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  1. #1
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    Default Sleep-Onset Insomnia

    Lately, I haven't been able to sleep when I want to. Sleep-onset insomnia. I've had this for a short period of maybe a few weeks before, a couple years ago, but it's back.

    Anyone else have this problem? Do you have any suggestions for what to do when you find yourself kind of psyching yourself out of sleeping, as the case may be?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Angry Ayrab's Avatar
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    I haven't slept for more than two hours a day for the last four days. Sad. (school related though).

    but I have been in your shoes (actually always in your shoes... Ne) I had two solutions for this:

    1. Working out really hard earlier that day.
    2. If that don't work, gobble down 50-100mg diphenhydramine (benadryl or sominex) and you will definitely go to sleep, I promise. Only don't take 100mg your first time or you will get a cholinergic hangover the next day.

  3. #3
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    It can be one of the more frustrating cycles of "trying" to sleep when it is the trying that keeps you from it.

    I've had a little insomnia problems, but have had friends with much more extreme bouts with it. An INTJ friend of mine researched the problem and one thing he mentioned was the need to calibrate yourself by exposing your eyes to sunlight at the same time every morning to stimulate certain chemicals in the brain. One thing that insomnia can lead to are erratic sleep patterns, and what you want is to work towards a regular schedule.

    I have also read that it is important to not focus on forcing yourself to sleep, but trusting that your body will when it is absolutely necessary. Instead choose a quiet, relaxing activity and make your unwanted awake time a chance to recharge in other ways. Something quiet and repetitious might be good. It is best not to expose your eyes to light (watching TV has mixed results for this reason), or to overstimulate your brain.

    I'm new to meditation, but do know that it can be a great source of help in focusing and quieting the mind. If anxiety is an issue, then it can pump adrenaline into your system. Exercise can help rid that from your body, but meditation can help the mind to keep from the anxiety in the first place. Deep breathing and focusing on relaxing and feeling good while letting go of any sense of urgency that sleep is needed might be useful as well.

    It might also help to avoid sugar, caffeine and other stimulants within the evening hours. Hot drinks like decaffeinated tea can help make one sleepy. What helps me the most when I stay awake due to anxiety is to take some tylenol PM with a cup of sleepy time tea and do something repetitious as part of an evening routine like reading or watching a regular show.
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  4. #4
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    I've had a little insomnia problems, but have had friends with much more extreme bouts with it. An INTJ friend of mine researched the problem and one thing he mentioned was the need to calibrate yourself by exposing your eyes to sunlight at the same time every morning to stimulate certain chemicals in the brain. One thing that insomnia can lead to are erratic sleep patterns, and what you want is to work towards a regular schedule.

    I have also read that it is important to not focus on forcing yourself to sleep, but trusting that your body will when it is absolutely necessary. Instead choose a quiet, relaxing activity and make your unwanted awake time a chance to recharge in other ways. Something quiet and repetitious might be good. It is best not to expose your eyes to light (watching TV has mixed results for this reason), or to overstimulate your brain.
    WOW, Toonia. That is great advice, seriously. I'm going to try to take a nap now and I am really exhausted so I don't have the time/energy to say anything other than that or to be anything other than brief right now.
    They're running just like you
    For you, and I, wooo
    So people, people, need some good ol' love

  5. #5
    heart on fire
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    My husband gets this and he gave in and just takes melatonin now. He takes 1 mg and it works fine.

  6. #6
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    yeah, I have this problem pretty bad, I don't think it's so much down to me having a problem as the culture I live in now having much of a use for someone with my natural biological sleep cycle. Meh.

    I've been to get professional help for it, but they tend to sorta patronizingly give me sheets full of 'handy hints' for getting a good night's sleep - glass of warm milk, 'winding down' before bed, cutting out caffeine, that sort of thing... all things that surely, by the time I'm at the point of asking prof. help I would've already tried without success!!

    Yeah I've tried all the tricks, nothing seems to work for me except sleeping pills... and I've no intention of living my life dependent on those. So... all I can do is try to find a way to gear my life to my natural sleep-timing preferences (sorta 3am to 11am), or else, just live with being exhausted all the time.
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  7. #7
    heart on fire
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    Sympathy to Sub. I have a problem where no matter when I get my sleep or how much or how little sleep I get, the darkest hours of night are always, always when I feel the most alert mentally and energetic physically. I can find no logical reason for this.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Angry Ayrab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    yeah, I have this problem pretty bad, I don't think it's so much down to me having a problem as the culture I live in now having much of a use for someone with my natural biological sleep cycle. Meh.
    luckily, my horrible sleeping habits seem to fit in quite nicely with my chosen career path. The other issue I need to start working on is the forgetting to feed myself phase. The horrible thing about that is that after the initial hunger phase, you no longer feel hungry. Starvation with three days of no sleep seems to really make me wierd in how I think, but when I am working on something, I seem to do just fine, and actually do it just as well as if I was refreshed and well fed. My friends tell me they have seen meth fiends with better sleep/eating cycles. I personally wish I could change it, but nothing seems to work, and it looks like I will be rellegged to a life of this.

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