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Help with sleep?

Ok, I've gotten less than 15 hours of sleep total over the last four nights. I would really really like to sleep. I really really don't know why I can't. I am reaching the point where I am just ready to sit down and cry from weariness.

What do you people do to sleep?

I've tried Unisom, Nyquil, Xanax, alcohol, food (for those not in the know, I frequently go into fits of "just ate! must sleep _now_!"), and antihistamines. For those who are going to recommend sex, I have always end up peppy post-sex. Warm milk makes me gag. I have taken enough warm baths to drown a whale (please keep your comments to yourself). I have consumed a like amount of sleepytime tea and chamomile and the like. I have taken long walks, and exercised, and exposed myself to fresh air (erm. my lungs, that is.).

I need to do things, and I don't have the energy and am rapidly losing the coherency. This week is going to be unpleasant for other reasons, and I need to get some sleep.

Help?
  • Current Mood: weary
Meditation-type yoga? Lotus position can make me zonk out when nothing else will, although it doesn't always hold as far as the bedroom (a futon in front of droning TV is useful for this).

I admit to also having used coedine and generic darvocet mixed with alcohol in times of extreme fucking desperation, or coedine and pamprin, but these might not be available to you, and you've tried alcohol by itself.

There was a prescription sleeping pill they had me on in Canada, Imovane or Zimovane or something like that, which lost effectiveness gradually over two weeks by design. I don't know if it's like unto Unisom.
*meep*!
Well I dont have any brilliant words of wisdom, though I have suffered from this too. I usually just rent 3 movies, take a blanket and a toad to the couch and wait. Eventually I will close my eyes and then as soon as I assume the world is doing ok without me for the next few hours, I'm out. But probably after all of this, you would want to take some stronger sleeping pills. Poor meri! *whuggle*
My experience may or may not be relevant, but JIC it is, here you go.

When I'm having problems sleeping (which have admittedly never gotten as bad as the ones you're having now), and it's not a matter of a haywire sleep schedule (ie, try to go to bed at 9 PM, body decides it's a nap and wakes up at 2 AM, refusing to go back to sleep), it's nearly always a matter of thinking. That is to say, my mind is awhirl with so many things to think about (or one thing that it really wants to focus on, or some combination thereof) that I just lie awake thinking about stuff, interspersed with brief fits of managing to get my mind to SHUT UP for a few moments during which I start to drift off, until the maelstrom starts up again. "Jeez, I can't sleep" is often one of the things banging around in there, keeping me from sleeping. ;)

This happens not-infrequently when I'm exhausted, most often because I only tend to push myself to the point of exhaustion when I'm really involved in (something) and have been throwing energy into it constantly during my waking hours.

So for me, the solution for insomnia is...well, meditation isn't exactly correct, but it does use a lot of the same skills. Learning to tell my brain how to stop thinking about things and let thoughts drift, how it really isn't that important that I review what I've done or come up with new ideas right now, how I can stop for a little while and things will be just as exciting when I wake up (only better because I'll have slept)...all of the "relaxation" methods of curing insomnia are, for me, only means to this end. Positive reinforcement helps, too - ie, if I start drifting off to sleep for a bit, then stop, I think to myself "I was doing something right" and see if I can re-create it rather than self-criticizing for being freakin' awake again.

Other things that help: Trying to sleep whenever my body tells me "Sleep now!", and stopping whenever it says "No, ain't happening". This can involve being in bed with a book, turning off the light every 30-40 minutes when a wave of fatigue hits, seeing if I can manage to fall asleep, then (if not) getting up and reading again. (Though I find books before bedtime kinda dangerous, as I have a tendency to want to finish, which revs up the mind again...)

Anyhow. If you have questions, drop me a line; I figure I've rambled on for enough space here. ;)
Well, it ISN'T listen to the woman in the hotel room next to you moan "Oh yeah!" "Oh yeah, baby!" "Right there!" "Oh! Oh! Oh!" in varied combinations for an hour straight.


However. As Eric said, mental relaxation is pretty key. WOrrying about sleeping is, sadly, counter productive. If you have lots of thoughts jumbled in your head, take some time to write them down and try to get them out. Or, maybe there's someone in particular you should talk to to get something off your chest (or maybe a few someones).

Physical relaxation is also a plus. Get a massage. Clear your mind. Relax and stop stressing over whatever it is that is beating you over the head. No matter what it is, you can tackle it better the next day on a full night's sleep.
Somewhere I read that staying in bed for a prolonged period of time "trying" to sleep may not make you get to sleep any faster. When I cannot sleep, it is generally because I have too much running through my head. Getting up for a bit and doing something mindless usually helps me. (Mindless being key... If I do something that makes me think, I'll stop thinking about the stuff in my head, but I'll also become more mentally awake)