Sleepless in… almost everywhere!

Saturday, March 23, 2013 Permalink

I just read yet another article linking the lack of sleep to weight gain… or at least to a difficulty in losing weight.

That. Means. I’m. Screwed.

Yep, well and truly screwed. You see, I cannot remember the last time I was asleep before midnight.

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I’ve always been a bad sleeper. As a kid I’d be in bed before my parents and older brother and still awake when they went to bed. I’d constantly call out ‘good night’ as I wanted them to know I was still awake and didn’t want to be the last one to get to sleep (am sure there was some logic behind that, but… meh!?). When I was old enough to have a digital clock which taunted me with its glowing numbers I would watch the time flick by and stress about surviving school the next day.

Once I’m asleep I’m fine. Generally I can get up to the loo and go back to sleep without problems.

It’s getting to sleep in the first place that is my issue.

I’ve tried all of the so-called helpful hints. Lavender, hot baths, hot milk, no-technology and list-writing before bed. I’ve even cut out alcohol at night (well, that was actually for the diet I was on, but still…) which led to even less sleep.

I can occasionally get to sleep within a couple of hours, but at the moment that’s stretching out a lot longer.

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My best friend says she basically goes to sleep the moment her head hits the pillow. I cannot understand how that is possible.

At my best I toss and turn and can’t get comfortable as my mind races – far more creative than it is during the day when it’s supposed to be delivering on fantabulous thoughts.

At my worst I lie there irritable to the point where I can’t stand being in any one position for more than a few seconds; nothing is comfortable and I become almost irrational in my ability to lie still and quiet my mind.

When I was working I had a lot less flexibility. I had to be up early every day. So, like many people I used caffeine (diet coke in my case!) to cope with the post-insomnia malaise. Well that and chocolate. Anything to help get me through the working day.

Now of course I’m not (currently) working. I’ve tried to keep vaguely normal sleep patterns, but if you’re regularly getting to sleep at 3am and REALLY don’t have to be up at 6 or 7am, it’s pretty hard to force yourself out of bed when you’re still really bloody tired.

In reality, my sleeping issues aren’t hugely problematic for me at the moment as I CAN catch up on sleep during the day, but… I just don’t like the sense of ‘slackness’ which comes with getting up after 8am.

So… next week – no matter what time I get to sleep or how many hours it takes me, I’m planning to set my alarm for 7am (or 7.30, cos… well, let’s not get too keen!!!) and will try to get back into some sort of pattern. Wish me luck cos it could get ugly!

Are you a good sleeper?


  • Jess
    March 23, 2013

    It’s hard! I usually hit the pillow and am out quickly. But when I went travelling through Asia I had crazy insomnia, which made no sense because I was really active and busy. Nothing worked then. Hope you get it to where you want it to be.

    • Debbish
      March 24, 2013

      Thanks jess.

  • Char
    March 23, 2013

    I have good patches and bad patches with sleeping. Usually the bad patches are a lot like yours – unable to drop off but once I’m asleep I’m fine. I don’t know what the answer is. I’ve tried exercise, yoga and drugs and really drugs are the only reliable answer but I don’t like using them.

    • Debbish
      March 24, 2013

      I’m the same Char. The only time I’ve ever had sleeping tablets was when I got some in my medical kit when travelling o/s. The last thing I need is to become dependent on medication to get to sleep!

  • Jules Joyce
    March 24, 2013

    In my younger days, I had trouble getting to sleep. That was when I set my alarm an hour early to do morning pages. it slowly changed the internal clock.

    I am typically…now…one of those that falls asleep quickly but wakes after only 5 to 6 hours waking at 3:30 to 4 am. But my sleep improved drastically when I included meditation and yoga into my day. Now, if I miss a day, I notice it because of the change in sleep patterns.

    I was sent to a sleep clinic last year but they found that even with 5 to 6 hours almost all was REM sleep so my body recovered. It is more about the quality than the quantity for me

    • Debbish
      March 24, 2013

      I was feeling really lethargic and sleepy last year and was supposed to go to a sleep clinic but for some reason put it off. I think the doctor thought my weight might be a factor and I had sleep apnea. I’m a bit funny re things I think are self-inflicted and find it hard to seek help for them (or see them as medical problems) if that makes sense.

  • Lou Lou
    March 24, 2013

    Sorry to say, I’m a beautiful little sleeper. Although due to the Flash, I could do with a whole lot more. Would love to wake up hearing the ocean though!

  • Renee aka Pinky (@pinkypie)
    March 24, 2013

    I’m not a good sleeper. I can fall asleep but I wake up a lot. This is all about stress (even if I don’t feel it) and constant lack of sleep; it’s like a vicious circle. I don’t know if you read my blog at all but basically this is the reason why I haven’t lost much weight after my initial drop 4 years ago (I lost I think 15KG in the first 9 months, then nothing for 2 years). As long as you stay in the cycle your body will continually prodcce cortisol, which in turn will keep you from losing weight.

    the advise that was given to me was, stop focusing on weight loss and start focusing on health. I did that, but I also tweaked a few things eventually, not even to lose weight but it just happened and I lost a couple of KG’s after more than 2.5 years plateau. Do I want to still lose weight? Yes. However, it’s pointless to focus on it until I am able to change my cycle (and that’s not possible – it’s all about work commute + stress + not getting enough sleep in the first place).

    you could try yoga, I’ve not done that yet (but pretty much everything else). Melatonin doesn’t do crap for me but when I mix it with magnesium citrate it helps a little. I even bought a “nighttime sleep aid” when I was in the states recently, doesn’t help.

  • Jo Tracey
    March 25, 2013

    Oh I hear you! My husband sleeps as soon as his head hits the pillow. I read for a few hours & usually require some sort of herbal or pharmaceutical help- but no more than half of an over the counter tablet. I feel constantly tired.

    • Debbish
      March 25, 2013

      Wonder if I should take something. I hate the idea of it, but it seriously interrupts my life!

  • Neen
    March 26, 2013

    I think Mel had a problem with getting to sleep too. Now she takes some sort of Michelle Bridges herbal supplement that winds her down and makes her sleepy. Maybe that would help?

    My grandfather struggles with insomnia and over the years had tried lots of different things. He claims that a couple of items I’ve bought him have really helped, though I don’t know if it’s just placebo. Maybe try this or this

    Although not sure if it’d be any different to lavender.

    • Debbish
      March 26, 2013

      Thanks Neen. Will suss out those options.

  • Lauren
    March 27, 2013

    I find that having a “sleep routine” is really helpful for me.
    I dim the lights at around 8pm, have a shower around 9ish, make myself a cup of camomile at around 10 and am in bed ~10:30pm.
    I sleep much better since starting up with this, and also making sure I’m not in front of a computer after 8pm and walking everywhere all the time.

    Hope you find a balance that works!

    • Debbish
      March 28, 2013

      Thanks Lauren. I’ve been unwell lately and my current itchiness and flu aren’t helping with my sleep. Once they’ve gone I may need to try a few things again!

I'd love to hear your thoughts