Getting to sleep when all else fails!

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Getting to sleep when all else fails!

Postby Eppie » Fri Oct 03, 2008 10:39 pm

hi everyone,
I have not had a good week sleep wise... stress, mostly work, plus a few other things have kept me wide awake feeling as if someone is sitting on my chest squashing all the air out of me.

I wondered if we could share ideas for getting to sleep or distractions when your mind is going crazy at night.

Some of my techniques that usually work are...

Honey and cammomile tea
Hot water bottles
Children's audio books (i am grown up really!)
Getting some playing cards and having a game of patience in bed
Reading Adrian Plass books
Putting the radio on for company
Setting myself something to think about - my favourite is if you gave birth to sextuplets and had to name each of them, with a first name, and two middle names, what would you pick - remember the names have to sound good together! If you can do the girls, move onto the boys. I've never got to the end of this task!

Love to hear ideas from others!

E x
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Postby Keziah » Sat Oct 04, 2008 3:04 pm

I sometimes find helpful:

listening to relaxing music
reading a magazine/light book
playing games in my head - think of an animal with each letter of the alpahabet, think of a Biblical male character beginning with each letter of alphabet (then go onto females) etc.
Having a warm bath/shower
Use lavender cream/spray/oil
Hot Water Bottles (my favourite) and hot water teddies to cuddle
Sudoku/crosswords if my brain is all jumpy
Drinking milk
Don't feel guilty when I cannot sleep - and try and "bank" hours of sleep in advance/later and tell myself I have had enough sleep that week, as guilt makes me sleep less!

A strict routine has really helped me. Going to bed at similar time, getting up (even when I don't want to). Physical exercise in the day can help tire me out.

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Postby Lex08 » Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:19 pm

I went trough and insomniac fase when i was little, so I have used a few in the past!!

*Imagining you are on a beach (or somewhere just as nice) and really imagining how it feels, sounds, smells .etc.

*If it is a situation//conversation that you have to have that is running through your head and you keep turning it over and over, literally get it out of your head. Kepp a pen and some paper by your bed and write all the stuff that is in your head down and then it is out and you dont have to feel like you need to remember it!! (I do this even now, cos i always seem to get ideas in bed!!)

*Take clocks out of your room...cos then you aren't counting how long you have been awake and worrying about how long it is till you need to wake up

*DON'T TRY!! if you honestly can't get to sleep, don't lie there getting yourself in a tizz and just feeling worse and worse. Just remain in bed...eyes shut... trying to reamain calm... and even if you don't go to sleep you are still getting rest that your body needs and in time you WILL go to sleep!!

*Playing silly mind games with yourself is always a goodun!!

Hope these are of help to peeps... Thankfully, however erratic my sleep patterns are now, i always manage to sleep enough for me; But I do remember how much it used to suck when i couldn't sleep at all!!
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Postby Hash » Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:41 pm


If you cant sleep get up after 20 minutes, go and do something relaxing like watching a relaxing film or something that will relax you then go and try and get some sleep when you feel sleepy. If you cant get to sleep when you are in bed again then get up after 20 minutes. and continue the same cycle

No caffeine at night and no eating lots during the night. Just eat a light snack if you are hungry.

Not eating enough can cause insomnia make sure you fill your stomach adequately during your evening meal enough to keep you going through the night.

Remember Chocolate is a stimulant that includes hot chocolate, horlicks is the best drink at night time. or hot milk.

Prepare for sleep by doing something late at night to unwind like having a hot bath or watching a disney DVD, listening to music, anything relaxing. Don't do anything that requires lots of thought

If you find you are thinking about things during the night have a piece of paper and a pen by your bed and right down all the things you are worrying about then in the day have a worry hour, an hour in which you read through all the things you had writen down and worry about them.

If you are in fact lieing awake worrying about how little sleep you are hainvg concentrate all your energy as you lie there on staying awake, think about staying awake and try with all your might to keep yourself awake and you will find you are spending all your time not worrying about how little sleep you are having but concentrating on staying awake and then eventually you will drop off to sleep anyway.

Remember the body is an amazing thing, you may think your body has to have sleep but honestly your body can cope with very little sleep. You will find your body will make you sleep when it really needs it.

If you find yourself worrying that you are not getting enough sleep set your alarm and get up an hour earlier each day, that way you can test the theory that you cannot cope with the amount of sleep you are having I think you will find that you cope with even less sleep (THIS is what psychologists do to treat those people with severe insomnia)

Don't get up too early in the day, the earliest you should get up in the morning is 6am

Always get up at the same time every day preferably early before 9am

Don't sleep in the day

Go to bed at the same time every night!
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Postby Keziah » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:25 pm

some great tips here, thanks
Kezzie x
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Postby Abbie » Sat Oct 11, 2008 3:25 pm

Good tips. Another one - eat a banana before bed - potassium helps muscles relax and prepares them for the regeneration that happens during sleep. I can't remember the name of the actual chemical in it, but Chamomile tea also helps because it's a relaxant. I add it to squash cos I don't like the taste!
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Postby Eppie » Sat Oct 11, 2008 5:49 pm

Thanks everyone! Lots of tips for me to try there. Fortunately this week hasn't been quite as bad, but things have still been unusually stressful at work and I am so so so tired...
the next thing I could do with ideas on is how not to wake up at 6am at the weekend when that's the time I get up during the week!
E x
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Postby Keziah » Sat Oct 11, 2008 6:21 pm

am loving the idea of squash with chamomile tea (as I can't stand the taste either - what a great idea!)

Um, waking up early ... something I rarely have had a problem with, how annoying for you. Though I am always more awake on a Saturday when I wake up than on a weekday when at work!

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Postby churlywhirly » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:18 am

I am an expert at this!!

the one me and Mr do on the phone is A-Z of varies things, the hardest is capital cities.
Milky drink before bed
story tapes
a few sit up
going to bed at the same time every night
"It's something everybody wants–for someone to see the hurt done to them and set it down like it matters." – Sue Monk Kidd
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Postby sally » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:37 pm

I often wake up really early. My tips aren't brilliant but they can help me not get wound up!
I try to stay resting - I listen to a lot of story tapes!! It's a relief when morning comes and I know that other people will be waking up so I don't feel so alone. If it's cold i put the heating on or make a hot water bottle and cup of tea. If I'm hungry I have an early breakfast!
However little sleep I get, I try not to stress that I won't be able to cope the next day. I remind myself how little sleep new Mums manage on!!
Hope you've done OK this w/e for sleep!
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Re: Getting to sleep when all else fails!

Postby mermaidzen » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:41 am

I drink warm milk with honey. Even found it works from my boys who have ADHD so don't need much sleep.
Not working for me just down as I tend to wake up every hr and lay there feeling very alone and panicy. Even though hubby is right next to me snoring his head of.

Hope it helps.

Remember God loves you :) I know he loves me as well and has a plan for me :) just wish he would hurry up with it as I can't take much more of this pain :(
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Re: Getting to sleep when all else fails!

Postby BelieversBrain » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:06 am

I have a wonky sleep pattern. Sometimes I sleep too much, sometimes I can't get to sleep, at the moment I get to sleep then wake up in the middle of the night!

My tips would be:
Don't stay in bed when you can't sleep. It only makes you stress about how you are not sleeping, which makes things worse for me. Get up and do something, watch TV, read a book, have something warm to drink.
I like reading Adrian Plass books before I sleep too!
The best thing for me is to try to clear my mind. I get the same thoughts/conversations running round and round in my head and it stops me sleeping. One way I was taught was to relax every muscle, lie still and concentrate on breathing/visualising a candle flame and nothing else. It can be really hard but it helps relax the mind a bit! It's a form of meditation. Another way to do it would be to use a rosary if you are Catholic or something similar where you say a word/phrase over and over, it's like distracting your mind, you get into like a slow space, from where you can go to sleep, pray, think about God, that sort of thing. It's very relaxing (though I don't do it with the rosary prayers, I've heard of people using the Lord's Prayer)
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Re: Getting to sleep when all else fails!

Postby Hash » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:13 pm

Just a couple more things to think about.

Try, not using screens such as mobiles, computers and TV's after nine o'clock or an hour before bedtime.

Just read an easy book or listen to audio books an hour before bed time.

Don't spend time in bed during the day and definitely don't sleep during the day.

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