Topic started by gia on Dec. 19, 2008. Last post by Black_Rose 6 years, 2 months ago.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
So, for most of my life I've suffered from a very mild form of onset insomnia: I can fall asleep, it just takes me longer than average. (Average is 20-30 minutes; it usually takes me about an hour to force my brain to shut down.) Compared to the insomnia suffered even just by some of my friends, this is absolutely nothing. But it does make me think a lot about how people get to sleep at night.

When I first lay down I usually start thinking about stuff I need or want to do the next day. This kind of thinking is what I can NEVER fall asleep during, because my brain just keeps flitting from this to that and trying to keep track of everything. Eventually if I think on it without distraction I start to run out of things or else I just start getting distracted, and then I start thinking about...well, anything. Stories I want to write, conversations I've had, conversations I WANT to have, whatever. I do some of my best thinking here, but unfortunately I can never write any of it down because then I'd NEVER get to sleep!

And so, I eventually wind down. (Though sometimes if I get jolted back to full-consciousness right as I'm drifting off, I remember the weirdest dreams...or thoughts? I'm not sure if I'm asleep enough at that point for it to be considered a 'dream.')

Of course, my process is very different from a lot of people, especially my age-- not just because of the insomnia (actually, I think a lot of my peers have similar or worse problems falling asleep), but because I'm pretty consistent about when I get to bed and when I wake up...usually I go to bed around 11 or 11:30, and wake up around 8, even on weekends, unless something special's going on. Not exactly typical for a 24-year-old, but I like to think I'm better rested than many of my peers. ;)

Because of my mild insomnia and another sleep-related problem I suffer from (sleep paralysis-- only very rarely now, but man, few things are as creepy as having your brain wake up before your body), sleep and sleep habits have always been of great interest to me.

So how about you? Have you ever even thought about it, or does sleeping come naturally to you (for lack of a better way to put it)? Do you have a process, or difficulties, or anything? What do you think about when you're trying to get to sleep? Anyone?

Post by Devastator (62 posts) See mini bio Level 2
You can't sleep?
Post by GMan (282 posts) See mini bio Level 11
Post by Jewel (1,654 posts) See mini bio Level 10
Gia, i suffer from it as well.. have all my life an i got 6 years on you :-P i find it best to tire myself out before i go to bed.. but stress always makes it worse.

Do you find you very rarley get good deep sleep? I get that a lot.. i do the half sleep thing..
Post by jlrm01 (198 posts) See mini bio Level 7
It is extremely easy for me to go to sleep. However, my natural tendency has always been to sleep during the day and be awake during the night. Work / studies usually got / get in the way of this... but during weekends I follow the cycle.

I sleep a lot, too. I like to think that one of my ancestors was a Polar Bear (I "hibernate"). Don't ask me how that happened. ^_^ During my university studies, my housemates / roommates usually kept count of how many hours I slept, and after waking up they reported on my records ("You almost broke your own record, dude!", "18 hours, you are the man!", and so on). I didn't know about this until years later, but the woman who owned the house where I stayed for years always made the story, to the new people looking for a place to stay in, of a "legendary guy, who goes to sleep on a Sunday and wakes up on a Wednesday", making sure to point out that he "is a nice guy". She told me this after I didn't live there anymore, with a smile on her face (and her daughter laughing her ass off). Oh, well.

So, in conclusion: I have no sleeping troubles, I have "staying awake" troubles. ^_^
Post by Slinger (399 posts) See mini bio Level 7
Well, It's 2:30 a.m. on the East Coast and I'm still awake. What has done the most damage to my sleep cycles? A laptop and wireless internet. Seriously, I'm lucky if I can get any sleep before midnight, and usually I am awake again by 6:00 or 7:00 (on weekends, during the week I sometimes am awake between 4:30 and 6:00.) I get around five hours of sleep a night on average, but have done much, much worse. The longest I have gone without sleep was probably around sixty straight hours.

A sure fire way for me to conk out is my PSP. When I start playing a game, I often enter a strange Zen like trance state where my mind becomes a blank slate. Then I find it very easy to shut down for the night and finally catch some Z's. Another sleep aid that I use is my television, mostly for white noise, I think it provides me with a distraction from all of the other distractions in my world. They TV makes you into a zombie, for me it's easier to get to sleep when I'm zombified.

I often wake up with my laptop open and a post ready to go that looks something like this:


With my television set blaring whatever is on Cartoon Network (usually Inuyasha (bleh) or if I'm lucky Mission Hill,) and a few extra hours on whatever game I was playing (time the character spent tapping his foot (or a game over screen and I probably forgot to save after mastering KotR, grrr.))

I sometimes wonder what my sleep cycles would be like during the U.S.'s colonial period, when people really didn't have much to do after dark. I think I would have been much more well rested.
Post by Killroycantkill (70 posts) See mini bio Level 12
I usually cant fall asleep until like.... 2am. During school days i try to go to sleep earlier but it just takes forever. During weekends and holidays i just stay up gaming until im tired. Usually i like to wear myself out then i get to sleep easy. That or eat something like a toasted peanut butter sandwhich before i go to sleep.
Post by Lunarmoth (193 posts) See mini bio Level 5
eh.... I believe that a good sum of people have a mild form of insomnia, like yours. But I don't know.
Do I have difficulty falling asleep at night. Sure do, for the past years, like you I can't go to sleep of command, It take a good set of time. The mind seems to wonder. But, find a sleeping habbit and it is easier to catch the z's.... which I'm going to try now.

Ever dream of the next day the night before? I have, only two or three time, creapy and sometime a pain.
once was a school day, and the othere just weekends I think.
Post by Devastator (62 posts) See mini bio Level 2
Im on the westside, 12:13 midnight. I should be n bed.
Post by Slinger (399 posts) See mini bio Level 7
Hee hee! I just remembered! Has anyone else ever fallen asleep at like, three in the afternoon, only to wake up frantically later that evening mistakenly thinking it was the next morning and believing that they are late for work/school/whatever? It happened to me and my brothers all the time. In fact we would often play tricks on eachother if we did fall asleep that early, "Jack! Wake up! You're late!" My brother would be in a panic trying to get ready for school in a sleepy haze, but eventually wonder why everyone was home and watching the Simpsons at 7:00 in the a.m.

Good times...
Post by AHoodedFigure (37 posts) See mini bio Level 7
I have insomnia that varies from day to day.  Sometimes it's so quick it's not really insomnia, other times I've stayed up ALL NIGHT without sleeping, although the average is 20 minutes to an hour.  Now that I know that you don't likely gain any more weight from eating late, I think I'm helped by having a bit of a meal before going to bed.  Might be a blood sugar thing.

Also, my most successful strategy has been to think of images instead of tasks.  I think that kicks in the part of the brain that runs while you sleep, because that tends to knock me out better than anything.  Not trying to study an image or anything, but just think of visual things, and random scenarios.

Gia, if you read this, I'd be curious to see if the image thing helps at all.  Please let me know.
Post by Devilly (5,329 posts) See mini bio Level 11
LoL i was up till 6 am yesterday XD

If i go to sleep it would either be my girlfriend i think of or kinda some nature setting like a abandond beach . :)
Post by Katsuro_Igarashi (254 posts) See mini bio Level 1
I always go to sleep really late, then wake up really early.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
Jewel, no, I don't usually have problems getting deep sleep. Maybe once in a blue moon, but not enough to really be concerned about. Actually nowadays I don't really have any problems at all, it just took me a little while to get there :)

But I always worry about my friends who vary their sleep schedules a lot and don't usually get enough! Like, the people who stay up until 2-4am even if they have to wake up at 8...even if you sleep in a ton over the weekend it's hard to make up for that sleep, and having a constantly-shifting sleep schedule does take a toll on your body and overall stress level. It's sort of like being a bit overweight. In and of itself it doesn't really hurt you, but it can make any other health problems you might have hit you harder, if that makes sense. @_@
Post by hazelnutman (142 posts) See mini bio Level 2
I usually just fatigue myself on the computer until I can go to sleep, regardless of time.
Post by Black_Rose (1,204 posts) See mini bio Level 11
hazelnutman said:
"I usually just fatigue myself on the computer until I can go to sleep, regardless of time."
Pretty much. I can't sleep before 1 AM.
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