We see a lot about lack of sleep, but not so much on the effects this has on our every day waking lives. It seems this is the crunch-line in fact – How do you cope on little or no sleep? Any strategies for keeping going?
I have found the same. I never used to do jigsaws but now I find a 500 one enjoyable and relaxing. Even 200 ones can be challenging depending on the picture. My grandchildren got me into it. I want to fall asleep when I watch the tv too late and it can sometimes be too stimulating. I am struggling some days with the sleep restriction as I wake sometimes after an hours sleep. I sometimes go to work feeling as if I have run over by a bus! Having said that my restorative sleep I think has improved and only have one or two very bad nights rather than all the time. I have a friend who I have told her about this in case Im grumpy and she encourages me when I feel like giving up. My sleep pal I recommend one for encouragement. My husband lovely as he is (except his snoring) does not understand as he sleeps anywhere well.
I feel tired, irritable and have headaches in the daytime, and this has got much worse since starting Sleepio.
I find the following help a bit: – take paracetamol at the first sign of a headache, stick to the daily dose and save a dose for late evening – it's tempting to have extra snacks, so I try to have fruit, dried fruit or rice cakes – a few times during the day, stand up and do a few stretches and deep breathing to get the oxygen round the body, including a walk outside if possible, or stretch near an open window – I am avoiding challenging conversations at the moment – sitting and just listening to music in the afternoon but not going off to sleep.
Hope this helps others as well. Any other practical ideas to get through the day?
I've just done my first night of restrictive sleeping and I feel dreadful. My sleep window is 1 am to 6.30 am. It felt really ridiculous staying up so late watching T.V. and then I couldn't sleep when I got into bed. I awoke at 5.30 and got up soon after. I'm 73, have ADHD and an auto immune problem and I'm worried such a short time in bed is going to make me ill. Normally, I just lay in bed in the mornings with my eyes closed sometimes till 11 a.m. Does anyone know if it's possible to achieve good results by approaching the Sleepio programme more gently? I'm only doing it because I'm wasting so much of my life in bed and want to be able to get up at a reasonable time and enjoy my days. I've had poor sleep and anxiety all my life but don't want to take medication for it as I was once hooked on Valium which I successfully came off years ago. Nobody seems to know much about helping adults with ADHD.
Any advice about doing the Sleepio programme slower would be most welcome. I'd planned to visit my son this Sunday now that lockdown is over but I can't see myself being fit to drive if I feel like this.
Watching TV late at night keeps me up. I now stop all TV and streaming two hours before bed. If that sounds too drastic, start with 1/2 hour. I will listen to podcasts after my screen cut-off time.
The weekly experts repeatedly tell people who are having difficulties that this is a self-help program and there are options. Please see my other reply to you in the other thread. Sleep compression is a good thing to try since you’re spending too much time in bed. You can gradually reduce this, instead of doing sleep restriction.
Thank you Nicola as it happened I did just that last night and had a good night's sleep! I attended a support group for people with ADHD and they thought the sleep restriction may be designed for Neuro Typical people and not people like me. Sleep restriction seemed to increase my anxiety although after one night of it I did sleep well so who knows? I think the important thing for me is to get out of bed at the same time each morning and slowly build up my sleeping time by sleep compression. Thanks a lot for your post it's encouraged me to keep going at my own pace.
I have just started the sleepio programme (I'm in week 1). I am in my early 60s not currently working and have a 40 year history of insomnia. The insomnia has taken a turn for the worse in the last fortnight – i manage 3-4 hours/night of sleep. I feel so unwell on this amount of sleep that i am cancelling social life and feel even going to the shops is a challenge as i experience feelings of my balance being wrong and faintness. It's quite scary. Losing my confidence for ordinary living. Not sure if sleepio is appropriate as the sleep restriction – once i get to that stage – might be too difficult. No point going to the GP as they just prescribe sleeping pills.
I am 63 and really struggling. I am so tired at night i feel that I can hardly stand up and my balance is off – quite frightening. Yet when I go to bed, I may sleep for as little as 30 minutes all night. I get up but I don't feel sleepy. I feel as if I am way past the stage of getting sleepy. I have always suffered from poor sleep but the last 6 weeks there's been a step change for the worse. I feel it is a very destructive thing. I cannot adopt the positive thinking recommended by the Prof as I know that i will be ill and non-functional on under 3 hours' sleep. I am guessing it is worse given my age – combined with a decades long history of poor sleep. My mind and body are just shot.
It is really hard when you are incredibly tired but sleep won't come. I too, like you, suffered from poor sleep for decades. There were days where I couldn't cope and was worried for my wellbeing – especially having to drive to work. However I don't feel like that anymore.
If you can I really would work on the thought checker – it's not so much about having positive thoughts but about challenging the negative thoughts that have got us into an unhelpful way of thinking. Even if you don't “believe” in it the very act of writing things down can help change. You can gently challenge the thought 'I can't adopt the positive thinking…as I know I will be ill and non functioning”. You have coped over the decades so try to let go of that certainty and try to turn that thought round. Give it a go, you have nothing to lose!
I am close to your age at 62 and have struggled with sleep for decade also. I found Jarabia suggestion hopefull. I’m going to give it a try. Good luck to you. Hang in there.
Thank you for your suggestion to Baver2 about keeping a thought checker. I’m going to give that a try, and not just for sleep. I’ve recently returned to work and I’m finding myself slipping into negative thought patterns.
Thank you for your helpful comment Jarabia. I will persevere with efforts to challenge negative thinking. Much appreciated.
Thank you Burney. It's helpful to know that others in my age group are grappling with these issues and determined to improve sleep.
Hi all. I did 4 weeks and saw an increase in my sleep drive quite quickly but not in length of sleep. I went days and days with such little sleep that I felt I was becoming ill so I had to abandon for a few days and take some sleeping tablets and just let myself sleep. I am trying to start again but I really don't want to become ill and I can't see that if I've not improved after 4 weeks that I would improve now. I felt so positive at the start and now I just feel deflated and depressed that it's not worked for me. I can't face more days on tiny amounts of sleep and feeling like I can't work or anything. Any advice? Thanks
Here are some tips I use to cope with sleepiness and tiredness over the day.
-Standing up: this one is my to-go strategy. If I notice I am falling asleep at work (I work at a desk), I stand up. I've never fallen asleep standing up.
-Splashing cold water: a quick trip to the toilet, and splashing cold water on your face can sometimes do wonders.
-Holding your breath: this one is a last-resort. If I am falling asleep during a meeting or in a social situation, I try to hold my breath for as long as I can. After 20-30 seconds, I feel a little rush that wakes up. Not sure that this is the healthiest thing to do, but it's better than letting your eyes close while somebody is talking to you.
Yes I have found 500 piece or even 200 relaxing! It can't be too easy or too hard. Too hard I go to bed feeling frustrated and don't sleep! Also turning the Tv off 45 – 60 minutes before bed as I may think about what I watch although I do have some light hearted DVDs that I can watch before bed.
I would like to ask if because of this problem have u all stop to going out socialising because scared of not sleeping ?? How you doing just push yourself??
Hi I am 65 and I have been using Sleepio for a number of years now, generally, my sleeping has improved but it is still rare for me to consistently get more than 5-5.30 hours without sleep aids even when things are going well. Of course, there have been times in the past when I would have given my right arm for 5 hours!! The problem is that at 5 hours I am still pretty much nonfunctional at work the next day.
My sleep has been particularly bad recently (just started a new job!), with me waking up after a few hours and struggling to get back to sleep despite using the advised relaxation techniques. I am starting another round of restrictive sleep, starting with 12-5 but already thinking I need to reduce it to 1-5. The problem I have with restrictive sleep is that even when I reduce the window to 4 hours I will wake to go to the loo: on the very very rare occasions when I don't wake to pee at least once I don't wake. Often this occurs in the last hour of my window, even with a four-hour window, and when this happens getting back to sleep before my planned wake time is rare. It doesn't seem to matter how much I move the sleep window around waking at least once is hard-wired in for me it seems. I have been to my local urology clinic and tried a few medications with no effect. I am getting in touch as much because the issue of getting up to pee as the cause or a catalyst of/for maintenance insomnia, and how to use restrictive sleep in such cases, doesn't seem to be discussed in the Sleepio guidance or the forum groups? Or have I missed it?
I would like to know if anyone else just drops off during the day when they sit down or relax. I am on a (fairly generous, by some standards) restricted sleep pattern but because I don’t always sleep through, feel really sleepy during the whole day and I tend to nod off whilst watching tv in the evening. Does anyone else experience this? On another note I expected that the sleep window would be regularly extended once a good routine has been established, but can’t see that this happens, or am I missing something?