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?
Is it possible to go out for a little walk around 7 PM? I've been pondering the same question, as I'm almost finished with my school year (I'm a teacher) and won't flop on the couch after I get home from work, exhausted for the next few months. Also wondering how to fill up the evening hours without my typical dozing…
I feel you. I too have multiple jobs and a family with pets to care for, as well as the same craving to be with my family. Let's work together on this, Snackskeeper. Can we distribute the work load more evenly (#chores for everyone)? Maybe we could add sleep to our morning, rather than evening family time? Also, as I have older daughters, we have a text thread for the entire family to set up our together times, usually on the weekends. Scheduling little trips together pulls us all out of our home schedules so we can spend real quality/quantity time together. Other ideas?
I was just reading the older posts and came acrossed yours. I have back pain due to my Osteo-arthritis it's in my full spine. L1 and L2 the discs are thinning and L3- L5 are bone rubbing on bone. My hubby; Dave bought me a Sport Therapy Foam Roller for my birthday last Aug. It's been really helpful. For you to get a visual think of you placing the foam roller between your back and the wall and move it to different places that have tight muscles/pain. I will give you a link on Amazon to see it:
I also take two 200 mg. of Ibuprofen near bedtime.
I hope this might bring you relief.
When I do not get enough sleep, I tend to get more emotional. I drink more coffee before lunch time and then crash. Sometimes I drink a mug of tea in the afternoon to get me through to the evening. I notice if I try to keep moving and not sit down I get through the chores around the house. I tend to get more sleepy in the late afternoon and early evening after I finish the chores. I relax by reading or watching tv in the late afternoon or evening.
I meditate each morning and try to go for 2 walks a day. My job is difficult but I don't want to take time off. I haven't had a decent nights sleep for years but there has been some slight improvement with Sleepio. My favourite thing to do is to feed the crows on the beach near where I work. That helps me cope with day. I do get a bit grouchy when tired but luckily I am mostly working on a computer.
Good morning Totnesbabe,
I was just checking up on new posts and came across yours. I love when you mentioned that your favorite thing is feeding the crows on the beach. I bet it is very calming and peaceful to walk on the beach.
I just started with Sleepio and the question I have is how to record naps.
I tend to nap a lot – at least an hour a day on weekdays and more on the weekend. I know I need to stop, but at the same time, I love my naps :)
How do you record them in your sleep journal?
I've just started Sleepio after a couple of months of terrible sleep due to anxiety and dealing with some difficult family circumstances. I'm 25 and am finding it pretty tough at the moment dealing with the effects of the sleep deprivation on my mental and physical health and managing to cope with work and maintaining my usual social life. I'm also finding that a lot of my friends the same age as me are struggling to relate as it's just never a problem they've had to deal with.
I was wondering whether there was anyone else trying to cope with work, friends, relationships and trying to maintain some semblance of being in your mid 20s and trying to have fun?
I wish I was still in my mid-twenties (I'm 32) however it sounds to me like you're piling more pressure on yourself (that you should be having fun, rather than addressing the issues you're facing).
Personally I find it useful to set aside time to relax and recuperate. Everyone needs this, young or not – and trust me, you have a lifetime of opportunities ahead of you, and you owe it to yourself to look after yourself.
I think the most useful thing I've found on Sleepio so far is the perspective they provide on sleep not being as important as you think.
This isn't to say that you're not as rundown as you feel, but that the way you look at the problem may be compounding it and making it worse.
I'm on the sleep restriction phase just now, which I was dreading, but actually just having chunks of sleep where I'm not waking up regularly and lying worrying has been a big improvement.
I'm sorry that you're having a tough time and I wish I could say something more constructive. But I've been struggling with sleep issues for well over 10 years now, and I've survived (and only recently taken the steps to deal with it).
I think it's a great sign that you've decided to deal with the problems facing you're sleep. I think it's important to take stock of the challenges you face, and take whatever steps you can to find solutions where possible, and not be critical of yourself for feeling tired, or for not coping as well as you feel you ought to.
Sorry for long post – one final thing, if your friends aren't able to relate to your situation, perhaps try speaking to your family?
I'm on Week 4 of Sleepio and am 2 weeks into my restricted sleep window (I still haven't hit 90% for any length of time). Do others have tips for dealing with symptoms of fatigue during the day? For me, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, and a short fuse seem to be more of an issue each day. I've also struggled to do things like drive (I am less alert and sometimes feel as though I will fall asleep while on the road!). I'm assuming many others have been here….any tips to help in this time? Unfortunately, I'm unable to take the 15-minute power nap at work as those do help on the weekends.
I know during the day.. I am pretty ok.. Once I shower I have a good amount of energy for the day, but around 8 or 9 I start to fade..
I know when I was away for school, I felt at time I was just running on fumes, then when Friday came I crashed and felt well rested on Saturday.
When I'm very sleep deprived, I tend to start racking up a number of unsettling symptoms that make it even more difficult for me to fall asleep at night – nausea, trembling/feeling cold, and pounding heartbeat. All of these contribute to my anxiety over not sleeping well and can keep me awake even when I can feel how exhausted I am. When it starts happening, I seriously feel like I'm dying and it's so stressful and frustrating. It becomes a vicious cycle: I feel sick because I don't get enough sleep, then I don't get enough sleep because I feel sick. I'm pretty averse to taking meds so I don't feel like sleeping pills are an option for me; I'd be too afraid they'd stop my heart or something.
Just wondering if anyone else gets similar symptoms, and how you manage to push through despite feeling so bad?
Hi there, I totally feel your pain.
I have been a chronic insomniac for the last 10 years & am going through a particularly horrendous spell at the moment which has resulted in me being off work for the last 2 weeks. I just want to get back to normal & be able to function normally & live a life
I don't have any coping strategies to divulge I'm sorry…
I just wanted to offer support & understanding to say you are not alone as I know exactly the slow torture you describe of in the daytimes.
Here's hoping things improve for us all on here soon.
Hi! I just wanted to reach out and say you're not alone and I'm dealing with exactly that! I'm 26 and have been experiencing insomnia for about a year now. I totally can relate to what you say about your friends not being able to relate. I really struggle to let people know just how crap I feel from having 3 hours sleep the night before, and I feel so much stigma around complaining and saying 'I'm so tired!' because I just feel like no one wants to hear that when you're trying to have fun and socialise. I guess I have a belief that complaining you're tired is boring for people to hear and that it might bring the mood down, which maybe I don't want to be seen as being responsible for. But then I find I resent my friends sometimes for not being more sympathetic, which is unfair of me because I haven't let them know the extent of my sleep issue. I've found it a constant balance to try and maintain normality and my social life, whilst actually being able to be honest and let people know about my problem. Basically, the challenge of balance.
I think craborne's reply is great and really helpful, thank you craborne. Perhaps there's a lot to be said for the pressure we place on ourselves. In addition to this, I actually work within the mental healthcare field and I even feel like I can't talk to my colleagues about it, which I think is another issue about the stigma of mental ill-health even within workplaces of this nature.
Sorry for massive post!
I regularly get no sleep at all, and sometimes just an hour or two, and have a busy job as a litigator as well as a 7 year old son. I am 3 1/2 months off anti-depressants/anti-anxiety meds, and 3 days into the sleep restriction.
Daytime, particularly the morning, is really tough. I get the shakes, headaches, grogginess, tight chest, increased anxiety, obsessive rumination and worry about sleep and my health in general etc etc. It is even worse at 3-4am, when the hopelessness and depression kick in too.
However, I have a little mantra that goes: “sod it, do it anyway”. If I am tired and don't want to get out of bed? Sod it, do it anyway. If I don't want to go the gym at lunchtime? Sod it, do it anyway. I am not going to let this ruin my life, or stop me doing things I want to do. The more I do that, and the more I see how much I am capable of doing even when absolutely exhausted and falling to pieces, the more confidence I have in my ability, and the less anxious I get about the insomnia.
I also take this experience of feeling awful from lack of sleep as a lesson in compassion for others – I think of those with insomnia from chronic pain, or cancer treatment etc, and am better able to feel compassion for their struggle because I have experienced a tiny portion of it. That is a good thing. And I am now better able to offer advice and support to colleagues and friends (so many of whom it turns out have sleep and mental health issues of their own) about these sorts of things. So that helps me see the unpleasant sensations of the day as a teaching exercise. I find that can help.
Also – regular exercise every day (even if just a 20min walk outside on the way to work, but 3-4 times a week I go to the gym), meditation/mindfulness, Omega 3 fish oil, magnesium, vitamin C and zinc, all help a bit too. That and eating healthily in general – giving my body as much assistance in keeping itself going as possible.
Hope some of those ideas might help!
I've tried sleep restriction therapy a couple of times but find it really hard to stay awake. I always fall asleep by mistake at some point between 8 and midnight.
Right now, my sleep window is from 12 midnight until 6 am. Recently I went out with friends and got back home at 11:30. So going to bed at midnight was sooo easy.
The second night I was really bored with nothing to do and ended up watching tv. I thought I was in control, but the next thing I know, I'm waking up at 12:30. My Fitbit data shows I fell asleep at 10:30.
I have been trying various things to stay away like walking around the living room listening to music on headphones. Or going for a walk outside in the cold. However these are pretty rubbish ways to spend 2-3 hours every evening.
I can't drive anywhere as I'm way too sleepy.
Is there a trick I am missing?
These are good ideas, Sleepyjomo, thanks!
I saw on your profile question that you are a lawyer. Your job must be stressful, so it's not surprising to me that you have trouble sleeping--and that your colleagues do too. It sounds like you have a ton of willpower!
I also find that doing whatever I can for my health is helpful. In fact, I am better about eating a proper lunch and making myself green smoothies b/c it's one thing I can do for energy.
How is the SE going? I know you were anxious about it.
You're definitely not alone. I am 26 and have been experiencing problems with insomnia for about six months now.
I have friends who have also experienced difficulties with sleep and even them I find difficult to talk to about it all. I think it is always a symptom of anxiety and depression driven problems that you feel like a burden in some way or like you are being a downer so to speak and you don't want to continually moan to your friends about it. However I often found that whilst I thought I was being really irritating and a downer on my pals, they were really worried about me! I think don't be afraid to reach out to family and friends.. if you need someone to stay in with you rather than making that trip to the pub, then ask. You would do the same for someone else..
I have come to realise that my insomnia has developed in tangent with a growing subconscious depression that I had sort of developed in the background but not properly addressed. Whilst my sleeping hasn't normalised yet – I am in the process of dealing with the depression stuff, and slowly as I tackle that and adjust my medication and so on related to these problems, the sleeping stuff is starting to get better too. Definitely keep in touch with your doctor and reach out in that direction also.
I do obviously also think there's a lot to be said for improving your sleep hygiene and taking the Sleepio programme seriously – but also I was really hard on myself for a long time and stopped myself from doing loads of stuff for ages because I was terrified of disrupting my sleep – but looking back I wish I had tackled things a little differently. I don't think it should stop you from socialising or having fun. I don't think you should be hard on yourself for having a night out distracting yourself with friends and having a slightly less perfect pre sleep evening. I found that as soon as I started (admittedly sometimes forcedly so) introducing things back in to my life that I knew brought me joy, (mostly social activities and exercise which had fallen by the wayside as I prioritised the wrong things) I started to feel much more positive and the sleeping stuff started to improve too.
Basically I think tackling your sleep and employing all the sleepio things is important – but if you structure your WHOLE life around sleep then it becomes quickly an obsessive area – where really you don't want that to be the thing that defines you. Cut yourself some slack – if you feel like going out and forgetting about it all, then DO. If you feel like being boring and staying in and watching netflix all evening, then DO. Prioritise yourself – you need to be selfish and get yourself back on track.
Thanks PuppyMum – I am going to have to give up on the program for now. It ended up massively increasing my anxiety issues (I have GAD and depression, but was managing ok off my medication) – I burst into tears on the Tube home last night (and I never cry!) – Therapist thinks I am putting too much pressure on myself and I need to just relax and take care of myself for a while.
I wonder if this program works when there are underlying mental health issues. My anxiety is always strong enough to override my sleep drive anyway…
I Sleepyjomo. Wanted to reach out as I also work as a lawyer and sometimes lie awake entire nights without any sleep at all because I worry about how not sleeping will affect my job performance… On weekends I sleep like a baby. I work in-house and kind move meetings around and hide from colleagues when I haven't slept at all. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to perform in court after a sleepless night – how do you cope? I feel like my mind is at its “sharpest” in the morning after a sleepless night. In the afternoon I can hardly put sentences together.