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Old 11-21-2008, 12:14 PM   #1
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problems sleeping - should i take a nap
Im still havning trouble sleeping even with tablets from the docotr. Im either not sleeping at all or sleeping very fitfully. Either way the next day i am exhausted and often quite groggy as a result of the tablets. I ahve been advised and keep reading in various articles about insomnia an good sleep practices that napping during the dayas it throughs your sleep patterns out even worse but i am just so tired i might actually sleep if i go to bed now (it's 4pm here). I'm worried that if i sleep now then i will have no chance of sleeping later tonight.

My sleep routines are already messed since i am not working and am so tired/groggy ach morning i am often not getting out of bed until 10 or even 11 am (very unusual for me and would make me angry if i wasn't so tired) so would a nap realy be a bad idea?

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Old 11-21-2008, 12:23 PM   #2
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Taking a nap is fine, just set an alarm or something so it's not longer than half and hour. That should help a little bit. I have problems sleeping, too so I know how it is. Unfortunately I can't nap.

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Old 11-21-2008, 12:37 PM   #3
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You are right that the standard thinking on this is that napping during the day prevents you from establishing a routine sleep pattern at night.

Having said that, I will tell you this: My husband and I have been dealing with my SUCKY sleep issues for YEARS! I haven't slept since my 27 year old was born. Seriously!

We have determined that sleep is a precious commodity and that I need to take it when I can get it! So, yes, I nap when needed, especially if I haven't slept all night!

A few things you need to realize: Not everyone has the same biological clock. You may be an early riser and need to go to bed at 7pm. You may be a night owl and need to sleep in 'til noon. If you don't work outside of your home and aren't forced to be dependent on someone else's schedule, then definately figure out what YOURS is. My sleep is so irratic that I CAN'T be on someone else's schedule. My sleep is SO bad that I CAN'T work. So I work from home on my own schedule. Try to figure out who you are first. Then go with that. As consistantly as possible.

I am EXTREMELY caffeine sensitive. (And a tea vendor, not a good combo, LOL) If I have a glass of tea during the day, I WILL be up all night. I know that. Maybe you are, too. The problem with exhaustion is we think the cure is stimulation, but it's not. It's rest. So don't overstimulate yourself. Let yourself rest.

I keep the TV on at night. That's HORRIBLE for most people because they stay up and watch it. They have to stay up to see how their show finishes. I don't. I need the soft drone in the background to hypnotise me to sleep. So, if there's a show I "need" to see the end of, I'll turn on the VCR (DVR) and tape it, and roll over and go to sleep. Then I'll watch the end of my show the next day. My husband HATES it, because he's normal and likes it quiet and dark. So the agreement is, if I'm snoring, he can turn off the tube.

If you live alone, figure out if you need soft music, white noise, a nightlight, the dog in the bed with you, or whatever your security blanket is. If you live with a partner, you might need some cooperation with this because they are probably normal and won't like whatever it is you need. If they love you and hate seeing you suffer, they'll get it.

So, I hope that my experiences will help you. I wish you the best of health and pleasant dreams!
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Old 11-21-2008, 01:09 PM   #4
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Thanks Jan and Monidew. I think i needed some reasurance that napping was a bad thing ( i was brought up that it was). I think on this occasion though i'm like you Jan, napping isn't for me.
I when to bed but after 15 mins of just lying there fidgeting i got up again.

Thank you for the advice MoniDew. I think i might end up like you. I can't remember the last time i had a 'normal' nights sleep, or more importantly had a normal nights sleep for a few consecutive nights. I think i may stop with the pills (maybe not right away but soon) and just accept that this is how i am and make my life work with my sleep instead of trying to make my sleep work with my life.

I have to say though as bad as my sleep is at the moment it is a hell of a lot better than it was a few weeks a go. Since then i have stopped having caffiene (or at most one cup a day) and it had a noticable effect!

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Old 11-21-2008, 01:47 PM   #5
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It also helps if you get out in the light a little bit during midday, this helps your brain process the hormones you need (melantonin) for sleeping. And at night, if you can sleep in complete darkness, no nightlights or outside lights coming in, that also helps your brain chemistry to sleep better. Some people like monidew can do better with some light, or maybe it's just the noise, but for most of it, as dark as you can make it is helpful.
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Old 11-21-2008, 03:18 PM   #6
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I'm glad you've found at least one cause (caffeine). There are a number of books on natural remedies for insomnia, and most of the ones I've seen start by saying you need to watch what you eat - no caffeine, healthy foods, etc.

I'm not a napper (unless I've been burning the candle at both ends or I'm sick), so napping doesn't do a whole lot of good for me if I haven't been sleeping. Acknowledging that I'm an incurable morning person has helped me get enough sleep. Journaling or meditating have helped. Decluttering or some basic feng shui arrangements in my bedroom have helped.

I've also learned that if I'm wide awake in the middle of the night, it's better not to fight it. I'll get up and take care of some household chore and then go back to bed when I'm tired again. It does catch up with me after a while, but the frustration of lying in bed awake is at least gone. During a particularly stressful time, I was up scrubbing out my refrigerator at 3 a.m. This might not be the best solution for everyone, but cleaning something made me feel like at least part of my life was under control, even if it wasn't my sleep.
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:37 PM   #7
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I have not read all the replies but my suggestion would be to set a time to get yourself out of bed everyday, say 8 or 9 and do it. Drag yourself up and jump in the shower if you need help to wake up. Try to get yourself on a different schedule, if you get up earlier, you might be able to go to sleep earlier. I have found this to be true for myself more than once. When I also have trouble going to sleep I like to do this exercise, it sounds funny but it feels so good afterwords. Start with your toes and stretch them for 3-5 seconds then let go and rest for may 2-3 seconds, then flex your leg muscles, let go, then your butt, stomach, fingers, arms, neck and finally your face. Take a breathe then flex all those muscles at the same time and hold for 3-5 seconds. Afterwords, you feel so relaxed and it does feel so good. I have had my daughters do that also when they can't sleep.

Have you heard about melatonin? ( I have heard good things about it.

Good luck in the sleep department!
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:36 PM   #8
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A couple shots of Jack before bedtime works wonders

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Old 11-22-2008, 02:46 AM   #9
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For me napping is bad.
I'll get a migraine and need to lay down, then I slowly get into a 4 hour sleep 8 hour wake cycle, which in turn causes migraines.
The only way I can get out of them is to force myself to stay awake which is nearly impossible, so I have to rotate the naps around until I can manage to stay awake until a normal day shift bedtime.

I'm a day sleeper but ever since I started having panic attacks again that is bad too, I don't know why but a day schedule does a lot better to keep those away.
Being a natural day sleeper also contributes to me going into the 4 hour nap cycles because I sleep so good during the day and so bad at night. The slightest noise can wake me up at night but I could sleep through anything in the day (and I think a door slamming, horn honking neighbor is a big contributor to me waking up at 5-6am no matter when I go to sleep).
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:59 AM   #10
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Okay, I realize that I'm, like, 2 days late on this, but....
This thread really started me thinking about what more I could be doing to improve my sleep. And I've got a suggestion for you:


I was tossing and turning like crazy lately, waking up so stiff and sore I could barely walk. I hated my bed, so I just got out of it when I was in so much pain I couldn't stand to be in it another minute. All of this I just thought was just more of the same, more of the original problem.

Then it occured to me to flip the mattress. The past 2 nights, I fell right to sleep, slept 'til morning, and wasn't stiff and sore when I woke up.


(flip it both top-to-bottom, AND head-to-toe.)

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