why i hate insomnia

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by SamNichols, 20 Nov 2007.

  1. SamNichols

    SamNichols New Member

    Colne, Lancs
    I may have discussed this before, but for those who don't know, I suffer from chronic insomnia. Put basically this means that I average around 4 hours of sleep a night, and don't get to sleep before around 3/4. I normally just end up slinging a dvd on, or putting an audiobook on, until i nod off.
    It's really very wearing - I know that I won't be asleep for at least another 3 hours now, and will wake up tired in the morning. I don't even have lie ins on the weekend, as there's no way I can sleep.
    Doctors can't really do anything, their basic diagnosis is normally: 'well, you'll sleep when you can'. Can't take sleeping pills as the problem is too chronic for that (I'd have to take them every night, and that would risk clinical addiction to them).
    Alas, i don't even have abitrary on here to have bizarre late night chats with.
  2. i'm just thinking about heading to bed - but know i won't sleep for ages. i usually fall asleep on the sofa as i seem to sleep better with the tv on. i once went through a phase of putting a cd on in the bedroom and falling asleep to that.

    i tried various sleep remedies, but tended up taking the maximum dose... waking up and taking it again.

    it's worn off now... but i still have trouble getting to sleep. once there i can be out for ages - i slept through the infamous 'hurricane' many years ago and have slept though many a thunderstorm in my time.

    good luck with it, sam
  3. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    I don't suffer from insomnia, but could have had a chat with you if it wasn't for that simpering wimpish James Blunt trying to sing on the radio............I'm off:ohmy:
  4. OP

    SamNichols New Member

    Colne, Lancs
    Yay! 3am and still no sign of sleep.
    Got a 9am seminar tomorrow.
  5. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    Sorry you can't sleep. I go through cyclical insomnia. I never really found anything worked and many people came up with theories that are very annoying e.g. cut down tea/food/exercise more/don't watch late night tv/computer use!!!!
  6. OP

    SamNichols New Member

    Colne, Lancs
    That's what's known as 'intermittent insomnia', and can be caused by any number of things and isn't normally caused by any one of those things specifically - although all of those things are linked to insomnia (as is stress, various medical conditions, natural body rhythms). Noone needs the same amount of sleep as anyone else, no matter what idealised sleep surveys tell you - it happens that I operate on a 4-5 hour sleep cycle, although I wish it were more, as I really enjoy sleeping.
    I admit that it's got a lot worse since my Manchester move - it takes me a long while to settle into a place, and that exacerbates the problem. But, still it has been 3 months, and it's getting ridiculous (there are only so many podcasts that you can listen to). Part of the reason why I can't keep a girlfriend as well, my weird sleeping patterns - i find it very hard to share a bed, as I feel guilt for being so fidgety all night.
    Oh well, it'll calm down a bit hopefully, and I just need to do my usual tricks to maximise sleep (only go to bed when tired, caffeine only in the morning, no food after 9, plenty of exercise, occupy yourself and try not to worry). Can't worry about it too much, as it's part and parcel of my life (as it is for my dad too) but still, being slightly tired all the time is a frustration.
    Still, the four hour patterns are better than the stage I went through a few years ago, where I was only sleeping once every 48 hours: that starts you hallucinating, loss of perception, constant irritability, confusion, lack of mental faculties etc.
  7. col

    col Veteran

    Four hours is about my nightly time too,but i go to bed at 11 to 12 ish to get up at 330,i woke every hour too this morning,not sure if that counts though:wacko:
  8. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    tip for you Sam - try avoiding going on here until say midnight, then you'll have all your posts to do and it should keep you occupied for longer.
  9. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    Sleep deprivation is definitely no joke.
    Sorry to hear of your suffering, Sam.
    Unlike you, I sleep well, but only for short periods (about 4-5 hours a night).
    What is the cause of your insomnia? Is it physical or mental? If it's the latter, either you could try and find out what it is that's troubling you, or you could try meditation.
    I expect you've explored most avenues, but there must be someone who can help. Have you tried asking at the uni's health centre; they often have staff there familiar with students' sleeping problems.
    Good luck.
  10. OP

    SamNichols New Member

    Colne, Lancs
    Sleep is one of the things that neurologists, psychologists and sleep specialists still get confused about, they all know that sleep is deeply important to us (the longest anyone has lived without any sleep whatsoever is 11 days), but in regards to normal patterns of sleep, controlling patterns, the causes of insomnia and the actual effects of rem on the person, they know surprisingly small amounts. To some extent the treatment of insomnia is down to working out what type of insomnia you have (by ruling out other medical conditions such as sleep apnea) and then having a series of treatments from there. They rule out other forms of stress in your life until they have an overarching theory as to why you aren't sleeping. Anyway, apparently are over 30 different types of insomnia designated into chronic, intermitent and temporary categories. Temporary causes can be treated with sleep medication until they go away (this may be caused by back pain etc). Chronic forms are usually linked to ongoing medical or psychological conditions (I have one ongoing psychological condition, but that isn't the root cause of it, although it does make me intermitently stressed). Intermitent forms are more complex, and appear to have triggers, but aren't fully understood as far as I can tell. Then, there are obvious gradations between intermitent and chronic, where I lie. Basically, I can go for months without sleeping properly and then all of a sudden, as if seemingly by magic the issue goes away for a short while and I sleep a 'normal' amount. It then comes back again for a time. Nothing is really troubling me at the moment - I feel what can generally be considered slight unease due to being around strangers all of the time, but that's a normal condition for people with my psychology. Meditation I haven't tried, although ridding your brain of thoughts before heading to bed is something that I have been recommended.
    For the most part, I now know more about sleep than most GPs. If I were to go around to them and ask for advice, then I'd get tired old cliches about avoiding alcohol, no eating before bed, trying to pin down stresses etc. I've been living with it since forever really (my dad has similar intermitent bouts, although not in the same concentration as mine), so I can, whilst not controlling the problems that the lack of sleep causes, at least limit the impact upon my life. The only avenue that can really be gone down now is monitored sleep in a room with cameras. I might give it a try soon enough, but problems of lack of ease will be exacerbated by the new situation.
    Anyway, i got around 3 hours last night, the average for around 3 months and am heading to my lecture now.
    Saying all that, bed is still my favourite place on Earth. It is very warm.
  11. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

  12. NickM

    NickM Veteran

    Yes, I like bed too; but there's no point just lying in it in the middle of the night if you are wide awake. I have no particular trouble getting to sleep in the first place, but often wake up at 2:30 or so, especially if I have something on my mind, and then cannot get back to sleep. I find it helpful to get up, have a cup of (decaff) tea, and read or do something on the computer (not involving interaction with other people, though) for a couple of hours. Then I can usually get back to sleep - although the bloody alarm goes off 2 hours too soon, of course ;)

    I can only sympathise, Sam; my little problem is nothing like as troubling as yours. I would just like to have a nice solid eight hours once in a while, whether I "need" it or not...
  13. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    Sam not sure if its gunna help but have you tried:

    Not exercising up to at least 3 hours before bed time?

    Not eating any Dairy up to 2 hours before bedtime?

    No Spicy foods for a day?

    And as odd as it seems, Masturbating?
  14. Fnaar

    Fnaar Smutmaster General

    Oh come, come, let's be serious :blush:
    I don't have the same as OP to same degree, but generally wake up before the rest of the world, after about 5.5hrs.... have got used to it over the years..
  15. OP

    SamNichols New Member

    Colne, Lancs
    Er, except the last one - the Doctor hasn't actually ever recommended that - I've had all of the above recommended at various times. As it's a consistent problem, none of the above have ever worked. I may actually try meditation to cure it: never really thought of that, and don't like the concepts of new age very much. Anything to relieve the problem though, which is making no signs of abating...
    Luckily, being a member of a library and one of those film sending websites means that I never run out of audio books and dvds to watch.
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