Insomnia: Anyone else have it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Travis Olson, May 2, 2002.

  1. Travis Olson

    Travis Olson Supporting Actor

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    Well, for about the past 5 years I have had varying degrees of Insomnia. It has gotten very bad lately. For about the past 5 months I have only been able to sleep for about 8 out of every 35-48 hours. I don't have any kind of painful medical condition that would cause me not to sleep, I just find myself laying in bed staring at the ceiling. Then, out of frustration, I get up and go do something. Say I manage to sleep and get up at 10 AM well I am wide awake for anywhere from 35-48 hours before I am tired.
    I don't use drugs or alcohol, but I do drink some pop (or Soda depending on where your from [​IMG]). I have tried sleeping pills, and they worked, but I woke up so tired I couldn't hardly function so they are now out of the question. I don't know what the problem is and I am going to the doctor tomorrow. So my question is, does anyone here have or had Insomnia and how did you cope with it?
     
  2. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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  3. Frank Anderson

    Frank Anderson Cinematographer

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  4. Jon_B

    Jon_B Screenwriter

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    I also have it. I have stopped drinking soda completely, yet I still have trouble falling asleep at night. On a bad night I might get 20 to 30 minutes of sleep. Most nights I can get by with 4 hours. It's strange because I feel tired and want to go to bed, yet when I'm in bed I can't sleep. I get plenty of exercise during the day. ( I feel like if I got anymore that I could enter a triathlon)[​IMG] I would rather not resort to using drugs to help me sleep. So...I could be living with this for awhile.
    Jon
     
  5. Jeff

    Jeff Supporting Actor

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    Skip a couple nights of sleep all together. Why play the tossing and turning game? After that, go to bed at your normal time. Then assuming you can sleep, don't sleep for more than six hours. Hopefully if you do get back into a sleeping pattern, don't sleep for more than 6.5 hours for the next week or so.

    Also, don't take naps to catch up sleep. If you can't fall asleep until a few hours later, don't sleep in to make up for it, get up at your normal time. As mentioned above, do not consume caffeine.

    Also, clear your mind before going to sleep. If you have stuff on your mind, just toss it aside and tell yourself that you'll have all the next day to think about it. Don't read anything before bed, don't watch anything that's going to make you think about it afterwards. (I couldn't sleep after watching Black Hawk Down).

    Stop taking sleeping pills. It's not natural sleep and you'll feel worse in the morning.

    Most importantly, don't think about sleep. Just let it come to you. Don't even bother going to bed unless your tired and yawning.

    Jeff
     
  6. Hugh Jackes

    Hugh Jackes Supporting Actor

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    I go to bed at my normal time (between 10:00 and 11:30). I sleep soundly. Then I fail open hours before than the alarm goes off. Some mornings, around 2:00. Once it becomes clear that I won't be going back to sleep, I get up and go to an all-night diner. They know me there, like Norm at Cheers.

    The past two weeks, I've been trying melatonin. So far, so good...
     
  7. Tom Rhea

    Tom Rhea Second Unit

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  8. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    My problem isn't getting to sleep its staying asleep. I'm usually dead tired by 11 oclock but more often then not I'll be awake again around 3:30...I stay awake for a while then drfit if and out of sleep for the next 3 hours until the alarm goes off at 6:30 at which point I feel really tired. I don't drink tea, coffee or pop anytime after dinner so that's not the problem. I actually think its me not relaxing enough...my minds always "on"
     
  9. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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  10. Valerie Brown

    Valerie Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    I use to have insomnia all the time. I would go to sleep and wake up around 1:00 - 2:00 am every morning. I would then toss and turn till the alarm went off.

    I have tried sleeping pills and only take them when I haven't slept for a couple days/nights.

    The thing that worked best for me, my mind would go crazy with thoughts. I finally started to concentrate on my breathing. Deep breathing, the feeling the the breath going in and out, how my body reacted, etc. It helps to quiet the mind and relax the body in a way that helps you sleep.

    This works for me most times, even when I wake up in the middle of the night.

    Valerie
     
  11. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Don't take the over-the-counter sleeping pills...they're awful! Your sleep will get worse, not better, and will actually INCREASE your insomnia. The best sleeping pills are the drugs that are normally prescribed as anti-depressants.

    Some things to do if you have insomnia:

    1) Give up coffee. Caffeine has a half-life of 5 hours in the bloodstream. If you drank 2 cups of coffee at 8 AM, your body will still have one cup of caffeine by 1 PM, and half a cup by 6 PM, which is enough to mess up your sleep! If you take caffeine regularly, then you'd have a tolerance for some of it, but try to reduce your caffeine intake anyways!

    2) Do not drink any alcohol in the evening. Alcohol messes up sleep...you literally wake up dozens of times per night. You don't remember these microsleeps, but you'll feel tired and groggy in the morning. Avoid avoid!

    3) Your bed is for sleeping, nothing else! Don't read in bed...and if you're not tired, don't go anywhere near it. Your brain will no longer associate sleeping and the bed, and hence you'll lay there without a wink! People will easily fall asleep on couches, in cars (driving!), hospital emergency rooms, park benches, anywhere but their bed, because they taught themselves to NOT sleep in bed.

    4) Try taking a hot bath before bedtime. In reaction to the heat, you'll feel tired, relaxed, and more receptive to sleep.

    Are you oversleeping during weekends? Have you tried the Stanford sleep test? The Stanford sleep test gauges how tired you are throughout the day, and is an easy test that anyone can perform: Sit in a nice comfy chair whilst holding a spoon in your hand, outstretched over the chair arm. A stopwatch will be handy here...Close your eyes. The sound of the spoon hitting the floor should wake you. Check the stop watch. If you dropped it in under 5 minutes, you're sleep deprived! 10-15 minutes is normal for most people, and over that usually means you have had too much sleep or have a problem.
     
  12. Jenna

    Jenna Second Unit

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  13. Jeremiah W

    Jeremiah W Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know if I have insomnia or not but my sleeping cycle has been pretty bad for quite a while now[​IMG]I guess I need to lay off the caffeine and change my diet,I've heard diet has a major affect on sleep but I'm hardly an expert
     
  14. AaronNWilson

    AaronNWilson Second Unit

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    Well any time I have had problems sleeping it has been because my brain is operating at too high of a speed. I'm sure there is a more legitimate name for this such as the brain being alpha wave or delta wave mode or something like that. The only way you can really get to sleep is to let your brain empty of all thoughts. I have seen times where I have had those annoying Internet Explorer windows popping open in my mind all night. Focusing on getting to sleep also is very detrimental to getting to sleep. Looking up and seeing every hour pass on the clock is also very detrimental but unfortunately alarm clocks are needed to get up in the morning. The best method I have found to get to sleep is to make a circular motion on the pillow next to you. As surprising as this sounds it works, I read about the necessity for a motion such as this in some journal article or something and usually after no more than about 15 mins I am asleep.
     
  15. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Good idea Aaron! Hmm, now I gotta find that extra pillow. [​IMG]
    What I also used to do is imagine I am at a park bench in warm weather. I used to take short naps after lunch (I was a student and perpetually sleep-deprived!) at the downtown concrete park in Edmonton that adorned a municipal building. So, all I need to do is recall the pleasant memories and I'd instantly relax.
     
  16. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I have Insomnia. Theres a slight glitch in the last fifteen minutes which causes pixel-blur to appear for a second or so, but it doesn't distract from the film.
    I deal with Insomnia by keeping it aphabetically arranged, somewheres between Hellraiser and Jaws.
     
  17. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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  18. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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  19. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    Yes, I have Insomnia. It's an excellent DVD (Criterion's first anamophic transfer!) and a superb film. [​IMG]
     
  20. Travis Olson

    Travis Olson Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. My doctor pretty much said the same things. He was going to prescribe pills, but I told him I wanted to try some natural techniques first. I think a big factor in it lately is that I am starting a new job soon and I have a lot of anxiety. It's been pretty good the last couple of days though, although I am sleeping odd hours. I got totally relaxed and went to bed at 3PM yesterday and woke up at Midnight tonight. So I got a good 9 hours without any interruptions. I am going to stay up all day till midnight and then go to bed. And I'm going to try and keep it that way since my new job is night work. I think once I get back into a routine, it should work out. If not, theres always pills. [​IMG]
     

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