Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Insomniacs Unite


The above is a Soothing Picture which is what I need, for I'm afraid I have another moan now - this is turning into Flowerpot Hypochondriac Week. Normal service will be resumed shortly.

First I’ve had a moan about my deafness which is, I’m glad to say, cured as of Monday afternoon. Everything sounds so LOUD now. As I type even the keyboard rattles with a musical rhythm like tap dancing fingers.

The other thing that has been bothering me is sleep – or rather the lack of it. I’m an eight hour a night person and have never suffered from lack of sleep before, but for the last month or so (probably longer) I have been waking up at 3 or 4am and can’t get back to sleep.

The reason for this initial crisis was pressure from work which has now sorted out, I’m glad to say. But the habit seems to have continued.

My GP said my body clock had got out of balance and to take some sleeping pills (we had some from Superdrug) for 3 or 4 nights and that should do the trick. I tried it and it didn’t, so she prescribed me some which, she assured me, would not give me a hangover in the morning. Wrong. I felt utterly hyped up and paranoid all day and decided it was a high price to pay for a few extra hours sleep.

Last week I managed one night of 7 hours sleep and then went back to waking very early so I had one night of that, then took a pill the next night and so on. The trouble is now I’ve started worrying about not sleeping which makes matters even worse.
I’ve been told about deep breathing techniques which I tried but last night made not the faintest difference. I tried reading for an hour, felt tired but couldn’t sleep. Then it’s light at 5am and the animals decide they want their breakfast – you get the picture.

Now the idea of going to bed worries me because I suspect I might have another 4 hours of lying there tossing and turning.

Himself said, ‘Take the pills for a week and that might kick you back into gear.’ My GP agreed. But I don’t like the idea of taking pills – not that they’re addictive but because they make me feel gloopy in the morning and I hate that.

What I need to do is re-programme my brain. But how? Any ideas anyone?

20 comments:

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

Having been there many times, my advice would be to try not to worry about it which, I know, is easier said than done. As you've already found out, worrying just makes it worse.

Try having a really late night, have a few glasses of wine or some hot chocolate or herbal tea to relax you and go to bed a few hours later than you normally would. I find that helps kickstart my brain.

Graham, Prince & Tilly said...

I'd recommend a Salman Rushdie novel - invariably one ends up asleep amongst the pages after a moment or two.....

Flowerpot said...

AOJ - thanks for that. I have tried going to bed later but I am so tired at the moment it's really difficult!

Flowerpot said...

Graham - thanks you always make me laugh!

Lindsay said...

Sorry about insomnia - have suffered from Day One of my life which drove my parents nuts! Being very much older and wiser and having tried many remedies - the best for me is listening to very faint slow music. Something metronomic - if you wish I can suggest many CD's including "Tune Your Brain To Mozart". Having the music turned down low makes you concentrate to hear and then you forget you are worried and restless. I have the CD on a radio with a sleep timer. Another thing I make sure about is no caffiene after 6pm. Relax . . . .

Mopsa said...

I read until my eyelids close. Or get up and do some work. But I rarely lie there and just toss and turn; it makes things worse.

rosiero said...

If none of the natural remedies work (ie hot milky drink before bedtime, no caffeine after 3pm, soothing bath, relaxing music etc), then might I suggest pills?

I have been having trouble sleeping for the last 15 years or so. I never have a problem getting off to sleep - I am always so knackered - but I do wake in the middle of the night and then cannot get back off again. The thing that works for me is amitriptylene. It has a multitude of applications. It is actually an anti-depressant, but according to the instructions is also used for sleep problems and even bed-wetting!! I use just half a tablet about two hours before bedtime and it knocks me out for the whole night, but leaves me able to function (and drive) the next morning, without feeling I have been hit on the head with a sledgehammer. You can only get it on prescription from your GP though.

Akelamalu said...

No point in asking me honey, I never sleep the night through! :(

Grump said...

The secret is not to worry about either going to bed or waking up in the wee hours. Try and stick to your normal routine where possible. When you awake in the middle of the night, maybe start writing that novel you want to write, or just lie there thinking of England. Whatever you do I am sure that in time you will find your rhythm again.
A day out to Treen would tire you out and the memory of those beautiful cliffs would lull you to sleep on your return.
Cheers Mark x

BreadBox said...

Glad to know your hearing is back: have you tried meditation for relaxation? It takes some practice, but can help -- and even if you don't sleep it helps rest you...

N.

Flowerpot said...

Lindsay - thanks for that. Good advice. And I can't take ANY caffeine at any time of day or night!

Flowerpot said...

Mopsa - I get to sleep fine. It's the waking up at 4 that's teh problem!

Roserio - I'm taking some at the moment but don't want to get into the habit of it. But thanks for the mention I will look into everything.

Flowerpot said...

Ak - no I know a lot of people don't! It just makes me very out of sorts when I dont get enough sleep for a long period.

Flowerpot said...

Grump - ah, Treen! If teh weather is good we might go there on sunday. I beleive we actually have a day off! Thanks for that!

Flowerpot said...

breadbox - I've been practising deep breathing and yoga exercises and I think that helps a bit.

ChrisH said...

I'm back online and catching up. Glad you can hear again. Hmm, that waking in the wee small hours is something that affects me when the black dog is on the prowl,writing down a list of everything bothering me and prioritising it (how anal is that?) helps. So do good old sleeping pills - in the past I've divided them in half and used them for say, four or five nights. I've found that this method really helps to reprogramme my sleeping habits and get them back on track. Hope you feel better soon.

Maggie May said...

I have in the past hat this type of thing happen to me. It causes a vicious circle of worry & non sleep.
Now a days I take a small radio with an earpiece & tune into 5 Live. All through the night they have interesting discussions! I sometimes want to stay awake to hear what people are saying when they ring in the programme with really interesting topics! Guess what happens? I inevitably fall asleep! And I am quite disappointed! I find I get to sleep easier with an earpiece in. Also if I wake up then I go back to sleep much easier. Music does not work as it is too stimulating & wakes me up!

Lane said...

Don't have any practical advice I'm afraid fp, apart from to let it run it's course and hopefully your body will get back into it's old ways in time.
Fascinating to hear other people's advice.

Glad you're hearing is back!:-)

Flowerpot said...

chrish - yes that's what I'm trying right now. Agree about the old black dog though.

Maggie - the radio idea is a really good one so I will try that too. Thanks!

Lane - yes I can hear now thanks!

lady thinker said...

Hello flower - I'm a bit late to this discussion but since older age started to creep in i have regular disturbed nights and find the following can help:
[1] have radio on very low - a talk station. then lie there and just listen for a word that begins with letter A - when that comes up go on to listening for a word that begins with letter B and down through the alphabet.... I've hardly ever got through to the end of the alphabet. It concetrates the mind enough to stop you being stimulated by the radio chat but boring to do and stops you thinking and worrying...
[2] Failing that try a few nights with a Benadryl Allergy relief pill [NOT the Benadryl+ with the decongestant which will fire you up on all cylinders} -the plain Benadryl - although it says 'non drowsy' on the pack I find taking one at 11.30 and I'm asleep through to 6 a.m. - beaut