Does anyone else here have a really horrible time sleeping?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by c073186, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. c073186 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2007
    Lately I'm having the most frustrating problem - I am tired all day, and yet at night time, my body won't go to sleep. It's annoying beyond belief, because I specifically do all the things you're supposed to do to get ready for bed (i.e. don't eat too late, relax in the evening, go to bed at a reasonable hour, etc.), and yet I just lay in bed for hours and hours. Other nights, I get up and do something if I can't sleep after 20-30 minutes, no help. What I do not understand is that it is clear my body needs more rest; I don't think 4-5 hours per night over two weeks is sufficient. And I feel like hell all day long - no energy, no enthusiasm, just a walking/talking nothing. Then I lay down for sleep, and ... nope, no sleep for me. And then after the first hour or two goes by, then I really can't sleep because I'm stressed that I can't sleep (a bit of a bad cycle).

    Anyway... all I want is 7-8 hours of good quality rest, and it seems like that should not be an unreasonable desire. And yet no matter what I try to do, my body won't go to sleep.

    Anyone else share my frustrations?
  2. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    Are you on any medications or drinking a lot of caffeine during the day? Do you get plenty of exercise? (If so, don't do that too soon before bed because it takes your body a while to sort of wind down.) Are you under a new sort of stress or harbouring some kind of significant dissatisfaction with your life? These are all things that have kept me up at night before.

    I went through years of insomnia. Sometimes I would be lucky to get a few hours of sleep per night and some nights none. I really related to some of the things the narrator said in Fight Club about everything seeming far away and never really feeling asleep or awake. It was a weird time. I made some big life changes and I began to sleep normally again.
    I don't know if that fits your situation at all but that's what "cured" my insomnia. I'm still a light sleeper and find it difficult to turn my thoughts off but the improvement is incredible.

    It helps not to have a clock in your face because it's almost like a cruel form of pressure and torment. Don't watch TV in bed. Make the priority of your room sleeping. In fact, do a quick google for some insomnia tips.

    Whatever the case, I feel for you. I know this frustration all too well and wish you the best of luck catching some zzzzzzzzz.
  3. toolbox macrumors 68020


    Oct 6, 2007
    Australia (WA)
    Nope i just get into bed then its ta ta's for me. Well if i no i have to go on a big trip or have a big job on at work i will lay there thinking GRRRR
  4. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Girlfriends are the worst possible creation known to man kind.

    It's 5am where I am... I'm about to try this sleep thing again. Either way though, I have to wake up in 2 hours - funny, because that inherently implies that I was sleeping - and meet some friends at Starbucks. At least it's a decent destination, considering....
  5. Dagless Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Recently I had been but I think that's down to work stress. I'll feel tired and hit the hay and finally fall asleep an hour later. It's fixed itself though and I'm back to as normal as I'm going to get.
  6. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2010
    Tylenol PM rules. I took two last night, was asleep in minutes and slept 8 hours with only one pee break.
  7. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    If you keep having sleep problems go to a sleep clinic. Most hospitals have them. You go in at night get in bed and they hook you up to monitoring equipment to see what is happening in you as you try to sleep. They can at least tell you why you are having trouble sleeping, which as we know is the first step in fixing any problem.
  8. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    If you are tired during the day...take a nap if you can. As long as your body can get it's 7-8 hours in one 24hr period, you will be good. I split my sleep into 2 pieces (generally 2 blocks of around 4 hours) for many years when I worked overnights and I had few issues.

    I guess I am saying...if you feel tired...try sleeping, even if it's during the 'day'. Once you realize (yes, it's starting to become a mental thing) you CAN sleep if you want to, you will.

    Also...some tips to help:

    Blackening curtains/drapes on your windows to make sure it's dark in the room.

    Earplugs to block our sound, or run a fan for white noise. If you have nothing to concentrate on, you will fall asleep if you are tired.

    Some suggest removing elctronics from the room, like wifi or computers/phones as some folks may be ultra sensitive to the radio frequencies emitted....worth a shot...
  9. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Good plan. Pump your system with caffeine! :rolleyes: :p :D

    That's what I'd try first. It works for me, but might not help for severe insomnia. The other thing that works for me is if I'm restless, I get up. I sit for awhile in the dark (don't turn on the TV!) trying not to engage in any deep thinking. After 1/2 to 1 hour, I go back to bed and fall asleep. I started doing this after hearing the suggestion from a doctor - on TV!

    If you have health insurance, you might have to see your primary care physician first, and get the proper referral.

    I don't think that's good. I'm not a doctor, but again, I listen to one on TV. ;)
    Your body needs deep sleep, especially your heart. You can't get that from "cat naps". The "issues" don't show up in your day to day activities. You can function. But the wear and tear on your organs will catch up to you eventually. Besides, people with a "normal" schedule need to maintain a regular sleep time as well.

    OP, by all means, if this is an ongoing, long-term problem, see a doctor!
  10. charlesbronsen macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2008
    Toronto, Ont
    I used to have the same problem, was dead tired but could never fall asleep. I ended up taking nyquil every night for about two weeks which put me out like a light. After those two weeks I had no problem sleeping without any meds. But now the thought of drinking anymore of that stuff errks my stomach. I do find if I don't get sufficient exercise I have a tough time sleeping. Good luck on catching some suzanne's though as i know how much it sucks tossing and turning all nite.
  11. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    I'm not taking 'cat naps'. I am talking about deep sleep. R.E.M.-cycles occur within 90 minute intervals so a 3 hr 'nap' would get me 2 complete cycles included deep R.E.M. sleep. 4.5 hours will get you 3!

    Ever wonder why sometimes you wake up refreshed and sometimes you feel like hell? The former is when you were woken at the end of the cycle and the latter is when you were deep within R.E.M. sleep and disrupted the cycle.

    Due to the cyclic nature of the sleep, a solid 8 hrs straight is not necessary. 90-minute (approx.) pieces are not only doable but healthy.

    Do you think our long-ago ancestors could get away with being unconscious to danger for 8 hrs at a time?

    I totally agree on the regular sleep time. The shift-work people always have issues as do overnight workers who somehow think they can shift to sleeping overnights on the weekend, thus radically shifting their sleep times twice every week (Friday night and Sunday). Those people are doing irrepairable damage.

    I'm just saying the OP can help himself into a regular sleeping pattern again by demonstrating to his body that he can indeed fall asleep. At this point, the OP needs more sleep and should grab it when he can. Once his body knows it can sleep...falling asleep at night will no longer be an issue.
  12. ethical macrumors 68000

    Dec 22, 2007
    I know how you feel OP. I've been struggling to get to sleep before 3am for the past month or so. Even if I have to get up at 6 and have a busy day, I'll still struggle the following night. It's horrible. I never feel refreshed, never feel fully focused and my eyes reveal my exhaustion horribly.

    I've started making some changes though. I make sure I do at least 45/60 minutes of exercise (fairly intense) every day. Whether it's football, tennis, running, cycling or just working out.....enough to tire me out. I also make sure I get all my work done at least an hour before I plan on going to bed, so there's time to chill out and wind down. Ive only been doing this 5 days, and it's not made a huge difference yet...but only time will tell.


    Just on another note, what mstrze was saying about sleep cycles and waking up at the begining/end of a cycle or in the middle of one... There is an iPhone app (free) called Sleep Cycle. I think it's in the top 25 free apps. place your phone on your matress next to you, and it uses the accelerometer to interpret how much you're moving in your sleep, and uses that to work out what stage of sleep you are in. You then set your alarm, and it will wake you up when you are in the light-sleep stage - or as near to it as possible - So the alarm may go off 20 minutes before the time you set, but you wake up feeling much more refreshed. It works too!
  13. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I'm not sleeping too well either. Wake up with tinnitus in the morning sometimes which sucks. Having 5 year old kid and a 2 month old baby in the same room doesnt help.

    That said, I strongly support the suggestion of having a 'wind-down' period of not using computers or iphone or TV before bed. Turn the lights down, TV off, computer and iphone off, finish brushing your teeth, and just wander around in the semi-dark for a while before going to bed.

    When we are in semi-darkness, our eyes trigger the brain to start releasing hormones that prepare the body for sleep. Takes a while to get going. Doesnt work if you go straight from TV or full lights on or staring at a computer screen to lights off in bed.
  14. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    My body won't go to sleep when my mind is going a million miles-per-hour.

    Then as iBlue referred to, to add to the misery on nights like that, I'll start glancing over at the alarm clock and start getting more stressed as I watch my window for sleep slowly tick away. :eek:

    I had been using Nyquil or Tylenol PM for years, but now I'm trying to find some more natural ways to calm down:

    I exercise more, I've changed how I eat/drink a bit (less caffeine/sugar, don't eat late), I don't hang out/watch TV/surf forums right up until it's literally bedtime (exactly like what RedTomato mentioned above, giving my head a little time to start calming down before I crawl into bed), and when I do get in bed, I'll try not to let my mind race away. Focusing on my breathing (and letting other thoughts go) has helped, and so has listening to the pzizz sleep app. Both are good distractions, but it's still a lot of conscious work to keep my brain from racing away. It's getting easier over time, though, so yay and stuff. :)
  15. Disc Golfer macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2009
    I don't suffer from regular insomnia (though it will happen from time to time) but I do have a terrible time sleeping through the night. I'll get about four hours in and then wake up feeling tired yet unable to go back to sleep. I've been working on a cannabis pill to combat this issue and after last night I've found that it works quite well. Simply decarboxylate 1 gram cannabis oil into 3.5 grams extra virgin coconut oil over a double boiler for about 20-25 minutes, allow to cool then apply to ten 0 size capsules with a syringe or dropper. Double the amount of coconut oil to make twenty caps with a lighter dose. Takes about 20 minutes to work and causes a mild sense of well being and slight desire to snack just before inducing drowsiness. I took two at about 8:45 last night and was in bed around ten, had an amazing rest and woke up on my own at about quarter past six, well rested and content.

    Do not use cannabis if you are too young to buy alcohol or tobacco where you live, or if you would be persecuted by local law enforcement. Do not use cannabis or other sleep aids while operating heavy machinery or participating in xtreme sporting activities.
  16. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    DiscGolfer...I might try this IF I wanted to go to jail for messing with illegal substances...and IF I had the slightest clue what 'decarboxylating' something even meant. :eek:
  17. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    That part is what I was responding too. Does not imply what you wrote next about your old habit. If you had included the stuff about deep sleep in your subsequent post, I wouldn't have responded to that.

    Yes, I do. Not out in the open all the time, but sometimes even then. Also, remember, they didn't have as long of a life expectancy as we do now. Sure, there were more dangers from wild animals, but perhaps heart failure due to a lack of deep sleep over many years contributed to that too. Who knows?

    I think we're on the same page. Well, obviously, if you take that literally... ;)
  18. SDub90 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2009
    Long Island
    Tylenol simply sleep. I take 2 pills, break them in half, and take them 10 hours before I have to wake up. This gives me 1 hour before I have to be in bed/45 minutes to get home.

    It usually takes 45 minutes to get home from school/work so I just take them when I get in my car, then by the time I get changed and go to the bathroom I'm ready to pass out.

    Same active ingredient as benadryl btw.

    Test it out weekends to see how it works for you. If don't give it enough time to start working and get a full night of sleep, you'll just be more tired than if you had no sleep at all.

    Tried several prescription drugs (so did my girlfriend) and none of them worked as well as this. Took them every day for just over a year now I sleep fine without them, though lately I noticed I have to start taking them again. At my worst I had to take 6 of them broken in half to have a decent night of sleep (maybe 2 weeks of this) and a few months of having to take 4.
  19. steve2112 macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2009
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    Ah, that would explain why I was wired the whole night when I tried that stuff. I have adverse reactions to Benadryl. It's like taking speed for me. My heartrate goes way up, my nerves get jittery, etc. I had the same reaction with the Tylenol sleep and Tylenol PM.

    Anyway, I have had sleep problems for a long time. I have found melatonin to help me out a bit. There are a couple of different herbal blends of melatonin and a couple of other herbs that help me get to sleep. It's not the knock-you-out style of a sleeping pill, but they work gradually. At least for me, anyway.
  20. TechieJustin macrumors 6502


    Nov 22, 2009
    Pennsylvania, USA
  21. IntelliUser macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2009
    Why does it matter?
  22. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Melatonin + valerian root will reallllllly calm me down. :D

    EBS is more fun though. :D :D
  23. Prof. macrumors 601


    Aug 17, 2007
    I have a horrible time falling asleep at night. I need two OTC sleeping pills just to get me to want to go to bed. After about an hour, I'm out like a light.

    God bless sleeping pills. :D
  24. Disc Golfer macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2009
    Basic chemistry knowledge aside, please note the disclaimer at the end of my post.
  25. Signal-11 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    2nd Star to the Right
    Er... Maybe you are using a definition I am unfamiliar with but by definition, cannabis oil has already been decarboxylated, is it not?

    Eddie Bravo and Joe Rogan might disagree with you on that last one. ;)

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