/ Insomnia - how do you spend your time?
I've been having some big issues with insomnia over the course of the past year or so, and it's got me thinking about how people spend their insomnia hours. If you're a sufferer, do you lie there, read, use the time productively, etc? I feel an article coming on...
N.b. I know what's causing my insomnia and I'm taking steps to resolve it. This thread isn't about that :-)
Normally, I read in bed. But tonight I have been reading some reports online.
To get to sleep, I prefer non-fiction books that are not easy, and that I really want to read. This helps me realise when I am too tired to understand properly what is before my eyes, so I put the book down go to sleep.
For me - ipod and talking books. Although it's more that i wake up quite a bit during the night than inability to sleep in the first place. The ipod distracts the 3 am brain churn, and i'm (hopefully) back to sleep quite quickly. Occaisionally it doesn't work, but then i get to listen to about 5 hours worth of book....
I reckon more people should post on UKC - it gets really quiet between 2am and 6am UK time - just when us lot over on the other side of the world need distractions :-).
I tend to stick with the attempt to sleep although I don't really suffer that often and usually then only on a work related matter which is then resolved. I never get up to read etc.
I don't feel able to be productive. I'm generally very tired but my brain is churning - and often about bad things or things I'm worried about. The best distraction for me is Radio 4.
Hello Clare, my sleep patterns change over the year, have done for over ten years, it used to properly drive me to despair, but now is just part of the cycle. So I just carry on with the things I would do anyway.
A large amount of insomnia is classed as 'psychophysiological' and relates to an abnormal state of what is usually termed arousal (oooer) at the wrong time i.e. when you want to be asleep. It's often subconscious, but tends to be self-reinforcing and often leaves a difficult cycle of sleepy days and wakeful nights to break.
As a rule of thumb, the advice is to get up and do something non-stimulating and boring rather than lie in bed, and not to use a TV or laptop. Obscure journal articles on physiology or, paradoxically, sleep medicine ususally do the trick for me but it takes some discipline to do that rather than just pick up the iPhone and read ukc! Lying in bed watching the clock and getting faintly frustrated about not sleeping is a dangerous activity.
Happy to discuss by pm if you would like, and hope it is settling down for you
On a more serious note, masturbation.
I learnt to read Russian during a bout (but not while masturbating).
1) Classic FM
2) Get up and make a mug of warm milk
3) Classic FM
5) Classic FM
6) Surf the net
7) Classic FM
9) Wake up in morning to Classic FM
I know a guy who wrote two novels instead of sleeping. He is a doctor, sleeps one or two hours a night, and says he doesn't understand what people are complaining about when they just have more time in the day
The other guy I know who has insomnia used to just stay in a blacked out room for 14 hrs a day and complain at me if I ever assumed he'd be awake because it was 3 in the afternoon... he was a student at the time tho
I spend mine drinking coffee
it's hard isn't it? And the worst bit is that employers and other people tend to treat you like you've just said "I'm hungover" when you say "I'm suffering from insomnia".
Took me a long time to realise, after being susceptible to long periods of having it, that lying there trying to sleep and gradually stressing out and making it worse is not a the way to deal with it. I find it helps a lot to get up and do something. Having a cup of tea and reading out of bed for 20 mins is also much better than staying in bed for me - guess it's similar to the idea that the bed should just be for sleeping and not for relaxing (insert smut here)
I'm in the process of buying a house and I'm waking up at 5am every morning with something or other on my mind. It's a crap time to wake up because if you're not quick getting back to sleep it'll be time to get up!
I generally read a few pages and at the first hint of sleep get my head back down. Might also put on some quiet music, classical or at least very chilled.
I spend my time wishing I was asleep, as I don't tend to have the energy to do anything.
When my wife can't sleep she plays online risk or angry birds on her phone.
Thanks for all the replies everyone! Interesting how many people use music/sound to help them off to sleep. I try to be as quiet as possible as Mr TC is snoring away next to me... Getting up is always risky as one of the cats (the super-clingy one) is in the kitchen, so she'd wake up and be exuberant, so I tend to rummage round the internet on my phone, watch American and Antipodean tweets, sometimes read, and make cryptic near-illegible notes. Last night I rewrote half the copy for my website, so that was useful.
Feel like a zombie today, mind... thank god I work from home.
I've always been dead against televisions in the bedroom but I was staying in a hotel this weekend and not sleeping well and it was fantastic to be able to have the TV on to keep me amused. Maybe I should change my policy.
so long as its not raining i go for a walk or bike ride
Oo, someone who actually gets up and gets out - you're the first person to mention that so far. Do you go back to bed when you get back home, or just stay up?
Do you go out in your pyjames? I could never be arsed to get out of bed, let alone get dressed!
Like i said above i just carry on as noraml, i assumed you can read into that what ever you can imagine, so some more detail, running, cycling, work in garage, walking, playing guitar, watching stuff, reading, medatation, washing, cooking, etc etc etc....
So you just get up and carry on - do you then sleep during the day?
Some very strong solar storms at moment, so it may appear to be night time, but due to the charged particals bouncing around it's actually barmier than mid summer, we just can't observe it in tradtional ways. Life in the brave new world eh!
Struggle out of bed to find the Zopiclone mainly; that was what 3am saw me doing today, though this is a singularly bleak and awful time so I hope that things settle down soon.
Normally, I'd put my iPod on shuffle 'til I dropped off
I'll be mailing you today, missus.
ps the best thing i find that puts me to sleep in regular patterns without resorting to the things we entake, is the rcomemded allowance of daily excersize
really depends sometimes you go out for 30 mins and that's all that's needed back to bed and drop off straight away, other times you end up just staying up (have found 24hr cafes in the past and even done my food shopping)
i get dressed but its not like you really have to make an effort
The magic of living in the city... I know there have been various books written about the nighttime city. In the countryside it's all owls and foxes and yowling cats.
TC, you were talking about getting a dog. That would be good for going for long evening walks to tire yourself out maybe? (I walk my dog at night over the park and golf course - flashing collar from Amazon, a whistle and a torch...he absolutely loves it because the foxes are out in force)
Is your dog walking an insomniac activity or a before you go to bed activity?
As the OP says the thread isn't about cures for insomnia - it's about what people do in the night when they have insomnia :-)
(I'm so officious. Sorry. :-) )
I sleep like a baby everynight..10pm - 5.30am so cannot help.
Why don't you have kids? Sounds like you will handle the "night time" brilliantly ;-)
Haha, there are already two children in my life, which is quite enough, I reckon. Next stop dog :-)
I used to be good at sleep. I will be again! In the mean time, it's all very interesting how people handle the sleepless hours.
Whisky, films, computer games, books. Mainly I try to tire myself out during the day with something physical.
I've been having some big issues with insomnia over the course of the past year or so
Look on the bright side, at least it's only four sleeps until Christmas...
Don't forget I'm a woman so I have to put on full make up, heels and everything... ;-)
You could always become your alter ego as a hoody and hang around the 24 hour supermarkets, such a stress free time to go shopping I find.
Actually it's the whole getting out of bed thing that I struggle with. Even hoody and jogging bottoms represents a MASSIVE effort for me ;-)
Hello Ava :+) Maybe there's a market for a spring loaded sleep sensitive bed, if you've been lying there for what you deem as too long without any sleep the bed ejects you!
The very worst thing to do for me is lie there and hope that sleep will eventually consume a mind that is awake; an awake mind has no place in bed. Well, not when you're trying to sleep at least.
Now that's just bloody mean!
> On a more serious note, masturbation.
Do you mean procrasturbation?
I tend to be awake when I get too hot. So I get up and read, with just a thin cover over me, and that then eventually cools me down enough to sleep (after about 1/2 hour). I also sometimes change which covers are on my half of the bed. My thermal regulation at night seems to have gone totally to pot and I get too hot or too cold really easily - I have 3 sets of covers! A whole layering system!
My sleeping used to be something I took for granted until I worked shifts, which messed it up, but it is now more or less fine most of the time.
Eject-o-bed would then be better named Erect-o-bed :-)
I like the soound of this Erect-o-bed, 'slide smoothly out of bed day or night' it sounds fertile but yet functional, at this rate we'll be on dragons den a week on tuesdays, and gazillionaires by 2069, who'd have thunk it :)
Astronomy and nude guitar playing.
I found a night job, might as well get paid for being awake ;-)
I think maybe next time I'm insomniarific I shall come and post in this thread.
The only thing that works for me is reading, if I listen to radio, watch tv or go on the internet I find it too stimulating and even harder to sleep.
Usually I'll get up, get something warm and caffiene-free to drink and maybe read for a bit and then go back off to sleep without too much hassle. Sometimes if I am awake for a while, I'll work on something. The wee hours of yesterday morning saw me drawing a flow chart for a program I need to write for some coursework. In that case, it was that piece of coursework that was bothering me, so doing something productive about it was helpful. I do try to stay away from backlit screens, although I will read my Kindle.
If I were living on my own and not in a tenement, I might trying playing my flute or twanging on t'other half's guitar for a while, but at the moment that's not really an option.
I have been known to go out for a walk (with the camera if it's near to sunrise). I won't do that when my partner is onshore though, because he would worry if he woke up and I was gone.
I have also been known to have a 4am bath :o)
Lastly, someone was joking about masturbation at the top of the thread. That does actually work for me, I will usually drop off very quickly afterwards. The problem is doing it without waking up anyone else who might be in the bed...unless of course they are willing to help out :o)
Thankfully, all seems to be serene at the moment and I am sleeping quite well for the most part.
I read something lightweight, that won't get me thinking too hard, or make me tense (e.g. not a thriller). It doesn't always work.
Usually, I can't sleep if I've got ideas running around my head, so I have a notebook and pencil beside the bed to scribble ideas. Some of the ideas actually get developed...
A recent tinnitus tone caused me to create a 'rain' MP3 that I play at night as a masker. If I wake up at night, I often turn this on, and it seems to help me stop thinking; maybe something abstract for my mind to focus on, even if I'm not aware of it. It sounds a bit like rain on a tent, which is nice.
By a Decent head torch/oil lamp go bouldering. :) been enjoying my night time climbing recently. ITS AWESOME.
Apart from that I usually listen to a podcast which sends me off to sleep. I find This American Life is ideal. I use headphones so as not to wake up the slumbering Doņa Hughes.
I make soap with my alter-ego, whilst planning the next instalment of Project Mayhem...
Hard exercise works. I recommend fighting in dirty bar-room basements. Let your thoughts be pictures and patterns bubbling-up from the back of your head. Feel your pain!
By which I mean, I share your pain.
Reading or watching about climbing. Be it ukc, supertopo, YouTube, books.
I like climbing.
Erect-o-bed was very naughty again and set its self on auto pilot, time to hang out with the bats again x
Beware of those advising anything other than trying to sleep, you do not want to normalise your insomnia as it will only get worse and end up with further, bigger, problems.
Some sound advice here;
Thanks for this but as the OP says, the thread wasn't about seeking advice - it was about the things people do when they're awake in the night.
I slept like a log last night :-)
Problem I find with masturbation is its like a 1OO meter sprint, it may put me to sleep for a couple of hours, but them ping, pineal gland switches on like a light bulb and no sleep till Buxton no matter how many sheep I try to count.
Yeah yeah I know I could fluradate and calicfy the shit out of it with that gear that them pushers errrr I mean G.P's flog, or dope myself up on some heavy downers or some righteous Mary J, but then the day job lasts like for ever and then its still only 20 past 8 and I've been there for like four lifetimes.
And if them fine ladies like Maggie and Madonna could get by on a catnap, well i don't see it as you see getting worse and becoming a bigger problem, just another stage of the full cycle of life.
Last night I took a pad and pencil up to the bedroom, all set to plan my life out if I had another restless night.
Slept like a baby. :-)
Haha! I think only the truly unfortunate can plan their insomnia. Mine tends to happen every second night, as I'm knackered inbetween.
OK, so that means I should leave the notebook and pen there ready for tonight then. :-)
My logic is that if I plan for it, it won't be necessary. :-)
> OK, so that means I should leave the notebook and pen there ready for tonight then. :-)
> My logic is that if I plan for it, it won't be necessary. :-)
Is this the moment when a true friend brings a pen(cil) for you as well? ;-)
Ha! Any friend that turns up at the kind of o'clock I'm talking about would get short shrift! :-)
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