Author Topic: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread  (Read 2718 times)

Barry Admin

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Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« on: June 11, 2021, 04:04:37 AM »
Help! What do? Zero sleep at all last night, so I took a sleeper an hour or two ago, to no avail. Got some Chopin on now, see if that'll help. Any suggestions?

Anyone else suffering through this tortuous bullshit at the minute? Sympathies if so.

zomgmouse

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Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2021, 04:19:03 AM »
yeah been on and off since May last year. I think our lockdown here has brought it on in particular, the added stress of everything compounding whatever anxieties I have already. that or being in bed with a partner for elongated periods of time which I must still be getting used to. my own insomnia sees me mostly falling asleep with no trouble but then waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep a lot of the time. doctor prescribed melatonin at some point but it wasn't really helping because that usually helps with getting you to sleep in the first place which wasn't my issue.

in terms of suggestions, you may already be across this but:

adhering to basic sleep hygiene has helped me at times, e.g. using the bed ONLY for bed-related activities (sleep/sex), if you can't sleep don't kick about just get up and do something. basically training your brain to associate the bed with the appropriate sensations.

blue light filters on screens (particularly towards the evening), restricting screen time later in the day incl. no phone before bed (this is difficult).

fucking sucks. insomnidarity with you

Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2021, 05:22:29 AM »
Exercise and Radio 4.

Glebe

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Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2021, 05:27:01 AM »
Yep, that's me right now. Going for me first vax jab this afternoon, hope I'm not half asleep by then...

Dr Rock

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Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2021, 06:03:35 AM »
What 'sleepers' are you taking?

Non-drug thing - you can slow your heartbeat down. Hold your breathe, like you want to do a poo, tense your stomach. Don't do a poo. Hold for about three seconds. Repeat about three times, this often makes me feel more sleepy when I'm struggling.

Torture isn't it. I often get snippets of songs repeating in my head, fucking annoying.

Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2021, 06:27:49 AM »
Consider tips from The Sleep Council - https://sleepcouncil.org.uk/advice-support/

canadagoose

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Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2021, 06:35:34 AM »
I can't offer much practical advice, but I've found sleepy antihistamines work quite well. Sometimes.

I keep waking up at stupid o'clock these days, probably because of sunlight blasting in at 4am like a big bright explosion. I end up having an afternoon nap too. I'm a bit facked.

zomgmouse

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Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2021, 06:37:19 AM »
I can't offer much practical advice, but I've found sleepy antihistamines work quite well. Sometimes.

I keep waking up at stupid o'clock these days, probably because of sunlight blasting in at 4am like a big bright explosion. I end up having an afternoon nap too. I'm a bit facked.

This reminds me of another thing I've found helps sometimes: eye masks

canadagoose

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Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2021, 07:10:35 AM »
This reminds me of another thing I've found helps sometimes: eye masks
That is a thought! I don't know where my old one went - I should probably get another.

Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2021, 07:21:29 AM »
I had a bad night last night. Combination I think of worries, it being so light, and stupid things like someone phoning me in the evening- that is enough to set my brain off. Ended up taking three antihistamines which is stupid as that probably makes me feel worse the next day than no sleep. Did sleep in the end but it felt very light.

Janie Jones

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Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2021, 07:46:03 AM »
Lifelong insomniac. I endorse the eye covers advice for the early dawns. I also stand by this advice, from one of the previous insomnia threads:

...melatonin doesn’t really work on adults, it’s not prescribed for adults in this country. It’s easy to buy in Europe in any Superdrug type shop and some supermarkets so get a friend to send you some if you want to try melatonin but I wouldn’t bother, not if you’ve got real life-sapping insomnia.

I don’t know the answer after half a century of managing on maybe 90 minutes to three hours sleep a night, some weeks. Here are some things that help if you’re aiming for falling asleep around midnight for 7 hours:

No caffeine (cola, tea, coffee, green tea, energy drinks, chocolate) after 1pm
Exercise, whatever works for you to get you mildly sweaty and out of breath. Do it before 9pm
Nil by mouth except water after 8pm. Don’t eat late.
Make lists of things you need to do and things that are on your mind. Maybe keep a journal.
Maintain a clean, tidy bed and sleeping area.
Never, ever nap in the day, no matter how shattered you are.
Ask your GP to prescribe one of the ‘Z’ drugs. Use them as little as possible because they will stop working after a while but they are useful when you’re desperate.

zomgmouse

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Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2021, 07:51:46 AM »
Great stuff JJ

Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2021, 09:03:01 AM »
Which Chopin did you have on? Nocturnes is great.

You could try listening to The Tired Sounds of Stars of The Lid, that always sends me straight out.

buttgammon

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Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2021, 09:15:07 AM »
Second the suggestions of eye masks and antihistamines. I always used to struggle with the short nights in the summer, but eye masks have stopped that being a problem.

Another music recommendation is The Pavilion of Dreams by Harold Budd.

Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2021, 09:19:41 AM »
I get bad bouts, waking up incredibly stressed and anxious in middle of night in fight-or-flight mode, and then staring at ceiling with my mind set firmly to ‘churning’ until the alarm goes off.

Something I find helps calm my brain down are ‘Sleep Soundscapes’ which I downloaded free through Audible (although you do have to have an active membership so not free free). Nice soothing nature sounds with an emphasis on stillness. They don’t always do the trick but I’m very glad they sometimes do.

Buelligan

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Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2021, 09:20:38 AM »
My worst thing for stopping sleep was worrying or thinking about stuff that made me either anxious or angry or anything unsettling that gets the old adrenaline pumping.  At the mo I have more exercise than my body can repair (sweet, sweet, lockdown is over) but generally speaking, being physically tired, getting enough exercise, has always helped me.  Not the whole story, not by a long old chalk.  I remember, working the vines, absolutely shagged, too tired to cook or anything, lying in bed panicking about having to wake before dawn to do it again and no sign of sleep to save me.  I think I allowed myself to get really upset and focused on sleep and sleep is something you have to fool into creeping shyly up, tice it, you cannot command its presence, it will surely flee.

I have a little pre-bed routine now, wash face, brush teeth, turn down bed and put pillows just right.  Lie down in corpse position, think, momentarily, about the time I will wake, visualise the hour, then think about the same thing every time - a garden I will make one day - something calm and happy that can be extended if sleep doesn't come immediately.  Never, ever, think about trying to sleep or allow myself to get upset about not sleeping or any other disturbing thing.  Turn the naughty mind away from those thoughts firmly, immediately, calmly.  Every night, the same ceremony which seems to do the trick.

Also given up coffee completely.  Don't even know if it affected me.  I love coffee but I love sleep more.

Barry Admin

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Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2021, 10:15:13 AM »
Thanks for all the suggestions and stuff to work through folks :-)

What 'sleepers' are you taking?

Zopiclone 3.5mg; I hate em so haven't gotten them prescribed for years, but my Mum gave me a few recently for when I'm in a really bad way with this bollocks.

Exercise isn't a problem, I'm going mad tidying the flat at the minute and used to walk ferocious amounts but still not be able to sleep.

I did get very jitterry last night tho, I think I'm at the limits of my tramadol; had that awful, fidgety withdrawal feeling.

Barry Admin

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Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2021, 10:20:43 AM »
Which Chopin did you have on? Nocturnes is great.

You could try listening to The Tired Sounds of Stars of The Lid, that always sends me straight out.

Just whatever came up on Spotify. Then I switched to Debussy and Suite Bergamasque knocked me the fuck out! And I managed to sleep right through for 6 hours or more without waking up, woohoo! Bonus result there.

Just relieved as I wanted to go for lunch with my Mum, and couldn't face it on two sleepless nights in a row :-D

Eh Buellers you seem to have very good sleep hygiene, I need to do that better. Better watch my last cup of tea in the day too, dial it back further again as Janie suggests.

Dr Rock

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Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2021, 10:54:05 AM »
Zopiclone 3.5mg; I hate em so haven't gotten them prescribed for years, but my Mum gave me a few recently for when I'm in a really bad way with this bollocks.

Yeah that's the one I'd recommend. You can get twice that strength, but a half, as it would be to me, can work too.

---

As for keeping out the light, this is very important, I don't use eye-masks, I've blocked all the windows so it's virtually pitch black day or night (if the lights aren't on). Luckily where I'm living now is very quiet, but if noise wakes you up, earplugs are great, the wax ones really block out everything. 

Oh and it really helps to go to bed and get up at the same times every day too.

Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2021, 11:00:15 AM »
That is a thought! I don't know where my old one went - I should probably get another.

Check your forehead first. That's often where mine turns up.

bgmnts

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Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2021, 11:10:05 AM »
Not very healthy but does booze work?

Buelligan

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Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2021, 11:16:40 AM »
Not in my experience.  Sleep is about fixing your body after the day's degradations, I found that my body spent all it's sleep-money on trying to fix the degradations of the alcohol and was running, ever deeper, into debt on all the other buggery every morning. 

Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2021, 11:55:11 AM »
Consider tips from The Sleep Council - https://sleepcouncil.org.uk/advice-support/
Thanks! I'm also an insomniac, especially in this heat, and it's driving me up the fucking wall.

Barry Admin

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Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2021, 12:16:16 PM »
Not very healthy but does booze work?

It gives you a much worse quality of sleep, but may knock you out, sure.

The reason I stopped getting sleepers from the doctor years ago was that they're much the same, so they just seem like a false economy to me, plus they're super addictive. But desperate times.

I'm about 5 or 6 years off the sauce now anyway.

I got my first jab a few weeks ago, so took my first bus ride in over a year to get some weed, and that is awesome, and I'll fall asleep on the sofa etc and sleep right through for hours like a baby. So I'll try and get some more next weekend. Otherwise I'm up pissing every few hours when I do actually manage to sleep.

Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2021, 12:23:31 PM »
L-Theanine, reduces anxiety, improves sleep, most importantly non addictive and won't leave you a zombie.

Most important thing is staying away from the bedroom unless you want to sleep.

Much easier said than done as insomnia is hell and a difficult cycle to break. One of lives ironies is sleep is always hardest when you want it the most.

If you don't fall asleep straight away, try to not get panicky and let your mind be content at just simply resting while focusing on your breathing.

Rain sounds or white noise help plug the soul crushing void of silence.


katzenjammer

  • Now we know...
Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2021, 12:36:12 PM »
I've recently read Why We Sleep The author has a lot to say about the use of alcohol and sleeping pills, none of it good.

Quote
In his eye-opening book Why We Sleep, sleep scientist Matthew Walker tells us that the sleep we enter after drinking is more like anesthesia than real sleep, due to alcohol’s sedative effect. As Walker says, instead of helping you fall asleep, alcohol merely “sedates you out of wakefulness”.

Also, unlike natural sleepiness, the drowsiness of alcohol eventually wears off part way throughout the night, leaving you more prone to small wake-ups that steal away any good rest sleep has to offer. Walker adds that, since most will not remember these small wake-ups, they fail to associate the next-day tiredness they feel with the alcohol-caused wake-ups they experienced throughout the night. It’s thanks to this that evening drinking looks completely innocent in most people's eyes, despite most likely being the culprit behind their fatigue.

The most ruinous effect of alcohol is actually something much less obvious to the lay-sleeper. Walker tells us that, as a by-product of your body metabolizing alcohol, the chemical aldehyde is created, and aldehydes are known to block your brain from entering REM sleep (also known as dream sleep).

One of REM sleep’s primary roles is solidifying complex memory in your brain, helping you to make connections and identify patterns. This useful skill is thus impaired by the effects of alcohol on your sleep. And as far as waiting for the weekend goes: alcohol’s blocking of REM can dismantle learned information even when you enjoy evening drinks days after your brain has gathered and stored the information.

https://reverie.com/blog/post/why-you-should-rethink-the-nightcap

Quote
Sleeping pills, he bluntly states, at the beginning of the chapter, “do not provide natural sleep, can damage health, and increase the risk of life-threatening diseases”. Ouch.

In fact, Walker doesn’t believe these are “sleeping pills” at all. They’re basically sedating agents or knock-out drugs.  The older sleep drugs, such as diazepam, basically did knock you out, but Walker doesn’t believe the newer sleep drugs are much better. They don’t improve sleep – they simply shut down the higher regions of our brains’ cortexes.

https://www.healthrising.org/blog/2020/05/18/walker-sleeping-pills-cognitive-behavioral-therapy/

Tony Tony Tony

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Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2021, 12:43:39 PM »
Best advice I got from my old dad was if you can’t sleep then feign slumber. At least you get some rest and often I nod off anyway whilst pretending.

I find the issue is often words or ideas running around in my head. I have taken to visualising these as words and ‘pushing’ these away with an imaginary broom. Once they are safely binned I rest on the broom, serene like a Kung Fu master, and nod off. It can take a few goes to round up all the loose thoughts but perseverance usually pays off.

Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2021, 12:45:29 PM »
Long time insomniac, thankfully with some remission in the last five years.
I don't have any advice to relive it other than the not very helpful "Sleeping pills don't help" which I'm sure you're aware of. They just move the problem down the road a bit.
My top tip was always, just get up and do stuff. Lying in bed getting angry with yourself is never going to work. Do something shit you'd rather not have to do during your free time. Clean the oven. Tidy the spare room. Update your CV. If you're going to have time available at night, use it to regain some time at weekends when you can be doing fun stuff during the day instead.

Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2021, 12:48:19 PM »
Sleeping pills give me terrible restless legs. It's awful. I can also confirm that alcohol doesn't work.

katzenjammer

  • Now we know...
Re: Insomniaaaaaargggghh thread
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2021, 12:58:00 PM »
I go through bouts of insomnia. I don't have any trouble dropping off but wake up at 4AM almost on the dot and can't go back to sleep. By day three of this I'm practically suicidal, it's horrific.

What sometimes works for me is going to the living room, reading for a bit then putting some quiet spoken word audio on to distract me whilst I try to fall asleep on the sofa. If after 15 mins I'm still awake I read a bit more and repeat.  Also counting down from 1000 sometimes works.

Oh, another thing that seems to have improved my quality of sleep has been taping my mouth shut to get in the habit of breathing through my nose. Sounds ridiculous I know but I honestly believe it helped.

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