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Sir_Banjo
2007-08-12, 07:31 PM
Hi guys,

OK so I had a terrible night last night where I got all of one hours sleep. And as this has been happening a lot lately, I thought I'd talk to you guys and see how others have dealt with it. By the end of the week, I'm just beat. I went to bed before 8pm on friday and didnt wake up until 12 the next day.

I think the main thing is quieting my mind, I just can't seem to stop all the loose thoughts buzzing around my head. I'm not under any great stress(es), it's just a matter of me not being able to settle. I have been doing a fair bit of moving back and forth between my parent's place and my apartment in Brisbane, so that might be the probablem. On the whole, I've been careful not to consume coke/chocolate/etc before I go to sleep and I don't drink coffee. So I really don't know what's happening.

I've tried a number of things from counting sheep to exercising (at least at this rate I'll get rock hard abs :smallwink: ) but nothing really works.

Have any of you guys dealt with this? Especially with regard to clearing the mind, what did you find to work?

Regards,

Sir_Banjo

Shadow
2007-08-12, 07:50 PM
There have been times in he past when I've had problems sleeping.
I can tell you that if it's becoming a habitual thing, it's got nothing to do with sugar, caffeine, etc.
Insomnia is almost always brought on by some internal cause. Something in your mind. Something that you are struggling to come to terms with. Something that *keeps you up at night.*

There's a reason that phrases such as this become so widely recognized and used.

On caffeine, sugar, etc. These things are simply situational. They may occasionally cause a bout of restlessness or energy, but will not cause *insomnia.*

The first question that you must ask yourself is whether or not you really think that you're beginning to have a problem. Be honest with yourself. Are you restless, or are you unable to sleep? If you are truly unable to sleep, then you must be honest with yourself a little more.

Why? What sorts of things are bothering you? Why do these things bother you? The answer to that may very well bring about another question, instead of an answer. Follow all of these responses to the core.

If this is truly becoming a problem for you, then the fact of the matter is that only you have the knowledge of what will solve it because only you can find the cause.

I'm more than willing to talk to you about whatever may be bothering you, if you'd like some help finding the cause, but I'll warn you that it may take some hard questions.
Feel free to PM me or e-mail me (the addy is in my profile) if you're interested in talking about it.

-Shadow

Midnight Son
2007-08-12, 07:53 PM
Tylenol PM works for me. I get insomnia from time to time for a couple reasons.

1. My mind is often quite active at night.
2. Aches in my ankle joints from being a runner for 10 years and for having my feet grow two sizes in two months when I was twelve(ligaments couldn't keep up with the bones).

The Tylenol portion works for the joint ache and the PM portion actually helps quiet my mind. It's not addictive and doesn't require 8 hours down time like so many sleep aids do. I rarely sleep much more than 5 hours.

reorith
2007-08-12, 08:53 PM
you should chew valerian root and get more exercise. eventually you'll fall asleep.

smellie_hippie
2007-08-12, 08:58 PM
Another habit you can pick up is reading a horribly boring book. I won't mention any for fear of getting attacked :smallamused: ... but it's a quiet activity, low energy and can have the effect of sedating (quieting) the mind.

RAGE KING!
2007-08-12, 09:27 PM
David Copperfield is what I'd recommend for that.

Have you ever tried coffee? I always assumed it would keep me up until i actually tried it one time. Turns out it makes me sleepy. I think it has something to do with a sugar rush, then tiredness. Though it never seems to actually give me a sugar rush. Now, I don't think it'll make a difference, but you could try sleeping differently, with a better pillow or something. I dunno.

What I'd really recommend though, is eating sugar, or candy or something like that, and having a sugar high. Then you should be set up for sleeping afterwards.

On a related note, the average bar of chocolate has as much caffeine as a cup of decaf coffee.

DraPrime
2007-08-12, 09:38 PM
I used to be an insomniac because of stress. I found a great solution to falling asleep. An intense hour long workout before sleep will exhaust you (if you make it difficult enough). Once you're done you'll have no trouble falling asleep. If it doesn't work then just do a longer workout. Hopefully this works.

Amotis
2007-08-12, 10:07 PM
Here's some things that have been passed on by valid sources.

If you're not sleeping get out of bed. You'll start connecting not-sleep with bed and that's a no no. If you try and fail to sleep, get out of bed and do something else. Bed = sleep. Not sleep =/= Bed.

Things to avoid: All enhancing or responding to the behavior. Do not watch TV if you like watching TV, when you can't sleep. Don't eat food if you like eating food, when you can't sleep. Don't connect not-sleeping with good behavior, that'll just encourage not-sleeping. Like wise, "punish" yourself. Do homework, do something productive but something that you don't want to do. Like laundry or something.

The human mind is a pretty easy thing to trick/train. Now you don't have to go to the point of adverse stimulus and shock yourself every time your don't sleep...but don't connect insomnia with good things. Keep your bed connected with sleep (haha very funny) and non-sleep connected with bad or adverse things. If it's not a chemical or biological problem, these things should help.

StickMan
2007-08-12, 10:12 PM
One in five Americans (sorry if your not an American but its the only stat I have:smallwink: ) have a sleep disorder I suggest that you talk to your doctor.

Semidi
2007-08-12, 10:22 PM
I have this same problem, what I do is make up stories in my head. Without fail, when I stop thinking about getting to sleep is when I fall to sleep—as a bonus I come up with some righteous ideas. Because, at least for me, when I tell myself I have to get to bed I start to think about sleeping and I lay awake for hours upon hours.

If that fails I have a back-up plan which isn't appropriate to talk about in polite conversation. If you think you know what I’m talking about, you're probably right.

FdL
2007-08-12, 10:40 PM
Yes, that works sometimes.

Ishmael
2007-08-13, 12:34 AM
If you're problem's bad enough to merit external (i.e. medicinal) intervention, but you don't want to try out sleeping pills, I advise Melatonin supplements. They work wonders.

Evrine
2007-08-13, 06:31 AM
First of all, avoid all kinds of sleep medication. Most are addictive and don't allow you to reach the most important stage of sleep, REM.

Try using meditation to relax, even a simple TM meditation mantra would help.

To relax your body, tense and hold your muscles in groups for five seconds starting at your feet and working your way to your head.

The average person takes about twenty minutes to fall asleep. So often the more you try to fall asleep the harder it is to fall asleep.

To go along with what Amotis said, associating going to sleep with specific times can be helpful. To help regulate your sleep, try to go to bed at 11pm and wake up at 7am (very important to wake up at the same time each day). Do this for a week or so to get into the pattern, then you can alter it a little depending on when you want to be asleep/awake.

If you have a 'regular' bed time, don't stay up significantly later for more than two or three nights in a row. You'll reset your circadian rhythm for the new time when you try to go to sleep at your old time. This is why Monday mornings suck so bad. For most people, they shift their circadian rhythm over the weekend, and then try and shift it back to be at work on Monday, leaving them overtired.

Don't do anything stimulating before going to bed. You can watch tv, browse the internet, or read a book, just make sure it's not interesting. In fact, you could even have a specific before bed activity to help associate completion of that activity with sleep. Just don't make it something you're going to get involved in.

Dean Fellithor
2007-08-13, 07:04 AM
Hi guys,

OK so I had a terrible night last night where I got all of one hours sleep. And as this has been happening a lot lately, I thought I'd talk to you guys and see how others have dealt with it. By the end of the week, I'm just beat. I went to bed before 8pm on friday and didnt wake up until 12 the next day.

I think the main thing is quieting my mind, I just can't seem to stop all the loose thoughts buzzing around my head. I'm not under any great stress(es), it's just a matter of me not being able to settle. I have been doing a fair bit of moving back and forth between my parent's place and my apartment in Brisbane, so that might be the problem. On the whole, I've been careful not to consume coke/chocolate/etc before I go to sleep and I don't drink coffee. So I really don't know what's happening.

I've tried a number of things from counting sheep to exercising (at least at this rate I'll get rock hard abs :smallwink: ) but nothing really works.

Have any of you guys dealt with this? Especially with regard to clearing the mind, what did you find to work?

Regards,

Sir_Banjo

I used to have those problems, still do: usually this happens because of things that have happened in the past, such as conflict inbetween parents (my case). I don't know how to solve it (propperly), it just has been so long that it has adapted to my routine.

When I was about six(ish) my parents had lent some money from our rich extended familly so they could buy a bigger car, they wanted the money back.

This ended terribly as I no longer had contact with my Grandparents (my Grandfather had Heart-Problems, I was worried about him), we Signed off our share of the Family Holiday-House to rest of my fathers Aunts and Uncles and my parents started fighting, right up to the late hours of the night I heard nothing but the Yelling and the clashing and cluttering of Thrown Items.

After years of Insomnia and Noise-filled nights, my parents finally split-up, and guess what? I still have Insomnia.

although...You could just wait your Insomnia with some good o'le Dungeons and Dragons, books or some Video-games...

Pyro
2007-08-13, 07:09 AM
The human mind is a pretty easy thing to trick/train. Now you don't have to go to the point of adverse stimulus and shock yourself every time your don't sleep...but don't connect insomnia with good things. Keep your bed connected with sleep (haha very funny) and non-sleep connected with bad or adverse things. If it's not a chemical or biological problem, these things should help.

Hah. I can be my own Pavlov's dog!

MrEdwardNigma
2007-08-13, 07:11 AM
I've got a slight case of insomnia myself, but I've never found it tiring. It just means that when I go to sleep I just lie in my bed all night, wide awake. It's quite annoying not to be able to sleep and very boring honestly, but I'm always rested in the morning, simply because I didn't do anything the night before. Now if I decide to use my inability to sleep to sit in front of my PC all night or to hang out at bars, then I am tired.
Oh, and I wouldn't advise sleeping pills, as they don't really help. I mean, they make you sleep, but it's not like you'll be rested afterwards...

Were-Sandwich
2007-08-13, 07:28 AM
I have this same problem, what I do is make up stories in my head. Without fail, when I stop thinking about getting to sleep is when I fall to sleep—as a bonus I come up with some righteous ideas. Because, at least for me, when I tell myself I have to get to bed I start to think about sleeping and I lay awake for hours upon hours.

If that fails I have a back-up plan which isn't appropriate to talk about in polite conversation. If you think you know what I’m talking about, you're probably right.

This works for me. I have always had trouble sleeping from the day I was born, my mind just doesn't want to sleep, it wants to keep thinking and doing stuff. When I was bout 5, I worked out that if I made-pretend in my head, it made me go to sleep. I've been doing it for so long, its automatic now. I juat create stories about different things.

DarkLightDragon
2007-08-13, 09:15 AM
DON'T use caffiene! I learnt that the hard way last year... drink a crapload of coke/diet coke cans in the evening and you'll see what I mean... but you don't want to do that.

I usually read, play video games or checkout this site when I can't sleep. I do that for a while then I go to sleep. I should be asleep right now. Better go before parents get pissed. Hehe!

Fingolfin
2007-08-13, 11:27 AM
I disagree on the issue of pills. They do help some people. The trick with them is not only getting to sleep fast but also they make the habit of getting to sleep easier.

My friend had rather severe insomnia, however his doctor gave him some pills that he was taking for 2 weeks. After that time period his body got used to sleep and his problem got much better.

So my advise is to see your doctor about the problem.

Cyrano
2007-08-13, 11:44 AM
Slaughter all your friends and make a lair out of their hides. Alternatively, you can watch a Vin Diesel movie and count the reflections of light off his shiny pate.

Andre Fairchilde
2007-08-13, 01:59 PM
Without going into a a lot of detail, there's a couple of things you can do to sleep better.

1. Stop all caffeine intake 12 hours before you want to sleep. Caffeine is an extremelly powerful drug, and takes 10-12 hours to exit the system

2. Just trust me on this. No internet or computer, 1 hour before bed. Staring into a computer screen is the equivalent of staring into a light bulb... it causes lots and lots of synapses to keep firing in an agitated state.

3. No food 3 hours before bed. Food brings us energy, that's it's entire purpose. Do yourself a favor and don't eat or drink before bed or the sleep won't be nearly as restful.

*****4. Try meditating for about 5-15 minutes. All this means is, sit still for 10 minutes before bed - not in bed, but someplace still. I turn the lights off and sit in the living room. No internet, no music, no tv, no book - just you and your thoughts. We tend to hear all the conversations of the day, and this really will help you get in the mindframe to relax.

Don't knock it unless you've tried it.

5. Work out 15-30 minutes 5-7 days a week. This will remove a lot of tension and anxiety.

PlatinumJester
2007-08-13, 03:40 PM
Watch day time TV.

Yiel
2007-08-13, 05:39 PM
This will sound really strange... but when I can't sleep I turn around and try to sleep the other way around in my bed. (ie with my feet where my head was previously) Many times it works :smallconfused:

I've always had trouble sleeping, so I keep my room free of non-"sleep" things such as computers, televisions, etc. It keeps me from staying awake, distracted by these things with the excuse that I find sleep too difficult to obtain.

I do agree with those before who have suggested exercise. There is nothing like pure physical exhaustion to knock a busy brain out for the night.

RandomNPC
2007-08-15, 07:30 PM
i told my doctor i was tired and couldn't sleep, i told him i cut cafeene, chocolate, i even tried red meat (i still ate my meat, not giving that up) and my doctor looks at me and says (no joke) "Well, RandomNPC you should try to get more sleep."

honnestly, don't go to my doctor.

what i finnally did was i put off martial arts practice untill nobody was looking, because i was the only one awake. then i would practice as fast and as hard as i could untill i couldn't breathe. the i would lay down and be out before i could make a comparison to something that being out is often compared to, like a light. the plus side to nightly phisical exaustion being that by the time any of my family saw my martial arts they were a bit surprised.