Gransnet forums


So tired!

(63 Posts)
sunseeker Sun 20-Oct-19 13:22:59

I suffer with insomnia, most nights I get around 3/4 hours but last night I was awake all night - no sleep at all. I tried all my usual tricks, relaxation CD, hypnosis CD, audio book - nothing worked then to make matters worse the RLS kicked in.

I have tried sleeping pills in the past but they didn't work and left me feeling as if I had a head full of cotton wool the next day

Has anyone got any remedies they find work for them that I could try?

KatyK Sun 20-Oct-19 14:10:19

I don't know the answer. I don't sleep well either. There is a Q&A section in today's Mail on Sunday with Dr Michael Mosely and someone asks re being unable to sleep. He suggests cutting down on caffeine and alcohol. Also try to wake up at the same time every morning (if you've slept that is), finishing your evening meal three hours before you go to bed, have a hot bath before bed. He says by stopping eating earlier and having a soak it will trigger cooling mechanisms in the body and falling body temperature is a driver of sleep. Good luck.

Jane10 Sun 20-Oct-19 14:26:33

I remember him trying prebiotics and they seemed to help.
I hope you can find something to help though. Insomnia is so draining. It's an awful thing. DS has it and it's a real struggle for him.

Urmstongran Sun 20-Oct-19 14:35:31

I usually sleep really well. However on Friday night I didn’t. The next day I felt like a space cadet. I feel for all those who sleep poorly it must be debilitating.

BradfordLass72 Mon 21-Oct-19 00:45:24

I take magnesium for RLS and it also help sleep - if it hasn't helped you it may be that you are not taking the right kind of magnesium or not enough of it.
That's my doctor's advice anyway. Magnesium doesn't leave you feeling groggy in the morning.

If you can get hold of dried Lime/Linden flowers, they're very good.

I'm told that if you have "poor sleep hygiene" you need to change your brains' habit and there's quite a lot online about it.

And the moon's phases really DO make a difference. smile
As does the amount of carbohydrates you eat.

I have a low-carb diet from choice but if I am seriously insomniac I get up and eat carbs.

If you eat wheat (known to be a soporific) try making a sandwich and some Linden Flower Tea and see if that helps.

crazyH Mon 21-Oct-19 01:05:29

Strangely enough, I read somewhere, you will not be able to sleep if your stomach is empty. Carbohydrates at bedtime, will help you sleep, so they say.

newnanny Mon 21-Oct-19 01:10:33

I don't sleep well because my shoulder hurts too much. I know what it is like when the next day you feel drained. Sometimes getting out in fresh air and physically tiring yourself out works.

Joelsnan Mon 21-Oct-19 01:25:03

I have radio 4 on all night, barely audible so I have to concentrate on listening to it and that helps me to sleep as it stops my mind wandering. It works most nights, (not tonight obviously).
I agree about not trying to sleep when hungry, I have learned from experience to try and have a fairly full stomach, if not the hunger pangs means no sleep until I at least have a milky drink.
If the above two fail my sure fire winner is an audio book read by Stephen Fry, again on quietly so I have to listen. I rarely get past the first chapter before I am zzzzzzing . Time to snuggle down I think...nigh night.

Coolgran65 Mon 21-Oct-19 03:24:10

I have RLS 24/7 for 40+ years and also chronic insomnia. I take medications for my RLS. I've tried every sleeping pull without success.

I am at present on holiday in the Mediterranean and sitting out on the balcony for the past hour. It is over 30 years since I've had more than 4/5 (unbroken) hours sleep. My Dr is at a loss.

This is now just my way of life..

A hot bath will sometimes settle you RLS for a while. One of the criteria for RLS is the urge to move which cannot be ignored and that when you get up and walk this helps it, even if temporarily.

Do you take medications for your RLS. If so you should avoid Requip/Ropinerole and pramipexole/mirapex known as d
DAs. These may help at first but eventually worsen the disease.

It's hard to get back to sleep unless your legs are calmed. I take codeine which helps RLS.

Have you looked at It is very helpful.

Katyj Mon 21-Oct-19 06:49:29

Have you tried the, This works sleep spray + I swear by it.I woke at 3 am this morning, tried for 30 mins to get back to sleep and couldn't, Dh was awake too, I sprayed my pillow, and within 5 minutes we were both back to sleep, failing that I use phenergan tablets bought from the chemist, half of one usually has me asleep for a 8 hour stretch with no hangover.Good luck.

Ginny42 Mon 21-Oct-19 07:03:41

I take magnesium last thing before trying to sleep. Sometimes I eat a banana or a slice of bread and butter. I also listen to P McKenna's sleep CD. I rarely reach the end of it without nodding off.

If I've managed to sleep but wake up in the early hours I find it best to get up and do things to shut down the spiralling thoughts.

cornergran Mon 21-Oct-19 07:47:43

I also get the odd night when I don’t sleep at all so know how horrid that is. I’m another who finds carbohydrate helps sometimes, usually just a piece of bread and butter. Go carefully today sunseeker, it’s not the day for rushing about.

Ellianne Mon 21-Oct-19 09:29:03

Insomnia is awful. I used to thrive on very little sleep, writing uni essays in the night, then working all hours while raising a family. But when I slept, I really zonked out and woke up refreshed. Now I am shattered and just drag myself around.
A new bed and a new snugglier duvet have helped a bit lately. Added to this we have had carpet laid in the bedroom instead of wood flooring. I have no idea how or why, but things seem a little better. You could try revamping your bedroom a bit?

sunseeker Mon 21-Oct-19 09:48:40

Many thanks for the replies. I did try magnesium - took it for a month but made no difference. Bed and duvet very comfortable and I also recently changed the bedroom around. Have tried pillow sprays but again no help.

I think it is something I am just going to have to live with - again many thanks to all who replied.

Ellianne Mon 21-Oct-19 10:12:08

Oh dear sunseeker, how frustrating for you to have tried everything. Maybe now, stop trying for a bit, accept it, stress less about it and see if anything improves!

craftyone Mon 21-Oct-19 12:22:26

an oatcake before sleep and some in a box for waking up sessions. Maybe it is silent gerd stopping you sleeping so 2 pillows for now. Valerian as standby and/or very quiet talking radio, so you can`t hear and concentrate on that to try and hear, will take your mind off izzy whizzy thoughts. LBC is all talk so try that very low. The mind and thoughts need to be stilled and focus on very quiet talk is like applying a brake

gt66 Mon 21-Oct-19 16:28:19

Try Melatonin tablets....they work for me.

Baggs Mon 21-Oct-19 16:59:54

Learn a long poem by heart (bit by bit, a little a day) and recite it to yourself lying down in bed. I can recommend Ulysses by Tennyson. I rarely get to the end of it. I even start it in the middle sometimes so that the second half doesn't feel left out.

I'm thinking of re-learning the Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which I knew when I was sixteen but have since forgotten.

cookiemonster66 Tue 22-Oct-19 10:41:11

If it the restless legs keeping you awake, they suggest quinine found in tonic water. I also had terrible insomnia for 40+ yrs, awake half the night, night terrors, RLS, then felt shattered all day. I got myself into a strict bedtime routine, you need to retrain your cycle. I used to get anxious at the thought of even going to bed. Now I religiously stick to my routine, so my body knows when I do xyz then it is sleep time. I have no tv or tech in my bedroom, so that bed is for sleep ONLY. No daytime naps either!
It only took a little while to retrain myself, but boy I am so glad I stuck to it now after all those horrendous years of being awake half the night.

CarlyD7 Tue 22-Oct-19 10:42:40

Another vote for melatonin tablets. If you're over 60 your GP should be able to prescribe them. Also good "sleep hygiene" - don't use smartphones, tablets, laptops etc. after 7pm (or not without an orange filter - too much blue light inhibits melatonin and keeps us awake). Don't watch anything "exciting" on TV after 9pm (record it to watch the next day) and start a wind-down about them - dimming the lights; warm drink; yes to supper (bananas are supposed to be very good as they contain tryptophan, as well as magnesium and potassium - all good relaxers. Bananas on toast is a good supper). Have a notebook by your bed if worries are keeping you awake (don't forget to remind yourself that the middle of night is NOT the time to start to solve life problems). Give yourself 40 mins to fall asleep - then get up and do something relaxing like a hot drink or read a book (don't turn the TV on - too stimulating). Being more active during the day, getting some daylight and teaching your brain that it's time to sleep (treat it like a naughty toddler that just wants attention) all helps. Good luck.

mimismo Tue 22-Oct-19 10:42:50

I have soluble magnesium tablets on hand. If the RLS kicks in I get up and take one in water (faster acting than a tablet}) and, placebo effect or not, drop off with no problem.

Fairiesfolly Tue 22-Oct-19 11:00:19

How strange I should read this post when this morning after changing bed position yesterday i.e facing my feet East we have both had a great nights sleep. Look up Feng Shui or Vastu Shastra. They have some great articles on getting a good nights sleep and if possible try not to sleep with head north if your space in the bedroom allows this. Just another idea to throw in the mix!

Fairiesfolly Tue 22-Oct-19 11:05:33

BTW my daughter in OZ listens to an app called Calm and it sends her to sleep in no time at all. I think it has adult bedtime stories by various readers and she says she never gets to the end of the story. However that would involve having tech next to you but it will turn itself off I believe if you set it up properly. Good luck

Coconut Tue 22-Oct-19 11:22:19

Bodyshop peppermint leg spray is great for RLS. The latest tv prog on RLS suggested low dopamine levels are the cause.

pinkquartz Tue 22-Oct-19 11:26:02

I have terrible insomnia.
I have though seen an end to RLS by taking Magnesium every day. Also it works on cramps.

Is it true that GP can prescribe Melatonin? My GP said she could only give it to me two times? Was she wrong?