Sleepless Nights

sleeplessHave you ever seen someone fall asleep within seconds of hitting the pillow? How do they do that? From my experiences, it seems that this happens more often with men, than it does women. Maybe it’s their wiring. If so, I wonder if that part of me could be re-wired.

On a good day, it takes me at least 15 minutes to get to sleep. On a bad day (which is often), it’s closer to 5 hours and that’s if I even sleep at all.

There are so many nights where I find myself rolling around, watching the time pass. Those nights drag on and on, and morning seems like a lifetime away. Some nights I am inundated with thoughts racing through my mind and on others there are no thoughts at all. It’s just a matter of not sleeping or being too tired to sleep.

Last night was another one of those sleepless nights. When I wasn’t pacing the house, I was staring wide-eyed at the boring ceiling above my bed. Perhaps I should hang a picture up there for my nightly viewing pleasure. A picture of the mountains, or a river would be nice.

It’s on nights like those, when I’m not sure if my WordPress phone app is a good thing to have or a bad one. As the night drags on and my irritation flares, on goes the phone. What’s nice about the blogging community, is that there are people from all over the world on here.

While we’re sleeping (or supposed to be), others are just starting their day, so there’s new posts going up constantly. Even though reading posts at 4am calms my frustrations of not being able to sleep, by doing so I’m hindering my chances of sleeping altogether.

If my alarm wasn’t set for 6am and sleep came before midnight, I’d just get up and start my day in the wee hours of the morning. But unlike some people I know, I don’t function well with no sleep. So after a few laps around the house and calming my mind with reading, sleep finally comes. Usually about 30 minutes before I have to wake up.

If you struggle with sleeping, have you found any successful sleep remedies? (excluding sleeping pills)

And what do you do for entertainment on your sleepless nights?

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41 Responses to Sleepless Nights

  1. Gede Prama says:

    pretty interesting article, thank you for sharing your friends!

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  2. Doobster418 says:

    I’m a guy. I can usually fall asleep within seconds of my head hitting the pillow. Sometimes before it hits the pillow. My problem is not falling asleep, it’s staying asleep. I often wake up in the middle of the night and then have trouble getting back to sleep. When that happens, I try counting backwards from 100. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t. And when it doesn’t, it’s brutal.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Before you hit the pillow. That could make for an interesting moment. The counting method doesn’t work for me. It actually wakes me up more. And sheep? Forget it. After about a minute of that, I’ve got those sheep doing all sorts of entertaining tricks. Those nights are brutal. If you find a guaranteed fix, I’d love to hear it.

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  3. I find it’s helpful to have a nightly routine! I do a Sodoku puzzle and read a chapter of the Bible. It also helps to focus on your breathing when you’re trying to fall asleep. Keeps the mind off unwanted thoughts ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • mewhoami says:

      It would help to have a nightly routine. I try, but sometimes it gets interrupted by life in general. Reading helps to make me sleepy, but as soon as I put the book/phone down I wake back up. I do like the idea of keeping my mind off unwanted thoughts. I have many of those, mostly at night when I’m trying to sleep.

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  4. suzjones says:

    I am a woman and sometimes I’m asleep before my head even hits the pillow. The GG on the other hand is wired differently.
    I have read that being on a computer or phone in the two hours before bedtime is not good for you. I can’t remember where I read it or the specific details unfortunately.
    I have found when I have sleepless nights (yes I do get them even when I fall asleep immediately most nights), that concentrating on my breathing generally relaxes me and I fall back asleep. At other times, I write (on paper using a pen ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).
    I’ve heard a relaxation meditation or breathing exercise is also good before bed.
    Hope you find something that works for you.

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  5. April says:

    Haha! I actually don’t have too much problem falling to sleep, but I think you know my strategy by now. Even with sleep medication, there are many nights I fall asleep around midnight and I’m wide awake at 2am. After giggling over the different sounds that come from my sleeping husband, and trying to solve the problems of the world, and then move on to my family, and then onto myself—I get up. I feel hungover the next day, and nobody wants to be around me.

    I have used warm milk. The jury is still out on that one.

    I had a friend tell me that the body knows how much it needs to sleep. So, lying down to rest is just as great as sleep. The jury is still out on that one too. I struggle to hold my attention on a regular day. A day without much sleep, if any, only leads to the activity of a zombie. If I HAVE to do something, then I’m a pretty cranky person with very little patience.

    My recommendations – sleeping pills . ๐Ÿ˜€

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    • mewhoami says:

      Lately it seems that’s been happening a lot for you, as I’ve seen 1-2am comments from you a couple time this week. Sounds from others in the house can definitely be a factor in the no sleep department. It’s like they turn into some type of animal when they’re sleeping. Hungover – that’s the perfect description.

      I’ll have to pass on the warm milk. I can’t even stomach cold milk. I don’t know how babies do it.

      I might agree with your friend. Although resting doesn’t have the equal benefits of sleep, it certainly helps. Crankiness and concentration are my issues too. However, the crankiness I usually keep to myself by remaining silent most of the day. I figure it’s safer that way.

      Sleeping pills – I have some non-habit forming ones. They are my very last resort and that’s only if I have a meeting or project the next day that requires 100% focus. Even those don’t work all the time. My body will stop moving, but my mind will keep on trucking.

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  6. lauramacky says:

    Ive had insomnia all my life. It usually takes me about an hour, sometimes more to go to sleep. I relax listening to music, mostly meditation music and I use bedphones connected to my ipad and wear them all night long! I set a timer on my ipad to go off after 90 minutes. Oh yeah and then there are the sleeping pills. Yes, I’m one of those people. I find though that if I get outside for awhile during the day, I have an easier time getting to sleep.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Meditation music is an idea. I’ll try it. Other types of music doesn’t work simply because I start singing along with it and sometimes even dance to it in bed. Which is an interesting sight, I’m sure.

      I do get outside a lot…during the summer. Winters forget it. I hibernate as much as possible. In and out of the car, and to and from buildings is about as far as I go. Come on summer!

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  7. I have no great answers. I can usually fall asleep very fast. But then wake up very fast and can’t get back to sleep. I’ve yet to find the answer. Though sometimes are worse than others. Don’t know the reason for that either. And I realize I have been absolutely no help to you! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  8. tric says:

    My mom always said “a rest is as good as a sleep”. I have found this invaluable advice as sometimes it is the thought we should be asleep which keeps us awake. Sleep tight, or in Irish we say Codladh sรกmh (cola saahve) which means sleep peacefully.

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    • mewhoami says:

      You’re are exactly right. It’s the knowing that we’re supposed to be sleeping that keeps us awake. It’s a bit ridiculous isn’t it? Thank you. Minus two wake ups, I slept well last night.

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  9. CharleneMcD says:

    I have sleep apnea so sleep with a machine which my sleep very sporadic. I can usually get about 4 good hours of sleep a night the rest is tossing and turning fighting with that machine. I remember as a kid, I could lay down and sleep like a log. Nothing woke me up, I would need two alarm clocks and a radio. Now the slightest movement and or different sound and I am awake and tossing again. I tried the sleeping pills but they only made me sleep all the next day too. So for a while I would take one on Friday before the weekend so I could catch up on all the sleep I missed during the week. I know it doesn’t really work that way, so I quit doing that and stopped taking the pills since they weren’t working like they should. Now I have resorted to midday naps on the days when I can take them and wish for midday naps on the days I can’t. I hope you can find a solution that fits you.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I know a few people with sleep apnea who sleep with those machines. I’m not surprised that you don’t get good solid sleep, having that machine running all night. It’s interesting how our sleep habits change as we get older. The napping idea would be good, but I can’t sleep during the day. My body/mind doesn’t let me. I hope you and I both find something that works. Thank you!

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  10. DailyMusings says:

    My husband falls asleep in a second too. Partly wiring and partly nature, he is not a worrier. My sleep patterns changed with age. I think you are too young for menopause, but hormonal changes affect sleep. Breathing exercises may help- I had a yoga teacher who said to breath in count to 5 breath out count 5, count that as 1, keep doing it- I have found it works-all of a sudden it is morning! Sue is right, no computer before bed, which is for me a challenge, but I have tried to cut down at least an hour. If you wake up in the middle of the night I have read you should not fight it if you really can’t get back to sleep- get up, have something warm to drink, you should get tired again & be able to catch a little more. Exercise helps too- if you can finds the time during the day, and can help sleep patterns. I feel for you as I am a challenged sleeper too!

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    • mewhoami says:

      I think I’m a bit too young for menopause too, probably by about 15-20 years. It could be hormonal though, since that kind of comes with the territory of being a woman. Men are lucky. I tried some breathing techniques last night, and so far so good. The computer idea does sound very logical, but it’s my winding down method from the day. I suppose I could find a different method though. Getting up and not forcing myself to sleep definitely sounds like a plan. That would at least eliminate the frustrations of lying in bed awake. Exercise isn’t an issue. I work out 5 days a week for 45-90 minutes each session. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help with the sleeping though. I may try to implement the no computer time and getting up in the wee hours without putting up a tired fight. Thank you!

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  11. Glynis Jolly says:

    I’ve heard the same thing as Susanne. It has something to do with the screen. Also, watching TV isn’t a good idea for the same reason. However, I usually don’t pay attention to this advice and end up tossing and turning all night and battling Restless Leg Syndrome. I am my worst enemy.

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    • mewhoami says:

      The more I hear about the computer, the more I’m leaning toward trying that. It’s my wind down method for the day, but I could always find another one to replace it. Reading a real, physical book is an option, since paper books don’t come with lights. ๐Ÿ™‚ Restless leg syndrome sounds like a hassle too. I don’t think I’ve experienced that, well not unwillingly.

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  12. I find the best thing to make me sleep/ return to sleep is acknowledging that one lost night of sleep will not destroy you. I have gone to work on 3 hours sleep (and sometimes 3 hours broken sleep). I’m probably not my most alert but I’m still fully functional). Rather than tossing watching the clock tell me the morning alarm is sneaking closer I get up and do anything I like…read, watch TV , play with my dog. Once the stress of knowing I’m no longer fighting sleeplessness happens , I get tired . Here’s to sweet dreams for you ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • mewhoami says:

      I tried this last night. I kept telling myself that I would survive with little sleep and I think that actually helped me to fall asleep. It lessened my worries over it. Thank you for the tip!

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  13. Totally have the same problem. Unfortunately, the more overtired I get, the worse it is. I’ve found that getting out of bed and reading a book on nights I take longer than 1 hour to fall asleep is the best thing. The harder I “try” to sleep, the worse it gets. These are helpful suggestions in the comments. I’ll definitely be telling myself “a rest is as good as a sleep” over and over again, the next time I have a long, long night.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Agreed. If I let myself get too tired, then sleep is nearly impossible. Reading a book on those sleepless nights is definitely an idea. Nothing beats sleep, but rest does help for sure.

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  14. pardenme says:

    It was recently suggested to me that I try magnesium powder before bedtime. It’s a great sleep aid and helps to keep leg cramps at bay, I was told. Almost anything to keep those nightly cramps away is worth a try. I started using the magnesium powder several days ago and so far it works! I’ve not suffered any leg/foot/toe/ankle/you-name-it cramps whatsoever and slept soundly each night. I purchased the flavored kind (mix with water according to directions) and it’s not too bad. Though I imagine the unflavored would be enough to gag a maggot.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Enough to gag a maggot. haha! I’m so happy that it’s working for you. That’s great! Perhaps I’ll try the magnesium powder. I don’t suffer from physical cramping of any kind, only mental cramping. ๐Ÿ™‚ But, the whole past week has been very rough in the sleep department, so it’s certainly worth a try. Thank you!

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