I don’t sleep.

Or rather I don’t sleep much.

Last night it was definitely after 4am before the sleep fairy came a’calling and it’s been a while since I dropped off before 2am.

Needless to say, I’m knackered.  I look and feel wretched and as tired as I may be when it comes close to time to catch some zzzzzs, they can be seen racing away in the opposite direction.

I’ve tried the normal things – not drinking tea before bed, having a warm bath, reading etc, but nothing’s working and I’m feeling more like the walking dead with every passing hour.

So, I’m looking for help.  What are your sure fire soporific solutions? Help me internet, you’re my only hope….

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19 thoughts on “Insomnia

  • January 5, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    I watched a programme about this once and they featured Dominik Diamond who was a terrible insomniac. They treated him by making him get up at the same time every single day, so no lie ins to catch up or anything. Obviously, some nights he got very little sleep and he felt awful but after 2-3 weeks, he was getting a decent nights sleep. Might be worth setting a getting up time and forcing yourself up. I need to do it sort out my late getting to bed. I often find that when I do go, it takes sometime to get to sleep but rarely struggle as much as you. There is no point trying to get an early night if you’re not feeling tired. I think you have to go through the tiredness to get the better sleep.

    Am I making sense?

  • January 5, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    A glass of warm milk is a sure fire way to knock my kids out if they are having trouble …. but thats fine if you’re not intollerant! The other one which I believe has been passed down from generation to generation in my family is that once you have yawned you can’t move, so get really comfortable, I mean REALLY comfortable, await the yawn and then stay very, very still………. x

  • January 5, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Insomnia is commonly caused by worry or stress. Any worry or stress in your life at all? 🙂

    As mentioned by the two different Kat(i)es, relaxation and routine will help.

    Hope Mr Sandman does his thing, hon x

  • January 6, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Turn to yoga for help. Every time we lie back for relaxation and that calm voice washes over me I drop off. I may even snore
    Horrible horrible thing insomnia. My mother in law suffers and I don’t know how you function.
    You have to find a way to stop your mind wandering and centre yourself and your thoughts.
    Think about me! There you go

  • January 6, 2012 at 12:23 am

    I totally sympathise with you as I am an insomniac too. It is definitely something that other members of my family suffer from too. It’s made even worse by having a baby who wakes during the night. As soon as I get to sleep, she wakes then it takes me ages to go back to sleep again. Often I survive on 2 or 3 hours sleep a night.

    One thing I know doesn’t help is that I end up on the computer until midnight, so I am too wired to sleep!

    I try breathing exercises and listen to relaxation tapes. Sometimes they work, sometimes not. I also drink tea that is supposed to make you sleep before I go to bed.

    I haven’t yet found the Holy Grail!

  • January 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    How did you sleep? Tomorrow I shall bring my travel pictures and show you ALL of them before bedtime. That’ll work.

  • January 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    My MIL has insomnia and when I did some research it seems that acupuncture can help as can relaxation/medication CDs or breathing exercises if you can find one that you’re comfortable with. And of course all the things that have been suggested already, more walking/exercise, less caffeine, relaxing bath, lavender etc. She certainly found though it was less about being physically tired, because even when she was tired it was her head that kept her awake-she’s a worrier. Maybe it’s trial and error until you find the combinations that do it for you. Sorry, that wasn’t much bloody help was it – I am of the annoying variety who can sleep on a stick if required 🙁 x

  • January 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    OK I will give you my list, but I have not found a sure fire method yet. I find that it seems to come and I need something to break the cycle.

    Lavender on the pillow
    Warm bath with lavender in or even better deep relax oil from Aromatherapy Associates – a delicious treat and smells divine too
    Warm Milk
    No caffeine after noon (I dropped it all together and am caffeine free now)
    A notebook by the bed
    No screen time for an hour before bed
    A sleep routine, go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time
    No alcohol, it can help you get to sleep, but stops deep sleep
    Calamine tea
    A boring book
    meditations or affirmations
    Relaxation thing on the ipad
    I have a philips alarm clock, that has a sunset and sunrise function, set it for 30 mins and it gets dimmer to fool the body, I read until it is too dark to do so anymore

  • January 6, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    I’m with HUN about the causes so you need to try to identify anything that may be playing on your mind – doesn’t have to be negative. My only suggestion for the tossing & turning – don;’t lie there for too long . Get up & do something different then have another go. It seems to make me sleepy & I go off reasonably soon after. At least you will have achieved something! 😉

  • January 6, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I mentioned this on twitter the other night, but I, like you, don’t sleep.

    I never have, if I’m honest. It’s not a new thing. But now without someone to tell me it’s time to be silent with the light off, I find my mind going round and round and can’t resist the urge to silence it with telly, or reading, or pottering.

    Until I started trying the slimpod. I will admit. It has not worked for me from a slimming perspective, perhaps because I’ve not really tried… But it sends me to sleep every night. It’s a 8.5 minute long recording, and I’ve never heard the end of it. Thinking slimmer do a chillpod too which I suspect would do the very same thing. It has really revolutionised my sleep. That said, my naughty brain now makes excuses for not listening to it so it can carry on its merry tricks…

  • January 7, 2012 at 7:46 am

    sleeping tablets?
    not to get you in a cycle of medication you can’t kick but just to push your body back into knowing it. sleep i mean.
    i’m so lucky, i’ve only ever had insomnia once, and it was hell on earth. My mum and sister both suffer (ered) from it. my mum said she just had to stop worrying about it. She’d pick up a book in the middle of the night and just read until she felt tired again. the constant looking at the clock and worrying chases any chance of sleep away, as backwards as that sounds.


  • January 10, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I have used pills to help get me through a bad sleep cycle (the ones where you can’t sleep and that knowing you can’t sleep makes it worse) and when anxiety has made sleeping different and when I’m so tired I cannot sleep

    Boots do a low dosage one called something like sleepeze that isn’t habit forming but can just give you a nudge in the short term

    Perhaps worth considering?

  • January 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I do not know what to recommend other than just sleeping when you can. I know that sounds like bad advice but let me explain. No matter how much I try and fight it I can never keep a sleep routine, I hate routines to begin with so that does not help, I also hate sleep so that does not help. I am already at a loss as it’s already a fight for me to go to sleep and I haven’t even gotten into bed yet! What I do is just sleep when I can and by this I mean stay awake until I actually can’t stay awake anymore, then I sleep and force myself to get up early by setting an alarm though it takes a lot of motivation not to shut the alarm off and go back to sleep on the morning. I think I am naturally a night owl which is my biggest problem with sleep. However sleeping when I can seems to work enough to keep me going so all I can suggest is to not worry about it and just sleep whenever you conk out. This also depends on your work life, if you are stuck to 9 – 5 then it’s kind of impossible to do it this way 🙁 but if you are stuck to 9 – 5 then I imagine you will conk out sooner rather than later.

  • January 11, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks everyone, I really appreciate you taking the time to reply, and there’s lots of things there that I might try. For now I’ve cut down on caffeine – only Peppermint tea after 8.30 ish and upped how much exercise I was doing (that’s from zero to a bit). I’ve had 3 nights of about 6 hours which is pretty good as far as I’m concerned so I’m hopeful of it continuing.

    Annoyingly it seems that dragging myself out of bed at a ridiculous early hour every day also helps. Grrrr

  • January 12, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Hi. I’m pleased to hear that things are starting to look up for you in the sleep department.

    I too sometimes suffer with mild insomnia. In the past i have listened to a hyponotherapy tape. Sends me straight to sleep. I also keep a notepad and pen next to the bed as sometimes i can’t sleep because i’m trying not to forget something. I found that writing the note on the phone didn’t have the same effect.

    My latest trick is counting. Sounds daft but when i get all fidgety and irritable, i lay on my back, lay my body straight (so no crossed ankles, hands by my side), take a few deep slow breaths and then slowly and rythmically count backwards from 100. I take a breath in then as i exhale, i say the next number. It has worked for me everytime and i have never made it to number 1. If you feel yourself falling asleep, don’t stop counting. I made that mistake once and had to start again. Keep going and you’ll drift off. That’s the plan anyway.

    Good luck and i hope you find some sleep soon.

  • March 11, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    You poor thing, I am abit like that clock watching but my body could sleep just youngest won’t let me! 🙁 What about sugar? are you having too much of that before bed too? x

  • March 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    CBT. I was a sufferer for over a decade and it was miserable – led me to alcohol and sugar to keep me going. CBT cured it – completely. Worth paying for, worth being on waiting lists for. Worth it.

  • March 31, 2012 at 7:44 am

    I have the same problem as you and can offer no advice but looking at all the things others have recommended or advised in your comments I can absolutely see where I am going wrong and what I need to try to do.

    So your post has helped me. : ) Thank you, hope you find a solution that works for you, I know what hell on earth it is not to be able to sleep and then trying to function xxx

  • April 9, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Hugely too much information here – feel free to block me – but have you tried masturbation? An orgasm is natures little sleeping pill ya know. You nod off full of sleepy good feeling.

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