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I can’t get no sleep

25 August 2014 by superlative

I’ve become someone who doesn’t sleep properly, and it’s really annoying. Often it’s alcohol-related, but it happens at other times too if I’m stressed about something or if I know I really need to sleep because of something that’s happening the next day.

It started about 6-9 months ago I think. I noticed it happening after I’d been out drinking with people from work, when I’d spent the whole evening drinking but had deliberately not let myself get too drunk. It’s like all the calories and the sugars in the alcohol had digested into my system by the time I went to bed, and it felt as though there was a lightbulb on inside my brain when I tried to sleep.

And then it happened again. And again. And started to happen when I hadn’t even had a drink. I can spend the whole night awake, not even remotely close to sleeping, until about an hour before I need to be up at which point I’ll finally drop off. Then I’ll feel absolutely shocking for the whole of the next day, like I’ve got the worst hangover even if I haven’t drunk anything.

I don’t really know what to do about it. I could drink less, and that would help sometimes, but it would still happen at others and I really quite like drinking. It’s been suggested that I should drinkĀ more, and that actually does work in a weird way when I’ve tried it. Instead of drinking and then sobering up by the time I go to bed in an effort to avoid a hangover, I just drink until I’m drunk and then let the booze send me off to sleep. I end up with a hangover, but at least I’ve slept, and I can actually do something about a hangover if I eat and take painkillers the next day. So I think it’s the sobering up before bed that is definitely part of the problem on those nights.

On the other nights when it’s stress-related, well, I’m a bit stuck on those. I’ve tried two types of herbal sleeping tablets, one that’s the same ingredients as Nytol Herbal and another one called Kalms. The first did nothing at all, but I’ve got off to sleep a few times about half an hour after taking Kalms. They don’t always work, but they seem to help a bit, if I’m lucky.

It’s really horrible. I don’t want to be someone who doesn’t sleep, and it makes getting through the next day really hard. I could try stronger sleeping tablets, like actual medicinal ones with antihistamines in them, but I think they’d make me sleep really heavily and I can’t take those with alcohol.

Maybe I should learn some yoga or tai chi to do when I can’t sleep? At the very least I should have a rule that if I’ve tried to sleep for an hour or more and it’s still not happening, I should just get up. By that time I should know it’s not working, and laying there won’t change it. It’s hard though because you always think if you just wait a bit longer you’ll drop off. But you don’t.

Stupid brain. Sleeping should be easy.

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