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Old 12-07-07, 02:30 AM   #1
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Online in the middle of the night: What's up?

I wake up fretting around 1:30 most nights. I lay in bed for about an hour with my mind chattering away, and everything seems dreadful. I've tried brain-dumping in a notebook before going to bed, meditation, prayer, thinking good thoughts, etc. The chatter finally melts away, and I fall back to sleep. In the morning, reality is never so dreadful as it felt the night before.

I'm in the midst of a particularly stressful project at work, and here I am wide awake at midnight! This time I just got my *ss out of bed. Feels much better than laying there tossing and turning. And I see I'm not the only one online right now.

Is this just a pattern we are stuck with? Is it the coffee we drank the morning before? Does it get worse for you when you are stressed? How do you deal with it?

(Sending good "get some sleep" thoughts your way!)
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Old 12-07-07, 03:05 AM   #2
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My insomnia has two cycles to it, neither of which I can predict. On one level, I will go for several months unable to fall asleep easily, and try everything just to get to sleep. Then, it just goes away and I am fine for several months. Then it repeats.

On another level, I seem to have about one night a month when I absolutely just cannot sleep and remain awake nearly all night. These are typically on very inconvenient nights (big day ahead) but not always.

I have noticed that stress does not seem to be the overlying factor; sometimes I'm unable to fall asleep when there is stress, other times, things are fine and I'm relaxed but I just can't get myself over the edge into sleep. As for the all night insomnia I get every month or six weeks, I'm clueless what brings it on.
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Old 12-07-07, 03:37 AM   #3
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I work rotating shifts, have for 37 years. I don't know (remember) how to
sleep. I just kinda go until I run outa gas and lay down and hope for the best.
Going for 24 hours without sleep usually is a twice-a-week occurance on this schedule, two 12.5 hour days followed by two 12.5 hour nights, then 3 days off. It doesn't help that we are now perpetually short handed and expected to
work any shift at any time.....arrrrrggggg.
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Old 12-07-07, 03:58 AM   #4
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In my family, as you get older, you sleep less. I probably sleep no more than 5 hours a night. If I get too much sleep, I will be up at 1 or 2 without fail. Rest up, I am awake. I don't fight it. I get up, get some work done, bother people over on P & R, etc.

But I am very fortunate, if I need a nap, I just take it. Everyone wishes I would work less! Since my wife and I own the company and everyone knows we are generally at work at 4:00 am, no one minds - I think they are relieved.

Creativity isn't from punching a clock - if the muse strikes, I might work around the clock - and then crash.
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Old 12-07-07, 06:53 AM   #5
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Sleep disorders come in many different varities. If your sleep patterns really do impact in a negative way on your ability to function or significantly lower your quality of life, you should really see a specialist. A relative had a pattern of taking a drink before going to sleep each night. You know, to help her fall asleep. But every night she would awaken around two A.M. and be unable to fall asleep again until around four. After years of trying to figure out what was going on,, she went to see a specialist. Long story short she got the answers she needed. Turns out the drink helped her get to sleep, but then shortened her cycle and she awoke each night. This is just one example, but there are very likely real solutions to be had if it's become a serious problem.
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Old 12-07-07, 07:01 AM   #6
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Had 1/2 mug of coffee yesterday evening, around 6:30-7:00 PM, don't know if that was it, as I usually will not drink coffee after noon, but had problems sleeping. My tinnitus (ringing in the ear(s) has been louder than usual in one ear (could be the caffeine), so that probably didn't help, though after having it for years now, I've grown used to it (or just tolerant of it).
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Old 12-07-07, 07:12 AM   #7
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Short and interrupted sleep is fortunately usually a transient thing, but it can be both a cause and effect of burnout, stress, depression and ill health. There are a few people (perhaps crtreedude?) who seem to thrive on it or at least be immune to its ill effects, but for many of us, it's a warning sign to be heeded. Google "sleep hygeine" or check out www.sleepfoundation.org for tips on how to handle it in the short term, and think about seeing your MD if it persists.
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Old 12-07-07, 08:13 AM   #8
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You're all making me feel guilty. I rarely have trouble sleeping a full 8 hours. When I do have trouble getting to sleep I take myself for an imaginary ride along the Rideau river.
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Old 12-07-07, 08:34 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TruF View Post
I wake up fretting around 1:30 most nights. I lay in bed for about an hour with my mind chattering away, and everything seems dreadful. I've tried brain-dumping in a notebook before going to bed, meditation, prayer, thinking good thoughts, etc. The chatter finally melts away, and I fall back to sleep. In the morning, reality is never so dreadful as it felt the night before.

I'm in the midst of a particularly stressful project at work, and here I am wide awake at midnight! This time I just got my *ss out of bed. Feels much better than laying there tossing and turning. And I see I'm not the only one online right now.

Is this just a pattern we are stuck with? Is it the coffee we drank the morning before? Does it get worse for you when you are stressed? How do you deal with it?

(Sending good "get some sleep" thoughts your way!)
I've put up with this as long as I can remember and I do just about everything you do, but I try and stay off the computer, because that starts my mind going again, more than before. I don't always succeed though.
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Old 12-07-07, 08:55 AM   #10
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I wake up fretting around 1:30 most nights. I lay in bed for about an hour with my mind chattering away, and everything seems dreadful. How do you deal with it?
I wake up many nights after 4 hours & can't get back. Mind races but not w/ stress or worry, just thoughts. Since the body still needs 7 hours to be fully functional, I take a low dose of Atavan or generic = lorazapan (sp?). Fast acting, no sleep hangover, not habit forming (at least in low dose and taken periodically). Dr says not to worry if other signs are good; he says as we age mind/body are not always in sync as in younger years; he has also prescribed a beer before bedtime. Weekend naps are BAD for my routine, no naps for 56 yo workers.
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Old 12-07-07, 09:12 AM   #11
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My wife and I have opposite sleep problems when stressed at all. She can't get to sleep, but once she's out she stays out; I never have trouble falling asleep quickly, but then wake up very early and can't drop off again. Fortunately, this pattern usually only goes on for a few days at a time.

A few months ago, though, we were having some unusually stressful family issues going on and I finally broke down and for the first time in my life went to the dr. and asked for some help. He gave me a prescription for a fairly mild medication -- Restoril by name -- and it seems to help a lot. I might still wake up at 3AM for a few minutes, but then drop right back off again. I'm not sure how much is medication and how much is placebo effect, but I'm glad I took it. I didn't even finish his original prescription, but keep what's left around in my drawer "just in case".
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Old 12-07-07, 09:48 AM   #12
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Not sure how this thread could have gone on for so long without someone suggesting it (guess some people perfer drugs?), but just go for a bike ride.

Lights are so good anymore, riding at night is (fairly) safe, not many cars out at that hour, but yes, a higher percentage are driven by drunks, so BE CAREFUL in that regard.

Anyway, I just suit up, ride a good ten minute warm-up, then hammer myself (i.e. don't ride "easy"), do some one minute (or even 30 sec.) intervals, hammer up a steep climb if you have one handy, but really work it for awhile.

Tired yet? Okay, do a "cool-down" on your way home, warm shower, get into bed, drop right off to sleep.

Well, works for me, anyway!

Caution: do not try this on the night before a double century. I sometimes have trouble sleeping the night before a double, mentally re-checking everything, etc. One old double rider (lots older than me!) told me not to worry if I can't sleep the night before a double as long as I've gotten a good night's sleep on the previous night. From my experience; he was right!

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Old 12-07-07, 11:06 AM   #13
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You people are making me sleepy
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Old 12-07-07, 11:43 AM   #14
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When I do have trouble getting to sleep I take myself for an imaginary ride along the Rideau river.
You too!!! I have great imaginary rides. What's your average speed? I ride with the A group at 22 MPH average..... and the cold never seems to bother me. Too bad I have to wake up.
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Old 12-07-07, 11:54 AM   #15
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I am an Olympic Quality sleeper. I can sleep any where at any time. I can nap on command. I just find my "sleepy place" in my mind and boom, out go the lights.
It may be my only actual talent. If only there were a market for it.
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Old 12-07-07, 12:16 PM   #16
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I am an Olympic Quality sleeper. I can sleep any where at any time. I can nap on command. I just find my "sleepy place" in my mind and boom, out go the lights.
It may be my only actual talent. If only there were a market for it.
I'm right there with you. After an 8:15 pm call from a doctor telling me he was pretty sure I had lung cancer, I couldn't get to sleep until 1:30 am. Other than that, I can't think of any time in the last 20 years that I haven't been asleep 5 minutes after my head hit the pillow, and the only time I wake during the night is when my dogs are insisting that I let them outside.
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Old 12-07-07, 12:27 PM   #17
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Not sure how this thread could have gone on for so long without someone suggesting it (guess some people perfer drugs?), but just go for a bike ride.

Lights are so good anymore, riding at night is (fairly) safe, not many cars out at that hour, but yes, a higher percentage are driven by drunks, so BE CAREFUL in that regard.

Anyway, I just suit up, ride a good ten minute warm-up, then hammer myself (i.e. don't ride "easy"), do some one minute (or even 30 sec.) intervals, hammer up a steep climb if you have one handy, but really work it for awhile.

Tired yet? Okay, do a "cool-down" on your way home, warm shower, get into bed, drop right off to sleep.

Well, works for me, anyway!

Caution: do not try this on the night before a double century. I sometimes have trouble sleeping the night before a double, mentally re-checking everything, etc. One old double rider (lots older than me!) told me not to worry if I can't sleep the night before a double as long as I've gotten a good night's sleep on the previous night. From my experience; he was right!

Rick / OCRR
That only works if you don't live in the frozen north No "cool-down" required around here.
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Old 12-07-07, 12:48 PM   #18
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That only works if you don't live in the frozen north No "cool-down" required around here.
No worries, Beverly,

This same procedure will work with your indoor trainer or rollers . Of course, if your indoor trainer is a "wind" type, you may wake up anyone else (if there is anyone else) in the house!

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Old 12-07-07, 12:49 PM   #19
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I notice a similar effect during high work stress periods. I get stuff going in my mind that WILL NOT stop unless I preempt it. This is not easy. Here's my method: I use hobbies and local projects that I want to spend time on. I force myself to start trying to solve a problem in my head for one of those projects. (what color should I paint the tandem?, which kind of wine should I feature at the next party?, what new tools should I add to my workshop?, etc). Once I get my conscious mind invested in a fun project, I'm out like a light.
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Old 12-07-07, 12:53 PM   #20
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Up at 3am this morning- Out by 4- In France by 8 and the shops do not open til 9. Quick 40 winks which came easily. Now 7pm and I don't feel tired in the slightest.Think I will be gone by 10 though- But up at 5am tomorrow as usual.
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Old 12-07-07, 12:57 PM   #21
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Getting a good night's sleep is something I only get now if I am heavily medicated.

I guess it's part of old age, so many things disrupt my sleep. Now adays it's the fact that my body is so beat up, I can't sleep on either shoulder (bolts and rods in both) , my neck always hurt and my back is in constant pain. It seems the only place I get some sleep is in the big chair in the living room but that's always just an hour or two. If I get more than 2 - 3 of uninterrupted sleep I am in Heaven! Add something stressful happening, and sleep is nonexistent.

So... quit your whining! Sleep is for babies anyway!
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Old 12-07-07, 01:21 PM   #22
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Most of my life I have worked a midnight tour or a 3 to 1 am shift. I always found it most difficult to really get a good rest period in the day time. I blacked out windows and everything else. That seemed to work, but I always started to get real sleepy around 4 or 5 am. Jump ahead a few years and I'm now retired. I have cut out caffeine after 3 in the afternoon and find that to work. Sometimes when I go to bed I just try to clear my mind and think only about a long ride to a place I have never been. I know it's sick but sometimes it does the trick.
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Old 12-07-07, 02:49 PM   #23
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I work rotating shifts, have for 37 years. I don't know (remember) how to
sleep. I just kinda go until I run outa gas and lay down and hope for the best.
Going for 24 hours without sleep usually is a twice-a-week occurance on this schedule, two 12.5 hour days followed by two 12.5 hour nights, then 3 days off. It doesn't help that we are now perpetually short handed and expected to
work any shift at any time.....arrrrrggggg.
Straight nights for 3 years then swing shifts for 3 more. It takes a toll on the body.
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Old 12-07-07, 03:24 PM   #24
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I am usually a good sleeper. Head on the pillow for 2 or 3 minutes and out like a light. Sometimes when I have a lot going on at work I will wake up an hour or two before my clock goes off thinking about my day ahead. I read this a long time ago and it works for me. I relax my entire body starting with my feet, ankles, knees, and just kind of let myself sink into the mattress a little. Then very slowly I count to 1 just to myself, not out loud. Over and over and over slowly 1...1....1.....1............1.....................1................................I almost fell asleep just typing this.
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Old 12-07-07, 04:21 PM   #25
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I've had the same issues as others with having trouble falling to sleep or sleeping well through the night. I've even talked to my doctor about it but mine told me that mature folks don't require as much sleep.

Anyway, what I do to help really works well for me. This is going to sound pretty dumb but when I'm having trouble sleeping I start recalling my last round of golf......and think of evey shot......the club I hit, yardage and score hole by hole. Very seldom do I get past 9 holes before I'm fast asleep.

The other thing I've done is actually recount a 100 mile bike ride and try to remember every turn. A real yawner there for sure-except for the screaming descents down very curvy terrain.
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