No Sleep Tonight


From time to time the sleep fairy seems to pass me over on its nightly  rounds and tonight is one of those times.  When I saw this a few weeks ago it made me laugh as there are nights when I truly feel like that.  You know the nights I mean, you have 75% of you wanting to go to sleep and the other 25% pondering over various questions in a range of somewhat odd topics, all of which adds up to keeping you awake or at least falling into a true deep sleep.

So what do you do when you can’t sleep and what sort of things do you ponder that keeps you from the land of nod?

insomnia

45 thoughts on “No Sleep Tonight

  1. As the consummate insomniac who can fall asleep the very second his head hit the pillow yet only stays thus for 3 hours max I am unable – even after so many years – to offer any advice. I have tried everything there is. The curse is that from time to time it gets so bad that the ‘black dog’ sneaks in and I become thoroughly unpleasant to all about me. Any tips?

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    • Ear plugs [foam ones] tend to help as they block out ambient noise so that if you do get to drop off you aren’t woken easily. I know that if I’m woken after a couple of hours like you I find it hard to go back to sleep so when a friend suggested ear plugs I tried it and Wow it worked well.

      My problem is mainly winding down my brain which tends to tick over like a souped up engine at times and even reading it into submission doesn’t work all the time. I’ve always been a bad sleeper even as a kid but I am fortunate that 5hrs is enough for me to be fully operational.

      Unlike my poor husband, if he misses out on a full 8 to 10 hours he’s like a zombie the next day.

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      • Fascinating thing is sleep. When my brain gets beyond tired it shuts down, as stated, immediately yet when it thinks it is rested it wakes up – starts going into over-drive thinking without my permission – disregarding the fact that the rest of me still wants more kip! Do you find that your brain and yourself are two quite separate entities?

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      • At times – I try giving it a stern talking to but then immediately start to ponder the question – does giving my brain a talking to count as talking to yourself and how does this reflect on my mental health. All of which basically means – NO SLEEP FOR JEN!

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      • That’s a shame as I do the same thing – i.e. start telling myself off. Guess nothing works. Still at least it keeps the lunacy levels up! Best of luck sleeping.

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  2. It is certainly not happy thoughts that keep me wake, Jenni. Anxiety and worry is always the culprit when I start tossing and turning. I try to calm my brain by thinking: ‘You’ve survived every problem so far in your life, haven’t you, Mark?’ and sometimes it actually works.

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    • I hear you on the ‘sometimes’ part of that statement – silly brain not paying attention to what you tell it. Most annoying especially when you KNOW you shouldn’t worry so much but ….. at 3am common sense is sensibly asleep unlike me.

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  3. Sometimes when I can’t sleep because I can’t get something out of my head, I’ll write about it and occasionally post to my blog at some obscure hour. This seems to happen in particular with poetry. If I’m lucky, I do get some sleep after I finish writing.

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    • Writing usually helps with me also, as does reading but from time to time my brain seems to get caught in some sort of loop. Irritating as I don’t like sleep medication [feel like a zombie the next day] but if I go two nights without sleep it seems to trigger a feedback scenario. I become worried about not sleeping, that worry stops me from sleeping and so on.

      Brains can be very annoying at times – they should just do as they’re told but as they are actually the one giving the instructions to the body it seems they can filter out the sleep message.

      Oh well I’ve been meaning to catch up on some journal articles so I suppose I’ll read until I finally crash tonight- or tomorrow.

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      • Have you ever tried taking melatonin? It’s the substance your body makes to help you fall asleep. You should take it two or three hours before bedtime. I use it sometimes the night after a sleepless or low-sleep night to avoid having two bad nights in a row. As long as you take it at the right time, it shouldn’t carry over and make you groggy the next day because the levels in your body naturally diminish overnight which helps you to wake up in the morning. Of course, I’m relying on the rash assumption that something we can buy over the counter is in the US is readily available there…

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      • No its available here- you can get it here both in liquid of gel cap form or have a compound pharmacist make up a dose as per a doctor’s prescription [for concentrated doses].

        For some reason I have a terrible reaction to it – makes me violently ill which was very disappointing as I know it works quite well. My husband [who’s a bad sleeper like me] uses it and says it is the only thing outside of benzos that has ever worked for him.

        So I’m left with meditation, reading and if it goes too long I cheat and take a phenergan (over the counter antihistamine that makes you drowsy) but I don’t like to do that so I keep it to a minimum.

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  4. If I can’t sleep or get woken up abruptly at night (which happens quite a lot – for a number of reasons*), I usually get up and make a hot drink, then sit downstairs and read for a bit. After a while my eyes generally start to close and one of two things happens… either (a) I trundle back up to bed and fall asleep, or (b) I wake up on the sofa in the morning with a book on my face and a stiff neck. (b) seems to be the most common outcome, so I wouldn’t advise this as good practice! TDx

    *Mostly due to the fact that I live quite near a main road and other people don’t seem to understand that being stopped at traffic lights in a residential area at 1am and having a deep bass dance track thumping out of your car stereo is ANTI-SOCIAL** behaviour!

    ** Sorry for shouting, but this does really irritate me – as did the couple who stood under my bedroom window having a drunken row for about 20m a few weeks ago. At THREE in the morning!***

    ****Wow, sorry – you probably didn’t expect appendices in your answers! x

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    • Oh no worries – have had my share of less than fun neighbours – it’s why I’m glad we have a house now rather than an apartment. As for the main road – try foam ear plugs – they block out ambient noise and stop you from being woken up an hour or so after you fall asleep. A friend suggested them for me and wow they work well.

      Not much help on the nights when it’s hard to go to sleep due to busy brain but then not much is. Reading is what I usually do but there are times when reading it into submission doesn’t do anything other than make me think of ‘what might happen next’ after I finish the book.

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  5. Insomnia and I have a long lasting relationship. Sometimes, instead of tossing and turning all night or staring at the ceiling, i just give up the battle and read until i feel sleepy. Or do something productive. I rather know my time was used rather than wasted. I mourn for the unattainable sleep. Coffee is a necessity most days. Only recently have i stabled out with a sleeping schedule cause i finally have a consistent schedule at work.

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    • I’ve recently be doing quite well but in the past week or so it’s been all over the place. It always does that when I’m physically ill – just to add some fun to the whole experience I’m sure. 😦 Never mind it will come right soon and I’ve got plenty of work done during the night so all good – I guess. 🙂

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  6. I always have trouble sleeping and as soon as my brain starts to think, regardless how small and irrelevant it may be, I can forget about getting any sleep. I hope you can get some sleep.

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    • Yeah I don’t drink. Have this theory that everyone comes with a max quota of alcohol allowed in one lifetime before tipping over into the land of permanently lush.

      I reached mine at 23 so decided that rather than keep skipping down that path I’d leave the whole drinking thing alone. Strangely it was then I found out the nightclubs totally suck – hmmm wonder if there is a connection there.

      Never really liked the taste of alcohol anyway so other than wine over dinner sometimes I don’t keep it in the house other than what I need for cooking and guests.

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    • Niki Harvey from the must love animals blog was kind enough to tell me that YES they do have knees. Now of course I’m wondering WHERE but since it is 1.20pm Wednesday I think it’s okay to have a busy brain about now.

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  7. FYI, there is a whole wave of literature out there on polyphasic sleep patterns against the normal expected ‘go to bed at 10 pm and wake at 8 am’ theory. I am a great believer in sleeping when you are tired and if you cannot sleep then you are obviously not tired enough to sleep so get up and do something.
    Churchill prided himself on squeezing in two days in every twenty four hours (with an afternoon sleep in between). His second day would go through to 3 am. I often do the same and in fact my great hours of creativity happen either late at night, in the wee small hours of the morning, or in that glorious hour before daybreak.

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    • Oh I’m a huge fan of “The Nap’ or the nanna nap as my husband calls it. The nap after lunch or in the late arvo is my personal fave!! Usually I set my sleep around going to bed between 12.30 and 1.30 am but every now and then [especially if I’m sick] something clicks over around 11pm and my brain moves into high gear but doesn’t wind down until the wee hours of the morning.

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    • I know Nikki Harvey from the all about animal blog told me – now of course I’m trying to imagine just WHERE those little knees would fit. 🙂

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  8. Well since I’m not sleeping either trying to get my legs to calm down. I’ve resorted to gabapentin but I think it’s the damp rainy weather. I’m going to go curl up to the pups and to stay really still 💤💤💤💤

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  9. Mindfulness meditation works for me. Focus on your breathing, acknowledge any thoughts that appear, but let them go, like clouds scudding across the sky. It takes a bit of practice, but it does work.

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  10. I can so relate. And DO penguins have knees? I might have to Google it, considering it looks like sleep is far far away from me at this point.

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    • Well Niki Harvey from all about animals was kind enough to let me know that yes they do have knees. Of course then my mind went to the question of just WHERE those knees could be on a penguin. lol 😀 Sorry you’re having a bad sleep night.

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      • My mind went to the exact same place. Now for some reason I am longing to learn all there is about penguins. I’ll credit you with that. 😀 I finally fell asleep around 3:00am and then got up at 7:00am. Not great, but not horrible. It’s nice to know I’m not alone!

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  11. Pingback: Question time- quick fire questions | Animal Love

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