A Guide To Better Sleep

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posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 05:20 AM
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A Guide To Better Sleep



If you have ever suffered from insomnia or simply cannot seem to experience a decent sleep when you head off to bed, hopefully this thread will help you. I am no expert on sleep deprivation but I have done some research into the subject and used to suffer from insomnia a few years back. These days, I generally manage to have a decent stable sleep. There is no secret or fail-proof formula, but I believe the following information can assist the average person overcome their sleep deprivation. I have divided the thread into different sections to make it easier to navigate through. Any suggestions on how to achieve a better sleep are welcomed.


Psychological

Probably the hardest aspect of trying to fall asleep. The goal when trying to get to sleep is to keep a clear mind, one that is at ease and not over-stimulated. This is tough for many people as lots of thoughts and memories seem to run through their minds when they attempt to go to sleep. Other people struggle because various problems about their lives are running through their mind – problems which they feel cannot be ignored for the time being.

A good method I have found is to be mindful; accept and acknowledge your thoughts but don't let them dominate your mind. If you had an eventful day and are running through the experiences you had constantly, recognise that your mind is stimulated and try to calm down and relax. If you are worrying about your family's finances or any debts owing, worrying about them now is not going to fix the problems you face. In fact, depriving yourself of sleep will only make it harder to cope with the next day.

Most importantly, realise that between the time you are meant to sleep and wake up, it is very unlikely that you will find a solution to the problems flooding your mind. In fact, you can only benefit yourself by achieving a decent sleep which will allow you to cope and deal with the problems you face more easily the next day.


Physical

The aim here is to have your body feel tired and in need of rest. You should not be physically hurting or struggling to breathe. Nothing excessive is necessary, just try to do some exercise during the day (at least 30 minutes if you can). Some mild physical work such as rearranging the furniture or cleaning your room is better than nothing at all. Some people find it tough to find the time or motivate themselves to do physically demanding activities (I am one of them). My best advice is to convince yourself that some things in life need to be done and this is one of them. When you are lying in bed and your body takes extreme comfort in the fact that you are currently inactive, you will feel a lot better.


Physiological

Be aware of your body's processes and functions. Don't eat or drink a lot before heading to bed (I recommend nothing for at least 2 hours before heading off) as your bladder or bowls might cause you to wake up in the middle of the night, disrupting your sleep. It can be tough, especially in hot weather, not to drink before you head off to bed, but you are better off consuming a large proportion (but nothing excessive) of water 3-4 hours before you plan to head off to bed so that your body stays hydrated throughout your rest.


External Factors

The hardest aspect to control is that of external factors. We cannot control that barking dog next door, or that loud couple across the street, or that annoying train at the nearby station. What we can do is accept that these things are occurring and not allow them to interfere with our desire to fall asleep. Part of being kept awake by a noise is actively listening to the stimuli and permitting this stimuli to dominate our thoughts. Rather acknowledge that an external noise is occurring but concentrate on your own breathing – not the sound of the air coming out of your nose, but rather the feeling of the air itself passing in and out of your lungs and entering and leaving your body. Take away the power of external stimuli to disrupt you, and own your right to have a good sleep.


In conclusion (TLDR)

Don't consume food or liquid at least two hours before bedtime if you can help it. When you head off to bed, it is best to be physically as well as mentally tired. Allow your body to get into a comfortable position where the inactivity feels pleasant and sustainable. Once in bed, acknowledge and accept your surroundings. Remind yourself that you are aware of the problems going on in your life and the stress they are causing. Convince yourself that you are deserving of a decent sleep and obtaining this will help you out in many ways the next day. Concentrate on your breathing and allow the sensations of peace and serenity to resonate throughout your body.

edit on 19/6/2012 by Dark Ghost because: formatting




posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 05:25 AM
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I have two plans :

1: stay awake for 4-5 days and then I hit the sack and it feels so good. Sadly, this is not conducive to an effective life style.

2: blitzed drunk. Sadly, this is not conducive to an effective lifestyle.

I've tried all the things you state. I'm just wired like a faulty clock, going off at all the wrong times.

so there is only the one alternative. Stay awake. Nothing like a case of mad hallucinations caused by sleep deprivation to make you nod off and have nightmares!

Ahh who'd be me..
May no one else ever suffer the terminal insomnia I do.

cheers I hope your thread helps someone!!




posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 05:42 AM
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reply to post by mainidh
 


I'm sorry to hear about your condition. Have you tried meditation before heading off to bed? I don't mean lite meditation once in bed, but rather formal mediation for 30-60 minutes before getting into bed. This can really help clear the mind and put the body at ease.
edit on 19/6/2012 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 06:03 AM
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Originally posted by Dark Ghost
reply to post by mainidh
 


I'm sorry to hear about your condition. Have you tried meditation before heading off to bed? I don't mean lite meditation once in bed, but rather formal mediation for 30-60 minutes before getting into bed. This can really help clear the mind and put the body at ease.
edit on 19/6/2012 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)


I have, even gone as far as stereo binaural beats. I find it does reduce my mental activity, but ultimately I'm wired for night. My body clock just fails during the day and night time is when I think.

For whatever reason I am an opposite of most people in terms of sleep. I prefer night work to day work, I enjoy night over day. Ahh but the world isn't meant to resolve itself for me, so I have to persevere.

Even tried the melatonin that was mentioned in another thread, many years ago. Found it had no benefit, once my brain ticks over it won't stop.

One thing I've learned however is to not fight it. It is what it is. Like anything in life, if you struggle with it you only give it power. So I let it happen, sleep comes of it's own accord.

It's funny, I was talking with someone the other day, and they mentioned that I often talk about being completely sleep deprived yet they would never have noticed it. Makes me wonder just what difference it would make should I actually have a decent hygienic sleep pattern.

It takes all sorts I guess, if not me then someone else.. we're strange creatures us humans. So much to go wrong and yet we somehow make it through...



posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 07:10 AM
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I can relate for the last 10 years I have been effected with this horrible sleep proplem.
I used to get up at 2:30 in the morn to be out of the house at 3:30 for work and did it for so long
that when 2:30 am comes around I am up thinking about every little detail in my life thats bothering me or running the whole day before or ahead in my mind. I toss and turn most of the entire night.
If I am lucky I get one or two days of the week that I manage enough sleep but they are far and few between.
I have been trying to make sure my bedroom is dark and cool or even on the cold side in the summer that gets expensive ..but it helps a bit.
I was prescribed some sleep pills (ambien)by my doctor but
that just gave me a zombie like feeling the next day and feeling horrible so I took to otc meds such as Benedryl which gets me to sleep but doesn't keep me sleeping through. Everything you mentioned in your thead I feel relates to me and I feel bad for anyone who has to deal with this also. It's a emormous weight on my shoulders and I see how my body/mind deals with this and it scares me.



posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 07:28 AM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

Be tested for sleep apnea...
I worked with the clinical trials for several sleep meds, and we used to screen our perspective patients by making them do a baseline study. About 90% of the patients who believed they suffered from Insomnia, actually had Sleep Apnea.

Its not uncommon for someone with Apnea to float between stage one sleep and awake for hours, and truly believe they have been awake the entire time. Each time they dose off, they choke, their O2 drops, and since there is no lighter stage of sleep then stage one, they wake up. Rinse and repeat, up to once every 30 second, sometimes for hours, until the person somehow manages to get into stage two sleep.

BTW... This is exactly why sleep aids now have warnings on them to have a sleep study done before the Dr agrees to write such a prescription. People were self-diagnosing sleep problems, saying they had insomnia when they didn't, then doping their brain to stay asleep despite low O2 levels.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 08:24 AM
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reply to post by starlitestarbrite
 


I'm sorry to hear of your terrible sleeping problems. The effects of sleep deprivation can be very devastating on your mental health and I sympathise with your circumstances. Hopefully somebody in this thread can make a suggestion to help you overcome these issues.

----

reply to post by defcon5
 


That is very interesting information. I didn't realise Sleep Apnea was so widespread. Sounds like an awful cycle to be caught up in.



posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 08:31 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 


I cannot seem to get past six hours of sleep, my norm nowadays is usually five. I guess it's just the way I'm wired as well, as I do practice many of the tecniques you posted.

Once every two to three weeks though, I'll sleep ten to twelve hours on the weekend and feel like kaka from to much sleep. Oh, the body may be refreshed but my mind will be fuzzy all day.



posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 09:43 AM
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Originally posted by defcon5
The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

Be tested for sleep apnea...
I worked with the clinical trials for several sleep meds, and we used to screen our perspective patients by making them do a baseline study. About 90% of the patients who believed they suffered from Insomnia, actually had Sleep Apnea.

Its not uncommon for someone with Apnea to float between stage one sleep and awake for hours, and truly believe they have been awake the entire time. Each time they dose off, they choke, their O2 drops, and since there is no lighter stage of sleep then stage one, they wake up. Rinse and repeat, up to once every 30 second, sometimes for hours, until the person somehow manages to get into stage two sleep.

BTW... This is exactly why sleep aids now have warnings on them to have a sleep study done before the Dr agrees to write such a prescription. People were self-diagnosing sleep problems, saying they had insomnia when they didn't, then doping their brain to stay asleep despite low O2 levels.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.


Another aspect in my opinion is that sleep Apnea is usually caused by being over weight. Meds are so unnecessary but they have become an easy replacement for eating healthy and good old fashioned exercise. To many meds in my opinion are being prescribe for conditions that are side effects of something bigger or worse yet for conditions that are fabricated by pharmaceutical companies. Another discussion for another time. I digress. Sending out positive vibes!



posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 03:16 PM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 


Very nice thread! I enjoyed it much. I can't stress enough how important the psychological aspect of getting to sleep is. I 'suffer' from what is termed psychophysiological insomnia. The closer it gets towards 'bed time' the more anxious I get about the act of sleeping. When I lay in bed, sometimes I worry that I won't get enough sleep and that worrying keeps me up. Then I worry about my worrying keeping me up. It's a crazy cycle.

I agree the best thing you can do is just let go. I also use melatonin but sometimes I just have to tell myself. "Alright, I've had plenty of all-nighters and I was fine the next day. If I lose some sleep, oh well."

It doesn't effect me much any more but if I have an important meeting early in the morning the next day, I worry a lot. It doesn't help that I normally go to bed about 5 or 6 AM either, because if I do have to get up early, my body is not used to going to bed early and I stay up for hours. Maybe this guide will encourage me to get on a better schedule. I'm sure my circadian cycle would appreciate it.



posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 03:21 PM
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my problem is that i do get a good 8 hours sleep but i always feel sooo tired when i wake up. any thoughts?



posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 03:37 PM
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reply to post by DaveNorris
 


I'm not trying to hijack the OP's thread but I thought I'd offer my thoughts since I have experienced this (and still do) first-hand.

1. Your may need a new bed or pillow.
2. You may be stressed and not getting a deep enough sleep (you could try listening to some delta waves before sleep [do not do this if you suffer from seizures]).
3. If you have a poor diet, eat before bed, or are eating something you are allergic too (such as lactose or gluten), you can have your body working microscopically-hard as you sleep.
4. You could also suffer from Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, both which are remedied easily by living a healthy lifestyle (i.e. eating healthy, being stress free, and getting exercise each day.)

Basically, following the things in the OP's guide should help with that.



posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 03:53 PM
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reply to post by DaveNorris
 


Yes, you are sleeping too much. That always makes you tired!

I don't either know or understand why people have problems going to sleep. I am being honest there so I really cannot help. Personally I usually go to bed thinking about one of my programming problems. As the other half would tell you I am gone in 60 seconds like the film and 7 hours later I wake up.

No amount of wind, rain, thunder, cold, cats, trains, or anything else will wake me. Yet I have sleep apnoea - I can stop for minutes at a time I am told - so I don't agree that this causes one to be waking every thirty seconds. Half the problem with so many people is that they breathe way too much anyway. O2 is disgusting stuff that should be taken in moderation. Whilst it is needed to survive it causes cancer and other nasties. Best to use as little as possible.

My normal breathing rate is half nearly everyone I know, and my partner says I sleep with the covers over my head - thus re-breathing - high CO2.



posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 04:55 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


Originally posted by TRGreer
Another aspect in my opinion is that sleep Apnea is usually caused by being over weight. Meds are so unnecessary but they have become an easy replacement for eating healthy and good old fashioned exercise.

Weight can be a contributing factor to having Apnea, but make no mistake, its only one factor. I've seen folks who are thin as a rail have Apnea just as bad as folks who are grossly overweight. Hereditary structure of the jaw/chin, airway, size of structures in the airway (tongue, tonsils, etc...), among other physical factors. Taking of various depressants or relaxants, Alcohol being one of the worst. Alcohol also causes spontaneous arousals throughout the night, besides causing/worsening Apnea.


Originally posted by DaveNorris
my problem is that i do get a good 8 hours sleep but i always feel sooo tired when i wake up. any thoughts?

You can sleep 24 hours around the clock, but if you do not get the required amount of REM sleep, you will still feel tired regardless of the amount of sleep that you have gotten. The only way to tell what is fragmenting your REM sleep is to have a sleep study done. Normal humans are required to get roughly (varies some with age) 25% of the night in REM sleep. This REM should be in three segments, normally around 12:00, 3:00, and 5:00-6:00. This is set by your circadian rhythm, which in turn is set by the Sun.


Originally posted by ErroneousDylan
4. You could also suffer from Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, both which are remedied easily by living a healthy lifestyle (i.e. eating healthy, being stress free, and getting exercise each day.)

Doctors are still in disagreement as to whether or not Fibromyalgia even exists as a disease, or if its a symptom of something else. What has been found though it that lack of REM sleep causes enhancement of pain. So sleep problems will at the very least enhance Fibromyalgia; However, don't be surprised to see it listed as the root cause in the coming years. I know the relationship is currently being researched.


Originally posted by PuterMan
No amount of wind, rain, thunder, cold, cats, trains, or anything else will wake me. Yet I have sleep apnoea - I can stop for minutes at a time I am told - so I don't agree that this causes one to be waking every thirty seconds.

I said that 90% of the people we tested with complaints of Insomnia actually had Sleep Apnea, not that 90% of people with Sleep Apnea report that they have Insomnia. That is a subtle, yet important distinction.

It depends on how badly you have it. People have varying degrees of severity of their Apnea. Some folks only have it in certain sleep stages or body positions, others only have it when something causes their muscles to relax beyond a certain point (sleep deprivation, taking a relaxant or depressant, after working hard, etc.), some have additional underlying breathing disorders, etc... As it gets worse, and goes untreated, you will have it with increasing frequency under more circumstances.

Cpap machines, one of the treatments for Apnea, have to be custom set to each individual patient for this exact reason. If everyone was the same, we would just have a standard set of Cpap settings, and would not have to titrate patients to a custom setting.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 10:55 PM
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I usually have absolutely no trouble getting to sleep, as I have discovered my own thing.

1. Have cigarette.
2. Lay down.
3. Listen to old archived Coast to Coast AM shows on my iPod (preferably from the Art Bell era)

It's not that the C2C shows are boring, quite the opposite in most cases. But something about talk radio is so relaxing.



posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 11:41 PM
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Psychological

Most importantly, realise that between the time you are meant to sleep and wake up, it is very unlikely that you will find a solution to the problems flooding your mind. In fact, you can only benefit yourself by achieving a decent sleep which will allow you to cope and deal with the problems you face more easily the next day.



The slumbering mind might not seem like an apt tool for any critical thinking, but humans can actually solve problems while asleep, researchers say. Not only that, but one purpose for dreaming itself may be to help us find solutions to puzzles that plague us during waking hours.

Dreams are highly visual and often illogical in nature, which makes them ripe for the type of "out-of-the-box" thinking that some problem-solving requires, said Deirdre Barrett, a psychologist at Harvard University.

www.msnbc.msn.com...

Other than that, for whatever grandiosity the word "guide" draws to the thread, you're advice is to not think about problems, don't eat or drink before bed lest you go wee wee during the night, and to exercise so you're tired enough to sleep.

Considering the exegesis some members go into on topics that might not even exist, and the importance of sleep.....this is it??

But I've heard different things as far as eating before bed. Thought I read something new saying some carbs before bed can help sleep, but since protein and fat take longer to digest to limit that. Eating a big meal before bed can increase stomach acid and cause problems as well.
edit on 6/19/2012 by Turq1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 11:56 PM
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im gone till careful with that axe eugene




posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 12:51 AM
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I have sleep apnea and I've been using a CPAP machine but in the past couple of months I've struggled with sleep. I'm using one or more Zopiclone (or as I call it tropical cyclone) tablets every night. Not long ago I was able to skip some using them some nights. In part I am not active enough but recently when I went for a good hour long walk it didn't seem to make any difference much to my disappointment.

I've got to the point where I set aside my machine at night as I can only really use it if I lay on my back which is a hassle so I start out laying on my sides until I wake up having fallen asleep being more comfortable and then I put on my mask lay on my back and continue through the rest of the night. It's not good for me of course to not use the machine but I just can't use the machine unless I over dose on sleeping pills and I don't want to to do that. It's a hassle using the pills as I've got to pay to see my Dr for more when I exhaust my supply. I am now starting to go through them quickly. It's unpredictable whether or not one will do the trick or I'll need two.

I read about a study recently where some insomniacs were given cooling pads for their foreheads and it worked like a charm. I need one of those.

When it comes to using my machine the sleep specialists at the hospital tell me I'm their most compliant patient. On top of my sleep apnea I have suffered from a fatigue that may have to do with my obesity and it's nothing for me to be in bed using the machine for ten hours. It's weird because when they first got the machine optimized I had three amazing weeks where eight hours was plenty of sleep and I had lots of energy even getting by with a couple of seven hour nights then it went downhill from there.

They have changed my medication to something which doesn't cause weight gain so I'm slowly losing the weight.



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 01:37 AM
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reply to post by Turq1
 


You have misunderstood part of the intended message of the guide. I didn't suggest not thinking about your problems, I suggested not allowing them to dominate your thoughts to a point where you can't get to sleep. What I am saying is recognise your problems, admit them to yourself, but be accepting of the fact that you will try to resolve them the following day as there is not much you can do about them at the time in bed. If some people find they can problem solve by going over their issues before bedtime repeatedly - and this works for them - then good on them. As long as they are not suffering sleep deprivation as a result then that is fine.

You need to re-read the the opening paragraph; this is not a comprehensive fix-it-all guide to solve all your sleep issues. It is a general guide to help those who might be experiencing sleep deprivation. It also serves as a starting point for other members to share their experiences and offer their own suggestions on how to achieve a decent sleep. I don't claim to have all the answers, I just thought it was an important topic worthy of discussion.



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 09:58 AM
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reply to post by defcon5
 


"Understanding the Causes of Sleep Apnea, and Factors That Increase Your Risk

Obesity. Fat in the neck area can press down on the tissues around the airways. This narrows the airways and can cause sleep apnea. About 7 out of 10 people who have sleep apnea are obese."

This was quoted from Health magazine but there are many more sources that say pretty much the same thing. I am not saying all people that have apnea are obese but I am saying that 7 out of 10 people is pretty staggering number. Sending a positive vibe!





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