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Feb 10 2010

I fail at sleeping

I’ve never been good at the whole “sleeping” thing. I take forever to fall asleep, I wake up frequently, I never feel well rested, I get sleepy throughout the day. It’s not the sort of passing insomnia caused by a stressful event or a particularly hard work load (though the later is more likely voluntary sleep deprivation, which I also sometimes do). My failure to get a good night’s rest has existed since literally as long as I can remember, probably since I was five years old.

My memories of insomnia as a little kid are kind of hilarious, in retrospect. As a kid I believed the mantra of “Parents can solve everything, therefor you should tell them all of your problems.” Oh childhood innocence. But it was rule I followed very closely, especially when I couldn’t sleep at night – which, unfortunately for my parents, was fairly often.

During one of my sleepless nights, I would slowly open the door to their bedroom and creep over to my dad’s side of the bed. Looking back, I am so amazed and relieved I never caught them in the middle of some hanky panky – probably because they quickly got used to me barging in on a fairly regular basis (sorry Mom & Dad – what else are kids for?). The exchange was always the same:

Me: Daaaddddy? … (if father did not awake, insert poking here)
Dad: *wakes up* huuhh what?
Me: I can’t sleep.
Dad: Grumble.

He would then take me downstairs to the couch, put on All Dogs Go to Heaven, and then wait until I fell asleep.

Yeah, my dad can’t stand that movie anymore.

Soon he was putting on the movie and leaving me there. And after that, my sleeplessness was met with “And what do you want me to do about it?” and I learned to go sleep on the couch without harassing my dad. (As an aside, my dad asked me recently why I always woke him up and never my mom. That’s because she was a much deeper sleeper, and I knew I wouldn’t get any help from her. Poor dad, suffering from child logic.)

I also used to sleepwalk a lot when I was little. Apparently I would go into my parents’ room babbling nonsense, one of them would tell me to go back to bed, and my zombie like self would listen. I still do minor sleepwalking-like things, but never actually walking around (with one exception). I’ve been prone to sleeptalking, especially when I’m having an angry dream. Sometimes I’m shouting so loud in my dreams that I’ll mumble it, much to the confusion of roommates and boyfriends. I’ll actually sleepcry more frequently than I’ll sleeptalk, which is simply bizarre upon waking.

But the thing I do most frequently is also the thing that freaks out roommates the most – sleepsitting. All I’ll do is sit straight up in bed and stare facing forward. I usually wake up after sleeping in this position for a while, think “Oh, I’m doing it again,” and then lay back down to go to sleep. I completely freaked out my first college roommate, who thought I was possessed or fucking with her when I did this one night. This almost always happens when I’m having a particularly stressful week, so I have no idea how chemicals are messing with my brain to produce this effect.

Even ignoring these bizarre sleep habits, I’ve never been a good sleeper. It usually takes me anywhere from a half hour to an hour to fall asleep, sometimes up to two hours on a bad night. It doesn’t matter how exhausted I am. Once I’m actually sleeping, I’ll still wake up at least twice a night, sometimes up to ten times; I’m not even sure if I know what it’s like to sleep without doing so. The only perk of this is that I always vividly remember multiple dreams from that night, and I frequently lucid dream (“Oh, hey, this is a dream. Time to fly around, weee!”).

Then I’ll usually wake up multiple times before the alarm goes off, frantically checking the clock. An hour left. 45 more minutes. 30 minutes. 20. 15. 10. 5. 2. It’s maddening. And when I finally wake up, I’m never well rested, and I’m lethargic and falling asleep throughout the day. The only mild solution I’ve come up with is allotting myself 10 hours for “sleep,” assuming I might actually sleep during 7 or 8 of those hours. Problem is, I’m an overbooked college student who hardly had eight hours to set aside for sleep.

The utterly maddening thing, however, is that I sleep fine when I shouldn’t be sleeping. On the rare occasion that I nap (I try not to, since I know it makes sleeping at night even worse), I will be out like a light and go into super deep restful sleep. If I’m a passenger in a car, I can’t keep my eyes open and I’ll be gone no matter how uncomfortable the situation (I blame this on my parents – when I was little, they’d drive me around to get me to fall asleep). If I’m sitting at the back of a giant boring lecture after getting 3 hours of sleep, I have no problem microsleeping while managing to not drool all over the desk, snore, or be distracted by the lecture (I know, naughty Jen).

But it seems like the second I lay down in a real bed, I’m wide awake. It’s worse when there’s something I have to wake up for in the morning, but it’s still not perfect on weekends. I’ve never harassed doctors about it, since their general reply (and the reply of others) is that I’m just stressed and anxious.

…Okay, which is totally true.

Regardless, it’s still annoying. I know there are a thousand tips I could be following to get better sleep. Exercise (ha), going to bed at the same time (haha), eating at regular times (uh, I’m a college student?), avoiding caffeine (the only thing keeping me functional during the day), and staying away from the computer before bed (ahahahahahaha). Maybe I’m doomed to my sleeplessness because of my lifestyle. Maybe my constant sleep deprivation is the cause of my sarcastic, mildly cranky personality – aka, the source of all my blogging inspiration – so I don’t actually want to cure it.

At least I can rest easy…well, rest easier knowing that mild to moderate insomnia is associated with increased longevity. I can be sleep deprived even longer!

EDIT: I forgot to include my one sleepwalking exception! This happened maybe a year ago-ish. I had been watching way too much Food Network on TV, and had a hilarious sleep walking episode. I “woke up” semi-conscious, thinking I was participating on Iron Chef. My bed was the prep station and my desk was the stove top. I literally got up and started moving my blankets around, thinking they were food, and then walking back and forth to my desk. The strangest part was that I was semi-lucid during all of my hallucinations, which is why I remember this episode. The whole time I was thinking nonsense like “Man, this food is so hard to cook because it’s not really food, it’s blankets. Wait, what? Oh well, must keep cooking.” At one point my imaginary Chairman demanded cookies, so I literally walked over to the bathroom and stared at the toilet paper. “This isn’t cookies, this is toilet paper. But he wants cookies. Can the toilet paper be cookies?” Eventually I woke up enough to realize that I was playing imaginary Iron Chef, and I walked back to my bed and went to sleep.

The brain is an amazing organ.

EDIT 2: Damn, apparently I already blogged about my Iron Chef sleepwalking. I have no new material, folks. Oh well, go there if you want a more detailed and hilarious description of my sleepwalking.

53 comments

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  1. 1
    Veritas

    That sounds fairly familiar to how I live. Meh, sometimes you just have to deal. I deal.

  2. 2
    Veritas

    That sounds fairly familiar to how I live. Meh, sometimes you just have to deal. I deal.

  3. 3
    Riayn

    That totally used to be me, the whole taking forever to fall asleep. I actually thought that was normal, that everyone took at least an hour to fall asleep until I moved in with girlfriend and she was out like a light 15 minutes after going to bed.Me, my brain would be totally active thinking of one thing, then another and then something totally random for hours on end whilst I waited for sleep to come.Enter my rheumatologist, who whilst treating me for something completely different, found a cure for my sleeplessness. It is so strange to actually be able to sleep. I still do wake up a couple of times a night though, but to actually fall asleep in a timely fashion is heaven. When I forgot to take my meds one night, I literally thought I was going insane. I have no idea how I survived my entire life like this.

    Ok, so that was like a really long way of saying, go talk to your doctor about it.

  4. 4
    Riayn

    That totally used to be me, the whole taking forever to fall asleep. I actually thought that was normal, that everyone took at least an hour to fall asleep until I moved in with girlfriend and she was out like a light 15 minutes after going to bed.Me, my brain would be totally active thinking of one thing, then another and then something totally random for hours on end whilst I waited for sleep to come.Enter my rheumatologist, who whilst treating me for something completely different, found a cure for my sleeplessness. It is so strange to actually be able to sleep. I still do wake up a couple of times a night though, but to actually fall asleep in a timely fashion is heaven. When I forgot to take my meds one night, I literally thought I was going insane. I have no idea how I survived my entire life like this.Ok, so that was like a really long way of saying, go talk to your doctor about it.

  5. 5
    nogos

    I used to have great difficulty falling asleep. Then I went to college. Suddenly I can't stay awake. I still find it most difficult to sleep in a bed, as opposed to any other conceivable location.

  6. 6
    nogos

    I used to have great difficulty falling asleep. Then I went to college. Suddenly I can’t stay awake. I still find it most difficult to sleep in a bed, as opposed to any other conceivable location.

  7. 7
    D'gou

    Have you been tested for sleep apnea?

  8. 8
    D'gou

    Have you been tested for sleep apnea?

  9. 9
    Jen

    D'gou: No, I've never been officially tested for any sleep disorders. It's something I've always wanted to do, but 1) I come from a family with a "Just suck it up, you don't have a real problem" mentality about health, and 2) Whenever I talk to doctors about it, they chalk it up to me being a student. To give you another hint about how tired I usually am, I actually didn't realize I had mono because that level of sleepiness was only *slightly* more than normal for me.

    And as a side note for any people trying to diagnose me via blog post (hint: it's never lupus), I know I'm not anemic. At least, I wasn't when I got my blood drawn for a mono test back in December.

  10. 10
    Jen

    D’gou: No, I’ve never been officially tested for any sleep disorders. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but 1) I come from a family with a “Just suck it up, you don’t have a real problem” mentality about health, and 2) Whenever I talk to doctors about it, they chalk it up to me being a student. To give you another hint about how tired I usually am, I actually didn’t realize I had mono because that level of sleepiness was only *slightly* more than normal for me.And as a side note for any people trying to diagnose me via blog post (hint: it’s never lupus), I know I’m not anemic. At least, I wasn’t when I got my blood drawn for a mono test back in December.

  11. 11
    Ruby Leigh

    Hi Jen – just here with my unsolicited advice…Ok two things I thought of.

    1) I've heard exercising regularly can help 2) Also, if you are lying awake with worry – I have found that sometimes writing things down or reading a book can help.

    Those are just two things that I've heard. Personally I sleep pretty well… but my husband has a tough time and I know those things tend to help him out.

  12. 12
    Ruby Leigh

    Hi Jen – just here with my unsolicited advice…Ok two things I thought of.1) I’ve heard exercising regularly can help 2) Also, if you are lying awake with worry – I have found that sometimes writing things down or reading a book can help. Those are just two things that I’ve heard. Personally I sleep pretty well… but my husband has a tough time and I know those things tend to help him out.

  13. 13
    Jen

    Ruby, advice is welcome =) My mind does tend to race when once I lay down. Maybe I'll give reading a shot. Heaven knows I have a lot of books I want to read, and I always feel like I never have time. Maybe if I make it a pre-sleep requirement, I'll kill two birds with one stone.

  14. 14
    Jen

    Ruby, advice is welcome =) My mind does tend to race when once I lay down. Maybe I’ll give reading a shot. Heaven knows I have a lot of books I want to read, and I always feel like I never have time. Maybe if I make it a pre-sleep requirement, I’ll kill two birds with one stone.

  15. 15
    Anonymous

    Please have a sleep study done. My father and I both have sleep apnea. My mother has long insisted he had sleep apnea, he ignored her. He destroyed his health. He was diagnosed with diabetes, long term heart disease, and sleep apnea all in the same failed heart stress test. (Sleep Apnea is associated with heart disease and diabetes, but in fairness, smoking and 3rd shift didn't help either.)

    I put off being tested for a while. I 've destroyed my ability think clearly, and really f'ed up my marriage. I may have screwed my career over too.

    You don't sound like sleep apnea to me. But I think you should be looked at.

    Also have 'em run a full thyroid panel.

  16. 16
    Anonymous

    Please have a sleep study done. My father and I both have sleep apnea. My mother has long insisted he had sleep apnea, he ignored her. He destroyed his health. He was diagnosed with diabetes, long term heart disease, and sleep apnea all in the same failed heart stress test. (Sleep Apnea is associated with heart disease and diabetes, but in fairness, smoking and 3rd shift didn’t help either.) I put off being tested for a while. I ‘ve destroyed my ability think clearly, and really f’ed up my marriage. I may have screwed my career over too.You don’t sound like sleep apnea to me. But I think you should be looked at.Also have ‘em run a full thyroid panel.

  17. 17
    mcbender

    I've had the same kind of problem for years (well, aside from the sleepwalking or the sleep-Iron-Chefing etc). It takes me a very long time to fall asleep, especially if I've been reasonably well-rested, and I also often do that thing where I'll wake up an hour before my alarm, then 50 minutes before my alarm, and so on…

    All I've found that works for me is letting the sleep deprivation build up until I'm so exhausted that I can't help falling asleep. Then I'm able to catch up on sleep for a couple of days before I start being unable to sleep again… I doubt that's healthy, but it's worked thus far.

  18. 18
    mcbender

    I’ve had the same kind of problem for years (well, aside from the sleepwalking or the sleep-Iron-Chefing etc). It takes me a very long time to fall asleep, especially if I’ve been reasonably well-rested, and I also often do that thing where I’ll wake up an hour before my alarm, then 50 minutes before my alarm, and so on…All I’ve found that works for me is letting the sleep deprivation build up until I’m so exhausted that I can’t help falling asleep. Then I’m able to catch up on sleep for a couple of days before I start being unable to sleep again… I doubt that’s healthy, but it’s worked thus far.

  19. 19
    Eric Davison

    I have a lot of these same issues, though they're somewhat intermittent – I get a few periods now and then where I sleep well. I did a sleep study and they told me I had "mild narcolepsy," because when they had me nap during the day I went into REM sleep in two of the five naps, and fell asleep in an average of 6.5 minutes (compared to normal 10 minutes or more).

    My falling asleep during the day was bad enough in college that my friends would actually make fun of me if there was a day when I didn't fall asleep in any of my classes. Professors would ask me if I was okay or if anything was going on. One even asked if I had diabetes or something, in case I passed out in class. And I also didn't realize I had mono till I went to the health center for an ear infection, and they happened to notice the mono too.

    And driving does it to me too… I get a little tired any time I'm in the car, and really tired if I'm in the car between 2pm and 6pm. Massive amounts of caffeine can usually stave it off, but not always.. like the time I fell asleep in stop-and-go traffic and did the go but not the stop. And did $3000 of damage to my car.

    Anyways… no advice here, just sympathizing.

  20. 20
    NQbass7

    I have a lot of these same issues, though they’re somewhat intermittent – I get a few periods now and then where I sleep well. I did a sleep study and they told me I had “mild narcolepsy,” because when they had me nap during the day I went into REM sleep in two of the five naps, and fell asleep in an average of 6.5 minutes (compared to normal 10 minutes or more).My falling asleep during the day was bad enough in college that my friends would actually make fun of me if there was a day when I didn’t fall asleep in any of my classes. Professors would ask me if I was okay or if anything was going on. One even asked if I had diabetes or something, in case I passed out in class. And I also didn’t realize I had mono till I went to the health center for an ear infection, and they happened to notice the mono too.And driving does it to me too… I get a little tired any time I’m in the car, and really tired if I’m in the car between 2pm and 6pm. Massive amounts of caffeine can usually stave it off, but not always.. like the time I fell asleep in stop-and-go traffic and did the go but not the stop. And did $3000 of damage to my car.Anyways… no advice here, just sympathizing.

  21. 21
    Anonymous

    I <3 All Dogs Go to Heaven! I just got it from Netflix the other week for a throwback :-p

  22. 22
    Anonymous

    I <3 All Dogs Go to Heaven! I just got it from Netflix the other week for a throwback :-p

  23. 23
    Keely

    Diagnosing off a blogpost is a load of crap, and yet I'm sooooo tempted…

    I'm going to second everyone else and say get a sleep study done. Sounds silly, and like a total pain, but worth doing. You may have to get pushy with a doctor and stand up to the "suck it up" attitude in your family to make it happen… but possibly less pushy than you think. Once people realize that you aren't just seeking drugs or whining/looking for excuses, they have to figure you have some reason to put yourself through the hassle. And then with any luck, they'll realize it's important. But if you say "oh, by the way, I always have trouble sleeping" and they attribute it to being a student/stress and you let it go… you've shut down the conversation as much as they have. Push back, just a little.

    I really, really hate making a big deal about my problems, particularly medical issues. I feel like I'm drawing attention to myself, and I'm always terrified that I am imagining things, or that doctors will get mad at me or think I'm stupid. I was going to try to avoid going to the doctor for that burn last week until my skin started peeling off along with the melted denim. Last year's kidney infection should have never earned me a week in the hospital, but I ignored the pain for 4 days before I saw a doctor, because I felt stupid complaining about "a little back pain." I didn't go in until I was barely capable of getting out of bed, and even then my boyfriend had to drag me.

    Oh, and best story of all, (one you've heard before) I wasted years of my life fucking around with untreated depression THAT I KNEW RAN IN THE FAMILY before someone managed to force me to get help.

    Take it from someone who has seriously fucked up her life by trying to convince herself it "wasn't a big deal"… your health is always a big deal. I've had so many chances to learn that now and I still have to fight my hide-in-the-corner, don't-look-at-me-I'm-not-important instincts all the time. And it sucks. But it needs to be done.

    On a lighter note, I microsleep in class fairly frequently, even when I am supposedly getting enough sleep. Drives me crazy. In some classes I'm alright, but once I'd done it in a Dr. Walter lecture, I'd never seem to be able to fully catch back up.

  24. 24
    Keely

    Diagnosing off a blogpost is a load of crap, and yet I’m sooooo tempted…I’m going to second everyone else and say get a sleep study done. Sounds silly, and like a total pain, but worth doing. You may have to get pushy with a doctor and stand up to the “suck it up” attitude in your family to make it happen… but possibly less pushy than you think. Once people realize that you aren’t just seeking drugs or whining/looking for excuses, they have to figure you have some reason to put yourself through the hassle. And then with any luck, they’ll realize it’s important. But if you say “oh, by the way, I always have trouble sleeping” and they attribute it to being a student/stress and you let it go… you’ve shut down the conversation as much as they have. Push back, just a little.I really, really hate making a big deal about my problems, particularly medical issues. I feel like I’m drawing attention to myself, and I’m always terrified that I am imagining things, or that doctors will get mad at me or think I’m stupid. I was going to try to avoid going to the doctor for that burn last week until my skin started peeling off along with the melted denim. Last year’s kidney infection should have never earned me a week in the hospital, but I ignored the pain for 4 days before I saw a doctor, because I felt stupid complaining about “a little back pain.” I didn’t go in until I was barely capable of getting out of bed, and even then my boyfriend had to drag me.Oh, and best story of all, (one you’ve heard before) I wasted years of my life fucking around with untreated depression THAT I KNEW RAN IN THE FAMILY before someone managed to force me to get help.Take it from someone who has seriously fucked up her life by trying to convince herself it “wasn’t a big deal”… your health is always a big deal. I’ve had so many chances to learn that now and I still have to fight my hide-in-the-corner, don’t-look-at-me-I’m-not-important instincts all the time. And it sucks. But it needs to be done.On a lighter note, I microsleep in class fairly frequently, even when I am supposedly getting enough sleep. Drives me crazy. In some classes I’m alright, but once I’d done it in a Dr. Walter lecture, I’d never seem to be able to fully catch back up.

  25. 25
    Pete Knight

    Blimey, I thought you were writing about me! Yes I too have problems getting to sleep, and sleep deprivation is my achilles heal, so the whole business is not good. When I was in the air force I had to do shift work, it didn't work well for me, and being deprived of sleep affected my work.

    I read when I go to bed, I used to watch TV with the timer set to shut off, otherwise the TV would still be on in the morning. Worry is the biggest factor, when I have problems my sleep is worse than normal. I take the occasional sleeping pill, only if I really need to get some rest for an important matter the next day.

    The funny thing is that sitting in a barbers chair, or driving on a long journey sends me off to the land of nod, which I have to fight of course.

    Anyway, rest assured that you're not alone!

  26. 26
    Pete Knight

    Blimey, I thought you were writing about me! Yes I too have problems getting to sleep, and sleep deprivation is my achilles heal, so the whole business is not good. When I was in the air force I had to do shift work, it didn’t work well for me, and being deprived of sleep affected my work.I read when I go to bed, I used to watch TV with the timer set to shut off, otherwise the TV would still be on in the morning. Worry is the biggest factor, when I have problems my sleep is worse than normal. I take the occasional sleeping pill, only if I really need to get some rest for an important matter the next day.The funny thing is that sitting in a barbers chair, or driving on a long journey sends me off to the land of nod, which I have to fight of course.Anyway, rest assured that you’re not alone!

  27. 27
    Hugo Grinebiter

    I think this is an exception to the rule of netiquette, not to post "Me Too"?

    I don't have the full range of your stuff, only the inability to get to sleep in my bed when I need to, while at the same time falling asleep in an easy chair over a book or napping after a long walk in the sun. Even in the heather outdoors. As you say, a nap is a whole different experience, all gain and no pain. We have, alas, learned to associate the bed with sleeplessness and misery.

    Having something to do the next day is death on wheels for me, even when it's an afternoon flight or an easy assignment and objectively speaking I have plenty of time. I am so anxious about not getting to sleep and thus not being functional next day that — you know how it goes from there. Death spiral.

    To sum up, I can if I don't have to, but if I must, I can't!

    I can't go the Mcbender route, because I work on a 'puter all day, and my eyes absolutely cannot handle a screen (no matter how tweaked the ergonomics) on inadequate sleep, I get scintillating scotoma (optical migraine).

    I have prescriptions for nitrazepam, but take it in small doses, half a tablet; I am quite sure it's the placebo effect operating, as I can drop off before the stuff has had time to work, physiologically speaking. This fall and winter I have been much better, it's as if I have regained my confidence in my body's ability to go to sleep and get rested without medication, but any kind of upset or even stimulation (like being with people in the evening, which is unusual for me) leads to me lying in bed with my mind racing; and then I know it isn't going to fly and I go get a pill.

    Just one piece of advice, if I may: I know you say bwahahaha about the standard advice of "not using the computer in the evenings" (doctors and journos must have very different lives from us), and so do I, but if you can bring yourself to turn it off a certain interval before bedtime, I think it will help. Start with half an hour and work up, see how close to two hours you can get. Everything else you need to do in the day, put into that space between puter and bed. Make lists on dead trees, clean the kitchen. There really is something about the light and motion that grabs the brain and waggles it. I suspect the same is true of TV, but the whole "just one more X" mentality of both strategic gaming and surfing/ posting is extra lethal to logging the mind out.

  28. 28
    Hugo Grinebiter

    I think this is an exception to the rule of netiquette, not to post “Me Too”? I don’t have the full range of your stuff, only the inability to get to sleep in my bed when I need to, while at the same time falling asleep in an easy chair over a book or napping after a long walk in the sun. Even in the heather outdoors. As you say, a nap is a whole different experience, all gain and no pain. We have, alas, learned to associate the bed with sleeplessness and misery. Having something to do the next day is death on wheels for me, even when it’s an afternoon flight or an easy assignment and objectively speaking I have plenty of time. I am so anxious about not getting to sleep and thus not being functional next day that — you know how it goes from there. Death spiral. To sum up, I can if I don’t have to, but if I must, I can’t! I can’t go the Mcbender route, because I work on a ‘puter all day, and my eyes absolutely cannot handle a screen (no matter how tweaked the ergonomics) on inadequate sleep, I get scintillating scotoma (optical migraine). I have prescriptions for nitrazepam, but take it in small doses, half a tablet; I am quite sure it’s the placebo effect operating, as I can drop off before the stuff has had time to work, physiologically speaking. This fall and winter I have been much better, it’s as if I have regained my confidence in my body’s ability to go to sleep and get rested without medication, but any kind of upset or even stimulation (like being with people in the evening, which is unusual for me) leads to me lying in bed with my mind racing; and then I know it isn’t going to fly and I go get a pill. Just one piece of advice, if I may: I know you say bwahahaha about the standard advice of “not using the computer in the evenings” (doctors and journos must have very different lives from us), and so do I, but if you can bring yourself to turn it off a certain interval before bedtime, I think it will help. Start with half an hour and work up, see how close to two hours you can get. Everything else you need to do in the day, put into that space between puter and bed. Make lists on dead trees, clean the kitchen. There really is something about the light and motion that grabs the brain and waggles it. I suspect the same is true of TV, but the whole “just one more X” mentality of both strategic gaming and surfing/ posting is extra lethal to logging the mind out.

  29. 29
    gaga

    Another one here who has troubles falling asleep, even though, once I'm gone, it's actually hard to wake me up… it seems like I have a hard time turning off my brain :DFWIW, I had to cut on caffeine and cigarettes for unrelated health issues and now I'm drowsy much earlier at night and it takes me a little less to fall asleep (half to one hour, instead of 1+ hours) so maybe you could give a shot at breaking the cycle sleepy > caffeine > insomnia > sleepy.

    I'd second the idea of getting a sleep study, if you feel that the sleep deprivation is impacting on your ability to study/work/live whatev.

    On the other hand, if sleeping would impact your blogging… suck it up, you don't have a real problem :p

  30. 30
    gaga

    Another one here who has troubles falling asleep, even though, once I’m gone, it’s actually hard to wake me up… it seems like I have a hard time turning off my brain :DFWIW, I had to cut on caffeine and cigarettes for unrelated health issues and now I’m drowsy much earlier at night and it takes me a little less to fall asleep (half to one hour, instead of 1+ hours) so maybe you could give a shot at breaking the cycle sleepy > caffeine > insomnia > sleepy.I’d second the idea of getting a sleep study, if you feel that the sleep deprivation is impacting on your ability to study/work/live whatev.On the other hand, if sleeping would impact your blogging… suck it up, you don’t have a real problem :p

  31. 31
    Arkonbey

    I did a graphic design project in college that involved coffee.

    During my research I found that consuming large amounts of caffiene can cause an iron deficiency. Of course, one of the symptoms of an iron deficiency is lack of energy. To combat lack of energy, one drinks caffiene. Which causes an iron deficiency…

  32. 32
    Arkonbey

    I did a graphic design project in college that involved coffee. During my research I found that consuming large amounts of caffiene can cause an iron deficiency. Of course, one of the symptoms of an iron deficiency is lack of energy. To combat lack of energy, one drinks caffiene. Which causes an iron deficiency…

  33. 33
    Miguel

    I had the same problem for a while in Dental School. . . I recommend a small vacation (could be a long 3-4 day weekend). – DON'T TAKE YOUR COMPUTER or any work/study related crap for that matter. – Make sure it's in a warm climate area (if there's a beach, even better)- Get a massage, it works wonders.Do it BEFORE you go to Post-Graduate school. Trust me, it will work wonders.

  34. 34
    Miguel

    I had the same problem for a while in Dental School. . . I recommend a small vacation (could be a long 3-4 day weekend). – DON’T TAKE YOUR COMPUTER or any work/study related crap for that matter. – Make sure it’s in a warm climate area (if there’s a beach, even better)- Get a massage, it works wonders.Do it BEFORE you go to Post-Graduate school. Trust me, it will work wonders.

  35. 35
    BeamStalk

    I fall asleep very fast, but I don't stay asleep for long period of times. It has gotten better as I have gotten older but I still only get about 5 to 6 hours of sleep a night at most. I have always felt completely rested after sleeping so it has never been a problem. When I was a kid, I would get around 3 to 4 hours and a few nights 0. I told my mom about not sleeping during the night and she thought I was making it up. My sister sleep walks and has gone outside during it before. I sleep talk to some extent but not often. I also sleep with my eyes open at times (that freaks people out).

  36. 36
    BeamStalk

    I fall asleep very fast, but I don’t stay asleep for long period of times. It has gotten better as I have gotten older but I still only get about 5 to 6 hours of sleep a night at most. I have always felt completely rested after sleeping so it has never been a problem. When I was a kid, I would get around 3 to 4 hours and a few nights 0. I told my mom about not sleeping during the night and she thought I was making it up. My sister sleep walks and has gone outside during it before. I sleep talk to some extent but not often. I also sleep with my eyes open at times (that freaks people out).

  37. 37
    Hugo Grinebiter

    @Miguel: bit off-topic, but that reminds me of the advice given my by what Oxford called our Moral Tutor — not as bad as it sounds, think student counsellor. Namely, take a holiday just before your final exams, preferably with a girlfriend. IIRC I went hiking in the mountains for a long weekend, no g/f though. And so we should walk into the exam room fresh, with the scent of the g/f still on us (or in my case, the sheep), and slay those exam papers. Of course the assumption behind this was that we had spent the last three years working, an assumption that was not always justified……

    At my next university I found a friend revising for an exam, and since it was a beautiful day, I tried to persuade her to come for a decent country walk. No, she had to read this here book. I went the long walk by myself, and called in on the way back. She was still on the same page of the book, and if it had been upside-down she wouldn't have noticed. Total braincrash, the panic had made her loop. It would have been better if I had been capable of making her go that walk by force.

  38. 38
    Hugo Grinebiter

    @Miguel: bit off-topic, but that reminds me of the advice given my by what Oxford called our Moral Tutor — not as bad as it sounds, think student counsellor. Namely, take a holiday just before your final exams, preferably with a girlfriend. IIRC I went hiking in the mountains for a long weekend, no g/f though. And so we should walk into the exam room fresh, with the scent of the g/f still on us (or in my case, the sheep), and slay those exam papers. Of course the assumption behind this was that we had spent the last three years working, an assumption that was not always justified……At my next university I found a friend revising for an exam, and since it was a beautiful day, I tried to persuade her to come for a decent country walk. No, she had to read this here book. I went the long walk by myself, and called in on the way back. She was still on the same page of the book, and if it had been upside-down she wouldn’t have noticed. Total braincrash, the panic had made her loop. It would have been better if I had been capable of making her go that walk by force.

  39. 39
    ShavenYak

    I used to suffer from bouts of sleep paralysis (when your brain wakes up but your body doesn't, and you can't move… scary as hell the first couple times it happens, then you get used to it). Dunno why it almost never happens anymore, but nowadays I get a lot more of the lucid dreaming thing. I love that part where you first realize that you're in a dream. Especially if you're being chased by zombies or something, and you realize that you can just turn around and kick all their butts.

  40. 40
    Brian

    I used to suffer from bouts of sleep paralysis (when your brain wakes up but your body doesn’t, and you can’t move… scary as hell the first couple times it happens, then you get used to it). Dunno why it almost never happens anymore, but nowadays I get a lot more of the lucid dreaming thing. I love that part where you first realize that you’re in a dream. Especially if you’re being chased by zombies or something, and you realize that you can just turn around and kick all their butts.

  41. 41
    liminalthoughts

    Oh man, that's my sleep pattern exactly. You're the first person I've heard of who has those same semi-conscious sleep-walking things.

    Damn I'm tired.

  42. 42
    liminalthoughts

    Oh man, that’s my sleep pattern exactly. You’re the first person I’ve heard of who has those same semi-conscious sleep-walking things.Damn I’m tired.

  43. 43
    Apropos of Nothing

    There is sleepwalking and there are night terrors. My son had bouts of night terrors from about age 14 until he graduated from college. They can be dangerous. Once he put his fist through a window. Blood everywhere. I could hold unto him and talk to him, but it would often take a while to wake him up. "Wake up and go to sleep" sounds crazy but that is what it was about. The doctors could not treat him but said he would grow out of it and he did.

    You know how your parents would drive you around in the car to get you to sleep when you were very young? Well that approach can work now. I don't mean drive yourself around in your car until you fall asleep, but something on the same idea. I have a "sleep dvd" which I play when I have trouble going to sleep. The dvd should be a film you know really well and one without too many really loud scenes. "Hunt for Red October" works for me. Sean Connery's voice and the sounds of the submarines are guaranteed to put me to sleep. Something like that might work for you too.

    Or if your really cynical you can remember what Rodney Dangerfield said when he had to give up smoking pot and drinking to get his mother-in-laws money…"I don't know how to fall asleep. I know how to pass out".

  44. 44
    Apropos of Nothing

    There is sleepwalking and there are night terrors. My son had bouts of night terrors from about age 14 until he graduated from college. They can be dangerous. Once he put his fist through a window. Blood everywhere. I could hold unto him and talk to him, but it would often take a while to wake him up. “Wake up and go to sleep” sounds crazy but that is what it was about. The doctors could not treat him but said he would grow out of it and he did.You know how your parents would drive you around in the car to get you to sleep when you were very young? Well that approach can work now. I don’t mean drive yourself around in your car until you fall asleep, but something on the same idea. I have a “sleep dvd” which I play when I have trouble going to sleep. The dvd should be a film you know really well and one without too many really loud scenes. “Hunt for Red October” works for me. Sean Connery’s voice and the sounds of the submarines are guaranteed to put me to sleep. Something like that might work for you too.Or if your really cynical you can remember what Rodney Dangerfield said when he had to give up smoking pot and drinking to get his mother-in-laws money…”I don’t know how to fall asleep. I know how to pass out”.

  45. 45
    Yellow Hat Guy

    "All Dogs Go to Heaven?" …but what about Cujo?

  46. 46
    Yellow Hat Guy

    “All Dogs Go to Heaven?” …but what about Cujo?

  47. 47
    MaryLynne

    I'm very jealous about the regular lucid dreaming. I did it by accident twice several years ago. It as so amazing that I read up on it and three or four more times purposely triggered it. I loved it – I went flying everywhere and having great conversations with people who are gone. And then – nothing. I can't do it anymore. I've tried every trick I can find. I still remember dreams but they never go lucid. It makes me sad.

  48. 48
    Marylynne

    I’m very jealous about the regular lucid dreaming. I did it by accident twice several years ago. It as so amazing that I read up on it and three or four more times purposely triggered it. I loved it – I went flying everywhere and having great conversations with people who are gone. And then – nothing. I can’t do it anymore. I’ve tried every trick I can find. I still remember dreams but they never go lucid. It makes me sad.

  49. 49
    Three Ninjas

    When it got to the point that my insomnia made me desparately wish I were dead every night, my friend convinced me I needed to see a doctor. Ambien has helped very much, but I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to use it long term. Not sure what the future will hold.

  50. 50
    Antagonist Jason

    When it got to the point that my insomnia made me desparately wish I were dead every night, my friend convinced me I needed to see a doctor. Ambien has helped very much, but I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to use it long term. Not sure what the future will hold.

  51. 51
    Bedding Sets For Sale

    Actually you are not the only one facing sleeping problems like this. Insomnia can be removed by proper diet, exercise and a very good bedding set.

  52. 52
    valerian42

    I sympathize with your problems, I have had many problems with reoccurring insomnia since I was probably 12. Things have been better recently though with the help of a really comfortable memory foam mattress. I’ve realized having the right surface to sleep on really can make all the difference.

  53. 53
    athikities supabiola

    The easy way to stop snoring is anti snore pillows, it very cheap & work!!! You can see details at http://www.antisnorepillow.us/

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