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Never getting a good night's sleep


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Old 30th October 2017, 12:44 PM   #1
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Never getting a good night's sleep

I've really started thinking about my sleeping habits, and quite honestly, I'm not happy with them. So, I honestly cannot remember the last time I've gotten a good night's sleep, nor the last time I've ever truly felt well rested. "Tired" seems to be my normal state of living, and I'm not happy about that.

The thing is, I tend to have trouble falling asleep in the first place, and then I end up waking up at least once or twice during the night and having trouble falling back asleep again. The crazy thing is, usually when I'm trying to fall asleep, I am physically tired and I can barely keep my eyes open. But then once my eyes are closed, it becomes something of a mental thing.

My mind seems to race all over the place. Not about anxieties or bad things, just dumb unimportant stuff. For instance, I'll try to fall asleep, and suddenly I'm thinking about some show I watched earlier, or some movie I saw a while back, or some topic in the news, or some "event" coming up in my day to day life, or whatever, and I just have these inner monologues thinking about these different subjects and racing back and forth between multiple topics. I just can't get my brain to shut up, it seems. It often feels like my mind is actively fighting being "turned off". And then when I finally do doze off, I wake up a couple hours later and have to fight the same process all over again.

Like, last night, for example. I couldn't fall asleep until some time after midnight. I then woke up at, like, 1:30AM, with a case of the night sweats (which is something that's been happening to me lately, not often, but maybe once a month or so, I'll wake up in the middle of the night feeling totally soaked). Changed my clothes, got back in bed, tried to fall asleep while wrestling with my racing mind once again. Woke up again at about 5AM, and just stayed in bed until I had to get up a few hours later to start the day.

That's a pretty typical sleeping cycle for me. Again, I always feel super tired and exhausted in my day, but then when I try to go to sleep at night, my brain just refuses. I'm not sure what the problem is here, but it's been going on for as long as I can remember, honestly, and I really hate that.
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Old 30th October 2017, 1:42 PM   #2
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I hope someone chimes in because I’ve been having the same issue for months
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Old 30th October 2017, 2:05 PM   #3
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Do you exercise?

What does your diet look like? How much sugar do you consume? (especially interested in this due to the night sweats). Do you consume caffeine?

For ME, the best way to get into a good sleep cycle, is to give my body a reason to want to rest…. By exercising, staying physically busy, and eating well. That’s when I sleep the best.

And weekdays, I average 5-6 hours of sleep a night (just not enough hours in the day for me!), and usually feel well rested – but if I am having problems sleeping (I am usually able to fall asleep, but I do the early waking thing… ) I do the following:

Be sure to get exercise, ideally twice in one day

Limit sugar intake and caffeine (for me, no caffeine after 9 am)

“Unplug” an hour before bed – no more screens. TV off, no phone. I will read a book or do some other quiet activity. I also lower the lights, its supposed to help tell your body its night time.

Count sheep – seriously, if my mind is being too active, I focus on something relaxing. For me, that’s horse back riding, so I will envision riding a test – and every time my mind wanders – I bring it back to riding (counting sheep can work too).

Make your bedroom a “sleeping space” – and that means its only for sleeping. Mine doesn’t have a TV or other “entertainment”, it’s a quiet space that is reserved for sleeping (well and you know…). They say it again helps sleep to have a designated one purpose space.

Noise and light – heavy curtains help block any light that comes in from the street etc, and I run a fan for white noise.

And last resort? If I am having a hard time with those pesky 2 am wake ups – I will take one or two Benadryl with dinner. Same active ingredient that is in many sleep aids, and it really helps me sleep until my alarm clock.
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Old 30th October 2017, 2:28 PM   #4
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How is your sleeping environment like? I suffer from insomnia as well and find this to be the most important factor in a good sleep. A temperature controlled room that is quiet and dark can make all the difference between a sleepless night and a well-rested one for me. Also, a suitable pillow and bed. Much of that costs money, but it's an investment I'll never regret making.

Also, try and allocate some time to relax and unwind before bed.
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Old 30th October 2017, 2:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elswyth View Post
How is your sleeping environment like? I suffer from insomnia as well and find this to be the most important factor in a good sleep. A temperature controlled room that is quiet and dark can make all the difference between a sleepless night and a well-rested one for me. Also, a suitable pillow and bed. Much of that costs money, but it's an investment I'll never regret making.

Also, try and allocate some time to relax and unwind before bed.
I think my bedroom is decent enough. I always have the lights off when I'm ready for trying to go to sleep. My bed and pillows are fine. Quite a bit old, perhaps, but I don't consider them uncomfortable.

One thing that I think has really been wreaking havoc on my sleep is work. I'm used to working second shift, but up until this past spring, I'd usually get out of work at 8 or 9 PM. Typically, it takes me at least 1-2 hours after getting home from work to "unwind", and back then, I'd go to sleep around 11, which was fine. Still woke up a bit during the night, but I felt like I got more sleep.

This past spring, though, they changed my hours, and now most nights, I don't get home until 10:30-11 PM. So it's hard to "unwind" quickly and go right to bed, which has forced me to kind of change my "bed time" to 12-1AM. And it sucks, because having to do this five days a week has made it so that, even on my days off, I'm mentally "trained" to be awake until midnight or later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RecentChange View Post
Be sure to get exercise, ideally twice in one day

Limit sugar intake and caffeine (for me, no caffeine after 9 am)
Admittedly, I don't exercise or work out, and I definitely don't have a "good" diet, but I don't think I take in too much sugar or caffeine.

Like I said, most of the time when I try to go to sleep, I physically feel very tired and ready to go to sleep, but my brain basically fights me from turning it off.

Quote:
“Unplug” an hour before bed – no more screens. TV off, no phone. I will read a book or do some other quiet activity. I also lower the lights, its supposed to help tell your body its night time.
Yeah, admittedly, I'm also guilty of having a TV, my tablet, and game consoles in my bedroom, but I don't really feel like that stuff leads to me staying awake or anything. Actually, funny enough, I often find that when I'm actively trying to stay awake late, whether it be to watch something or whatever, that pushes me closer to actually falling asleep. Not sure how that works. But there have been countless times where I wanted to stay up and watch something, and then I shut my eyes for a second and then I wake up a couple hours after it's been over.

Quote:
Count sheep – seriously, if my mind is being too active, I focus on something relaxing. For me, that’s horse back riding, so I will envision riding a test – and every time my mind wanders – I bring it back to riding (counting sheep can work too).
Heh, believe it or not, that's one thing I do try quite often. I often try to force myself to focus my thoughts on something menial like counting whatever. Somehow, I always come off the rails with it, though. Like, I'll start counting something, and then minutes later, I find myself back to one of my inner thought cycles, and I'm like "Wait, when did I stop counting?".
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Old 30th October 2017, 5:45 PM   #6
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I agree with the suggestions in Recentchange's post. The one thing I do which she didn't mention, though, is to pray while lying there. I have so many people to pray for and things to pray about that I can't get through all of them before I'm asleep.

Also, I take sustained release melatonin nightly. You're not supposed to take it long term but I've taken it for years. If I'm really energized and need to calm down I also may take Valerian Root powder (the herb, non addictive, that Valium is made from) and Passion Fruit powder. Then I put a dab of lavender oil under my nose. There are many other non addictive natural sleep remedies out there but this seems to be enough for me. Oh, yes, one more thing I do once in a while is to have a cup of kava tea before going to bed.
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Old 30th October 2017, 5:56 PM   #7
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I find masturbation helps too a big O will put me to sleep.

As for exercise, it helps quiet your mind - doesn't just make you physically tired. It does wonders for anxiety and all sorts of ills. Yes it takes some gumption, but when it comes to physical and mental health, few things are as consistently effective as exercise.

Being warm and cozy can help too... Hot shower, or a hot bath.
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Old 30th October 2017, 6:52 PM   #8
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Having insomnia is the norm for millions of people. It usually is a decades long situation. Sometimes us older dudes reach a point where it's hard not to fall asleep. So perhaps it will pass when you're older.
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Old 31st October 2017, 9:24 PM   #9
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OMG, you have just describe what I go through in a nightly basis. I have been contemplating drinking a little bit of alcohol before bed time. I'm not a drinker so I don't like the taste of alcohol. But I remember one time when I had the flu and I took some cold medicine that had alcohol in it, It help me sleep like a baby. So I'm thinking of giving that solution a try but haven't found a drink that I can tolerate the taste for. Willing to give this a shot. Some people suggest sleeping pills but I just have a thing against sleeping pills.
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