Monday, May 23, 2011

Sleepless in Shanghai

Unfortunately I don’t feel very rested or relaxed after the wknd. I seem to have gone from “problems with falling asleep every now and then” to constant sleeping problems. I have tried many things: not watching TV before sleeping, listening to music, exercising before going to bed, not exercising before bed, reading books, drinking tea, not drinking tea, avoid coffee and sugar, not eat big meals before bed, keeping the room dark and cool, doing relaxing yoga breathing, changing my sleeping spot (I now go from my bed to the couch every second night. It worked in the beginning but not so much anymore), herbal sleeping pills (not useful), real sleeping pills (also not useful –don’t make me fall asleep). I am getting a tad big frustrated and desperate: what the h*** am I supposed to do?!

I know that it is in my head and in my head only. It’s a thought that shapes itself as soon as I hit the afternoon, saying: “Oh, here comes the night and I feel so tired after last night’s lack of sleep… wouldn’t it be awful if I couldn’t fall asleep tonight either?!” and BAM, there it is. I know I should try to stop this way of thinking –but I have no idea how to do so. I try thinking about this and that, counting down from 300, imagining summer holiday in Europe, making up a story in my head… but it doesn’t work. It has been going on for so long now, on and off for a year, but this last month has been unbearable. I don’t know what to do anymore. Going to see a doctor doesn’t seem like an option: I’ve tried both herbal and real sleeping pills, and none of that works (yes, for real. I take a real sleeping pill and I still cannot fall asleep. Sometimes I don’t even get that “sleep hangover” that sleeping pills give you). What else can a doctor do than give you medicine? He cannot help me get rid of that one little nasty thought at least, that’s for sure. And it’s just that one thought that I wish I could escape. I am not in bed stressing over unpaid bills or work or anything: it’s just about “not being able to sleep.”

Ah, at first I was thinking that I wouldn’t write this post but then I thought, maybe one of my readers have had a similar problems and know of a mind game that can manipulate your thoughts?! Or anything? What do you guys do in order to turn off/or turn thoughts in another direction?

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've had insomnia all my life. The only thing that works for me is meditation while lying in bed. Go to a proper meditation class to learn all the technique first. It takes about two weeks for me to learn and get use to it. Good luck

flyingfish said...

I'm so sorry you are suffering this way. How frustrating for you!

I think you should go see a doctor immediately. If a GP can't help, you could try a sleep specialist. Or a neurologist. It seems to me that not only do you need to get some sleep, you need to rule out underlying problems that could be causing your insomnia.

Some sleep problems require a whole cocktail of meds to fix. A lot of the solutions are reached by trial and error. And a lot of the time medication is only needed for a little while. So don't give up right away!

Take care! I hope you feel much better soon!

Anonymous said...

I know how it feels.
Maybe your work out too much, working out gives you energy and supposedly tire you out by the end of the day and get better sleep. I take Lingzhi supplements on regular basis. and it helps with the quality of sleep.
I hope you find a solution soon!

Anonymous said...

stress and thinking too much can keep you awake the whole night. Has there been alot of stressful time at work that leaves you thinking about it once you get home too?

Amanda Krzywonski said...

I am so sorry that you are suffering from insomnia. The best way to fix this is to use Melatonin. You might need a stronger does if you are already using it. You just pop some in your mouth about half an hour before you go to bed, turn off the lights and you will be out in no time. I have had insomnia for the last two years due to my epilepsy medication and it is nothing to joke about. I know how you feel. I pray that God blesses you with some sleep!

Lauren said...

A sudden and drastic change in body temporature can make you fall asleep. Just before bedtime have a hot shower/bath and then sleep in a cool room.

Establish a strict routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday and only sleep in your room (no tv, reading, music etc allowed).

There was an interesting documentary on the BBC a while ago about sleep, it's offline now but available here: http://www.veoh.com/watch/v18647588cA5TDH9A

E said...

lol try my statistics class. 1/3 of the class fall asleep before he even starts talking(holy s***?) i honestly think my prof studied hypnosis instead of statistics...
but anyway, sorry to see you suffering, not much i can do besides wishing you the best.

Anonymous said...

In my late 20's nd early 30's, for a while I had a similar insomnia like yours. In my case, it was marital and work related stresses. I tried Melatonin but it did not help me all the time. Some nights it did. A friend recommended me Melatonin as he had a much severe case of insomnia due to some continual cases of unfairness at work. He died a few years later because of liver failure caused by a long term insomnia. So take it seriously and go to see a doctor. Since you have a healthy active lifestyle, I think it might be related to some sort of stresses. You might be too strong to even see stresses.

WoAi said...

Have you tried reading Shopgirl's blog? Works for me!

Otherwise I have some melatonin for you as I mentioned last time we met.

Shanghai MiFeng said...

Jonna , when my Wife calls China on the weekends to talk to her Folks ( 9pm to 11pm ) she is wide awake . So to make her fall asleep quickly , I've told her to drink a Cup of HOT milk and Honey . Works everytime .. if I let her sleep of course . hahaha
That's if you like Milk of course .

ordinary malaysian said...

I think the greatest problem for you now is this fear of being unable to fall asleep. You give life to it by precisely fearing that you will be unable to fall asleep. And doing yoga or meditation before sleep is not a good idea. Meditation before sleep only makes it worse as it makes you feel more energised. And how can you sleep with so much energy? Counting sheep? Oh no, you should not do anything with the mind, especially mental things. Your mind may also be preoccupied with so many thoughts that you cannot relax. When this fear of being unable to sleep comes, welcome it, enjoy it, don't resist, because the more you resist the more you give life to it, the classic catch 22. Just watch the fear, just observe it. What is it? What is its colour, its shape, its taste. Just watch. Don't judge, don't put your spin on it, just watch. As you watch, other thoughts will come. They never fail to come, random thoughts, unrelated thoughts, tangential thoughts. Are you now thinking of your parents? your workplace?, your latest holidays?, the road that fascinates you?, your boyfriend?, your childhood? Ah, the mind. It never fails to drag you here and there. But just continue to watch, to observe, whatever thought that comes along without putting your own colouring to it and soon you will fall asleep, into deep relaxing sleep. Good nite and sweet dreams.

Jonna Wibelius said...

Hey everyone and thanks for sharing your advices, experiences and knowledge. Got a liiiiittle bit freaked out when I read about the guy that died (!) from liver failure because of his insomnia, man, that's horrible!

A friend of mine is in HK now, so I asked her to bring back some melatonin. I hope it helps. I don't plan to take it every single night, but maybe it's good to have within reach, in case of an emergency.

I don't actually know what it is that is causing me sleepless nights, but maybe I should do what ordinary malaysian recommended: instead of trying to redirect the thoughts and mind elsewhere I could just embrace the thoughts of not being able to fall asleep and deal with it from there. It's easier said than done though. As for meditation, I don't know if it would work for me. I am very inpatient, and I guess that's one of the reasons why I find it hard to sleep too: I don't like just lying in bed for hours and hours. I wanna be up doing things.

As for stress -sure, I'm stressed out at work, but who isn't these days?! I don't think this is the reason why I cannot sleep. Then again, my holiday is coming up in 2 months, so then it will be a real reality check.

Thanks again for all of your great tips. Means a lot just to hear that there are so many people out there with the same/similar problem -that means it is not impossible to beat.

Anonymous said...

You got SAD. you need some sun shine

Anonymous said...

A bottle of red wine should do the trick. Always works for me.

Anonymous said...

have you tried taking ginseng ? i use to have the same problem, but after a holiday in Korea i started taking the ginseng i bought, as a beauty supplement( it also suppose to help with sleep and general wellbeing,and in a few month without knowing, my sleep has gone back to normal! that after 2 years of sleeping 2-3 nights a week

Jonna Wibelius said...

Anonymous -how do you "take" ginseng? As tablets, fluid, or how? I will def try that! Last night I tried melatonin, but it didn't work. Maybe I have to take it for several days before I see some results. Ahhhrg! Frustrated. I will have to look for ginseng though. I hope I can find the real stuff here in China.

Anonymous said...

i was taking it in capsule pills as it was easiest .but i have bought the powder too, harder to take if you dont like the taste, but my mother finished a 300gr bottle of powder!!(btw we r europeans). if you do decide to try it , go to a herbal shop they will sell it, and remember not to take when you are sick or having menses .hope it works for you too!if you want to ask me more can email me at moraru999@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Hi Jonna,
i left you a previous comment b4 about Lingzhi supplements.
regarding ginseng, i did alot a research. There are 2 properties to ginseng, one has a cooling effect and the other a warming effect. My body is more warm, meaning i'm prone to acne (inflammation) and if i eat alot of spicey food it warms body even so which disturbs my sleep pattern. therefore i take amercian ginseng. korean ginseng has a warming effect which nourishes the blood, will make body more warm, more suitable for pple have are in the cool category. so you may want to see chinese doc b4 you take ginseng. Hope this helps.