Having trouble sleeping
March 20, 2006 7:29 AM Subscribe
I've been having a lot of trouble sleeping. I want to know if my problems are common, and some strategies for coping.
posted by RustyBrooks to health & fitness (27 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have trouble sleeping more commonly in periods of stress than when I am not stressful. I think that's probably pretty common. There are some stress factors in my life right now, via my job and my newborn (well, 3 mo old) son, but the job-stress is sort of ordinary job-stress.
There are 2 kinds of sleep problems I have. One is where I can not get to sleep at night, although I'm tired. My mind races thinking about various things and I have trouble relaxing and drifting off to sleep. After a while of this (20-30 minutes) I start to get anxious that I'll never get to sleep and then it becomes even harder. I'll get obsessive about little noises and distractions (of which there are plenty as we have 2 dogs that sleep in the bedroom). If I move to another room (guest room, couch) I can often get to sleep easier.
The other kind of problem I'll have is where I will wake up in the middle of the night, say 3 or 4 am, and not be able to sleep. I usually don't wake up fully, just a little bit. In these times I seem to get stuck in a dreamish-loop. In my dream I'll be trying to solve some ridiculous arithmatic problem or puzzling over a poker problem (actually a recurring sequence is that I'm forced over and over to play poker under very unfavorable circumstances, like where everyone can see my cards but I can't see theirs). When I half-wake up I will note to myself that the problem I'm puzzling over is not real, and try to put it out of my mind. As soon as I am asleep it will start up again. I toss and turn and get no sleep for a few hours. Moving to another room *might* help this but more likely than not, I need to get up and do something else for 10 or 20 minutes before I'll be able to sleep again.
It's becoming more of a problem. I have trouble with sleep at least 3 days a week now. Sometimes I come up with theories but they don't seem to pan out. Theories include: caffeine too late at night (stopping caffeine consumption at noon does not help), varying my schedule too much (going to bed early on weekends does not help). Maybe some others that I'm forgetting.