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  • Getting on a better sleep schedule

    I mentioned this in another thread then I realized it needed to be addressed separately. I don't sleep well at all and I know it will help if I get on a sleep schedule. I already take Melatonin and have even tried Benedryl. I don't drink caffeine every day and involve it in the evenings and night. I know I need to start going to bed and getting up at the same time, but I struggle with doing that. Many times it takes over an hour for me to fall asleep. I have tried setting my alarm clock for 8am, but I never want to get up when it goes off. I also wake up and fall back asleep numerous times in the morning hours. I usually have strange dreams during this time. I know I am not getting well rested during this sleep pattern. What can I do to get on a better sleep schedule? What would help me to get up in the mornings and stay up? I thought about taking a shower as soon as I got up to help wake me up, but I don't like doing that. I don't like doing much of anything when I first get up except I don't have a problem getting on the internet. I can't get started on my schoolwork as soon as I get up.

  • #2
    Another major problem with this is lately I've had a lot of things on my mind and I can't turn my mind off to go to sleep. Right now it's 1:30 and I can't get some things out of my mind to go to sleep.

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    • #3
      Any suggestions. I don't know what the deal is tonight, but I haven't been able to slept hardly any. I doesn't look like I'll be getting up early to start my schoolwork. I finally got to sleep after 3 and woke up a couple hours later freezing. I had a sweatshirt and sweater on, but guess I should have turned my heater on when I went to bed. But it gets too hot in the room after it has been on a few hours.

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      • #4
        Idea > I make a daily list to do list or whatever you want to call it .

        Hi faith
        You do sound like me with my horrible sleep schedule .
        Sometimes I have to totally silence , block out everything , I will put a pair of oj ear plugs in my ears and my hair up off the back of my neck then shut off all my lights and put my sleep mask on .

        Now I am a computer geek and my brain is alway's running full steam ahead but when I follow my above habits I will literally medditate myself to super relaxation in pitch black , also I like hot a cup of herbal tea before I go to my bedroom .
        Often because of our SCI issues or health problems most of us are trapped in your insomnia boat .

        You are not alone , I love learning , reading , just trying to stay a step ahead of what has to be done in general thus I finally had to just resort to making a daily list of everything I must finish that day ,

        I leave this list on my kitchen table then during my day 1 by 1 as I finish one task I cross that thing off my list

        Now I got it pretty much down to where I make sure before I go to bed or rest I have crossed off most all these thing's on my to do list and then I am able to rest a little easier .

        I hope maybe this will help
        Sincerely ;
        GL

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        • #5
          Physically exerting myself usually cures my insomnia. I use a Vitaglide to combat sleeplessness. If I'm sure to sufficiently labor during the day sleep comes much easier, too.
          "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

          "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

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          • #6
            Thanks for the tips. I guess I do need to look into doing some type of exercise and avoid using the computer close to bedtime. I slept awful last night and got up at 10am. At least I didn't sleep until noon! I plan on taking melatonin, adjusting my temperature to where it will be comfortable during the night and advoiding caffeine. Actually I did have some late yesterday so that may have contributed to me having trouble falling asleep. I keep my curtains closed to help make it darker in my room. I guess the main thing that will help me is to force myself to start getting up and staying up at a certain time each day. I'm also going to start making myself go to bed early so I will want to get up earlier. I figure if I can manage to do this for several days or a week then I will get my sleep cycle back on track.

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            • #7
              I used to use this on my kids who were both notorious insomniacs. It worked.

              About an hour before bed, turn off all distractions like the TV and computer and quiet all things like music and then turn down the lights to mimic sundown. I usually just leave one light in the living room on instead of all three. Dim the lights that you can. Turning the lights down is the most important part. Maybe make yourself a cup of de-caf tea or hot apple cider.

              Sit quietly and read something that is not like an exciting novel. Try a biography of some sort, they are usually pretty non-exciting. You are trying to limit stimuli.

              The most important thing is to eliminate distractions for an hour before bed. The hour before bed can give you time to quiet your brain and get into a rhythym of letting go all of the days distractions. Speak only in hushed tones.

              I have heard that melatonin can help, but I have never taken this myself.
              Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

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              • #8
                The following link outlines the basics of sleep hygiene faith, it's a place to start;

                http://www.umm.edu/sleep/sleep_hyg.htm

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                • #9
                  Thanks for these ideas. I have already tried many of them though. I had my cable turned off a few months so I don't watch tv. I also listen to soft music while going to sleep but that doesn't help. My mind still wonders on everything else. The only bad thing is I stay on the computer until I go to bed. I guess I need to start getting off earlier and reading until I feel sleepy. That's about the only thing that I can try doing that I haven't already tried. I may also start taking a shower before going to bed to help me relax. So tonight I'm going to plan on being off the computer by 9pm, take a shower and read until I fall asleep -- which I would like to be by 10pm.

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                  • #10
                    I slept GREAT last night. I went to bed around 8:30 because I was exhausted from not getting much sleep four night in a row. I woke only a couple times during the night, but I didn't get up this morning until 7am.
                    Last edited by faith9778; 10-05-2011, 08:46 AM.

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                    • #11
                      One really important thing to remember is that light causes your body to release chemicals which keeps you awake because it mistakes the artificial light with it being daytime. To be honest I sit at my laptop way too much, and I found two things make it very difficult for me to sleep - a bright monitor and eating before going to sleep.

                      My advice is to stop doing mentally exerting things, and stick to dim lights - no bright screens. One trick I do is to gradually turn down my screen brightness. Finally don't eat food two hours before you go to sleep because it'll just keep you awake.

                      I too have sleeping problems. I'm staying in this motel, the walls are plasterboard and I get woken up 3-4 times during the night. The A/C is controlled by four rooms, everyone vying for how they want it set so it can get as cold as 15 degrees - so cold I wake up during the night because my face is freezing. Or it cant get turned off and I wake up sweating. It would be ok if it was either on/off but the constant switching means I can't adequately prepare for either variation.

                      I have learned to accept what I cannot change though. I've suffered with horrible sleeping patterns since I was 15, sometimes I just go to bed gradually later and later until my day is night and night is day.. and then after a similar period of time goes by I'm at a 'normal' sleeping pattern for awhile. Sometimes I mentally/physical exert myself until absolute exhaustion before sleeping. Other times I can just lay there for 1-4 hours until I sleep.

                      One time when I was 16 I had a 'staying up' competition with a friend because he thought he could outlast me. He fell to sleep after a paltry one and a half days, and since I'd stayed up that long I thought I'd see how long I could last. I stayed up for 2 and a half days, and awoke at one point to my mother screaming I was on drugs, and then later after around 24 hours of sleep I woke up naturally.

                      On the plus side I am taking a more active effort in controlling my sleeping patterns but it's too difficult where I'm living atm.

                      Good luck!
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jonny Bell View Post
                        One really important thing to remember is that light causes your body to release chemicals which keeps you awake because it mistakes the artificial light with it being daytime. To be honest I sit at my laptop way too much, and I found two things make it very difficult for me to sleep - a bright monitor and eating before going to sleep.

                        My advice is to stop doing mentally exerting things, and stick to dim lights - no bright screens. One trick I do is to gradually turn down my screen brightness. Finally don't eat food two hours before you go to sleep because it'll just keep you awake.

                        I too have sleeping problems. I'm staying in this motel, the walls are plasterboard and I get woken up 3-4 times during the night. The A/C is controlled by four rooms, everyone vying for how they want it set so it can get as cold as 15 degrees - so cold I wake up during the night because my face is freezing. Or it cant get turned off and I wake up sweating. It would be ok if it was either on/off but the constant switching means I can't adequately prepare for either variation.

                        I have learned to accept what I cannot change though. I've suffered with horrible sleeping patterns since I was 15, sometimes I just go to bed gradually later and later until my day is night and night is day.. and then after a similar period of time goes by I'm at a 'normal' sleeping pattern for awhile. Sometimes I mentally/physical exert myself until absolute exhaustion before sleeping. Other times I can just lay there for 1-4 hours until I sleep.

                        One time when I was 16 I had a 'staying up' competition with a friend because he thought he could outlast me. He fell to sleep after a paltry one and a half days, and since I'd stayed up that long I thought I'd see how long I could last. I stayed up for 2 and a half days, and awoke at one point to my mother screaming I was on drugs, and then later after around 24 hours of sleep I woke up naturally.

                        On the plus side I am taking a more active effort in controlling my sleeping patterns but it's too difficult where I'm living atm.

                        Good luck!
                        Thanks for sharing this advice. I know last night I was about to fall asleep and a neighbor's lights shined in my window causing me to becomg alert.

                        I didn't go to sleep until around 11 pm last night, but I slept great for the most part. I got up before my alarm went off at 7:30 this morning. I'm going to try going to bed a little bit earlier tonight, but I plan to continue getting up around 7-7:30am every morning.

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