Do I have a sleep problem?

amathus

amathus

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2010
Messages
16,324
Location
goodness knows!
#1
Do I have a sleep problem?

If you experience problems with your sleep, then it is likely that you will recognise many of the feelings, physical symptoms, thoughts and behaviour patterns described below

Feelings

Tense
Irritable
Stressed
Worried

Physical Symptoms

Tired / Exhausted
Restless
Lacking energy
Poor concentration
Disturbed sleep

Thoughts

I'm never going to get enough sleep
I'm bound to have a terrible day tomorrow
I'll be awake all night
I will fall asleep at work and get in trouble

Behaviour Patterns

Trying to catch up on sleep during the day
Lying awake in bed at night
Frequently checking the clock during the night


Sleep problems can be broadly categorised into three types:

Problems getting to sleep - lying awake and not being able to fall asleep.
Problems staying asleep, for example waking up early in the morning.
Poor quality sleep - not feeling refreshed by the sleep you do get.



Relaxation helps: Here are one or two exercises - they are specifically designed to help you to relax. However, you should stop the exercise if at any time you begin to experience discomfort or pain.

Controlled breathing

This simple technique involves focusing on and slowing down our breathing patterns. Many people find this simple exercise very relaxing. It can be particularly helpful for those who feel dizzy or light headed when they feel worried or stressed. This sometimes happens because people's breathing changes and gets quicker when they feel distressed.
This can be an uncomfortable and unpleasant experience. It can make people even more on edge, and a vicious cycle can occur. Learning controlled breathing exercises can help you to manage these feelings more effectively. It can also help to give your mind and body a chance to calm down.
Remember, you can use this exercise to help you relax at any time. You could even use it to help you get off to sleep. However, it is particularly useful if you ever feel light-headed, dizzy or faint.


Beginning

Get into a comfortable position.

Middle

Work out a stable breathing rhythm. Perhaps try to breathe in for three seconds, hold this breathe for two seconds, and then breathe out for three seconds. It can be helpful to count as you do this (e.g. IN: 1-2-3, HOLD: 1-2, OUT: 1-2-3, HOLD: 1-2).

Ending

Repeat this action for a few minutes. You should soon begin to feel more relaxed. If you were feeling dizzy then this should also get better after a few minutes.
Muscular relaxation

Tension often builds up when we feel upset or stressed. These symptoms can be painful and can cause anxiety in themselves. Muscular relaxation exercises can help you to control such unpleasant symptoms. They can reduce physical tension and help you to relax in general.
During this exercise you have to tense and then relax different muscles in your body. You should focus on the feelings that you experience whilst doing this. With practice you will then be more able to recognise and respond to the onset of tension.

You can work through as many muscle groups as you like. Don't feel that you have to cover every muscle in your whole body. It can be helpful to stick to the same muscle groups each time you practice. That way you can get into a routine which you can easily remember. If you practice this nearly every day you will probably notice an improvement after a couple of weeks.

Beginning

Find somewhere comfortable and quiet where you won't be interrupted. You can either sit or lie down to practice this exercise. Begin by focusing on your breathing. Try to have a slow and comfortable pace. You could use the controlled breathing technique described earlier. Do this for a few minutes to prepare for the muscular relaxation exercise.

Middle

Try to tense each muscle group for around five seconds. Don't tense the muscle too tight. Focus on the sensations that this brings. Then relax your muscles for a similar length of time, and again, focus on how this feels. Then move onto the next muscle group. Try to remember to keep your breathing at a comfortable pace throughout. Below are some suggestions of muscle groups that you may wish to work through:
Legs - point your toes and tense your muscles as if you were trying to stand up.
Stomach - tense your stomach muscles.
Arms - make fists and tense your muscles as if you were trying to lift something.
Shoulders - shrug your shoulders. Lift them up towards your ears.
Face - make a frowning expression. Squeeze your eyes shut and screw up your nose. Clench your teeth.

Ending

It can be helpful to spend a few minutes just lying quietly in a relaxed state. See if you can notice any tension in your body and try to relax it. Otherwise, just let the tension be. If your mind wanders, try to bring your concentration back to your breathing.
Finally, count down silently and slowly: 5-4�3�2�1-0, and come out of the relaxation in your own time. See if it's possible to carry that relaxed feeling into whatever you do next.

(taken from www.moodjuice.scot.nhs.uk)
 
Last edited:
pepecat

pepecat

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2010
Messages
13,647
Location
middle earth
#2
The last two times i've seen psychiatrists they've both been obsessed about sleep - how is your sleep, difficulty getting to sleep, how much sleep do you get.... They've never been like that before.

My sleep goes in cycles - i tend to sleep well for a few weeks, then sleep really badly for a few weeks, then ok for a few weeks..... and so on. It's been like that for ages.
 
amathus

amathus

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2010
Messages
16,324
Location
goodness knows!
#3
I would say that for the past six years or so my sleep pattern has been very erratic.
I usually wake up any time from 2am to 4am and often I can be at my most productive time during the 24 hour period.
If I sleep until 6am or thereabouts I feel as though I've had a 'lie-in', and mostly get into a panic because I'm not up... there's nothing in particular that I have to get up for.. and that's the joke about sleep for me.:sleepy2:

amathus.
 
N

natalie

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
10,283
#4
Since I have been on 25ml dose of medication, I have noticed that over the bulk of the previous year, and into this one, I have slept very well. Having my usual 7 or 8 hours sleep. However, all of the sudden today, and I knew from yesterday, from over the week, I have had pain in my leg, I knew the cause, from the colder, wet weather, and the slight pain and stiffness about my lower leg woke me up about 4.30am. I thought on that note I might as well be up and about early, thinking I get a workout done, forgot that my mother's unwell with a cold at the moment (sleeping downstairs) so I thought rats, can't do that. My leg now is not as painfully stiff, slightly today, as it once was today. It's feeling much easier.


So I'll just half hope, that tomorrow, I can sleep right through until 8/9am.


As I say, I can usually sleep very well, it's just that I had slight leg pain about me with stiffness to wake me up earlier this morning. The leg is much much better now.



Natalie.
 
Kerome

Kerome

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
12,734
Location
Europe
#5
I often sleep very erratically at the moment, I go to sleep at ten, wake up at one, then go back to sleep around 3.30 and sleep again till seven, so getting five or six hours sleep at most. When I take my lorazepam I sleep better, 2 mg will put me under for most of the night.
 
N

natalie

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
10,283
#6
Hi all,


I had a very good night of sleep, apart from up once, very briefly, and slept right through until 6.30am. I was quite happily suprised by that. Probably, I had thought today was Wednesday, only it's Tuesday, making me think, I had volunteering to get to, that will be tomorrow. Probably will be up hopefully, at the same time.


i think, having done even 5 or 10 mins of working out, warming up and stretching, had helped me to sleep better.
 
O

oreocat

Guest
#7
Thank you for the helpful info :) One thing that really helps my sleep rhythm is eating first thing when I wake up. It helps to get my circadian rhythm synchronized for waking up at a certain time.
 
Kickingthefog

Kickingthefog

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2017
Messages
73
Location
NC
#8
I found that medication plus excercise is the best thing for me as far as sleep goes.
 
Lucky Tia

Lucky Tia

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2017
Messages
151
Location
Moon
#9
I had sleeping issues since I was 15. Back then I didn't know what to do about it. I just never felt relaxed even when I slept, I never took a break. But now I've been listening to meditations, self hypnosis vids, and relaxing music online which helps a lot.
It's been 6 years but I still have sleeping problems. I've been waking up each time I turn and toss around then I go back to sleep and when I wake up I feel tired.
However, I realized that when I get enough sleeping hours by going to bed early everyday at the same time while listening to meditations within like a few days I felt energized I didn't need to sleep for so long anymore it was amazing only for my routine to be ruined by one night that I was too anxious and depressed to sleep and for the next few days or week I was ruined and I had to shift my sleeping time. It's like a cycle that keeps happening.
But when I'm really exhausted I sleep within a second, so it's best to hit that gym or that dance floor lol.
 
C

CF

New member
Joined
Aug 13, 2018
Messages
4
#11
Maybe Change in diet can help your problems. Turns out, the vitamin B6 found in food such as poultry, fish, chickpeas, and bananas helps your body process tryptophan and turn it into sleep-inducing serotonin faster.