Hoping for sleep

hoping for sleep shadows

It is 4.03 am. I am laying awake since 2.18 am. I’ve been trying to go back to sleep. I’ve tried deep breathing. I’ve started a short story hoping I am getting tired. I ate a bowl of soup and watched the sleeping neighborhood. I have taken some melatonin before going to bed. And still here I am. At four in the morning. All I am doing is hoping for sleep. But I got up to write out my frustration.

I have mentioned earlier this month that I have insomnia. I have written about it on this blog too. I know I am not alone since that article is one of the more popular ones. But I wish it was different. Sleep envy is still a real thing. I would give up coffee for better sleep. Maybe even some candy. Maybe it is all about how and when I eat. I have no freakin clue.

Tracking my sleep pattern

But I am on a mission to trying to figure it out. This summer I started wearing my Apple Watch during the night to track my sleep. To get a better understanding if I am really that much awake during the night or if it is just an assumption. Something I feel because I am so exhausted in the mornings. Or get sleepy rather quickly again.

Well I did get some clarity. That’s for sure. Unfortunately it is even worth then I thought. Or maybe not because I don’t have any comparison.

I can honestly say that I set aside enough time to sleep. Since my teenage years – when I first heard that seven to eight hours are recommended – I tried to be in bed at least seven hours. That led to lots of teasing from one sibling I shared the room with. So for decades I have – of course with exceptions – planned on sleeping seven or eight hours.

When I tracked my sleep my watch dutifully told me I had been in bed often times eight to nine hours. It also tells me that my average time of sleep is six hours and two minutes. And that I am awake for minimum three times – on good nights. On others it can be over ten times. Some nights I am only awake three or four times but then for hours. Like today.

hoping for sleep

Measurements for better sleep

To say I am exhausted is an understatement. And it is not that I haven’t been making attempts to make it easier for sleeping. Here is a quick list:

  • I do not drink green tea after noon – that was definitely one reason for restlessness
  • I sleep in a totally dark room
  • I had the tv removed from the bedroom – at the expanse of the husbands preferences
  • I sleep with ear plugs for 90 % of the time
  • I don’t have my phone near the bed anymore
  • I often times drink herbal tea before bed
  • I hung u some lavender close my pillow

The problem isn’t falling asleep. That is the easy part. The struggle is staying asleep. Or if waking up falling back to sleep.

One thing I could probably make another attempt in is not eating so late and shortly before going to bed. To the sacrifice that the husband and I will never be having dinner together or spending any time in the day together. As he is working easily until 8pm. So dinner is usually not on the table before 9pm. If I push hard a bit earlier but that puts stress on his daily routine. So I guess one party has too sacrifice… Who?

Hoping for sleep – what is next

Some weeks back I asked on Instagram for some advice to my problem. One friend suggested I try melatonin. I am usually not to eager to use supplements but here I caved. And while I believe I have seen a slight improvement at nights I take it as I tend to sleep longer chunks of time I am not sure. And I need to get a bit more serious about documenting it. But I am ready to ask my neurologist if she can prescribe some sort of sleeping pill. (Edit: she didnt because she supported the idea with my melatonin. But recommended I keep aslope watch and may want to get in touch with a sleep therapist.)

And maybe I try to bring up the issue with my physician again. Last time I did during routine consultation it was dismissed with “every one has trouble sleeping every now and then…” Well, thank you. I did went to a new doctor so I will give it another try. But I will come prepared with charts. I don’t want to be dismissed like that again.

Now, maybe you have some further ideas. Is there a good book out there about sleep? Ideally with some sort of scientific approach and not just like relaxe before sleep meditate and such? I have read somewhere that there are two sorts of sleep personalities. One sleeps without waking up ones. Others regularly have wake periods. That would be something I like to educate myself in more.

Are there podcasts about this topic? Do you have any other ideas on how to manage to fall asleep again, increase sleeping periods?

Another friend suggested high intensity training. It does sound awful to me. I hate sweating. And it does sound exhausting so much so that I don’t even want to get changed. But maybe there is some milder version?

Well, you see I am open to suggestions. Thanks for bearing with me at my nighty babbling. It is 4.49 am now and I will give it another try hoping for sleep to find me.

Happy sleeping

Tobia

14 thoughts on “Hoping for sleep

  1. Uff. Not sleeping is the worst. I know this from the rare nights that I have insomnia. I am usually a very good sleeper and when I have a night where I toss and turn, I feel for everyone who deals with this on a regular basis. I don’t envy you.

    I don’t have any advice really, although I have heard that physical exercise will tire your body and makes you sleep better (not sure how tired you feel from a regular day, but physical exhaustion is usually a sure way to get bodies to shut down for the night.)
    I know interrupted sleep is not ideal, but I do not know how to get your body to sleep through the night.
    I hate that your doctor dismissed your concerns by saying that everyone has trouble sleeping… WHAT???

    I hope you do find some answers.
    San recently posted…11: Five Things Friday Vol. 52My Profile

    1. Thank you San. Doing some sort of exercise surely wouldn’t hurt. I have. to admit I am lazy. But just a few minutes I downloaded a yoga app I wanted to check out. So maybe I will find something. For now I opt for longer walks a rides in the forest. But it’s not enough I know. I am so glad you have better sleep than I do.

  2. I sometimes struggle with this, and have not found a reliable answer. I do think I would try exercising (I don’t think it has to be hard and sweaty, but at least a walk, and perhaps some stretching/yoga. I would also revisit the idea of not eating so late. I don’t know who does the cooking in your house, but let’s assume it’s you. When my husband had a job where he worked late, we would eat closer to 6, and he would heat up his dinner when he got home. You could still sit with him while he eats and have some time together, and then hopefully go to bed soon after. Probably he would want to stay up for awhile, since he works late he might not be tired. When my husband was at that job, I would usually go to bed at about 10, and he would come up at about Midnight. But I get up at 5 or 6, and he could (and would) sleep until 8, sometimes even 9.

    I also never have trouble going to sleep…it’s the getting back to sleep after waking that I sometimes struggle with. Good luck!
    J recently posted…Get Out the VoteMy Profile

    1. Thank you for your words. It seems like your husband and mine are a bit more aligned with their schedules. I try to sleep until 7 but often enough am awake around 6. It is an idea I need to consider that I just eat earlier and then sit with him. I love eating in company though but maybe I can start by one or two days. I agree with the exercise. I did do 10 minutes of yoga last night and maybe I can make that a routine too. We’ll see

  3. Oh, I hope you feel asleep after writing this! Sleep issues are really terrible. I have my own issues- not as bad as yours- but some nights I can’t sleep. I think it’s my own fault though because I often drink iced tea (black tea) late in the day- but sometimes I do that and sleep just fine, so I’m not sure that’s the reason. I wish I had some great advice for you, but I don’t. I would definitely try to discuss it again with a different doctor- they shouldn’t brush it off so casually. I’m glad you’re putting this on the blog- hopefully people will have some good ideas for you!

    1. Thank you Jenny. I admit I was a bit hesitant to upload the sleeping patterns but I really do needed to vent and also who know maybe someone with an similar issue can point me in the right direction.

  4. Oh Tobia. I am so, so sorry. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make this all go away for you.
    I went through 2-3 months of insomnia last fall/early winter and it was awful. I felt like I was going crazy. Like you, I could get to sleep, but then I would wake up at 2 or 3 am and not be able to fall back to sleep.
    It caused a huge spiral for me – I started feeling very anxious during the day (probably about how the coming night would go) and then also I was always EXHAUSTED. I figure I was averaging 3-4 hours of sleep many nights.
    I’ve always had some issues with sleep – especially around the full moon and changes in seasons/light, but this was different.
    I don’t know exactly what helped me out of that rut. I spoke with my doctor and went on an SSRI for about 6 weeks but had a terrible reaction and went off/stayed off it…but it did seem to help with my sleep and it never was as bad again.
    I’ve found cannabis oils have helped stabilize my mood and I suspect my sleep patterns as well. It could be worth a try?

    1. Thank you Elisabeth for your kind words. I really dont wish insomnia to anyone. Int is so annoying. I try to find the beauty in it like the shadow image on the top of this post. Canabis oils is something I could look into. Thank you. I had to google SSRI I guess those things need to be prescribed. I will need to schedule an appointment with a doctor to look more closely about what is going on. I am glad I mentioned it at my neurologists and she didn’t dismiss it but took it serious.

  5. I’m so sorry, this really does sound awful.

    I don’t know if this is helpful or not, but sometimes I have trouble falling asleep and there are times when I feel like I get into the “habit” of not being able to fall asleep. I’ve never tried melatonin or sleep meds, but I do have a collection of mediation podcasts and a hypnosis program my phone that I listen to on my airpods on nights when I can’t sleep or if I wake up during the night and can’t get back to sleep. I think that it works because listening to the voices forces my brain to switch off and (sorry) but the audio is a bit boring so it makes me drowsy. After a few nights of listening to the podcasts it’s like I relearn how to sleep. I’m sure that there are other programs out there, but the podcasts are from Meditation Oasis and the hypnosis audio is I Can Make You Sleep by Paul McKenna. Good luck!
    Beckett @ Birchwood Pie recently posted…Diary of Kindergartener: The 5th Annual Weekly Eats RoundupMy Profile

    1. Thank you Beckett. I will check it out and give it a try. My neurologist also suggested some sort of white noise music. I know studies say that it can work. I am just not used to falling asleep with music on. Its probably just something I need to try. I appreciate your comment.

  6. Insomnia is terrible, I am so sorry it plagues you. As a fellow (occasional) insomniac, I wish I had more advice for you, but I don’t. I wrote about some of my get-to-sleep tactics here: https://lifeofadoctorswife.wordpress.com/2020/01/30/techniques-for-falling-to-sleep-and-or-getting-back-to-sleep-in-the-middle-of-the-night/ But I think the biggest, most helpful thing I’ve ever heard is something Nicole from GirlinaBoyHouse said/wrote once about how you are getting rest even if you aren’t asleep. For me, sometimes I stress so much about the sleep I am missing, and that just makes the problem worse. So if I can remind myself that it’s okay if I am not sleeping, I am still getting REST, then that helps soothe me a little. (I have tried this technique with my daughter, who is sadly a terrible sleeper, and I think it soothes her as well.) I don’t know if it necessarily helps me get back to sleep, but it definitely reduces my anxiety level.

    Another thing that helps me — and obviously, your results may vary! — is having my Kindle paperwhite by my bed. That way, I can stay in bed, not turn on any lights (which wakes me up further and wakes up my husband), and still feel like I’m doing something “productive.” And reading usually helps me fall asleep.

    Melatonin has been a godsend for my daughter. But it only helps me fall asleep, it doesn’t help me stay asleep. Benadryl is the only thing that knocks me out for most of the night, and I try only to take it when absolutely necessary.

    This is all to say, I empathize SO DEEPLY.
    Suzanne recently posted…Ask Me Anything Part 1: Books + Reading QuestionsMy Profile

    1. Thank you thank you Suzanne. I will read. that article later. I had no confirmation but my instincts told me that I should jsz stay in bed and close my eyes to at least get some sort of rest. And when I manage to focus on that and maybe of some breathing I definitely dial down the anxiety. And often times do fall asleep to. But it is such a spiral. The husband said that in the nights I take melatonin my sleep is a bit more peaceful and I am sleeping deeper. So I guess out helps somewhat. Thank you for the kind words. I am sorry you also have phases of insomnia and that your daughter has trouble sleeping as well. Good sleep so underrated.

  7. This has to be so frustrating! And you seem to be doing all of the healthy sleep habits that you should be doing. I generally have more trouble falling asleep rather than waking up and not being able to go back to sleep, so all of my sleep health habits are related to that. It might be helpful to get up from bed and go read on the couch or somewhere else in your home until you’re sleepy again and then try going back to bed. I heard about that trick from another blogger who was having a lot of sleep issues at one point. Here’s hoping you find something that works for you!

    1. Thank you Stephany. I have come across that tip during my research too. I have tried a few nights but to ne honest the. bed is so warm and comfy specially during the colder month. But it is an option I will keep in mind and do more often.

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