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Kayla
01-28-2003, 03:22 AM
Hey everyone,

I thought I'd ask the question since I'm up and this is on my mind. Right now it's the middle of the night (or very early morning) and I'm just perusing the boards because I can't sleep. So I'm wondering, what do you do when you can't sleep? Do you stay in bed and wait for a wave of sleepiness to take you over, or do you get up and do something?

As for me, waiting for sleepiness doesn't do much, so I busy myself instead, but I would love to know what you'd do.

Thanks,
Kayla

SusanL
01-28-2003, 03:27 AM
I am here doing the same thing. Staying in bed makes me crazy so I get up and check the boards also! No advise but am waiting to see if anyone else can help us:) ...

Kayla
01-28-2003, 03:36 AM
(:o < That would be a yawn)

Thanks, Susan, I'm glad to see someone can understand, although I'm sorry you have to deal with it too :( :rolleyes:!

Canice
01-28-2003, 04:12 AM
It's 2AM out here in San Francisco!! :o :rolleyes: Haven't even called it a day yet, as I am a relentless night owl; unfortunately my natural rhythm would have me going to sleep around 2AM and getting up around 9. But you don't get much sympathy for THAT schedule in corporate America.
Used to be that I would wake up around 3AM and, by 3:30 or 4:00, completely give up and simply shower, dress, and get to the office by 5:30. Of course I was a useless zombie by noon...
I'm unemployed now, and have an awesome routine for my sleeplessness! Instead of lying in bed freaking out about my unemployment and the economy, I get up (this can only be done at DBF's house), grab a pillow and the spare comforter, stretch out on the couch, and watch all the Food Network shows I have saved thanks to TiVo! Sara's Secrets, 30-Minute Meals, Food 9-11, Mario Eats Italy, Two Fat Ladies.... there's something eerily comforting in watching those shows alone, beneath a fluffy comforter in the wee hours of the morning. Also, a lot nicer than waiting for a bus!
PS: I once considered doing a search for cooking BBs in more distant parts of the world so I could participate during the wee hours, when it was mid-day for everyone else!

kwormann
01-28-2003, 04:14 AM
Ditto. Im having trouble with the move coming up...too much on my mind.

I have a laptop, so I just pick it up, turn on nick at nite and, here I am.....

Chiffonade
01-28-2003, 06:21 AM
If I can't sleep, it's because of one of the following:

* Consumed too much coffee.
* Worried about a specific thing, i.e. money, someone's having a medical test, anticipating a long drive or other event.

I usually power up the old puter and chat in the Yahoo! chat cooking room or go to Dottie's Weight Loss Zone - there always seems to be someone chatting there.

If I don't feel like chatting, I turn on the TV in the living room and make sure I watch something that doesn't interest me. I have a generic term I use for such programming: Mating habits of the wildebeest. If you get lassoed into watching something in which you are interested, you will not get drowsy - and that's the point of insomniac television - to return you to sleep.

HejazSunKat
01-28-2003, 06:24 AM
I hate when this happens. I usually attribute it to having had a dream (whether I can remember it or not) that's pumped adrenaline into my system and is keeping me bug-eyed. Here's what I'd like to know: Why is it if you have a wakeful night you always start to get sleepy again about 10 minutes before your alarm is supposed to go off? If I'm sleepless I'll grab my book and get up and go in another room to read for awhile so as not to wake DH. Usually, I will nod off again once I get warm. Sometimes I'll make a cup of hot cocoa. Maybe there is something to that warm milk putting you to sleep idea.

muriel3002
01-28-2003, 07:36 AM
About a year ago I dealt with major sleepless nights, and I couldn't find the cause. But here are some things I did that really did help:

- I removed my clock radio. You know, the one with the glowing red numbers that stare at you all night long reminding you that it's 3:23 and you're not sleeping, and that if you fell asleep NOW you'd get 3 or 4 hours of sleep? I got a windup instead. It's hard to read the numbers in the middle of the night unless I pick it up and bring it right to my face. No more obsessing over the time!

- Good bye caffeine. No coffee after 11 a.m. (I gave up coffee as an addiction for the new year, though.)

- If I have laid there and absolutely cannot sleep I will try either Sleepy-Time tea by Celestial Seasonings, reading (I have a book light so DH isn't bothered) or I get up either play a computer game (Civ 3 was one of my favorites for this) or just prowl. If there's something on my mind that is keeping me up, I will pray about it.

I found that when I was reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy again that I had a hard time sleeping. The book was getting me all hyped up. And I've found that if I read anything exciting at night it keeps me up.

My son has a "white noise generator" that he uses to fall asleep to. I'm not really sure what it is, but it works for him.

lindrusso
01-28-2003, 07:49 AM
Okay, this is kind of weird, but when I can't sleep, I got sleep on the couch. I try not to busy myself because I'm afraid that I'll never get back to sleep (and I've read that watching TV or playing on the computer can be stimulating and inhibit sleep further).

My theory is that when I go to lie on the couch, I am relieved of the pressure to get to sleep. You know how you lie in bed and all you can think about is how you're not sleeping and how you need to be sleeping and how you wish you were sleeping? Well, that routine stresses me out and makes it even harder to sleep! On the couch, I'm just lying there resting. It seems to help me destress a bit and it often works!

I also think the couch works because when I'm having a restless night in bed, I am also worrying about keeping DH awake. On the couch, I can be as restless as I want to be. Again, less stress.

Whatever works, right? :D

Now that I'm a SAHM, I have far less sleepless nights (with the exception of the whole newborn stage with the boys, obviously) than I did when I worked. Less to obsess and worry about, I suppose.

And Linda - I hate it when that happens! I will often finally fall asleep about a 1/2 hour before it's time to get up - that just makes you feel even MORE tired! :mad:

Alysha

Terrytx
01-28-2003, 08:17 AM
Originally posted by lindrusso
Okay, this is kind of weird, but when I can't sleep, I got sleep on the couch. I try not to busy myself because I'm afraid that I'll never get back to sleep (and I've read that watching TV or playing on the computer can be stimulating and inhibit sleep further).

My theory is that when I go to lie on the couch, I am relieved of the pressure to get to sleep. You know how you lie in bed and all you can think about is how you're not sleeping and how you need to be sleeping and how you wish you were sleeping? Well, that routine stresses me out and makes it even harder to sleep! On the couch, I'm just lying there resting. It seems to help me destress a bit and it often works!

I also think the couch works because when I'm having a restless night in bed, I am also worrying about keeping DH awake. On the couch, I can be as restless as I want to be. Again, less stress.


Alysha

I agree with this theory. If this doesn't work, I read.

wallycat
01-28-2003, 08:24 AM
I lay there and toss and turn and lay there wishing myself to sleep :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :o

Gina O
01-28-2003, 08:32 AM
Originally posted by lindrusso
Okay, this is kind of weird, but when I can't sleep, I got sleep on the couch. I try not to busy myself because I'm afraid that I'll never get back to sleep (and I've read that watching TV or playing on the computer can be stimulating and inhibit sleep further).

I also think the couch works because when I'm having a restless night in bed, I am also worrying about keeping DH awake. On the couch, I can be as restless as I want to be. Again, less stress.

Alysha

I either go to the couch or the spare bed. It allows me to relax, or flop around without worrying about waking up SO. And, sometimes I can't sleep simply because he is moving around or snoring a bit. Now, if I could get the cat to stay in bed instead of following me to a different room! Gina

lhall
01-28-2003, 08:38 AM
My first option when I can't sleep is a nice HOT bath and a good book. I'll soak and read for a little while.

If that doesn't work I'll go play on the computer or watch TV.

Leigh

leebee
01-28-2003, 09:44 AM
I have suffered on & off with insomnia for years, ever since I was in high school. I will sometimes go three days straight without sleeping, and I know what a terrible thing this can be. Over the years, I have developed a few things that actually work. These have been trial & error types of things, so please bear with me on the weirdness of what I do!!!

The first thing I try is counting to 100 & then backwards down to zero--I have specific rules, and I adhere to them strictly: I have to visualize each number (I sometimes pick a specific color to help with the visualization!) and if I lose my place, I have to start over again. Sometimes I'm asleep before I make it back down to 70. Other times it frustrates me, and I have to stop. I also do math--long division, calculating how much more I'd make a year if I got a $.25 raise, etc. For me, numbers are very soothing, and if I am trying to figure something out, I can "forget" that I can't sleep. I know it's very strange, but it works for me!! My last resort is pancakes. I get up and make pancakes. The ritual is comforting and relaxing, and if I get sleepy while I'm doing it, I have breakfast made ahead of time--I wrap the cooked pancakes in wax paper & put them in the freezer. If I haven't made it that far, I put the batter in the fridge. When I lived alone, I would clean my house--mop, vacuum, the whole nine yards. That's a little harder now that I have a family.

After reading Kristine's reply, I should add that I NEVER nap when I'm having trouble sleeping. It may seem counterintuitive, but if I sleep during the day, then I'll have trouble sleeping the next night, which will cause me to take a nap the next day, etc., etc, etc.!!!
For me, TV, computer games, etc., are a big no-no. I just start flipping channels or playing endless games of solitaire, and keep myself agitated & awake. Ditto reading in bed. I learned a long time ago that if I couldn't sleep, I had to get up & move elsewhere to distract myself. If I had a TV in my bedroom, I'd never sleep!!!

Good luck. Hope you find something to stop the "mind race" and let you get a good night's sleep!

Kristine
01-28-2003, 09:45 AM
If I wake up and can't get back to sleep, I ALWAYS just stay in bed and "rest". I figure that there's a chance I'll fall back asleep, and if not, then I will have at least have rested a bit. I refuse to get up and do other things though....I don't want to get into that habit (my grandmother is on such a bad cycle - she gets up and does all sorts of things during the middle of the night, and then is forced to take naps during the day - that is definitely not for me).

Cyberia54
01-28-2003, 10:06 AM
The only thing that always works for me is books on tape. I just pop in a book and it's like when you were a child and Mom or Dad read you a story until you fell asleep!
Unlike active reading, you can just relax in a prone position and focus on the story with your eyes closed and next thing you know, it's morning!
Hope it helps.

Nancy

Jessica
01-28-2003, 10:09 AM
I go through bouts of insomnia and I've never found a perfect solution, but I have stopped lying in bed, watching the clock and counting the hours till morning. If I am not asleep within an hour of going to bed, I get up and read on the couch until I either fall asleep there or get sleepy enough to go back to bed. I've learned from years of insomnia that a night or three of only a couple hours sleep will not kill me. I usually try to stay really well hydrated during those days and I also try not to nap. The insomnia eventually goes away.

My doctor did recommend taking calcium at night and I found this helped somewhat.

gertdog
01-28-2003, 10:13 AM
I'm a pretty good sleeper, but when I do have insomnia I go for a change of scenery... I take a blanket and pillow out to the couch. I avoid anything that requires brain stimulation, kind of like what Chiffonade said.

I also find that the red glowing numbers on the alarm clock just taunt me when I can't sleep. I got an indiglo alarm clock... it's digital, but the numbers are plain black and you can only see them at night if you hit the backlight button, which gives a second or two of gentle blue light.

BarbaraL
01-28-2003, 10:14 AM
Like lindrusso, I go and lie on the couch. For some reason, I frequently can fall asleep on the couch when I can't fall asleep in bed. Reading something, especially something boring, can help sometimes. The only time I had persistent insomnia was when I'd lost my job and was obsessing about it all night. I got a prescription for Ambien from my doctor, and took 1/2 a pill at night; worked great.

sneezles
01-28-2003, 10:20 AM
I can't stay in bed if I'm not able to fall asleep. It seems that DH's snoring is much louder as I lie there listening to it :rolleyes: ! I will usually get up and read in the living room or TV room. If I make the mistake of coming here then I find it more difficult to turn the darn thing off again!

Peggy
01-28-2003, 11:00 AM
What a timely thread!!! I rarely have insomnia but last night I lay in bed from 10:30pm to 2:30am staring at the clock. I finally got up and went downstairs to read for about 1 hour. After returning to bed, I lay awake until at least 5:15am (the last time I glanced at the clock) and then woke up at 6:30am. The weird thing was that I wasn't even tired. I'm still not! Should have fired up the computer and visited the BB! Looks like I would have had a lot of good company last night!

Peggy

Kayla
01-28-2003, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by HejazSunKat
I hate when this happens. ... Here's what I'd like to know: Why is it if you have a wakeful night you always start to get sleepy again about 10 minutes before your alarm is supposed to go off? ...

SO true, and I hate that it is...

Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions... maybe I should just see a doctor or something. I'm really good about the no-caffeine rule after noon, and as for brain stimulation, maybe I just shouldn't go on my computer.

Leebee and cyberia, in particular, thanks. As for going to a sofa or watching a tv, I don't exactly have that option living in a university residence. I'd feel funny watching tv in the lounge and then falling asleep there (not to mention that I would be out of an alarm clock downstairs, or I could have random people wander in at the wee-hours).

Anyway, I'll tough it out! Thanks again!

Kayla

Kahlico
01-28-2003, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by leebee
The first thing I try is counting to 100 & then backwards down to zero--I have specific rules, and I adhere to them strictly: I have to visualize each number (I sometimes pick a specific color to help with the visualization!) and if I lose my place, I have to start over again. Sometimes I'm asleep before I make it back down to 70. Other times it frustrates me, and I have to stop. I also do math--long division, calculating how much more I'd make a year if I got a $.25 raise, etc. For me, numbers are very soothing, and if I am trying to figure something out, I can "forget" that I can't sleep. I know it's very strange, but it works for me!! My last resort is pancakes. I get up and make pancakes. The ritual is comforting and relaxing, and if I get sleepy while I'm doing it, I have breakfast made ahead of time--I wrap the cooked pancakes in wax paper & put them in the freezer. If I haven't made it that far, I put the batter in the fridge. When I lived alone, I would clean my house--mop, vacuum, the whole nine yards. That's a little harder now that I have a family.

I do the same thing when I can't sleep. I have a very hard time clearning my mind, I always have to think about something. When sleep just refuses to come, I just start counting and picture ever number. I don't do math in my head when I'm trying to go to sleep because the concentration keeps me up, but I like to do math in my head while I'm walking the treadmill. I'm no math major (that's DH's area of expertise) but simple math is fun for me to concentrate on.

:D
~emilie

kwormann
01-28-2003, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by lindrusso
(and I've read that watching TV or playing on the computer can be stimulating and inhibit sleep further).

Actually, the exact opposite happens for me. Watching tv or being online makes me drowsy.

lindrusso
01-28-2003, 08:17 PM
Originally posted by kwormann
Actually, the exact opposite happens for me. Watching tv or being online makes me drowsy.

Yeah, all I have to do is say that I want to stay up and watch the weather forecast which comes on about 11:20 and I'm pretty much guaranteed to be asleep by 11:19! :rolleyes: But then again, I rarely have problems sleeping that aren't due to other factors such as being sick or overdoing it with the wine. I don't think the computer would make me sleepy, though - maybe it's the glare of the screen in my face or something. :)

Grace
01-28-2003, 09:42 PM
I RARELY have trouble sleeping - I usually am asleep within 30 seconds of hitting the pillow! And I sleep like a rock! (Storm? What storm??!!) But on those rare occasions when sleep eludes me, I get up and take one "Simply Sleep" or a Tylenol PM (which is the same as Simply Sleep, just without the Tylenol!). I don't take two, just one, and it always works like a charm. And it's never made me "groggy" in the morning. I think because I only take one. My own "rule" is if I'm still awake after 20 minutes of lying there, I take one. My first tactic though, which works probably 90% of the time, is I visualize in my mind's eye a white piece of paper, or a big white screen. It has to take up the whole "viewing" area - not, say, like a piece of paper on a table, where you could see something else besides the paper. I find when I can't sleep my mind is just very busy, and I start off straying from my blank piece of paper right away. I have to focus very hard to tune everything else out and concentrate on the white blankness, and I'm usually asleep right away. But if even that won't work, I go get my pill.... :D

Loremma
01-28-2003, 10:56 PM
I usually read a book. Or just toss and turn, looking at the clock figuring out if I got to sleep right now, how many hours of sleep I'll get before my alarm goes off.

BeachBum
01-29-2003, 07:32 AM
Here are two other ideas that haven't been mentioned...

If I'm not sleeping because I'm worried, I write the issues down. For some reason this helps me "let go" and relax

If I haven't been sleeping well for a few days, exercise is the cure all.

KimKelly
01-29-2003, 10:19 PM
Being that I have two kids who still usually get up on opposite nights and a husband who works nights, I've pretty much been sleep deprived for years! But.... on that rare occasion when I can't sleep I do as someone mentioned before. I count, and as I count I picture each number in my head. Or, I start to try the relaxing bit, similar to what they did in the birthing classes that I took (which did nothing to help with labor!). First my head, neck (press it into the pillow), then the shoulders, then upper arms, etc. Or, sometimes I think of my row of roses by my house, I think about each one and the color it is, how it's looking, etc, then I go to the next one. I guess it's the repetitiveness that works for me.
Now if only I could solve the opposite problem and get everyone else to sleep all night so I could get a decent nights rest I'd be thrilled!:p

Kim

Leslie Ferguson
01-29-2003, 11:07 PM
If I can't sleep I at least try to stay in bed and keep my eyes closed. I have found over the years (18 in the Navy) that rest often is just "depriving" yourself of visual stimulation. I used to lay down for a rest period of about 45 minutes - just by turning off the light, closing my eyes, and lying in the dark. I really felt refreshed afterwards.

But if I can't sleep over a long period of time I use diphenhydramine (the active ingredient in Tylenol PM) and that seems to do the trick without making me groggy in the morning.

Hope you sleep well soon.
Les

LaraW
01-29-2003, 11:42 PM
I rarely have trouble sleeping, like Grace, I am normally asleep within a minute of my head hitting the pillow.

I remember when I was a kid reading in a book about someone who quieted down their brain by focusing on a spot in the middle of their forehead, that it was the most uninteresting thing to think about, and they just kept concentrating on it and that helped them to fall asleep.

I wasn't always a good sleeper, I had regular trouble falling asleep until I got to college. That seemed to have cured me of that, and I think that the routine of my life now is just a lot more predictable day to day than it used to be.

If my concentration exercise does not work for some reason, I do stay in bed and try to rest. I have fallen back to sleep lots of time, and seeing the clock does not stress me out.

d_ferrero
01-30-2003, 02:03 AM
I think I've found a kindred spirit in Canice. :) Unemployment has it's perks, and living by my body clock rather than a corporate clock is one of them...

But seriously, if I can't sleep I come hang out here, or web surf, or read. If I absolutely HAVE to get some sleep, I head downstairs and turn the TV on. Something about the background noise lulls me off pretty quickly.

Veronica
01-30-2003, 04:10 AM
What a timely thread! I've been up since 3:45 a.m. I usually give myself 15-20 minutes to get back to sleep, but when that doesn't work, I just get up. So far, I've cleaned up the kitchen, done a load of laundry, folded clothes, made coffee, am surfing a bit and then I might read my book or the paper. This gets to be a drag, because I have a busy day ahead of me and know I'll be zonked later in the day, which is part of my problem. I'm completely preoccupied and worried about work. I hate this!!