Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Can't sleep

(83 Posts)
Lizbethann55 Fri 05-Jun-20 02:42:21

It is 2.40am and I am downstairs drinking warm milk and catching up with Gransnet after having gone to bed 3 hours ago and tossed and turned. What do you all do when your body is tired but your brain just won't stop going over and over anything and everything?

MissAdventure Fri 05-Jun-20 04:01:19

I usually spend time trying to calculate how many hours sleep I'm going to manage, if I was to fall asleep right this minute.

Then I get angry because I realise it won't be enough, and I'll feel rotten when I have to get up

grandMattie Fri 05-Jun-20 06:17:49

And I thought I was alone! I get about 5 hours at best.
I nap thought the night, I don’t toss and turn for fear of disturbing DH who gets vey ratty if I do. He’s allowed to, of course..
I do my bet to have a nap of our to 45 minutes after lunch, commitments permitting.

vampirequeen Fri 05-Jun-20 06:25:57

I'm usually a good sleeper but last night was one of the rare nights when I couldn't sleep. I usually get up and read or play a game then try going back to bed. Sadly it didn't work last night and I finally gave up and have been up since 4am.

Calendargirl Fri 05-Jun-20 08:23:36

I woke at 3.45, went to loo, then was awake listening to a steady trickle of water outside our bedroom window, it was raining and running into the empty water butt.
Still awake at 6, about to get up, nodded off for a few minutes, then got up feeling headachey.


Puzzler61 Fri 05-Jun-20 08:30:29

When I have trouble sleeping I take myself off to the spare bed. I can have a lamp on to read, or fidget to get comfortable, until I feel ready to zzzzzz.
DH can get his beauty sleep and doesn’t even know I’m missing!

Ellianne Fri 05-Jun-20 08:32:40

It's horrible and for your sake I hope it doesn't become a regular pattern. I haven't slept much for two years, averaging 3 hours if I'm lucky. How I function in the day I have no idea. The thing that helps a bit is slow breathing exercises.

EllanVannin Fri 05-Jun-20 08:48:14

I can have the odd blip and last night was one of them. I must have dropped off around 11pm as usual, then thinking it was morning, woke up. It was 01.50 am ! There I was ,wide awake. That's horrible when you think you've had a night's sleep.

Bathroom, then a struggle to get back to sleep. I won't get up because I know I'd stay up for the rest of the day and end up feeling crummy so I watched an old repeat of The Chase until my eyes met in the middle and knew nothing until I heard the bin-men at 07.30. That'll do me.

Dorsetcupcake61 Fri 05-Jun-20 09:02:12

It's a tricky one. I can normally get to sleep(apart from one night last week when wide awake until 5am)but often wake up in early hours,sometimes for a few hours.
There are lots of tips to be found elsewhere,personally have tried all of them and not made any difference!
It's worse when I'm at work as have to get up at 5.30am so tend to go to bed earlier to get sleep in!
Certainly at moment I tend to just go with the flow. I do remember reading somewhere in past times people used to wake up in early hours and do something to occupy self then go back to bed. Apparently this also good as makes you associate bed with sleep rather than being awake. Good luck😊

annifrance Fri 05-Jun-20 09:02:32

I always read on my Kindle Fire in bed. For me it's magic, I can put on blue light blocker which keeps you awake, turn down the brightness and if I fall asleep it turns itself off if I do not turn the page after a couple of minutes. I regularly wake up a few times a night, so turn it on and can be back to sleep within minutes. So I get a pretty good night's sleep.

annifrance Fri 05-Jun-20 09:03:12

PS it also does not disturb DH.

Maggiemaybe Fri 05-Jun-20 09:05:04

I’ve never any trouble getting to sleep between 11 and 12, but have got into the habit during lockdown of waking up some nights at 3 or 4 and not being able to get back off. Let’s face it, there’s plenty going on in the world at the moment to keep our minds whirling. I find the only way to get back to sleep is to read my Kindle for half an hour to an hour till my eyes start to droop and then I sleep again till around 8.

inishowen Fri 05-Jun-20 09:05:16

I come downstairs and watch something boring on TV. Eventually I'm ready to go back to bed and sleep.

Purplepoppies Fri 05-Jun-20 09:13:08

I use this. Natural, no hangover feeling in the morning. You can buy it online. Not particularly expensive.
I had tried sleeping pills from the gp, although they wouldn't prescribe long term because of the addictive effects. I much prefer Valerian.
Good luck 💐

pen50 Fri 05-Jun-20 09:14:04

I get myself to sleep using podcasts on fairly interesting subjects in drony American voices. Generally they work very well!

Purplepoppies Fri 05-Jun-20 09:14:49

Sorry the picture didn't load.....

25Avalon Fri 05-Jun-20 09:19:17

I used to try counting backwards from 100 but got so good at it so it didn’t work as my brain carried on overtime. Now I try to think of as many girls or boys names or flowers beginning with a certain letter of the alphabet. That usually works but if not I read a book for about an hour.

Juicylucy Fri 05-Jun-20 09:30:21

I have to go downstairs drink a cup of tea then go back to bed about 20 minutes later, it usually works as your distracting your mind from everything that’s churning over in it. I never get more than 6 hours tho.

Froglady Fri 05-Jun-20 09:32:50

I used to have problems sleeping every night and then I discovered that listening to audio books on my Kindle Fire meant that most nights I got to sleep. Sometimes I have to rely on prescribed Valium if the books don't work. I listen to the seven books in the Harry Potter series on earphones and it works for me about 90% of the time.

GagaJo Fri 05-Jun-20 09:34:15

I try not to worry about it now. I've been an insomniac all of my life and I still manage to function the next day.

I'd probably still lay in bed, although that goes against what sleep trainers would tell you. My reasoning is that I'm resting even if I'm not sleeping.

Warm milk sometimes helps. As does reading. James Joyce in particular could bore me to sleep in a busy room, let alone in bed.

But sometimes, nothing works and there is no point stressing or being angry, because you have zero control over it.

Gingergirl Fri 05-Jun-20 09:35:15

Well as a complementary therapist, I prescribe remedies to help with sleep issues so if you can find a herbalist or a homeopath, for example, there may be some help there. A health food shop may also have something to ease the problem. But personally, I find the best remedy is to wear myself out physically during the day, preferably by having fresh air. If I’m indoors all days and not doing much, I sleep poorly but otherwise, I’m ready to drop off ...With Covid, many people aren’t sleeping that well and it’s to be expected, so I would also limit news watching etc., and try to be in a more calm mindset before sleep.

Sheba Fri 05-Jun-20 09:38:29

I got 3 hours last night, 4 the night before. I try to block thoughts whizzing around my head by thinking of only one sound - a a a a. It does work...eventually.

Aepgirl Fri 05-Jun-20 09:39:49

I thought I was reading about myself, LizBethhan55. I find I have to have a bowl of cereal, or a hot chocolate to try to get back to sleep, even though Michael Mosley says that this does not work - it usually does for me! I really sympathise with you and wish there was an easy solution.

Coolgran65 Fri 05-Jun-20 09:45:08

I get about 3 hours a night for this last 20 years. Last night it was one hour’s sleep. I’m currently waiting on the result of a sleep test.
How I dread the nights.

Lupin Fri 05-Jun-20 09:45:53

I put earphones in - the earbud type and listen to story cds or to radio 4 or the world service. Then it's interesting being awake. I find that before too long I have dropped off to sleep.