Saturday, April 15, 2006

Insomnia


Road to heaven
Originally uploaded by fd.

This site was mainly set up as a spot for people who have trouble sleeping or relaxing to come and share experiences, ideas, remedies, etc.

In this post I want to explore solutions to poor sleep patterns. In the next post I will discuss anxiety and stress issues.

I've suffered from sleep problems for about three years now. For awhile it was pretty serious, but I seem to have it mostly under control now. I'm beginning to take sleep for granted again, but every now and then I remember how horrible of an experience it was to not be able to sleep.

These are a few things that helped me to get over my insomnia problem.

1) Don't fight it too hard - I remember when the sleeplessness began; I would lie awake, usually worried or excited about something at work or in my life. I would think to myself, “Ok, just stop thinking about it or you’ll be up all night”, and that’s generally what happened. Nowadays, this situation still arises, but instead of fighting off the ideas, I pursue them and think them through to the end. I find that until I answer those questions in my head, I will never fall asleep, but if I think them through and get some closure to the issue, then eventually my mind will shut down and I’ll fall asleep. It still might take two hours or so, but at least I get some sleep.

2) Don’t nap after a poor nights sleep – Sometimes, after a rough night, I would sit at work thinking, “I can hardly wait ‘till this day is over, and then I can go home and take a nap”. Then when I would get home I’d take an hour nap before dinner. Inevitably this would lead to another poor night of sleep. I found that if you can make it ‘till evening without a nap, things generally work out better.

3) No caffeine after noon – I never was one to drink coffee after dinner time (6:00 p.m. or so), because I knew it kept me up. But, until I began cutting myself off at noon, I had no idea how that afternoon coffee affected me. I haven’t researched how long caffeine actually stays in your system, so I may be way off track here, but for me, afternoon coffee resulted in restless nights. Nowadays I never drink coffee after noon, and it makes a big difference.

4) Tire yourself out – Stay active physically and mentally. I found that socializing with friends, working on my hobbies (computer projects), or going for a walk, all helped me get a better night sleep. Passive entertainment like T.V. or surfing the net wouldn’t tire out my body or mind, and I’d find myself restless in the evening.

Well those are a few things that helped me out. I hope a few of you benefit from these, and share a few ideas of your own.


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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello soundsleeping,

Thanks for the advice. I have also had problems with sleep for a long time, but also like you, things have been improving.

My "nightime sleepy ritual" is a big cup of hot lemon herbal tea, at about 9:30 p.m. While I'm preparing the tea I'll usually do a quick tidy of my kitchen and living room so they look nice and won't cause me any stress. Then I will sit and relax, watching about an hour of t.v.

You recommended against t.v., but I find it relaxes me and gets my mind off of other things that could cause me stress.

I have also cut back on caffeine later in the day, and I think that has helped me alot.

8:03 AM  
Blogger Keep It Cool said...

I like your information. I will pass it on. Thanks

7:13 AM  
Blogger Keep It Cool said...

This is some great stuff. I will pass it on. Thanks

7:15 AM  
Anonymous Sleep Help said...

Insomnia is not a disease or disorder on its own, it is more of a complaint or a symptom of an underlying problem. In a nutshell, it is a definite indicator that there is something wrong.

4:20 PM  

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