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Thread: Sleeping woes: Help needed

  1. #1
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    Sleeping woes: Help needed

    Hi all

    I would like some advice, especially from folks who have made improvements in their sleep cycle.

    As I have got older (I am now 45) I am sleeping less and less well.

    I have no problem going to sleep. I have a problem going back to sleep after I wake up for a pee about 4 am (or > 4 hours.) Then I just lay awake for a few hours and canít drop back off. My alarm goes off at 6am and I wake up super tired and groggy.

    I have absolutely no problem sleeping again at 10 am. And have no problem falling sleep again anytime in the daytime. It seems almost like I am wide awake in the middle of the night and sleepy during the day.

    Has anyone got any good ideas for sorting this out?

    A bit of background: I have a stressful job and that involves being on call. I need to keep my phone in my room. I know thatís not ideal but it canít be avoided. I really enjoy two coffees in the morning and would hate to quit but still if needed.

    Any advice much appreciated.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    I'd question why you need to have a pee at 4am every morning. Doesn't sound normal TBH.

  3. #3
    Grand Master
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    I can't help with the sleeping, but I have spent a long career getting by on catnaps of 3-4 hours, and have survived 20 odd years doing it, I am a great believer your body gets the sleep it needs.

  4. #4
    Master TimeThoughts's Avatar
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    I'm 44yr old now and I often wake between 2 and 4am, I normally go to the toilet then also, and then I have terrible trouble getting back to sleep. Like you, my job is stressful and I have a busy young family.

    I spoke to a professional about this a while back and she explained that you can be very irrational at that time 2am to 4am) and you can't sort of see things in perspective in your mind then.

    Sometimes I read a few pages of my Kindle but normally I sort of force myself to think happy stuff, like what I'd buy if I won the lottery etc. If I start any negative train of thought I'm goosed. I'll be awake then till 6am until I get utterly exhausted.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeThoughts View Post
    I'm 44yr old now and I often wake between 2 and 4am, I normally go to the toilet then also, and then I have terrible trouble getting back to sleep. Like you, my job is stressful and I have a busy young family.

    I spoke to a professional about this a while back and she explained that you can be very irrational at that time 2am to 4am) and you can't sort of see things in perspective in your mind then.

    Sometimes I read a few pages of my Kindle but normally I sort of force myself to think happy stuff, like what I'd buy if I won the lottery etc. If I start any negative train of thought I'm goosed. I'll be awake then till 6am until I get utterly exhausted.
    Wow. Thatís exactly me. Exactly! Interesting you sought help too as I am just fed up with it!

    Spooky!!!! I will definitely try some sunny thoughts.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    I'd question why you need to have a pee at 4am every morning. Doesn't sound normal TBH.
    Enlarged Prostate

  7. #7
    Master
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    I got told by a business coach years ago, to imagine all the thoughts running through your head as a noise from a radio, with a huge volume control.

    Visualise picking up the radio & carrying it to a bathroom, turning the volume down to zero, shutting the door & walking back to bed with silence.

    Has worked with me & others for years to shut off the self talk. Sometimes your brain may decide to come back with visuals vs sounds, so repeat as above with a monitor being moved instead.

    Once in a while this just doesnít work, then I get up, shower, go for a walk / start work and nail a long day, without tiredness, but if my body tells me to, I log off and relax / sleep as my body tells me to. Am lucky (sort of) Thant I work across so many time zones, I can appear / support / disappear at will, which helps.

    As above, your body will sleep when it needs. Some nights I just cannot get to sleep regardless, with these I take comfort in just thinking relaxing thoughts & knowing my brain is getting the rest it needs even if it is not Ďsleepí

    The more you worry, the worse it can get, so just lie and chill, thinking about how mice the peace is.

    45yr old also & if I wake up to feed the cat / pee, I struggle to get back to sleep also.

  8. #8
    Master
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    i dont drink anything after about 6 PM, that way i dont need to get up in the night as often.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by MCFastybloke View Post
    Enlarged Prostate
    Have you examined the OP?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Have you examined the OP?
    Of course not, but at a similar age,being of the same sex,and having at that time to pee once in the night, now 53 and peeing 4 or 5 times a night i would confidently go a quid sez for the fundraiser. Could of course be a massive drink of water last minute before retiring,only 50p on this one.

  11. #11
    Much like TT's 'sunny thoughts' idea, try anything that keeps your mind focused on something simple and force any other thoughts out so you can focus.

    One trick I like is work your way through the alphabet on a topic. Aligned to the sunny thoughts idea... perhaps places you'd go if you could? No cheating. Pick somewhere starting with A, then B, and, well, you know the alphabet. I've never made it to Z. You can do anything from people you know, to things you'd buy if you won the Lotto, anything. It's counting sheep, but you get to choose the sheep.

    If things like that don't work, go and sit in another room for a short while to break the cycle. Or meditate. Or just piss yourself so you don't have to get out of bed, at least you'll be warm.

  12. #12
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    Red face

    I'm 43 and suffered very similar to OP. Can totally connect with the "2-4am mind racing, things out of all context" feeling mentioned by another.

    I sought advice as a first port of call from my GP many years ago (may well have shared this here previously also). I know this is GP advice and not a sleep/neurological specialist but it worked and still works for me...

    Apparently reading fiction (note: fiction!) uses similar parts of the brain that are accessed when dreaming. Something to do with recalling your own experiences to imagine the narrative. I was told to turn the light on (pre-backlit kindle days!) and get stuck into a book. I now find that after 10-15 mins my mind hasn't had the opportunity to race into whatever it was trying to, including the frustration of being awake, and stays reasonably relaxed enough to go back into the land of nod. This did take a few months to break the bad pattern but its got to be worth a try? I have recommended this to a few over the years with varying degrees of success.

    I also remember many years past, doing the hostel traveling thing and struggling to sleep. I used to imagine I was teeing off for 18 and would walk the course. Never got past hole 5 before I'd be asleep. Probably helped that I still couldn't hit straight and was normally 8 over par also...

  13. #13
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    Iíve found that meditation/ relaxation apps can work well - I was sceptical at first but gave Calm a go and it is great for helping to switch off.

  14. #14
    Master vRSG60's Avatar
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    I suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome. I wouldnít wish it on my worst enemy.
    I rarely get more than a couple of hours continuous sleep a night.

  15. #15
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    I normally get up 3 or 4 times a night for a wizz, if my mind is whirling im awake. The only thing that has decent results for me is to present my self for bed in a fatigued state. I have to do more to sleep more. Some times i get tired enough to sleep thru.

  16. #16
    Master
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    I never sleep as well in the Spring / Summer as I do in the colder months, often waking up too hot. Could this be part of it OP?

  17. #17
    I can also relate to this, I am a boyish 53 now and I usually wake up about 4-4.30 AM wanting a pee then all sorts of irrational thoughts seem to fill my head and I cant get back off to sleep.

    I seem to more or less nod off shortly before the alarm goes off and wake up feeling goosed.

    It seems to be a recent thing for me since the nights have warmed up. Its doing my head in.

  18. #18
    Master
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    For those who are getting up in the night to go to the lavatory - it may be worth checking your blood sugar frequently to see if this is the cause, as excess sugar is released via peeing. You may be T2 diabetic or pre-diabetic without knowing it.

  19. #19
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    Donít drink anything for a couple hours before bed or even longer. Heard a guy at work who had to do it and worked for him.

  20. #20
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    Hi Chaps - Wow this thread has been so incredibly helpful.

    There are some things I can't easily change about my sleeping arrangements e.g. temperature - my missus likes the room much warmer than I do, and being on call - having the phone in the room.

    I'm definitely going to try not drinking after 6pm and see if that helps. That's a nice idea I hadn't thought of (weirdly) as it seems obvious now you say it.

    One thing I did try last night was a combination of Paddy's, Rob's ideas and Mj2k (just pulled out a few extracts below in part to say thank you):

    I went through watch brands and started with a very loud voice in my head:

    AUDERMARS PIGUET,
    Breguet
    Chopard
    Struggled a bit with D....... Philippe Dufour

    My last one was G shock..... IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't quite believe it but it WORKED like really really WORKED.

    I've always lost concentration counting sheep which is why I think my mind could race - there was nothing that I singularly focused on. OMG! It worked.

    Thank you...

    Will let you know how I get on in a few weeks. Brilliant!

    Quote Originally Posted by RobM View Post

    .... It's counting sheep, but you get to choose the sheep.

    .
    Quote Originally Posted by Paddy! View Post
    .... "2-4am mind racing, things out of all context" ....

    ....
    I used to imagine I was teeing off for 18 and would walk the course. Never got past hole 5 before I'd be asleep. Probably helped that I still couldn't hit straight and was normally 8 over par also...
    Quote Originally Posted by Mj2k View Post
    .....turning the volume down to zero ......

  21. #21
    Master Chinnock's Avatar
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    Always sleep with the windows open / ajar and this time of year in particular get woken by bird song. Usually get up for a pee, try not to look at the time, think nice thoughts and drift back.

    I guess as mentioned by others, we have to develop a brain training strategy, otherwise the mind can run amok!

  22. #22
    Master pacifichrono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCFastybloke View Post
    Enlarged Prostate
    I hope you're getting lab tests for PSA level. Mine shot up and had to have a cancerous prostate removed in the nick of time!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacifichrono View Post
    I hope you're getting lab tests for PSA level. Mine shot up and had to have a cancerous prostate removed in the nick of time!
    I'll get a PSA test done. It seems a) I'm a bit young for one b) I'm not in a high risk group c) There are Pros and Cons of getting the test but it seems like folks recommend one so I'll do it.

    Thanks guys

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacifichrono View Post
    I hope you're getting lab tests for PSA level. Mine shot up and had to have a cancerous prostate removed in the nick of time!

    Yes i am, more often now i have discovered i have BRCA11

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeepie View Post
    I'll get a PSA test done. It seems a) I'm a bit young for one b) I'm not in a high risk group c) There are Pros and Cons of getting the test but it seems like folks recommend one so I'll do it.

    Thanks guys
    I was 46

  26. #26
    Master
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    Jeepie, glad youíve found something that has started to work for you. I remember the relief when the volume thing was shared with me, was such a great feeling to get a proper sleep again.

    I will also be adding the alphabet aspect of things to my repertoire. Great to get additional ways to approach things, I have a 4.30 wake up driven by a cat wanting food & then struggle getting back to sleep - hoping this may help.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mj2k View Post
    Jeepie, glad youíve found something that has started to work for you. I remember the relief when the volume thing was shared with me, was such a great feeling to get a proper sleep again.

    I will also be adding the alphabet aspect of things to my repertoire. Great to get additional ways to approach things, I have a 4.30 wake up driven by a cat wanting food & then struggle getting back to sleep - hoping this may help.
    Fingers crossed for you mj2k. Let us know how you get on! It worked incredibly well so definitely trying it again. Such an incredible relief as you say!

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