all the time, but at least once a month. And it’s okay. Taking a pill to do what its supposed to do when you need it to do that is not addiction or dependance. I never have to do it more than three nights in a row.

I also do some breathing exercises, although mine are centered on visualization. I breathe in, and visualize the air whisking through my body and attaching itself to tension in my feet, then breathe out and visualize the tension leaving with the breath. Next breath is my calves, then my thighs, then my hips, then my belly, then my back, then my shoulders. Sometimes I just do my shoulders over and over, i carry my tension there.

And sometimes, I just have to get up out of bed and go talk to someone, online, on the phone, whatever. I’m a night owl and I work nights, so I sleep during the day. I’m usually on AIM all night if you ever want to random me.

Good luck!

Just my two cents worth, I often have the same problem. I get really tired and get into bed and can’t sleep. I talked to a Dr. and he suggested taking Melatonin (Herbal supliment). It is available pretty much anywhere health supplies are available. I take 2 about an hour before bedtime. I sleep pretty much all night and wake up refreshed. I find my mind wanders all night normally (with all those things like did I remember to pay a bill, does my daughter have everything she needs for a trip etc etc etc right down to what I need to do the next day). I also started shutting the tv off an hour before bed, and I write down a to do list for the next day, it helps to know that it is there and tends to empty my mind for bedtime.

Last night I tried the no tv for a half hour before I go to sleep and I also did some knitting. And I think it worked! I didn’t need to take a pill. I’m gonna try again in a few minutes.

Has anyone else tried knitting in the dark using just a flashlight to see? I didn’t want to wake hubby :lol: Although he could sleep through a tornado :rollseyes:

Don’t worry, it was just a basic knit stitch, no real chance of a major screw up!!

Oooh, I’m glad the no-stimuli approach worked!!! I hope it continues to do so!

As for knitting with a flashlight… :rofling: I’m not that coordinated! I hope it worked for you, though! :wink: