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ihavereturned's avatar

Has anyone ever struggled with insomnia? If so how did you overcome it?

Asked by ihavereturned (698points) December 20th, 2019

The past few years have been stressful for me. Luckily the events that made them stressful have passed, but my sleeping issues have not. Currently it is almost 4am and I’m finding it hard to sleep.

Recently I’ve learned that I live in my head more than others. I did a Myers Briggs test and discovered im an INTP. I know many believe the MB test to be BS but I find it as very accurate in describing how I think. I overthink a lot of things, and I live in my head.

I’ve had some periods of heavy marijuana use, I felt like there were many positive effects for someone like me, like reduced anxiety, and an appreciation for the calmness and beauty of a zen mindset, but it just made me live even more in my head over time.

For most of my life I was pretty anxious (I’m in my 20s). I grew up with many worries about money, since my parents had money problems, but I worked hard to get into a good school and get a good job. Thankfully, money is no longer a worry.

This is currently my greatest struggle in my life. How can I get out of my head and relax? I feel addicted to thinking and have a hard time just chilling. I have so much I want to do but my sleep issues have been getting in the way of everything.

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21 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

It might help if you stopped forcing yourself to bend to your control. The human body has a natural rhythm that you shouldn’t ignore. If you can’t sleep then don’t force it. Read a book or watch a funny video on YouTube. Like cats or BBQ.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m not a doctor, but here are some things to try.

Nap when you can and catch up on sleep. This won’t cure insomnia, but it will at least give you more sleep.

I’ve read to try pushing your sleep time forward. You’d have to do it during non-workdays in a row. If you fall asleep at 2 in the morning, instead you keep yourself awake until 5am, and then 8am, and so on until you get to the desired time in the evening to fall asleep. Even if it works, I don’t know how long it will stick. If your circadian rhythm is to be nocturnal you are fighting against nature.

This might sound like a contradiction, but make sure your room is dark and quiet. Wear a mask over your eyes if you can’t make the room dark.

Quit caffeine if you use it. You have to taper down, don’t quit cold turkey. Do it over several days, preferably not on a work day. You will get headaches and feel like crap. You likely will be very sleepy throughout the day. You will spend weeks wanting caffeine even when you’re physically not addicted anymore.

Stop self medicating! No more MJ, no alcohol, no more altering your mood with drugs.

Avoid things that wind you up. Do you watch or listen to politics every day? Stop doing it. Are you on Facebook or fluther arguing? Put it away at night.

I guess I go through spells of insomnia, but I never call it that. I just try to make sure I get enough sleep.

josie's avatar

Read this guy’s book before you take pills
Helpful info

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Exercise can help but not too close to your bedtime.
I used to read a very boring book like “The House of the Seven Gables” It worked.
Chamomile tea helps me relax too.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I have what’s called maintenance insomnia. I have no trouble falling asleep, but I can’t stay asleep. Once I get to the dream portion of sleep, I tend to wake up, meaning I average only 6 hours every night. It’s enough to manage, but I’m dragging all day long. I live with anxiety, so my dreams are full of it, and that wakes me up. I was seeing a sleep psychologist for the problem, and that helped a lot. Perhaps the most important thing she told me was to stop worrying about how much sleep I was getting. Just get the sleep that came. Eventually, you will sleep a full night, she said. She’s right. These days with my new attitude about it, I sleep only 6 hours every once in a while, and the next night I will sleep fully 7 or 8 and feel great. I average 7 now, and it’s a very good amount.

There is one bit I will strongly suggest: take no drugs for sleep. They don’t work. I’m talking about sleeping pills. I have no idea if CBD oil will help with sleep. The type of sleep that a body gets from sleeping pills is not the same as normal sleep at all. Don’t take sleeping pills.

Exercise early in the day is helpful. I walk in the mornings, and it helps.

Many sleep psychologists say not to nap. Try to get your sleep at night.

You mentioned anxiety. The best thing for that is therapy. I live with anxiety, and therapy is the best thing to help me change my mindset. There are medicines, but some of them are highly addictive.

I do limit my caffeine intake. I drink tea instead of coffee, which has less than half the caffeine. I don’t drink tea after 2PM.

Best of luck to you.

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ihavereturned's avatar

Thanks for the advice, everyone.

@JLeslie I’ve done that a few times but I just end up falling back into my old sleep patterns. But I should definitely stop with the politics. I’m addicted!

@RedDeerGuy1 I do tend to try and control things too much. I’ll try to stop.

@josie Thanks for the link! I actually heard the guy speak in person once before I had sleep issues. I should have taken advantage of the moment lol.

@lucillelucillelucille I’ll look into the book and the tea.

@Hawaii_Jake Do you fix your wakeup time? or do you sleep until you feel refreshed? Currently i have no responsibilities until I start my new job in 2 months lol

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@ihavereturned I don’t use an alarm clock. Some nights I sleep 6 hours. Other nights it’s 7 or 8 or 8.5. I just wake up when I’m done.

Lonelyheart807's avatar

Maybe once a week, I have a night when I struggle to get to sleep and I don’t know why. I try to follow some rules. By 11:00, no more political shows. Something light…the Simpsons, Seinfeld, etc. By 12:30, the TV goes off. Sometimes I read a little, but not too much. And I budget my phone time. (I’m a night owl, by the way.)
I drink caffeine, but nothing after lunch (usually).

ihavereturned's avatar

My sleep is pretty crazy if left alone. I will naturally sleep at 7am and wake up in the afternoon. This makes my life pretty difficult if I want to have plans. I’ve heard I should fix my wake up time so I will naturally sleep in a more normal time. This is probably because of years of bad habits and now they’re catching up with me. I’ll try and take everyones suggestions and see what happens. Thanks!

PaisleyFaye's avatar

I feel that when we await for the Sandman to come through, relaxing in bed before we drift off can be a challenge alone, especially once sleep is broken, it makes me want to sleep more,ugh!! Try a warm shower then take melatonin to assist you, no worries because they are safe to take, you have suffered with insomnia for a while now, here’s a suggestion but you may not like it, if you have a TV in your bedroom, replace it with an Aquarium, they are beautiful, calming to the mind and eyes and also relaxing. I hope this helps some.

kritiper's avatar

Get up and make yourself two turkey sandwiches with a big glass of milk.

hosa's avatar

wtf? Nobody thinks the Briggs test is BS. HE is a real phsycologist

longgone's avatar

Yes, I have. I overcame it by working on some healthier practices in therapy. Then, I resigned myself to the fact that my “sleep runway” is about two hours long. This means that for two hours before I want to be asleep, I can’t do anything goal-oriented. No brushing my teeth or feeding the dog. No arguing on Fluther. No chores. No messages to family or friends. Only low-key entertainment such as reading, TV, music, or meditation. That’s been a big change and it’s often difficult to stay on track, but my sleep is much calmer and more refreshing.

@hosa Who is a real psychologist? Of the mother-daughter duo who created the MBTI, neither one had studied psychology. I think it was agriculture and politics that they studied. And absolutely, psychologists today consider that test pseudoscience. Because it’s been proven to be unreliable, because it has no predictive value, and because there are more extensive models of personality that measure interesting facets the MBTI doesn’t take into account.

hosa's avatar

@longgone Alrighty thennnn… but i find it accurate enough

ihavereturned's avatar

The reason I don’t dismiss MBTI completely is because it has given accurate results for many people and organizations. For example, Ray Dalios firm Bridgewater does an MBTI test for every new employee.

ihavereturned's avatar

Thanks longgone for the answer

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Harper1234's avatar

Count back from 1,000

mightym1998's avatar

Take flu capsules. They make me sleep…

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