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How To Deal With Insomnia

Posted by Paleoliberal 
How To Deal With Insomnia
August 02, 2010 10:32AM
PaleoNote: One of my fb friends asked the question. I figgered I'd record my answer here, as well, in case someone searches the phrase. Please feel free to add your own sleeping tips.

As a fellow insomniac (up for the third time since retiring 2.5 hours ago), here are my tips:

1) I don't have a job that requires me to be awake in the morning. I know that it takes me about 12 hours to get 7 hours of sleep, and that block is from 12am -12pm. If that makes you feel "lazy" -- buy a ferret. Their 18 hours of daily sleep will make you seem like a dynamo by comparison. winking smiley

2) I realized at some point that my chattering brain begins to be incoherent near sleep. I also noted that dreams are often disjointed and bizarre. So this incoherence, therefor, is a hallmark of sleep. I reasoned that if it's a 'hallmark of,' it may also be 'an inducement to.' So what I do is to mimic, mentally and physically the traits of sleep. One is rapid eye movement and deep breathing -- even close to snoring through the nose, if you can do it. Then, picture in your mind unconnected, melding images -- a stop sign flying along and becoming a cup of coffee that grows legs and skitters into a shoe on a river of crayons -- just as much confusing disconnect as you can get. If your brain is babbling to you, make it babble nonsensical gibberish.

Performing these exercises are often the last thing I remember doing till the next morning 8)

Your Next Question: "Well if all this works so great, why are YOU awake?" Those techs don't keep me down, they just put me to sleep. That's why I live by Rule #1. Besides, if you give yourself a wide window for sleep, insomnia isn't maddening at all; it can be an enjoyable lifestyle. I like doing stuff in the middle of the night while it's cool and quiet.
Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 02, 2010 10:58AM
Make sure your room is as devoid of light as possible.

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"Build yourselves a wall of ships!" said the Oracle!
Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 02, 2010 11:12AM
Drink a glass of milk. Milk is expected to induce sleep.
Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 02, 2010 11:56AM
Things that helped in my experience:

1. Giving up caffeine. I only have about two or three coffees per week now, and never after midday. Before I was having at least that amount in a day.

2. Setting my alarm clock to go off at sunrise and going to bed a little more than 8 hours before that. Some people might need more or less than 8 hours sleep, I guess, but 8 is good for me.

3. Not using TVs, computers, mobile phones, or any illuminated screen at night. All of them screw with my ability to sleep. So does strong lighting, which is why I've got dimmer switches throughout my apartment.

4. Paleo's second tip. Except I usually notice strong, random visualisations and indistinct voices, so I stare into the back of my eyelids and try to focus on seeing/hearing these things, because I know I'll drift into sleep soon after.
Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 02, 2010 03:42PM
One word, baby: propofol.
Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 02, 2010 03:59PM
I'm incapable of getting more than five hours of sleep per night. I average closer to four. sad smiley

Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 02, 2010 04:31PM
Ponderer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm incapable of getting more than five hours of
> sleep per night. I average closer to four. sad smiley

Wow, really? I could barely function when I was working a night job and getting 6 per night; I'd never be able to live on 4 hours. How long have you been sleeping like this?
Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 02, 2010 04:42PM
I generally don't go to bed until after midnight. I always wake up well before my alarm clock goes off at 5:20, usually by 4:30 or thereabouts, and I just lie there. I can't even remember the last time the thing actually woke me up. If I go to bed earlier I just wake up earlier. On weekends I can usually manage to fall back asleep and get another hour of sleep after that or so. Been like this for a few years now I guess.

Anonymous User
Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 02, 2010 06:09PM
#1 If you have insomnia, be sure to get plenty sleep.

#2 make sure you can't see your alarm clock while you are supposed to be sleeping.
Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 02, 2010 07:07PM
Curt Anderson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> #1 If you have insomnia, be sure to get plenty
> sleep.
>

Excellent advice. Easy to see why you're widely considered to be the smartest man in Oregon.

My advice isn't as good as the so_called Einstein of the Beaver State, but it's helped me and that is to try to stay awake less.

I've discovered that the less time I am awake the more sleep I get. Now this may not work for everyone and if it doesn't work for you, well there's always Curt's sage advice to fall back on or propofal.
Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 02, 2010 07:58PM
I occasionally have trouble falling asleep. When it happens, I either take a hit of mj, read a book, or both. Works very well.
Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 02, 2010 08:15PM
Pond interesting, I can barely function on twice that sleep... a number of well known people also slept on four hours apparently.

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"Build yourselves a wall of ships!" said the Oracle!
Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 02, 2010 08:47PM
I get about five a night. That's been the case since my early teens. When I was younger I thought my failure to get 8-10 hours a sleep a night was insomnia, but it turns out I just don't need that much sleep. Doctors have told me it's nothing to stress over. I usually get about four hours a night and then fit in a 30 min to an hour nap. Been doing the nap thing since my mid-twenties. Boss of mine used to nap instead of eat lunch most days and he got me in the habit. Now I can't do without them.
Sam
Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 02, 2010 09:55PM
Usually stay up Very Late and then try to sleep about 9 hours for Perfect. Every other week, I work day and night for 76 hours and get maybe 4 hours a night for 3 nights then have to catch up with a long nap the next day. Weird sleep patterns around here. Hubs works nights in summer in windmill construction cuz it's too hot to work during the day so we are strangers passing each other...he just takes two four hour naps a day and is good...I love being up at Night. But I also love to Sleep. I had some insomnia a couple years of Changing Life, hot flash times, lol. I slept waaaaay better after I quit smoking cigs. Now no caffiene at all but the occasional chocolate and I sleep like a rock.
Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 03, 2010 04:12PM
In bed last night at 12:30. Wide awake since 3:50. angry smiley

I usually don't have much trouble falling asleep. It's the staying asleep part that gets me. I try not to stress about it while I'm in bed though. I figure as long as I'm relaxing and resting until the alarm goes off at 5:20, I'm still getting some recharging out of it.

Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 03, 2010 04:22PM
Have you asked a doctor about it, Pond?
Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 03, 2010 04:37PM
She wasn't much help. I'd rather not take pills to get more sleep. That was all she really offered.

Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 03, 2010 04:50PM
That sucks, Pondy; I wish I had something further to offer. I'd recommend hypnosis if I wasn't afraid of the unintended consequences if it wasn't done right.

Some interesting things I've learned: You can't "bank" sleep -- in other words, you can't sleep 16 hours and then stay awake for 48 and have that work as though you've gotten 8 hours per day. But you can "make up" sleep. Here's a conundrum, though that I don't understand: 'They' (those 'they' people who study things and say stuff), say that you can make up for lost sleep in half-time -- if you're two hours behind, you can make it up in an hour.

OK, fine. So why don't we all just make up for 8 hours of sleep every day by sleeping four?grinning smiley
Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 03, 2010 05:18PM
Here's something else about sleep I read recently: it runs in 1.5 hour cycles. So in an 8 hour sleep, you'd be getting 5 cycles plus half an hour to actually fall asleep in. 4 or 5 cycles, which comes to 6.5 and 8 hours, seems to be the recommended. (I'm a big fan of the 5, personally.) And apparently, a broken sleep cycle may as well have not happened, so it's important not to have your sleep disturbed.
Re: How To Deal With Insomnia
August 03, 2010 06:27PM
Well my cycles have lost a few wheels.

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