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Sleeping problems

Hi everyone!
Since a couple of months I have been suffering sleeping problems: is not the conception of the sleep, the problem is that I wake up in the early morning, usually about 2-3 a.m, and it's really hard go back to sleeping. In other words, I enter into some kind of "wakefulness", when is not suppose to happen and I could stay in this state, laying in the bed, for 3-4 hours, with my mind being crazy and trying to calm it and enter the "dream state".
I've tried yoga and drinking sleeping teas but with no result. Also stopping watching TV at night. I don't drink coffee or other stimulant. Like most people, I have to work everyday: given the inefficiency of this solutions, I been forced to take sleeping pills. Obviously I don't want this.
Someone can give me some advice?

P.D: english isn't my first language and I have very few opportunities to practice. Sorry for any grammatical errors, I did my best here.

Earthninjammo

Comments

  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    How old are you? Male or female? It could be due to hormonal changes, if you're anywhere near mid-life. That 3 a.m. wakeup is a classic symptom.

    Frankieg
  • 24 years old. Male.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited July 2015

    Oh. hmm.... Any sources of anxiety in your life? Thinking back to when the symptoms began, can you identify a potential cause?

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    I'm dying here! 24? Oh, that's not YOU in your avy, then! :mrgreen:

    Ahem...now then, you're talking to an expert about insomnia, are you ever. Try over the counter stuff -- I recently have been taking Tylenol PM and it works like a charm. And yeah, not good to take it constantly, but sometimes you need to do that. I took Ativan and ended up being sorry for it - I didn't take it on a regular basis but from what I've read, you don't have to take those types of rx's more than once to get withdrawal symptoms. So I stopped any prescription pills for sleep altogether. I also have had a beer with lotsa hops - Sierra Nevada has their Torpedo and it's tasty as well as relaxing.

    I hope you find something soon to help you. Losing sleep is no fun.

  • @Dakini said:
    Oh. hmm.... Any sources of anxiety in your life?

    Haha a lot:
    -I'm working on my thesis and I have to defend it at the end of the month.
    -I have to deal with a stuttering problem.
    -After a long fight, I've quit smoking marihuana (used to fight my demons wrongly), and there might be some abstinence syndrom.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited July 2015

    OK, OP--I think we've identified the source/s of the problem. Consider using a sleep aid just a couple of times/week to get some relief (not often enough to get hooked), until you're done with your thesis work. Quit the sleep aid once you're done with schoolwork, and give your body a chance to relax back into a normal sleep pattern. It might take some time, so be patient.

    RE: "demons", and stuttering problem: you can see a speech therapist for the stuttering, if it's truly causing you distress. It's definitely possible to overcome stuttering. Not in time for your thesis defense, but it can be done. Don't worry about the stuttering as you prepare for your thesis defense; don't allow that to be a source of anxiety. Presumably, your professors know about it, and will be understanding.

    I don't know if your university has a counseling/therapy clinic, like US universities have. If it does, consider seeing someone to discuss your "demons" with. You'll probably feel better, and it's a free service. It would be wise to take advantage of it while it's available to you.

    And have faith in yourself, when preparing for the thesis defense. I'm sure you know the material, so have confidence. :)

    DavidsilverEarthninjammo
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited July 2015

    I was just recommended Zen and the Art of Sleeping by Eric Chiles as I've found myself sleeping only a few hours here and there. Not so much restlessness of the mind but not getting tired til I have to get up.

    I haven't read it yet but a friend says it helped her immensely and that she's slept soundly for the last few months after reading it. She suffered insomnia for a couple years trying everything to no avail.

    Maybe worth a shot.

  • NamadaNamada Veteran
    edited July 2015

    Usint a mantra that fitts you, say it 100 times or more, and you will se that you will become more calm.

    Iam using Green Tara Mantra, Om Tara Tuttare Ture Svaha, but you can also make your own mantra that you like .

    Use it not only in bed before sleep, but also when you are at work and so on, this can be your ancer point, one safe place to always come back to.

    Benefits of using a mantra, is that it is more easy to follow then your breath,
    and you will be more aware about your negative states and good states.

    Try it out and see :)

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Maybe try searching 'insomnia hypnosis' on youtube and using some of the vids ...

    Travellermmo
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @Mahhler says '-I'm working on my thesis and I have to defend it at the end of the month. '

    ///

    I guess I have to speak for myself, but it sure would be nice to know how that goes. Keep me posted, ay? :star:

    TravellerMahhler
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran
    edited July 2015

    Try meditation, it might help you sleep.

    lobstermmo
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    I have that EXACT problem. Only when 2 things happen though.

    I drink alcohol in the afternoon and I'm anxious.
    I wake up at 3-4am everytime.
    If I don't drink alcohol or I'm not anxious. No problems !

    One thing that did help me straight away. Don't try to fall asleep. At all. It makes it worse. Don't expect you will be tired the next day and say to yourself you need to sleep.
    Just let whatever happens happen. 3am might be a great jump on morning exercise/walking/meditation or some studying. :)

    Sleeping pills knock me out though. I wake up slightly drowsy but they do work.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited July 2015

    The proble is also light. It's summer, and it begins to get light at that time.
    I wear a wonderful, soft eye-mask. Like they use in long-haul flights.
    Light hitting the eyes, even with curtains and drapes, tends to activate our rhythms...

    lobstermmoWalker
  • mmommo Veteran

    What about turmeric milk? I am trying it a few days now, probably too early to tell if it works.

    http://wellnessmama.com/223/turmeric-tea-recipe/

  • howhow Veteran

    I sometimes wake up at 3 in the morning but also find it to be an excellent place to simply watch my breath coming and going.
    I'm warm, relaxed, comfortably prone, with not a distraction to this practice in the world.

    EarthninjaTravellerlobsterMahhler
  • @Namada said:
    Usint a mantra that fitts you, say it 100 times or more, and you will se that you will become more calm.

    That's actually not bad at all.. next time I'll prove it.

    @federica said:
    The proble is also light. It's summer, and it begins to get light at that time.
    I wear a wonderful, soft eye-mask. Like they use in long-haul flights.
    Light hitting the eyes, even with curtains and drapes, tends to activate our rhythms...

    I live in the southern hemisphere (in Chile), so around 20.00 it's all dark. Also use a "black-out" curtain.

    Thanks everyone for the advices!

    To bring some culture here: poem about insomnia, written by Dámaso Alonso (spaniard poet) to point the spirit of the broken Spain in times of their Civil War (1936-1939):

    Insomnia

    Madrid is a city with more than a million corpses
    (according to the latest statistics).

    Sometimes at night I toss and turn and sit up within this burial niche where I’ve been rotting for the last 45 years,
    and I spend long hours listening to the hurricane’s howling, or to dogs’ barking, or the moon’s bland shimmer and flow.

    And I spend long hours howling like the hurricane, barking like a mad dog, flowing like milk out of a big yellow cow’s warm udder.

    And I spend long hours asking God, asking him why my soul rots away, ever so slowly,
    why is it that more than a million corpses are decaying in this city of Madrid,
    why a billion corpses slowly languish in the world.

    Tell me, which orchard do you intend to fertilize with our putrefaction?
    Do you fear per chance that the rose-bushes of your days will dry up,
    or that the sad, lethal asphodels of your nights will?

    lobstersilver
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    That was an incredible, beautiful poem, @Mahhler.

    Do you write any of your own? If you do, it would be good of you to share a little.

    lobster
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited July 2015

    @Earthninja said:
    I have that EXACT problem. Only when 2 things happen though.

    I drink alcohol in the afternoon and I'm anxious.
    I wake up at 3-4am everytime.
    If I don't drink alcohol or I'm not anxious. No problems !

    Alcohol is a stimulant. People think the contrary--that it puts you to sleep. But it actually stimulates the nervous system. And meditation, if practiced with a slow, deep breath technique, can help calm the anxiety. It''s been proven in the lab to turn off the stress hormones that keep you awake and anxious, and turn on the calming neurotransmitters. But I think in some cases, more than just that is needed. For example....

    Buddhism teaches us to use the mind to overcome adversity. The mind is the source of stress, and from stress--suffering. So in order to counteract problems relating to stress, use the mind to change your thought patterns. If worries or fears occupy the mind, tell yourself there's nothing to fear or worry about.

    For example, the OP is nervous about his thesis defense. But his exam committee is made up of faculty members who already know him and his work (typically, that's how it works). So he can talk himself out of the fear and apprehension. He can meditate on the fact that his professors think well of him, have already seen the quality of his work in their classes he participated in, and are prepared to pass him. In many cases, the thesis defense is more of a formality than a grueling oral exam in which the committee is trying to find weaknesses in the candidate. So the OP can tell himself it's nothing to be afraid of. He can visualize doing well, knowing some of the questions and arguments that will be presented (at this stage in his studies, he should be familiar with the scholarship in the field, the critics, alternative hypotheses, etc.), and visualize himself being calm and confident. This is how we can use the mind to overcome our self-induced stress.

    EarthninjalobsterShoshinDavid
  • Actually I think I'm not nervous about the presentation of the thesis. I know it by heart and I've been working on it from March 2014, so I'm very secure in the academical part. The thing that I'm afraid with, in my opinion, would be the end of an era -the educational one- and the beggining of another: when a cycle finish, another is started.

    Thanks you all for the concern, I really mean it.

    @silver said:

    Do you write any of your own? If you do, it would be good of you to share a little.

    Nothing, I'm just a humble reader.

    lobstersilver
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Up early? Go for walk. Fun. After a few nights your body will decide to overtake the mind ... B)

  • Haha no. It's 0:24 in Chile. I'm going to sleep soon.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Tee hee. ^^^ that's the spirit ... don't try too hard ... ;)

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    @mmo said:
    What about turmeric milk? I am trying it a few days now, probably too early to tell if it works.

    http://wellnessmama.com/223/turmeric-tea-recipe/

    Thank you for suggesting this. I plan to try it.

    mmo
  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    @Mahhler said:
    Actually I think I'm not nervous about the presentation of the thesis. I know it by heart and I've been working on it from March 2014, so I'm very secure in the academical part. The thing that I'm afraid with, in my opinion, would be the end of an era -the educational one- and the beggining of another: when a cycle finish, another is started.

    One of the things the Buddha pointed out is that change = dukha. Humans don't deal with change very well. Instead of being apprehensive, embrace it; a new stage in life! Your first full-time job, a new chance to spread your wings and grow. Replace the fears with positive talk, things to look forward to.

    Best of luck, OP. Let us know how life unfolds for you after your graduation. =)

    ShoshinWalkerlobster
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    golden milk is wonderful. I make it often. Set a relaxing atmosphere when you drink it (ie shut off the tv and computer and just enjoy it, practice mindfulness while you drink. Excellent stuff)

    You mentioned stimulants and marijuana, what about alcohol? Other than the stressors you mentioned, alcohol is one thing that interrupts the sleep cycle and causes people to wake up in the middle of the night, wide awake.

    If it happens that you wake up, lay quietly and do a body scan meditation. It'll relax you even if you cannot sleep. Relaxing in the dark is still restful. I have my children do this, too, and it helps them. I do it, too.

    Maybe add some strenuous exercise to your day. Running, weights, boxing...something difficult that takes your breath away. It'll help you rest better because your body knows it needs to recover.

    If all else fails, meditate. Because several studies have shown that meditation is similar enough to sleep that it "counts" as sleep time. People who meditate regularly and for longer period often find they need less sleep as a result.

    lobstermmoMahhler
  • count from 1000 backwards leaving 3 numbers. i.e. 1000, 997,994,991..... upto 0.
    U Can also read some Physics book and try to think and understand. Basically u need to excercise your brain by keeing eyes close. You will get sound sleep

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