/ Coping with insomnia and a need to climb mountain

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JeanG on 15 Jan 2019

Is there any one else out there who lives with chronic insomnia and a need to get out into the hills as much as possible.?

I've  tried everything available to get help to enable me to sleep.( My daughter died tragically)

It's a vicious circle no sleep no mountains. No mountains no sleep.

top cat on 15 Jan 2019
In reply to JeanG:

Happens to me regularly.  Especially when I'm knackered after a big day; the more tired I am the less likely I am to get a decent night.  Messed me up big time last weekend......

Prescription drugs help a little bit when it's bad I might as well take Smarties.....I

I don't have any particular cause, unlike yourself.

The Wild Scallion on 15 Jan 2019
In reply to JeanG:

> It's a vicious circle no sleep no mountains. No mountains no sleep.

Combine the 2 and go sleep on the mountains , will that help ?

wercat on 15 Jan 2019
In reply to JeanG:

an interest in wildlife goes well with the mountains and you can extend that to wildlife where you live, bridging the gulf.    When I can't sleep I often try to picture the antics of the birds in the garden - I'm not a birdspotter so much as a watcher as I like noticing their behaviour once you get to know some of the individuals.

The other thing I find works on a good number of occasions is simply to acknowledge not sleeping and get a really enjoyable book out and read for up to an hour, perhaps with a milky drink, and I usually get back some time after putting the book down.  No good it being a boring book, has to be something you're glad to get into for a bit so insomnia is replaced with enjoyment for a while.  Works as long as it's not too far into the night, perhaps after 0330

Post edited at 13:36
Rigid Raider - on 15 Jan 2019
In reply to JeanG:

When I can't sleep it's always because I'm tense. I relax every muscle starting from my feet and working upwards; it's always amazing how tensed up they are. Works every time. 

denis b - on 15 Jan 2019
In reply to JeanG:

Have had a very similar experience 2 years ago (my son) and eventually bit the bullet and just headed to the hills. As The Wild Scallion suggests......combine both. Sometimes I catch 40 winks driving to or from the hills and on occasion I have safely napped on the hills (usual precautions of course). The natural environment has a strong draw for me, hence the impulse to get out there. It is still hard at times and it can take a fair bit of energy (of all sorts) to get going. But the sense of satisfaction, calmness and improved sleep (not always) helps. Only time Jean, only time. Do take care.

Absolutely no doubt that professional involvement is also important. 

JeanG on 15 Jan 2019
In reply to denis b:

Many thanks for that Denis b

As you know this insomnia is a deeply troubled insomnia which causes  stubborn depression 

Many times ,I know I should do as you say. My confidence is low and even though the lack of support dosen't help I don't like walking groups .

Only the mountains seem to be able to lift this depression . Anti depressants are hopeless.

I don't function very well on little sleep....but here goes...



Stichtplate on 15 Jan 2019
In reply to JeanG:

I'd always go with the natural curative effects of the mountains over pharmaceutical interventions, especially as you know they work. Saying that though, it sounds like you're really finding things tough at the moment which is completely understandable given the time of the year and the crappy weather even without factoring in your terrible loss, so maybe approach your GP again and try some different medications? There are scores of options available and it's often a bit hit and miss finding a combination that helps. Might also be an idea to try and keep a sleep diary, lots of drugs take a fair while to start working and effects can be hard to discern without some sort of objective measure.

All the best, hope you find some kind of positive resolution soon.

jonnie3430 - on 15 Jan 2019
In reply to JeanG:

Can you relate a run to the mountains? It's training to go further, longer and faster? The endorphins should improve mood until chances to get to the hills are realised and it's something you can always do.  Excercise and good diet always helps sleep.

Post edited at 19:19
marsbar - on 15 Jan 2019
In reply to JeanG:

I’m sorry to hear about your daughter.  I have insomnia sometimes, but I haven’t had a loss like you.  I tend to get worse if I’m not on or in the water more than the hills, but obviously somewhere with hills and water is perfect.  

Can you get away to the hills for a while?  I do think camping is good if you like it, the back to nature of it helps me sleep better.  

Take care.  

JeanG on 15 Jan 2019

Many thanks to you all for your kindness in trying to help....

I knew I would find some understanding on this forum

Trouble is my doctor and most people I am In contact with, just don't get it.They can't understand how being away in the mountains is so very important to me. They ask why I am not happy with going for a local stroll instead of worrying and stressing about being too tired to drive and climb mountains!

Life can be so cruel at times


marsbar - on 15 Jan 2019
In reply to JeanG:

I use the "smile and nod" technique on people that don't understand.  

Smile, nod and then ignore them and do whatever makes you happy.  

You know yourself what you need.  If you are tired then obviously be careful driving or even take the train, but if you need to get away then do.  

Take time off work if you need it to get better.  

BusyLizzie on 15 Jan 2019
In reply to JeanG:

So sad to read this. Hugs. I wish you good mountains.

Love and tears for you.

Fozzy on 20 Jan 2019
In reply to JeanG:

I suffer from stress-induced insomnia, and whilst I’ve been fortunate that I’ve not been in a situation where it’s happened for a few years (nor one that’s as horrific as yours, and I’m truly sorry for your loss), when it does it takes over my life. 

Reading a book & drinking a horlicks before dozing off on the sofa can help at times, but many a time I’ve found myself watching the sun rise from atop the Malverns after driving over & ascending in the dark, armed with a flask of coffee for breakfast. You’re knackered going up, knackered coming down and utterly knackered through the rest of the day, but I often found on those days that if I kept myself busy until bedtime, I’d finally get off to sleep. 

I hope you get up your mountain, I truly do. 

dgp - on 21 Jan 2019
In reply to JeanG:

Jean You’re not alone and I’m a full member of the chronic insomnia club – I won’t go into the reasons why ! No doubt you’ve been through the all  the well meaning advice and recommendations and read all the books. Then there’s the drug cycle from over the counter pills, the anti histamines, the z drugs and the low dose anti-depressants. But nothing works and people who don’t have the problem can never really understand but I do Jean and I know how you feel. All I can say is on those better days  even feeling exhausted you have to push yourself and it is important to get out into the hills even if a low level walk.  It refreshes the soul but for me still doesn't help much with sleep. 

JeanG on 27 Jan 2019
In reply to dgp:

Cheers dgp 

It does help to know I'm not alone with this

They don't use sleep deprivation as a form of torture for nothing.

If I was a couch potato it would be so much easier. 

Post edited at 20:01
wolfbane on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to JeanG:

Hi JeanG

I have fairly recently started hill/mountain walking last year or 2   more seriously , ,ive been involved  for 30+ years in outdoors pursuits.

I too have a condition diagnosed by 2 Neurologists described as Extreme insomnia i only sleep Now  between 2 to 5 hours per week !, at least 3 or 4 days a week i dont sleep at all , i have previously been dependent on several sleep type medications such as zopiclone and similar but far worse diazepam which took me years to get off re horrible side effects all solely because of 3 decades plus of worsening sleep deprivation/insomnia, iam medication free now and love to be high up in winter conditions - even 10 hours of walking doesnt get me sleepy , but its something i now love to do and enjoy tremendously . 

I can relate to some/part of your situation

Post edited at 18:39
BnB - on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to JeanG:

Jean it must be very hard to find positives at the moment and I can’t pretend to imagine how you’re coping. But, and this is hard for a Yorkshireman to say, it does seem a blessing that you are in Lancashire. At least the Lakes and N Wales (not to mention lovely Bowland and the Dales) are in reach and you can grasp each opportunity to get a good day’s hiking without the prospect of long hours in the car.

Nothing beats a day in the mountains and that’s just the plain truth. Hope to bump into you on Beinn Bhan one day. It’s my favourite Corbett too

Post edited at 19:04
Diddy - on 12 Feb 2019

Best wishes -try positive thinking -read information, take a course. Learn how to change visual negative thoughts for positive visual thoughts.

Consider Yoga breathing techniques and slow counting to get to sleep. 

The best way to stop doing something is to do something else.

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