Insomnia is thought to regularly affect around one in every three people in the UK. There are lots of standard lists on the internet on how to solve it (regular going to sleep/waking up times etc.), but does anyone have any specific tips as to what helps, and how to deal with the after effects the day after?
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Thanks for sharing your experiences and tips and tricks so far. I just came across this article today by the fantastic Oliver Burkeman on a new technique for tackling insomnia Shuffle your thoughts and sleep - I will try it out - but hopefully not tonight ;)
Written 4 years ago1
For me, the trick is to avoid the following cycle:
1. You look at the clock and think "omg, I'm only going to get n hours of sleep"
2. This stresses you out, so it is even harder to fall asleep
3. It gets one hour later and the stress gets worse
4. Decrement n by one and repeat Steps 1 to 4
The way I break this cycle is to convince myself that lying in bed with my eyes closed is almost as good as sleeping. Whether or not this is true is beside the point -- it just takes down the stress levels. The second thing I tell myself -- which I've found to be pretty true -- is that you can get stuff done the next day even if you've gotten little or no sleep. What I find is that following a night of little sleep, I can actually focus better sometimes. My mind only has enough energy to focus on one thing (rather than being able to wander off on lots of things) so I can get one thing done at a time. To be sure I wouldn't want to be operating heavy machinery, but I can write a good article or perform a good analysis on very little sleep.
Written 4 years ago3
I don't know if my situation qualifies as insomnia, but I often wake up around 3am - 4am and then have a hard time fall back to sleep. This typically happens when I am under stress. I used to try to go back to sleep knowing that I will suffer through the day if I don't get enough sleep. But of course, more I try, more I would not fall back asleep.
Several years back, I decided I will just get up and start to do something - read, work, get on the elliptical, whatever. For me, at least, this helped me quite a bit. Yes, I would suffer the following day, but I figured I would suffer anyways spending several hours in the bed trying to fall back to sleep, so might as well get something done.
I now have less number of interrupted sleep. I certainly don't have the professional opinion as to why, but a personal theory is that one big contributor to my condition was the fear (and stress) of the condition itself, and now it went away.
I don't know how applicable this is to you, but hope it helps.
Written 4 years ago1