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Can't Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me
Member Name: shewhoguards
Advantages: You can plan your shopping list while staring sleeplessly at the ceiling
Disadvantages: You'll be knackered
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.
Summary: A few tips for dealing with insomnia
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