What tips do u have to help you sleep?

Discussion in 'Self Care and Healthy Lifestyles' started by na-taya, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. na-taya

    na-taya Well-Known Member

    Because I desperately need them right now. I was awake 26 hours and then only slept for four when my nodu woke me up, four hours has been the average for me for a while now.

    I do\ try
    Hot shower
    Hot milk drink
    Soft yaga
    Writing before bed
    Audio books
    Mediation music's or guided mediation
    Sometimes exercise during the day to try to exhaust myself

    I'm sure there is more but I am finding it hard to think, I always do a wind down routine before bed, and have started one in the afternoons ad well to help my body to get use to relaxing.

    I'm just trying to tap as many peoples brain ad possible to try and things that help.
    I also have PRN sleep meds but they seem to be a bit hit and miss although I've only taken it 3 nights I don't want to use it all the time.

    I also seeing a sleep specialist(not sure of if that's what she is called) but I'm doing a CBT sleep program as well.

    Any idea will be greatly appreciated thank you for your time!
  2. Brittless

    Brittless Who is John Galt?

    The only thing that's ever helped me get 8 hours to over 8 hours of sleep is a combination of sleeping pills and sleepy time tea, which I don't know if you have there. I had to take them together. Muscle relaxers helped me too. I know you probably don't want to take pills and I can't obviously prescribe anything together, but those helped me. Also lavender essential oil rubbed on the temples helps me to relax.
  3. na-taya

    na-taya Well-Known Member

    Thank Britt, we have tea that would be similar i think, i've used it before. Yeah i am trying to steer clear of medication (even though i have my PRN that why i will only take it a max of 3 a week) I got some lavender oil the other week, its nice but i dont notice much effect im just so wound up recently. The time i got 9 hours sleep with my PRN i also smoked weed( yes i know its not the best solution but it worked, and not something i want to do lots of) I guess i just have to keep trying til i find what works....but what works one night may not work the next. I also have melatonin spray but im not sure i can mix that and my PRN i must ask!

    thanks again, hope you well xx
    Brittless likes this.
  4. SinisterKid

    SinisterKid Safety & Support SF Supporter

    This is going to sound stupid, I know it before I write. But here goes. Sleep was better when sleep stopped being a issue. I shall try to explain. It was a OT who helped.

    I was not getting to sleep and when I finally did it was for about 90 minutes maximum. It went on for months and was becoming a major problem. So many things we take for granted depend upon a decent nights sleep. I found I was more and more anxious about getting a good nights sleep. So I took all the advice, started going to bed at the same time every night and staying in bed until I dropped off to sleep. I started taking Temazapam and it just gave me horrific headaches. Tried Zoplicone, useless. So tried all the stuff you mention above. Nothing made a blind bit of difference.

    This OT I spoke to about said that sleep had now become such a issue, my mind was becoming fearful of sleep, or rather, fearful of going to bed because it made me so anxious, thinking I MUST get a good nights sleep. She said, go to bed when you are tired, not until. If thats 4am, sobeit. I am fortunate though, I dont work [disabled] so I can be in bed as long as I want. But going to bed, all wound up about sleeping properly was useless. But when I started staying up until I felt my eyes starting to droop, I found that was the time to go. I still dont sleep more than 4 hours very often. But, I have found the quality of sleep when I get some to be more refreshing. dont wake up feeling as tired as when I went to sleep anymore.

    So I take no sleep meds, go to bed when I feel ready to go to sleep and dont bother now about any of it. Its worked a little for me. Sleep just is not a issue with me anymore.
  5. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Writer, Musician, Fun Lover, Magic Maker

    I usually just do things until I get tired enough to sleep. Watching TV or movies, listening to music, reading, drawing, talking online, even cleaning. Nothing too strenuous, maybe just some rearranging or light cleaning until I get worn out enough to sleep. I usually have to be pretty tired to be able to fall asleep easily. I hope you can find something that works for you.
  6. na-taya

    na-taya Well-Known Member

    Thank you both of you, I will reply in more detail soon, I am so exhausted 5 hours last night an hour more than normal......but just woke up feeling worse feels like it be better if I didn't sleep last night (I know that's not true).

    Thanks you very much *hug*
  7. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Did you put it on your pillow? Just curious, cos I do. I think it really makes a difference I have been sleeping very well for a while now whereas a few years back had severe trouble sleeping. Hope you find something that helps hun :)
  8. SillyOldBear

    SillyOldBear Teddy Bear Fanatic Staff Member Safety & Support

    Lavender, in a diffuser, for aromatherapy is very helpful.
  9. na-taya

    na-taya Well-Known Member

    i made a spray with a bit of water as it said to on the bottle i sprayed some on my pillow and on my blanket at the top were its near my head. I also rub some on my temples and the back of my neck.

    @SillyOldBear Do you kind of mean like an oil burner? or a the things that kind of look like kids humidifiers? I am willing to try almost anything at the moment as long as i can afford it and its available here.

    once again thank you all for you suggestions i appreciate it a lot *hug*
    Petal likes this.
  10. woodshed

    woodshed Member

    Hi na-taya,

    Humans are diurnal creatures, hard wired to be awake during the day, and asleep at night. This daily cycling is circadian rhythm. At dusk, and with cooling temperatures, our biological clocks signal our endocrine system to secrete sleep-inducing hormones into our systems, such as melatonin. Sleep then cycles in ultradian fashion: stages 1,2,3, and REM (rapid eye movement), every 90-120 minutes until waking, usually 6-8 hours or more in adults. With dawn, the increasing light and rising temperatures signal the endocrine changes to promote waking.

    In sleep, the brain engages a complex process of maintenance. During non-REM sleep, hormones are released, which promote physical healing and repair of damaged tissues, and promote growth of new tissue where needed. In REM, the dream stage, the brain processes, organizes, and stores information, making sense of the vast amount of "data" we receive both consciously and unconsciously during wake.

    This all gets screwed up by stress. The stress of pain is a big interrupter of the sleep-wake cycle. Another is emotional stress. Of course there are many other interrupters, including environmental adversity, for instance too much light, heat, noise, etc. in the sleeping room. There are numerous sleep disorders which totally ruin sleep.

    Sleep hygiene is one thing you can control. Make sure that your sleep environment is comfortably cool and dark, and free of intrusive stimuli such as a radio or TV on in the room, an illuminated clock at the bedside, a cell phone, a pet (or pets) or a restless bed partner in bed with you. Aromatherapy can be ok, as long as the scent is not strong. Music therapy can be ok too, as long as it is quiet and soothing. White noise generators are ok, and may be helpful in masking intrusive outside noises. As much as possible, make your bed time consistent every night. This sets your biological clock, and attunes your circadian rhythm to enter the sleep cycle at the appropriate time.

    The conscious process of getting to sleep tends to be ritualistic, and may be highly ritualistic. Rituals provide cues to the subconscious that it is time to sleep. Brushing teeth, reading a book, listening to calming music, having a small cup of non-caffeinated tea (no alcohol nitecap), saying prayers or meditating (counting sheep or counting blessings), fluffing (or subtly scenting) the pillow, etc. etc. all can engage the unconscious (autonomic nervous system) processes which initiate sleep.

    If our circadian rhythm is sufficiently disrupted, it can be very difficult to reestablish it, as in jet lag. This is a circadian rhythm disorder, and while our tendency is to be diurnal, resetting our clocks to their normal sleep-wake pattern once the brain has been thrown off its pace, and can result in it having a hard time getting it back.

    Chronic sleep deprivation, it is well known, has significant negative effects on our cognitive and emotional function (i.e. anxiety and depression), and is commonly used as a torture method.

    If pain is the issue, medical pain control may be required. Consult your physician for an appropriate prescription. Few people can sleep through pain, unless they are so exhausted that the virtually pass out.

    If the stress is psychological, the question has to be asked: Is the sleep being inhibited by the anxiety/depression? Or, is the anxiety/depression the result of insufficient sleep? A psychiatrist worth his/her salt will evaluate an individual who presents with depression for a sleep disorder before prescribing drugs. If anxiety and/or PTSD is the issue, a comprehensive program of integrated therapies may be needed before normal sleep can be obtained.

    When sleep-aid medication is appropriate for its calming effect, the minimum dose is the best practice. Taking the prescribed medication at the specific time each night, and engaging the normal bedtime ritual(s), should do two things: 1, establish the circadian sleep initiation cycle, and 2, insure that sleep will occur. An effective medication should facilitate 4-6 hours of sleep. If you wake before you are fully rested, and can't get back to sleep again within 20 minutes or so, get up. Don't lie abed awake and frustrated. Turn on the lights, get up and find a way to engage your mind. If you get drowsy later, take a snooze if you think you can sleep another 2 hours or so. If not, stay up until the next evening's bed time, and repeat. You may find that four hours plus a two hour nap may be the best combination initially. This should morph into 6+/- hours of continuous sleep, once you have retrained your brain.

    Don't be dismayed at only four hours of sleep. This will likely represent two good non-REM periods, and two good REM periods, and while not satisfying, particularly if you have been sleep deprived for a long time, this is very beneficial, and vastly better than no sleep. Stay with your prescribed program. You may find that you can reduce the med dosage.

    Hope this helps...

    "Sleep, that knits the ravelled sleeve of care." Wm Shakespeare
  11. woodshed

    woodshed Member

    Just read Dmseattle's note. Not a bad idea. Your Dr. might even go along with it. Attitudes about cannabis are changing, and, if I might get up on my soap box, the pharmaceutical companies have long fought legalization of marijuana because they want to sell us opiates and benzodiazepines, etc., knowing that they will sell a lot less of them if folks can grow their own analgesics/sedatives in their back yards.
  12. na-taya

    na-taya Well-Known Member

    Woodshed thanks so much for you detail reply =)

    i am working with the CBT lady on a sleep routine now, in fact we have even added in a wind own period in the day that i lso do to get my body use to relaxing and the routine. So i do two wind down routines a day now, Last night i just went to bed at 6pm and didnt get out of bed even when i couldn't sleep i was just to exhausted to try and think of a proper routine i did a few things but not the full routine.

    If i cant sleep i give myself about and hour and a half, and if i can not fall asleep i get up and do something else, nothing to big just something so i'm not 100% focused on how much i cant sleep. Its definitely not physical pain keeping me awake, i know that much!

    The only night i have had 9 hours sleep in the last few months is because i took my PRN and smokes marijuana ( i dont want to do it to much as i use to be a heavy smoker in the past) Im in Australia so we arnt as advanced on the medical marijuana front unfortunately.

    like today i woke up and feel like it would feel better if i didn't get any sleep at all, but i know its not true and any sleep i can get counts, its just frustrating when you do get sleep an it dosn't really feel it helps any =(

    im not sure if the anxiety is making my slep worse or if its the lack of sleep that's making my anxiety and depression worse =\=\ i have had my anti anxiety meds increased and i give that a go to a week, and then we will review the temazepam because he only gave me 5 to see how i would go on them (and i am 100% fine with that decision)

    I will work on keeping the same routine at night, most of its the same like, teeth, wash face, organize my pillows ect, but the bit before i to my teeth ect can sometimes change sometimes it a hot shower sometimes in yoga or what ever.

    thanks so much for all the help and tips guys im sure this will be useful information to other on here as well, so thank you kindly!!!
    Deety likes this.
  13. SillyOldBear

    SillyOldBear Teddy Bear Fanatic Staff Member Safety & Support

    @na-taya It probably looks more like a kids humidifier. Google 'aromatherapy diffuser' to see them. They are readily available through Amazon. So are the oils. You put in some water, then add a few drops of oil and turn it on. They usually have lights in them too. But if you choose the red light you will hardly notice it is one. It spreads to scent of the oil throughout your room. It is much more effective then putting the oil on your pillow. Best of luck.
  14. lilshortcanadian

    lilshortcanadian Active Member

    My love has gotten me into listening to music at night. We live together and thats her only way to sleep. Never been to into listening to music at night, but its nice now.
  15. na-taya

    na-taya Well-Known Member

    Thanks littleshortcanadian I use music sometimes.....but I have to be careful because I'm so wound up that I could almost be asleep and the it changed pitch or something and I am back to being awake:(:(

    It's just hard when everyone tells me I'm doing all the right things but I don't see improvement :(:( just keep chugging along I guess!
  16. SinisterKid

    SinisterKid Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Thats one of the major problems with all the generalisations that exist for treating all these different afflictions thrown at us by mental health. Your issue right now is sleep and as you are finding, as did I, the general opinions of how to make sleep better are not working for you, so you need to find another way. We are all individuals, so the way things work is going to different for us all. I tried music at night, it wakes me up, doesn't make me feel tired at all. But theres LSC's partner? who needs music to go to sleep. Same problem, totally different outcomes.

    So maybe its time to think outside of the box and find unique ways that work for you?
  17. na-taya

    na-taya Well-Known Member

    @SinisterKid got any outside of the box idea??............my brain is basically mush at the moment and i am finding it very hard to think straight and about sensible things =(
  18. SinisterKid

    SinisterKid Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Not really things I can mention here, no. But I am not one to conform a great deal, I often seek alternatives.
  19. na-taya

    na-taya Well-Known Member

    Ahh i understand now!!!! thanks heaps for your suggestions!! it means a lot to me right now!
  20. lilshortcanadian

    lilshortcanadian Active Member

    I know people tell me the same thing. That Im strong and such. But all I feel like Im doing is chugging along like you said too.