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Insomnia?/Tips for good sleep

  • 29-07-2006 9:07pm
    #1
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,007 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Tar.Aldarion


    Ok, a lot of people have this. I do.
    I imagine there are a lot of root causes for insomnia.
    Some are too personal to talk about.
    However, I'm sure some people who just 'can't sleep' or don't have very personal reasons for it etc, can discuss theirs and how they solved it, if they have.

    What do you guys with it, do to help you to get to sleep?
    How long do you go without sleep and what would your pattern of sleep for, say a week, be?
    How long have you had it?

    Tips for good Sleep:

    Here are some tips that might help you get better-quality sleep and feel more rested and alert during the day.

    *Keep a regular bedtime and wake-up time. Stick to it, even on weekends. That will help your body know when to feel alert and when to feel sleepy.

    *Get enough sleep. Adults need at least 8 hours. Teens should get 9 1/2. Kids need even more.

    *Of course, your bed and pillow(s) should be comfortable. Different people have different preferences.

    *The room should not be too hot or too cold. (If your feet -- or other areas of your body feel cold, wear socks or a comfortable cap.)

    *Lighting, if any, should be very dim. (Light can shine through your eyelids and send "wake-up" signals to your brain.) If you can’t get rid of the light, try black curtains, aluminum foil over windowpanes, or sleep masks/eye shades.

    *If you don’t want complete silence, listen to a constant "white noise." (Radios and T.V.s are very disruptive to sleep, even if you believe they make you sleep better!) If you can’t get rid of noise, try ear plugs.

    *Don’t use stimulants (such as colas, chocolate, tea, coffee, nicotine, and some medications) too close to bed time. Some of these can stay in your body up to 6 hours. Even if you don't think they bother you, scientists say they will make your sleep worse.

    *Exercise each day, but no strenuous exercise within 6 hours of bedtime.

    *Avoid alcohol, which can cause night time awakenings, nightmares, and headaches.

    *A light snack may help you fall asleep, but avoid heavy meals near bedtime.

    *Try to avoid lying awake in bed. Only get into bed when you really feel as though you will fall asleep. If you are awake in bed for 20 minutes, get up and do something else until you feel tired.


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Comments

  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 8,561 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Rhyme


    I absolutely can't sleep (save complete exhaustion) without working out any issues in my head, working through what people said that day, anything i forgot to do etc...

    With stuff on my head i can't sleep.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,564 ✭✭✭✭ whiskeyman


    I started listening to late night talk shows (on BBC5 live) around 10 years ago. It's got to the stage I nearly can't nod off properly without listening to it.. probably because I need my brain ticking over (similar to Rhyme).
    Mind you, I can conk out after a night on the beer or a heavy exercise session.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 36,634 ✭✭✭✭ Ruu_Old


    Rhyme wrote:
    I absolutely can't sleep (save complete exhaustion) without working out any issues in my head, working through what people said that day, anything i forgot to do etc...

    With stuff on my head i can't sleep.

    I'm the same, too many issues. :(


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,007 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Tar.Aldarion


    This is the same for me, if there is something on my mind, I can not sleep. Ther eis always something on my mind. I am an obsessive thinker.

    Should there be a thread for all sleep disorders and their discussion?
    There are a lot more than insomnia.
    I could edit the title of this one or another could be made later.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 403 ✭✭ mysteria


    Not having enough sleep can affect your whole day, making you tense and irritable. The two most common types of sleep disorder are difficulty in falling asleep, known as Sleep-Onset Insomnia, and waking up frequently or too early, known as Maintenance Insomnia. Approximately 50% of all cases of insomnia are caused by psychological rather than physical reasons. Stress, tension, anxiety and depression can all interfere with our ability to sleep soundly. Some of the other causes of sleep problems include too much caffeine, alcohol or nicotine intake. These are all stimulants which should not be taken from teatime onward if you have trouble sleeping. Sleep Apnea ( breathing problems ), chronic pain, digestive disorders, menopausal discomfort and muscle spasms or cramps, are among the physical ailments which interfere with our nights rest.
    Sleep Onset Insomnia: If you find it difficult falling asleep because you're feeling tense and stressed, or your mind is racing, you should try some deep breathing relaxation techniques. A cup a Linden Flower (Lime Blossom), or Camomile tea, is soothing and relaxing and will help you drop off. The traditional cup of cocoa contains stimulants that may stop you from sleeping. Warm milk sweetened with a little honey can help if you like a milky drink at night. Calcium and Magnesium are minerals which are natural tranquillizers and have a calming effect on the body. They help reduce blood pressure, relieve stress, and prepare the body for sleep. Take Calcium 500 mg to 1 gm, and Magnesium 250 mg to 500 mg, half and hour before bedtime.
    Maintenance Insomnia: is when you wake up one or more times during the night for no particular reason, or wake very early, unable to get back to sleep. This can happen because of insufficient physical exercise during the day, or too much caffeine (in tea, coffee and fizzy drinks). Avoid taking Aspirin at night as this can interfere with sleep also stress and anxiety are also major contributory factors in maintenance insomnia, so a relaxation techniques are helpful. A relaxing bath using 3-5 drops of Lavender Aromatherapy Oil on the side of your pillowcase helps you inhale its relaxing vapours while you sleep. If all else fails, a supplement containing Passion Flower (Passiflora) or Valerian should do the trick.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,735 ✭✭✭ ST*


    Everyone experiences sleeplessness at some point or other throughout their lives. It is when it becomes an on-going problem that it should be looked into.

    It is not so for all cases, but sleeplessness is experienced by some who suffer from depression. A radox bath and a sprinkle of lavendar on your pillow is not likely to fix the problem alone.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 403 ✭✭ mysteria


    ST* wrote:
    Nice copy and past job there Listeria.

    Everyone experiences sleeplessness at some point or other throughout their lives. It is when it becomes an on-going problem that it should be looked into.

    It is not so for all cases, but sleeplessness is experienced by some who suffer from depression. A radox bath and a sprinkle of lavendar on your pillow is not likely to fix the problem alone.

    I wrote it, it's my copyright, just trying to help ok? ( yawns)


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 47,099 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Black Swan


    Tar, you are the king of insomnia. I reviewed your list, which seemed reasonable, but be honest, it doesn't work much for you. Hey, while I often stumble through the night, you are almost always there in the darkness stumbling too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,188 ✭✭✭ pH


    ST* wrote:
    Nice copy and past job there Listeria.
    I'm not a fan of Sandra by any means but that ('Listeria') is personal abuse.

    Also could you post a link to where the copy and paste is from? Sandra says she wrote it, you say she's copied and pasted if from somewhere, so please back up your accusation with some proof.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,735 ✭✭✭ ST*


    mysteria wrote:
    I wrote it, it's my copyright, just trying to help ok?

    Perfectly. I have nothing to back my post up with, it came across as a C&P. My apologies if I have offended you.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 403 ✭✭ mysteria


    No problem.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,145 ✭✭✭ DonkeyStyle \o/


    For the last few days I've been spending 25 hours awake, 10/11 hours asleep... people say there's not enough hours in the day, but I think I've cracked it :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,812 ✭✭✭✭ Wishbone Ash


    whiskeyman wrote:
    I started listening to late night talk shows

    My wife likes to listen to that low grade skanger crap talk show on FM104 at night (sorry I don't know it's name). It drives me nuts. Even when she uses ear phones I can still hear those morons.

    I find it very difficult to sleep in advance of requiring it. Some people can do it. I occasionally start work at 4am which means getting up at 3am but I can only go to bed at the regular time the night before.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 403 ✭✭ mysteria


    My wife likes to listen to that low grade skanger crap talk show on FM104 at night (sorry I don't know it's name). It drives me nuts. Even when she uses ear phones I can still hear those morons.

    I find it very difficult to sleep in advance of requiring it. Some people can do it. I occasionally start work at 4am which means getting up at 3am but I can only go to bed at the regular time the night before.

    Thats Adrian & Jeremy I know what you mean :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,140 ✭✭✭✭ is_that_so


    My tuppence worth

    Warm drink (Milk based for me) - works some of the time.

    Visualisation - imagine yourself sleeping for 8 hours.

    Empty Mind - shut your mind down as if you were closing doors on each of the voices. This can is good for overactive minds but you need to train yourself to do it.

    Music - Baroque is very good. Lyric late night is also good or any other kind of chill out music. Nice and low.

    Reading - as long as it's not too much of page turner. Interesting but not overly exciting.

    In this sticky weather cold water on wrists, ankles or if you feel brave the neck.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,585 ✭✭✭ honru


    If you're a crap sleeper, then it could be lack of the following:

    ● Sunlight (for the melatonin)
    ● Exercise

    Also, make sure your body clock isn't out of whack... try waking up and going to bed at the same time every day. Yes, there might be the temptation to sleep in or stay up late at the weekend, but this will seriously hamper your ability to sleep deeply throughout the week.

    Have to say, after knowing and applying this, the quality of my sleep has improved ten-fold.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,007 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Tar.Aldarion


    Tar, you are the king of insomnia. I reviewed your list, which seemed reasonable, but be honest, it doesn't work much for you. Hey, while I often stumble through the night, you are almost always there in the darkness stumbling too.
    I am well aware of that. :)
    Not sleeping for days is not such an uncommon thing on my part.
    I'm afraid no 'tips' help me as it is my obsessive thinking that is the cause.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,007 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Tar.Aldarion


    Merge this to the insomnia thread. :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,894 ✭✭✭ Chinafoot


    Yep this and the insomnia thread will hopefully be stickified :)

    We just needs mods first :p


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,585 ✭✭✭ honru


    Whoops, just saw the insomnia thread now.

    Really though, getting enough sunlight throughout the day is the key.

    However, I disagree with needing eight hours sleep... it's quality, not quantity. If you master getting to the deep sleep stage early then you can rest for six hours or even four hours and still feel normal the following day.


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,007 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Tar.Aldarion


    Feeling normal does not mean you are fine, you only notice after doing it for long periods.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,585 ✭✭✭ honru


    ?


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,007 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Tar.Aldarion


    If you consistently sleep at 4-6 hours a night, you will start to feel the effects.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,585 ✭✭✭ honru


    Yeah, if you don't stay at the REM or deep sleep stages consistantly.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 47,099 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Black Swan


    If you're a crap sleeper, then it could be lack of the following:

    ● Sunlight (for the melatonin)
    ● Exercise

    Also, make sure your body clock isn't out of whack... try waking up and going to bed at the same time every day. Yes, there might be the temptation to sleep in or stay up late at the weekend, but this will seriously hamper your ability to sleep deeply throughout the week.

    Have to say, after knowing and applying this, the quality of my sleep has improved ten-fold.

    I am a sleepless creature of the night...
    1. Sunlight? Get plenty on the So Cal beaches and have a tan to prove it.
    2. Exercise? Am a Black Belt in taekwondo, workout daily, part-time teach, and frequently compete, all very strenuous in terms of exercise.
    3. Body clock? Have to go to work more or less about the same time during weekdays.
    4. Diet? Eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of fluids, stay away from junk foods, don't eat desserts or other sugary foods (except chocolate once in awhile).
    5. Recreational drugs? Don't drink much alcohol, and keep it to a glass if I do, don't do drugs, and don't smoke (pretty boring eh?).
    6. My only vice is a couple of cups of java a day on average. Rarely more than 2 and sometimes none.
    7. I do have an occasional nightmare, which obviously affects my sleep patterns. Have had counseling way back when about them... Didn't help.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,585 ✭✭✭ honru


    Are you stressed? Are you sleeping comfortably?

    There could be other reasons why you aren't sleeping well.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 47,099 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Black Swan


    Are you stressed? Are you sleeping comfortably?

    There could be other reasons why you aren't sleeping well.

    Stressed? Overseas, young, and alone since just before Christmas. Make quite a bit of money(with plenty going into savings and investments), but in an occupation that can be very demanding. Others in this line of work seem to get their sleep, so I do not know what would make me different.

    Sleeping comfortably? When I sleep, sometimes, sometimes not. I sleep alone, so someone is not snoring or otherwise disturbing me. Near the beach the air is cool, clean, and the nights are quite pleasant, so the environment is not a factor. My bed is medium firm, gives good support, and I am not uncomfortable. My flat is in a very quiet area, away from cars or noisey neighbors.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 47,099 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Black Swan


    If you consistently sleep at 4-6 hours a night, you will start to feel the effects.

    Yes. We both know this, don't we Tar?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 36,634 ✭✭✭✭ Ruu_Old


    I guess this belongs here. A few years ago I manufactured bedding and furniture so I am pretty certain of the whole sleeping terminology. Heres a few suggestions (maybe can be stickied when a mod is decided). I'll try and dig up more later.

    *The quality of your sleep
    While sleeping, our bodies turn continuously and in doing so interrupts our sleep. The reason we continuously turn is that our bodies undergo counter pressure from our beds. The more contact our bodies have with our mattresses, the more evenly our weight is distributed and the less we turn during our sleep at night.

    *What is good support during sleep?
    While sleeping, our beds need to support our bodies, in order for the vertebral discs in our neck and back not to be crushed. To prevent this, sleeping on sagging or hard surfaces should be avoided.
    Talalay Latex mattresses offer maximum support, whereby the shoulders and pelvis of the person lying on the mattress can sink more deeply into its surface, therefore simultaneously supporting a straight spine.

    *Contrary to some popular opinion a hard bed is not the best way to ease the pain of a bad back. In addition, beds classed as "orthopaedic" are not considered to be best for bad backs.

    *look for a mattress that is;

    -Designed to conform to the spine's natural curves and to keep the spine in alignment
    when you lay down.

    -Designed to distribute pressure evenly across the body to help circulation, decrease body movement and enhance sleep quality.

    -Designed to minimize the transfer of movement from one sleeping partner to the other.

    -Designed with perimeter edge support.


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,501 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Tree


    Happens from time to time to me (well, bit more often than time to time) to varying degrees, ive taken sleeping tablets for it before, and it helped for a few weeks.

    tbh, at teh moment, i just get utterly exhausted adn then i crash, tis much easier than workin out all them issues in teh brain


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