How to Sleep

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Bugger me if I know, so I thought I would ask you.

Remember the time that I talked about my obsession with weather? Well, the past few months I have been awaking and asking all members of my family…

“Did you sleep well?”

Yes, I am just that exciting. Envy me at your will. And I think my infatuation with a quality slumber is because of the fact that it seems I am unable to achieve it. Much like endorphins and exercise. Or intelligent reasoning and Trump.

And it is irritating me no end. Gone are the days where you would jump into bed with your book, read a few pages, get blissfully sleepy, switch off the light and fall into deep slumber, only to wake eight hours later in the exact same position that you remember being in when you turned off the light, but with the delightful addition of a large pool of drool on your pillow.

No need for a midnight piss stop. No need for anything.

In the past few months my sleep has been less than ideal. And it comes down to the fact that my body temperature needs to get a service. I fall asleep ok, after a few minutes of trying to calm my thoughts but then a few hours later, I wake up and I am hot. (and not in the good way) And so I throw off the covers, act like a cat as I scramble to find the penultimate position to continue my evening of twisting and turning.

A few hours later I wake up and I am freezing. And need to drain the main vein to make the bladder gladder. So by the time I get back into bed (at this stage usually around 4am) I am fully awake.

I burrow under the covers and resist the urge to turn on the radio. So I toss and turn and curse myself. My mind starts to think about the following day and all the shit that needs to get done. And then, an hour later the birds start their song and the blind’s edges start to glow with the rising of the sun, at this point, and only at this point, my body goes into that delicious deep where you are still and your mind is dreamless.

And so then when the alarm goes off, it startles me out of my sleep.

Snooze button

ALARM

Snooze button

ALARM

Snooze button

ALARM

Eventually I get out of bed and stagger to the bathroom. I brush my teeth and the person looking back at me appears to have been on a four day bender with Keith Richards, despite in real life going to bed sober and at 10pm the previous evening.

So I am sorry if the headline of this post has been a lie. I don’t know how to sleep anymore. I am thinking of booking a night nurse, of perhaps putting myself on the Tresillian waiting list.

Are you like me? Forgotten how to sleep?

If you have the holy grail of all things slumber, for the love of Pete please share!

 

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  • Kel

    Same. I am dealing with it by accepting my tendency to arise as the sparrows fart by trying to get to Bedfordshire early. Trying.

  • Janice

    Same same but different….can’t get off to sleep! Then sleep the glorious sleep when everyone else gets up! Life would be reasonably fine if the day started at midday. ☹️

  • dinge

    That’s surely why iPads were invented.

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    I’m lucky to get 5hours a night,menopause,snoring husband and dog and full bladder.It shits me no end and I use lavender oil on my pillow,magnesium tablets and oil,hence why I need a Nana nap.

  • Megan

    Have you tried Magnesium oil or lotion? I use it every night and it’s brilliant, I have a 5 month old so I’m not getting a lot of sleep at a time but what I do get is good, it’s made all the difference to me with the added benefit extra energy the next day. I put it on my feet, stomach and behind my knees every night and that combo seems to work best for me. I’ve been using it for about 2 years now and it has changed my life, I love the stuff and would never be without it now, it has so many benefits.

  • Magnesium helps… Peri/Menopause is a biatch. Not saying that’s the problem, but, insomnia in women of advancing years is a symptom. As if 40 years of bleeding (sans pregnancy, deliberately pull skipping a month or 6 or other forms of contraception) those torturous sleep deprived newborn months/years and pap smears weren’t enough to deal with, someone decided along with night swears, hot flushes & irregular cycles, they’d chuck insomnia into our “change of life” show bag. Bastid.

    • Sally Rose

      Agree totes , Sarah, and the fu$$ing menopause symptoms can last a long time too. Ten years of waking up feeling hot(not that one) and throwing off bedding. In my next incarnation I’m grabbing HRT with both hands and to hell with increased breast cancer risk. (Reels back panting with indignation! )

  • Me

    Sleep and I have never been good friends as much as I’ve tried to encourage it. A few years ago I went on an insomnia trial thingo with ANU. Best thing ever! I had to keep a sleep diary for 2 weeks where my base line sleep was measured. When all of my asleep time was added together I was averaging 3.5 hours a night so for the next week I was only allowed in bed for 3.5 hours a night. I had to decide what time I was going to get up and went to bed 3.5 hours before then. If I wasn’t asleep within 10 minutes I had to get up and try again in 30 mins but still had to get up at the designated time. The first few days were a killer! By the end of the week I was falling asleep within 10 minutes and not waking up. Exhaustion will do that! My reward was that I could now be in bed for an extra 20 minutes each night…as long as it took no longer than 10 mins to fall asleep and that I didn’t wake up. If I did, I had to take the 20 mins off. Each week I could add 20 mins extra if my sleep had stayed consistent. By the end of the trial I was up to 7 hours of continuous sleep along with less than 10 mins to fall asleep. It was life changing for me. I tried to add more but then I started waking up again so ended up staying with the 7 hours. There were a few other things like creating a bed time routine that you follow each night taking about an hour, nothing stimulating in that hour so if I work late at night I’m up for at least another hour when I finish and if I’m watching to or reading it needs to be light and fluffy. That was 4 years ago and although I do go back to some bad habits at times and I have gone back and reprogrammed my sleep when it’s gone off the rails a few times, it has been the only success I’ve had with sleep that didn’t involve drugs. Not sure if that would work with the hot and cold thing though!

  • Alexia

    A ceiling fan. That’s all you need. It keeps the air moving and your body at the perfect temperature to get deep, restful sleep.
    I swear by my fan- it’s on every single night!!

  • FunMumX3

    Stash of 3mg Melatonin!! Only take them occasionally, tends to be for a few nights in a row then I drop it. Seems to remind my body how to sleep again. I think hormones will not be your friend for a few years, menopause is when it most often happened for me. Now just the occasional stress patch of life.

    And sometimes white noise app or earplugs if TV is giving me the shits or snorer on the couch. I also have lovely blue sheets that make me feel peaceful. Best when they re freshly washed but nothing scientific about that, just my feel-good strategy!!

  • Bee

    http://www.bachflower.com/bach-rescue-sleep/ this is great, all natural. 2 sprays on the tongue and it really helps get me off to sleep. Available from health food stores and i have seen it at Coles & woolies. $23.95ish. Good for menopausal erratic sleeping patterns and hot/cold. When I wake during the night I can get into stressful thought patterns full of worry. The rescue remedy helps send me back to dreamland. Sometimes it needs 2 lots of sprays but I think that is alcohol induced wakefulness.

  • Jennifer M

    You have just described my night! Menopause has a lot to answer to. Along with other symptoms let’s make your nights miserable so you become an even bigger irrational ogre during the day! This is the reason husband and I have separate rooms now and although it felt awkward and we felt guilty I am now not keeping him awake with the throw off covers, grab them back, twitchy legs, staring wide eyed at the wall, bounce around on the bed, rocking, rolling, you know he drill. I am “lucky” my husband had to have hormone treatment for prostrate cancer “now gone” and it gave him all the menopause symptoms, so he totally gets the hot flushes, sweats, lack of mood control. That makes a big difference in his tolerance levels of my behaviour! But when things get way out of control, I take a 1/4 of a Restavit tablet and that helps me to get to sleep and stay asleep even if I wake up for night toilet pit stops. Oh and now we have seperate sleeping chambers there will be no going back! Best thing ever!

  • Nellie

    Mrs Woog, please feel free to file this under unsolicited advice…but have you tried acupuncture? I have a history of crappy adrenals and an auto immune disease which together have served as serous sleep thieves. Acupuncture has worked well. I am happy to provide further details if you are interested.