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Insomnia is difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep. Symptoms may include difficulty dropping off, and waking during the night and not being able to get back to sleep.

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    13 Reviews
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      06.01.2012 03:24
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      Sleep Depravation plus Random Thoughts divided by stray typos = this review

      As Leonard Cohen famously said: The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.
      Not wishing to disagree with the celebrated Canadian singer-songwriter (or at least, not again after what happened the last time - see my 2008 review 'Canadian prison songs or Don't diss Len when there's Mounties around') but at this precise second I don't feel superior to any of the people happily snoring in their beds whilst I sit red-eyed, mind racing, in front of my p.c in my cold office desperately trying different tactics to get my brain to switch off all the while wondering and wondering why it won't realise that it's nearly 2 am and I need to get up for work in 3 and a half hours time and then I start thinking of that quote from Winnie The Pooh that I had on my pillow case as a child, the one that says 'I'm Pooh, said Pooh, I'm Tigger said Tigger. Well Tigger said Pooh it's the middle of the night which is a very good time for going to sleep'

      And then as I type that I realise that I've wandered off topic and consider deleting the line and the one above it about the french lubricant and the water-melon before deciding to leave them in becuase this is a review about insomnia and this is how you begin to think once you've in that zone, when you haven't slept in days and your thought process is all hyper and you wonder why you can't type fast enough to keep up wityh your thoughts and that leads to typos and again you're off topic and and and your brain just WILL NOT SHUT UP!

      So no, I don't feel superior to the sleeping world Mr Cohen and one of those reasons is that because I made the mistake of checking your wikipedia entry to see if it was indeed you who said that about insomniacs (& why that quote popped into my tired little head I haven't the first clue) but yes it was Mr Cohen and thanks to reading that blasted wikipedia entry I know have Hallelujah running through my head again and again and no, not the Jeff Buckley version that I could probably stomach but Alexandra F'in X-Factor kareoke singer version and it's enough to make me want to scream but instead I will sit here quietly typing random drivel and grinding my teeth waiting for something else to penetrate my conciousness enough to dislodge her terrible terrible voice so as not to disturb my sleeping wife or kids.

      I've had varying degrees of insomnia for several years, they say that men have their best ideas when suffering from insomnia, to see if that's true why not read some of my other reviews all of which have been written during periods in which my pillow and I were but inhabitants of the same house, rarely meeting and certainly not on first name terms and (without wanting to spoil the ending) you'll find out that either it isn't true or it's a bloody miracle that I function when I am getting sleep.

      If you're still reading this waffle thus far I owe you 2 apologies.

      1) This review is a mess and I apologise if the fluctuating style, tone and random pontification is somewhat confusing. In my defence I haven't slept in days and it's over 5 years since I got what many would consider a good nights sleep.

      2) I've stated at least twice that I don't superior to the sleeping world and that is, at least in part, a lie as I've just realised that somewhere out there sleeping soundly lie millions of people who actually voted for David Cameron (how they sleep soundly is a mystery to me but right now how anyone sleeps soundly is a mystery to me or esle I'd be doing it too) and also I've never watched Dancing on Ice or Celebrity Big Brother, and never once have I bought a Kinder Egg and expected to be suprised...

      So, why can't I sleep?

      Is it hormonal? Is it too much caffeine? Too much exercise, not enough exercise? Stress? ....

      Probably not...

      It could be that I've trained myslef to have broken sleep patterns - as a teenager I rarely got to bed before about Wednesday, at uni I completed all my best assignments and essays by pulling night-shifts (in fact all of my assignments and essays), through out my 20's I don't think I ever turned in before 2 am and throughout much of my 30's I've had babies, sleep monitors, apnae alarms, medicines to administer to prevent me from getting proper shut eye. Yet tonight I have none of those disturbances but I'm here typing trash into thi swebsite.

      And it's a website I don't think I've visited more than a couple of times in the last year or so, so it's hardly a burning desire to share my thoughts with fellow dooyooers that's keeping me awake (no offence).

      It's true that I consume upwards of 8 pints of coffee a day but normally (kids, alarms, meds etc allowing) by now I can be falling asleep in a chair, a book or the footie having distracted my racing brain long enough to start to shut it down.

      Some people, generally Dr types and their ilk, associate some forms of insomnia with mental illness. Those of you who have read some of my other reviews will obviously dismiss that theory when it comes to this particular antiquated counting tools sleep problems.

      I'm now confused and you're probably a little bored but I'm not sure what to do with this review now. I mean am I supposed to rate Insomnia as an experience? 5 stars cos it's dead good or 2 stars cos it was entertaining the first time but 354th time round it got a bit repetitive?

      I can't offer any substantial advice as the only guaranteed way for me to fall asleep these days is to really want to see Match of the Day (having somehow managed to avoid finding out the scores, scorers, incidences in advance), manage to get the kids off to sleep before the show starts, have managed to locate a stray can of Carling or bottle of Bud in the fridge, sat down in a comfy chair, kicked off my shoes and opened the beer . In that situation & only in that situation I can guarantee that I'll get a good 5 hours sleep and wake up cold with an undrunk (& miraculously unspilt) beer next to me having missed MOTD.

      That I can guarantee but I can hardly recommend that as a potentail cure. After all MOTD is only on the telly twice a week and is missing from the schedules across the summer plus I can not, nay, will not recommend such a shameful waste of lager.

      So what do you do if you're suffering from a bout of insomnia (not sure if bout of insomnia is the correct terminology but referring to it as a bastard of insmonia might offend)? There's herbal rememdy's you can try, there's getting drunk to knock yourself out (although not guaranteed to give you the best sleep), reading, watching telly, self hypnosis, exercise, sex, watching something on telly with subtitles whilst having very energetic sex and drinking (if you want to try a combination) and all kinds of other ways BUT none of them actually work, or at least not all of the time.

      Insomnia is one of those 'funny' afflictions. It can make your life an absolute nightmare yet tell your friends & colleagues that you're not sleeping and you can expect some light hearted banter and comments such as 'ooh I know what you mean, I'm terrible if I don't get my regular 8 hours'. If you've got a cold or your legs fallen off you can expect sympathy but not if it's insomnia cos there's kind of an underlying assumption that you're doing it to yourself (as with mental illness, depression etc) so the sympathy or empathy isn't quite as forthcoming as it would be if you'd accidently failed to eat and drink healthily and thus left yourself wide open to cathcing a virus.

      The review such as it is has wandered so far off topic that I can't really think how to end it so I'll just say this.

      If you're suffering from insomnia you have my greatest sympathy, it can be a real bastard to get through. If it's recurring over a long time see your doctor and if you're after sympathy from your colleagues when you stumble into work best chop one of your legs off.

      For those of you who haven't suffered from insomnia and want to know what it feels like grow up.

      Good night....

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        04.04.2010 13:53
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        I sympathise with each and every sufferer!

        I have had a read through the other reviews on this topic, all of which give very sound advice with how to try to deal with this debilitating health issue, so I won't repeat that advice here but just wanted to share my experience as it comes with an array of other issues that might be relevant to another sufferer.

        If you have read my piece on depression, you will know I have suffered with severe depression for the past six years and as you may know, one of the many varied side effects of this (also debilitating) illness, is insomnia although I have always had difficulty getting off to sleep in the first place for as long as I can remember. In recent months though, the insomnia has gotten worse and I know the fact that both my husband and myself have been made redundant hasn't helped but the problem still lurks in the dark corners of the night even when things are good.

        My partner amazes me, his head can hit the pillow and be asleep in minutes (that is, if I let him - poor sod) as I will, as I lay there with a mind racing along at an astonishing rate, ask him random questions or make random comments such as 'Don't let me forget...' or 'Did you put that cheque in the bank?' or the best one of all 'What are you thinking about?'. When he responds 'nothing' this only sets me off more. 'How can you be thinking about nothing?' I have asked him enviously. Response. 'I don't know!' Is this a MAN THING or is he just incredibly luckily in his ability to be able to switch off so completely. How can you manage to think about nothing? I have thoughts pop into my brain at an alarming rate, jumping from one thing to the other.

        I have conversations in my head that have yet to happen and even go over conversations I have had in the past and think about what I could have said differently. Do I want to be thinking these things? NO! I want to bloody well go to sleep as I have a six and five year old to contend with, a house to run and a thousand other things to do during the day and I would like just an ounce of energy to accomplish them! Depression in itself causes lethargy, the side effect I find the hardest to deal with, as it makes me feel ill and physically and mentally exhausted all the time and this is, well, so depressing, and hence the vicious cycle continues.

        I have tried all the methods to alleviate this problem, warm baths, warm drinks, no caffeine, set bedtimes etc. - all of it (although I did struggle with the no alcohol advice so that hasn't lasted) - but god, I have to have something, but all to no avail.

        Next step was to try herbal sleep tablets. Didn't work. Went to the chemist and asked for the next step up over the counter tablets (the non-herbal types) only to have a well meaning (I am sure) pharmacist tell me that because of my anti-depressant meds, she didn't want me to take them. She then continued to tell me about all the remedies I might try THAT I HAD ALREADY TRIED. I wanted to punch her in the head, but being British, just smiled and thanked her for her kind advice.

        By this point, I was so sleep deprived that I was in tears some days. No thanks to my husband either who has put on a bit of weight and started bloody snoring! If I don't manage to fall asleep before him which rarely happens, I do not have a hope in hell of getting to sleep! He told me he didn't mind me waking him to get him to turn over. How sweet is that? Well it was sweet until on waking him, the first few times he helpfully responded - 'How can I be snoring, I'm not even asleep yet?' I may soon be in prison for murder - unless the jury is made up of 12 depressed, insomniacs - then I will have a good chance of being let off!!!!!

        Anyway, I finally mentioned it to my brill doctor who manages my depression with me and she did allow me to have some stronger sleeping tablets but only 7 as they are highly addictive and already being addicted to wine, smokes, coffee and now Dooyoo, another addiction is all I needed! However, these didn't really work for me either.

        This may be because, together with my insomnia, I also, when not busily occupied which you aren't when trying to sleep, I become aware of my swallowing and then can only swallow forcibly rather than unconsciously. My mouth becomes very dry and sometimes my throat closes up and I can't breath. This also sometimes happen when I am asleep (akin to sleep apnoea) and if my poor hubby doesn't have enough to contend with, I sometimes sit bolt upright in bed making a noise like an alien being strangled and grab onto him so he then sits bolt upright scared half to death! Oh we do have fun come night time!

        Also, (yes, just one more thing) since having my two children I also have to get up to visit the loo (I knew I shouldn't have lied about having done those pelvic floor exercises) usually at about 2 or 3 in the morning and again once awake (if I have slept by then), I have trouble drifting off again and all too soon, a bouncy 6 and 5 year old are in my room asking me how many minutes until I get up (usually about 6.30 in the morning). What have I done to deserve this!!!

        Anyway, how I have managed my problem is partly to accept it for what it is and not fight against it. The more wound up I get about it, the worse it gets, so I try to relax about it first and foremost and go with the flow. If I can't sleep I read and try again. Some nights are better than others but until the medical profession come up with a definitive cure I must, like others just do the best I can to get what shut eye I can.

        If you have stuck with this until the end, thanks for reading.

        Sleep well folks! x

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          05.01.2010 03:05
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          A few tips that may help you to relax and aid sleep.

          For as long as I know I have had great difficulty in falling asleep. I have never been to a doctor about it so haven't actually been diagnosed with insomnia but if I don't have it, I have the next best thing!

          The problem of sleeping causes me so much stress it winds me up. I will feel tired early evening and then by 10pm I'm wide awake and know that even an hour later I won't be ready for bed. When I do go to bed my mind is racing with every single though imaginable, and most of them are just plain stupid. I can't relax and switch my mind off and I can lie awake for hours getting more and more wound up. I do literally lie there tossing and turning with frustration.

          I have discovered a few tricks to help me relax and switch my mind off and would like to share them with you.

          Before going to bed I have to feel ready to sleep. To acheive this I find watching the TV in the dark is great and if I turn the volume down slightly it is even better. The best things for me to watch are comedies or something that doesn't really need me to think about it. So jump out of your skin horror movies are not ideal.

          I find reading relaxing and it helps me to switch my brain off and concentrate on one thing. I also find that it slows me down and I feel more calm. Problem being, is I can get into the book and find I've been reading for an hour!

          Playing solitare on my Nintendo DS. I read somewhere that the game solitare was devised to help people with sleep problems so I decided to put it to the test. I will play a few games in bed and I find that I quite often fall asleep before I've even had time to switch off the DS. This is one tip that I recommend everyone tries.

          The best thing is to try and not let the problem rule your life. I know it is easier said then done but the worst thing I found was going to bed when I wasn't tired because I thought I had to. In just ended up with me being more angry, frustrated and tired and I would often end up getting back up and going downstairs. This just meant it continued like a vicious circle and caused me more problems.

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            12.11.2009 16:51
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            I dont like it, not one bit

            I don't really know if I have insomnia as such, but I have terrible difficulty sleeping. With me it is getting to sleep. I sleep like a baby and extremely deeply once I get off, but I just cant fall asleep I might lie awake for hours - until 4 / 5am and then sleep until 8am and wake like I've had a full nights sleep. I think about everything and anything - including money worries, my weight, relationships with people, partners, family, friends. I think about how to make a million pounds, I think about the course I am studying. It gets to the point where I want to scream at myself! Its been happening to me for about the last 8 or 9 years. I hope that my research on the subject below along with my experience will help someone recognise that they might need a little help with their sleeping patterns for their wellbeing. Else, I hope you enjoy sharing my experience with me.

            Insomnia is defined as 'a symptom of any of several sleep disorders, characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep despite the opportunity'. According to the information I found Insomnia is not a condition in it's own right, but a symptom of other conditions, including but not limited to clinical depression or nocturnal polyuria which is excessive nighttime urination.

            Self Diagnosis?:

            There are different types of insomnia. Transcient insomnia lasts from days to weeks. It could be that there has been a change in environment, such as you have moved house or you are away on holiday in a strange bed, it could be caused by lack of sleep ironically, by depression or periods of stress. It causes sleepiness and impaired performance.

            Acute Insomnia is the inability to sleep well night after night over a period of 3 weeks up to about 6 months and Chronis Insomnia lasts years. So, so far, it would seem fair to assume my 'insomnia' is Chronic?

            Chronic Insomnia can vary in effect depending on the reason it happens. For example, if you suffer insomnia due to depression then the effects could be fatigue both muscular and mental, or if you suffer insomnia due to constant sleep deprivation (I can't really think of an example here, maybe long distance over night lorry drivers?) then effects could be increased alertness coupled with double vision. Scary?

            Insomnia affects 1 in 33 people.

            Onset insomnia - difficulty falling asleep at the beginning of the night, often associated with anxiety disorders.
            Middle-of-the-Night Insomnia - Insomnia characterised by difficulty returning to sleep after awakening in the middle of the night or waking too early in the morning. Also referred to as nocturnal awakenings.
            Middle insomnia - waking during the middle of the night, difficulty maintaining sleep. Often associated with pain disorders or medical illness.
            Terminal (or late) insomnia - early morning waking. Often a characteristic of clinical depression.

            So, from this information, I suppose I could deduce that I have Chronic onset insomnia.

            What happens:

            As I covered briefly in my opening paragraph I lie awake for hours. I think and I sometimes cry (bizarrely), and sometimes I write a poem in my head (forgotten the next morning thankfully!). I try counting sheep. Focussing on nice memories or nice thoughts to relax me - you know how you were told to as child to calm you when you were given anaesthetic at the dentist? It is awful, because then I begin sweating and the covers seem to cling to me, but if I throw them off, I feel vulnerable and open. I have the window open so that the room is cool but then I can hear every little thing going on outside which attracts my interest. I toss and turn until my body hurts. Eventually with a sigh of absolute surrender my body shuts down and sleeps. The alarm goes off and I feel like I would kill to get an extra half an hour.

            Effects:

            It is normally a monthly cycle and to be honest I favour the other kind! I get to the point after about 2 weeks where I am so monstrously exhausted that I cry at anyone and everything. I forget my house key and I scream and cry like a spoilt child. I have a feeling inside of me like I am about to errupt and blow my top at the first person who breathes near me. My body then completely gives in to sleep for about 2 - 3 nights and I sleep from say 7pm to 8am the next morning. Then because I have had too much sleep it starts again, and until the crying weeping and wailing stage explodes again, I am mildly down through the day, sleepy at work, not the most alert that I could be and I feel like my whole body hurts (fatigue). Everything just seems to be against me, its like I hit every red light, I spill my coffee on my desk, I argue with loved ones because no one seems to understand my point! I feel like I cant cope with anything, which then means without confronting things, like for example paying a bank charge or getting my car taxed, I then start worrying about them, which stops me sleeping even more. Then I ultimately end up at the crazy stage.

            Treatments I have tried:

            I have tried sleeping tablets, Non-benzodiazepines - Zopiclone 3.75mg, work a treat, but my GP recommended I do not use for longer than 14 days. So if he feels it necessary to prescribe them when I am at the ultimate low points that I get to, then I break them in half, so they last me almost a month. I have also been to see a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. I attended 1 appointment and was given a relaxation CD to put on, on a night when I am going to sleep. Worked well the first few times, but soon became ineffective. I had to stop my appointments with CBT because she could only see me between 11am and 2pm and I couldn't take the time off work without either being unpaid or by using holiday allocation, of which I had insufficient to cover the appointments. Would be great for the NHS to provide some support to people on an early evening who work? Not to worry!

            I also have a strict bed time routine which apparently is key to sleeping well. I go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning (these are 10pm and 8am). I avoid naps, don't have time for them anyway, and I have a lovely big comfortable bed with nice clean sheets that smell lovely. I use sleep balms and pillow mists, my room is pitch black and cool, and I try to keep it silent, no ticking clocks or buzzing TVs, if I hear too much noise then I try ear plugs. I drink limited caffeine containing drinks and I stick to one or two cigarettes after lunch time. I eat my tea at 5pm when I get in from work, so it has 5 hours to digest before bed time. I write thoughts down to avoid panicking over forgetting things I think of and I read a little before bed in candle light with lavender oil burning.

            Still no sign of sleep. I don't know how to break this pattern, but I guess I have tried everything I can and still doesn't help. I don't know if I have insomnia as such, but I wonder if it is linked to my Monophobia (you will laugh if you have read my review on why I think I am strange). Perhaps sleep signifies me being alone and this instigates my phobia and anxiety, my panic attacks and prevents me from sleeping. Well writing this had led me to believe a trip to the doctors is once again in order. Will update my profile if I get a miracle cure. :o) xx

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              08.11.2009 14:15
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              Lack of sleep..check out my tips..

              I have been having sleep difficulties for nearlly a year now, I have even been to see a doctor to be told im suffering from Insomnia - state the obvious!

              What is insomnia?
              Insomnia is when you constantly on a regular basis either have trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep or getting good quality sleep. According to medical information if this happens constantly for a long period of time it is classed as Chronic insomnia.

              What Causes it?
              People get Insomnia for all sorts of reasons, medically they say that the majority is caused by stress and worry. However there is no way that I am stressed and worried all the time. It is also stated that different medications or illness can also cause insomnia.

              It has been nearlly a year now that I have had insomnia, I dont suffer from it every day but more often that not I will be affected once a week - this causes a problem with every day life, being tired for work etc.

              I have tried various things to help me get to sleep on a night, some have worked and many have not.

              Hints and Tips on things to help you sleep:-

              See a Doctor -
              I did this and the doctor gave me some Tamazapan that is used short term for Insomnia, the doctor advised me not to take many as can be addictive - straight away this put me off, so I haven't used them but do still have them as a back up!
              Over the counter remedies are worth a try, one thing that personally works for me occasionally is Bahts sleep right remedies. You just put a few drops on your tongue and it is supposed to relax you.

              Take a warm bath-
              There is nothing more relaxing than taking a warm bath before bed, red hot water isnt relaxing so just a nice warm bath. I use Lavander bubble bath and the scent really helps to relax me.

              Drink Hot Chocolate or Warm Milk -
              You hear about it in storys and in traditions that a cup of warm cocoa helps you sleep! So I tried the hot chocolate solution, didnt really do much for me on the sleep front but did relax me, so worth a try.

              Bedtime snack -
              Some times when you go to bed you are hungry and don't realise it, this causes insomnia - so when you have a hot chocolate or a herbal tea try having a couple of cookies with it, works a treat.

              Get a massage -
              Not so easy to do, but if you have a nice partner who might give you a massgae give it a go, its a great form of relaxation.

              Sleep with a window open -
              I have found over the months one of the main reasons I struggle to sleep is because I'm hot.
              Having a window open and the bedroom door slightly open makes the room more well ventilated which makes the room cooler and easier to sleep in.

              Earplugs -
              I have only used these on certain occasions as I find them uncomfortable, however they are a vey successful as helping me to sleep, blocking any noise out from breathing of others to noise in the distance and then the only thing I am aware of is my own breathing which I find relaxing.

              There are many ways that people use that help them to sleep, I have even asked myself if my sleep difficulties have become a habbit! I now found that the only way i can fall asleep is by lying on my back despite being all cosy all curled up.
              Another thing I do is deep breathing, they say to try and blank out your mind so what I do is concentrate on my own breathing, make that the only thing that i can hear.
              Darkness helps, I have changed my luminated alarm clock to one that isnt as I found light it one of the things that distraced my sleep.

              What ever it takes to get a good nights sleep I will try it, I have found lately that I am getting more sleep than before and that the dark eyes are slowly dissapearing, but its those random nights when I still lie awake at four in the morning that I find frustrating!

              My one final tip is, if you have been lying in bed for a long time then get up! Even if its for half an hour to an hour, get out of bed, head to a differet room and have a miky drink or a piece of toast or try reading something thats not too interesting, all of these will relax the body and tire them and when you get back into bed the sheets are nice and cold again and I find I am able to drop of to sleep!

              I hope my tips are useful for some people... And good luck getting a good nights sleep!

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                17.07.2009 19:35
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                The life of an insomniac

                I have been thinking about doing this review for a few months now, but have felt a bit uneasy about it. I mean after all it is only a sleep disorder. I'm not in pain. I'm not ill or having to deal with a 'real illness'. There are others who are far worse off than me. However it is a disorder and one that can ruin your life. I'm going to try and tell you a bit about what I experience.

                It really goes back to when I was about 9 years of age. I would always have some very 'black' dreams. It would often involve the death of my family and I'd often wake up and go in and check my parents were still alive. Pretty strange you may think, and I'd tend to agree with you. This continued all through my teenage years, but as I got older I'd just lye awake, and not go running in to my parents bedroom. As I got older I'd often find an excuse to stay up later and get up early for work. I hated night time. I never really new when this gremlin would turn up. It usually happened after a few hours into my sleep. So getting to sleep was often not the problem but I could guarantee after a few hours I'd be awake.

                As time went on I met my lovely wife and we moved in with eachother. She soon became aware of the strange sleep patterns I had, but now I was in my own home (not my parents) I could get up and go downstairs and watch tv or go on my computer. I was no longer thinking of my parents dying but I would have some very strange dreams. A lot of them now centered around money worries and work issues. Often after a few hours I'd fall asleep again with just enough time to grab another one or so later in the morning, before we both got up for work. It often meant I would go to work and feel exhausted. As I was self employed I'd often pop out of the office and grab 30 minutes kip at lunchtime and then I'd feel refreshed again.

                When the children were born the responsibility on my shoulders meant that the nightmares of money and worries about the children, weighed heavily on my mind. I'd worry about them becoming ill or even worse. I'd worry about money. In fact I'd worry about anything. This often meant I'd have about 3 hours sleep and wake up in a panic. Some of the dreams seemed so realistic. I'd find myself occasionally screaming or sitting up. This really got to my wife and she started to worry for me. I'd hate going to sleep.

                About ten years ago I gave up self employment and started working for a Blue Chip Company. It was the first time I'd worked for somebody else. I enjoyed it at first but it didn't stop my nightmares. I would hate the thought of night time coming. I even volunteered to work on the night shift, so I would be awake with others during the night, and I'd stay awake during the day too. This made me quite ill and I eventually agreed to see a counsellor.

                The counsellor was really really nice but could not understand were my worries came from. My doctor advised me to take sleeping tablets but I really didn't want to take sleeping tablets, in case I became addicted to them. Eventually we agree that I'd only take one when I was desperate for sleep. So every few days now, after I've been deprived from sleep (except a few hours each night) I'll take a sleeping tablet. This often has the effect that I'm asleep for about 10 hours. My wife says although I'm asleep my body is still extremely restless, as if my brain is still awake.

                I'm not after any sympathy or anything. I just wanted to give you an idea what an insomniac has to deal with. Many are awake for many different reasons. Stress. Worry. Pain..........to name but a few!! I am awake most nights typing away on my computer. Often on here. Other times I'm off down to Tesco's at 4.00am doing my shopping. One thing for sure, the first thing that my kids and my wife ask is, 'well what have you done with your night?'.

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                  14.12.2008 11:41
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                  If you can't switch off at night - try these.

                  So you've tried the warm bath and the milky drink before bedtime. You don't want to take sleeping pills yet you DO want a good night's sleep, and it just doesn't seem to be happening for you right now. Try these simple top tips for a good night's sleep.

                  Make a list before you go to bed, of the things you know you have to do tomorrow. At the end of your list, say to yourself "I will not think any more about this until tomorrow morning." The same applies for anything that is worrying you - you cannot do anything about it overnight, so tell yourself FIRMLY that you will deal with it tomorrow.

                  When your eyes are closed, and you are comfortable, count backwards, in 2's from 200.... or in 3's from 300. You are using the "active" part of your brain, and it will soon lose interest and switch off. If you lose count, start again.... I'd bet that you don't get all the way down to zero before you drift off!!

                  Use a guided visualisation recording to take your mind on a calming and relaxing journey, away from the hectic and stressful lifestyle that you lead. The more you do this, the quicker and deeper you will relax - fabulous!

                  Make sure your room is as dark as possible - we train ourselves to be alert during the daytime, so if the room has a light on, or if light comes through a window (perhaps from a street light, or an early dawn), our brain is tricked into thinking it should be awake. Making the room darker, with black-out curtains helps the brain to know that it is night time. Even the light from a digital clock radio tricks the brain - switch it off!!

                  Which brings me to tip number five.... how many times, when you cannot sleep, do you look at the clock and get annoyed at the fact that you are still awake? We even comment on the fact that we "saw 2am, and 3am" etc! Set your alarm for the time you NEED to wake up, then turn the clock face AWAY from you. Take the stress of the time out of the situation, with the knowledge that you won't oversleep because the alarm will still wake you up. It may seem a daft idea.... but give it a try!

                  Sweet dreams!

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                    13.12.2008 12:14
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                    Insomnia has many causes, find thecause to resolve it

                    Insomnia takes several different forms. Some people can't get to sleep, others wake very early. Then there are those who just sleep for a couple of hours and those who wake up every few hours.

                    The causes of this condition are almost as varied as the different patterns it takes.

                    What you eat or drink builds up in your system and can cause insomnia. Caffeine (in tea as well as coffee), smoking and alcohol can all cause sleep problems.

                    This is a strange one because I know people who can have a few drink and flake out for eight hours, no problem but if I have any alcohol in the evening I only sleep for a couple of hours, then I'm wide awake.

                    Some prescription drugs can cause insomnia and one of the worst for this is any kind of sleep medication. Stopping these sleep medications suddenly can cause very bad rebound insomnia.


                    A room that is too light, too cold, or too warm can also interrupt sleep. I also find that if the room becomes stuffy I wake up.


                    Watching DVD's, TV or reading exciting material, or violent and noisy material late at night upsets the brain and excites it just before bedtime. This can also cause insomnia.

                    Life stresses, shortage of money, family problems and a host of other things can cause sleeplessness too. Some diseases cause insomnia and so does chronic pain.

                    The first line of attack when trying to resolve this problem is not medication. Each person has to work out what is causing their individual problem.

                    Relaxation, gentle exercise and attention to diet are a good starting point but it's a matter of trial and error to find what works for you.


                    My own problem started quite suddenly. I have always suffered from insomnia at times of great worry, or stress, but I couldn't understand why I was waking up every two hours night after night. I was beginning to feel tired and ill and I am told that I was almost permanently bad tempered.

                    I tried all the obvious things and the problem wouldn't go away, so I went to see my doctor. After a series of tests it turned out that I was suffering from low sugar levels. I was eating my main meal at lunchtime and having a light meal at tea time.

                    I simply didn't have enough fuel in my system to last through the night, so I was waking up feeling ill.

                    I added a glass of milk (low fat of course) and a couple of digestive biscuits to my bedtime routine and the problem went away. It was as simple as that.

                    If you do suffer from insomnia try to work out what the cause could be and try to eliminate what you can. If not, you need to see a doctor as lack of sleep can wreck your health and you social and emotional life.

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                      05.10.2008 22:22
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                      To sleep or not to sleep... That is the question

                      The minutes are ticking away, the snores can be heard from other rooms and yet you are wide awake.... Insomnia that dreaded of all sleep disorders. Who then does this condition affect ?

                      It would appear from medical information that anyone can suffer Insomnia.. the young... the old... overweight men... menopausal women. The condition can prevent you from actually getting off to sleep as well as preventing you from staying asleep.

                      The constant waking to peer all blurry eyed at the alarm clock for the umpteenth time during the night is not due to the fact that you particularly like the look of your alarm clock. You are suffering insomnia.

                      There are two types of Imsomnis ( not that you would be bothered which one you had ! ) 1. Central which is the most common and 2. Obstructive which is common in over weight men who take a large shirt collar size ! Yes apparently this has a bearing on your sleeping habits.

                      The condition causes a pausing in the breathing pattern which tells the brain that things are not functioning properly and you wake up.

                      Of course we all know that such things as stress can cause sleepless nights, or worry over a person or finances... There are countless reasons why our sleep patterns could be interrupted and we have all, I am sure, suffered this at some stage of our lives. Personally I think that each town should run an Insomniacs club where you can phone or text the other person ( knowing of course that they are awake ) and have a good old chat to while away the night !!

                      Things that I have tried to help me sleep are numerous and only some have the desired effect. Milky drinks before retiring are supposed to help although I really do not want to be drinking gallons of hot milk before bed !! yeuck ! Lavender... now this I do have in the form of one or two drops on the corner of my pillow.... this does enable me to have a reasonable night. I am sure that my mother used to dab lavender on her pillow and I vowed that I would never be seen doing that when I was older !! Sorry mum you could have been right.

                      What ever the cause of Insomnia, it is a darn nuisance and although there is medical treatment available in varying forms ( I will endevour to write a review at a latter date on those available ) I for one do not want to take this course of action.

                      I have a system that seems to work well for me... I dab my pillow with lavender, I plug in my mobile phone radio and have the earpiece in situ whilst listening to either comforting music or an educated discussion and I think lovely thoughts about a special person that is close to my heart... It never fails !

                      Sleep easy and well and thanks for reading.... hope that this review was not too boring that you fell asleep reading it !!!

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                        21.05.2008 16:10
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                        A few tips for dealing with insomnia

                        I had always thought of insomnia as actually not sleeping at all. I was actually very surprised to discover that my waking four or five times a night to peer hazily at the alarm clock before going back to sleep also "counted" and was in fact why I was so knackered lately.

                        Insomnia generally sucks. It can result in "excessive daytime sleepiness" (starting to nod off during the day) and can even be dangerous if you're exhausted while driving or operating heavy equipment.

                        A lot of the time it's caused by anxiety - if you're anxious about something, working it out might get you back to sleeping properly. Otherwise however, it may just be a case of establishing good bedtime habits.

                        Get into a proper sleeping schedule. I know this is harder than it sounds - I'm awful for wanting to stay up to watch just one more program. But a routine tells your body it's sleepytime. Sometimes you just have to tell the six year old in your head "it's bedtime now, Laura".

                        Hot baths apparently help because the cooling down tells your body to sleep now. Experience has taught me that lavender essential oil DOES help.

                        Hot milk is also a great help. Try to avoid cocoa because it has caffeine in it (a very small amount but). Personally I stir in caster sugar and a bit of nutmeg or cinammon. If I REALLY haven't slept for a few days, I'll also stir in just a bit of Baileys. It's not good to make a habit of it, but if you're desperate a little alcohol will sometimes knock you out for a night.

                        Also, try to avoid eating right before bed. This is another I'm awful for - a fast metabolism means I really WANT a snack most of the time. But eating makes your body work to digest the food, and that makes you sleep badly.

                        If the insomnia persists over a long period, it's always worth getting checked out by a doctor. Also, stay safe. If you KNOW you're tired and not fit to drive, car share or use public transport, just as you would if you were unsafe due to alcohol. Don't put yourself, or others, at risk.

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                          21.05.2008 12:46
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                          Insomnia

                          Insomnia

                          Insomnia is a sleep disorder that prevents you from falling asleep or staying asleep. It is a condition I have suffered from in the past and never want to experience again. For me not being able to sleep is a really horrible feeling. I have spent many a night tossing and turning and seeing every hour on the clock.

                          There are many different forms of help available such as medication, natural cures, counselling & Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Medications generally used for Insomnia are Sedatives, Anti-Depressants and Benzodiazepines. Natural cures generally include things like Aromatherapy and Hypnotherapy. I was offered medication from my GP but declined this, as it did not feel it was the correct solution for me. In the end I realised that problems I had in my personal life were interfering with my sleep pattern but I was not consciously aware that I was worrying about them.

                          The following is a list of things that I have found useful to assist my sleep-

                          Getting plenty of exercise during the day, cardiovascular exercise that really gets your heart pounding

                          Try not to eat too close to bedtime and never go to bed hungry

                          Make sure your bed is comfortable and the room temperature suits you.

                          Spend at least half an hour unwinding before bed; never go straight to bed after rushing around.

                          Have a hot soak in a bath followed by a hot drink

                          Try relaxation techniques such as yoga or relaxation tapes

                          Avoid caffeine completely in your diet

                          Sprinkle lavender oil on your pillow- I found this one really helpful

                          And most importantly talk about and try and deal with any problems going on in your life. At night you can subconsciously fret about things and during the night problems always seem worse.

                          Hope this helps

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                            11.02.2008 05:37
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                            a very nasty condition that can cause mental problems

                            I have suffered with insomnia all my life and though I have tried several various remedies none of them have worked. I have even tried smoking cannabis but to no avail.

                            Insomnia, or sleep apnea, can be extremely irritating especially when you are unemployed, as I am. I may have a job interview the next morning and will not be able to get to sleep the night before. Maybe an hour or two before I need to wake up I might actually get round to dropping off. This causes problems in the morning because I have become so tired from the consistent nights of sleeplessness that I just can't bring myself to open my eyes. Sometime I awaken and am alert and conscious, but cannot find the energy to open my eyes, it's like they're glued shut!

                            I sympathise with anybody who suffers with insomnia as I know what a nightmare (no pun intended!) it can be. Long term it can cause all sorts of problems which ultimately lead to making you look bad. Others sometimes perceive it that way anyway.

                            Sleeping tablets, antidepressants and all the rest of those pills just don't work. Instead, I have resorted to learning hypnosis and have slowly, over time, been using hypnotic techniques to help me sleep better. It hasn't cured the problem and it doesn't always work but it does help at certain times.

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                              03.05.2007 17:21
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                              Insomnia

                              Insomnia-
                              is a condition characterised by unsatisfactory quantity or quality of sleep,which persists for a considerable period of time.
                              The normal variations from what is considered as normal(8-81/2 hrs of sleep) should not be the primary consideration in the diagnosis of insomnia,because some individuals obtain a minimal amount of sleep and do not consider themselves as insomniacs.There are individuals who suffer from poor quality of sleep.
                              Sleep quantity is judged subjectively and or objectively as within normal limits.
                              The most commom complaint is the difficulty in falling asleep followed by staying asleep and early final wakening.
                              Insomnia commonly develops at a time of increased life stress,tends to be more common in women,older individuals,psychologically disturbed and individuals who are socioeconomically disadvantaged.
                              For a diagnosis of nonorganic insomnia(nonorganic-not associated with a demonstrable change in body organs or tissue)
                              -They should have a complaint that is either the difficulty in falling asleep followed by staying asleep,or a poor quality of sleep.
                              -The sleep disturbance should have had occured at least 3 times per week for at least one month.
                              -Having a preoccupation with sleeplessness and excessive concern over it's consequences at night and during the day.
                              the unsatisfactory quantity and or quality of sleep either causes them marked distress or interferes with ordinary activities of daily living.

                              Insomnia is also a common symptom of other mental disorders such as affective disorders(depression and mania),eating disorders,substance misuse(use of stimulants like amphetamines,crack),schizophrenia,anxiety disorders.
                              Insomnia can also be due to a painful physical conditions.

                              Insomnia can also occur due to a disorder in the sleep-wake schedule due to a lack of synchrony between the individual's sleep-wake schedule and the desired sleep wake schedule for the environment,causing a lack of sleep or excess sleep.The causes may be psychological or may have an organic cause.Individuals who travel frequently across time zones may lead to malfunctioning of the bioloical clock.

                              Treatment options include prescription drugs such as-Benzodiazepine group of drugs(Diazepam,Nitrazepam,Temazepam,Flunitrazepam etc)

                              Non Benzodiazepine group of drugs -(Zopicone,Zolpidem etc)

                              Herbal remedies

                              Treating medical causes like Restless leg syndrome
                              Sleep apnea syndrome.

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