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Author Topic: Urgh. Sleep advice, please?  (Read 2177 times)

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Offline Mouse

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Urgh. Sleep advice, please?
« on: February 09, 2007, 05:33:26 AM »
I have terrible terrible terrible sleeping habits and it's not good. I can't fall asleep at a time normal for human beings (despite them being normal times for night dwelling critters). I find myself getting tired around noon and I can't help but fall asleep for a few hours. By the time midnight or so rolls around and I know I *should* get to bed I seriously can't. I lay in bed for freaking HOURS. So long that I kind of lose track of time. I'll know that I've gotten into bed around 3 AM and the next time I look at my alarm clock it's like 6. Christ.

I've tried EVERYTHING people have told me. If I can't sleep, I'll get up and read or something to try and get myself tired, but then I wind up just staying up completely. My mom thinks I'm fucked. Haha. Every other day she asks me if I'm doing teh drugz0rz or something.

It's really driving me crazy. Not to mention causing issues with my boyfriend - who has a normal sleeping schedule - he'll get mad at me when he wants to sleep and I'm downstairs snacking on something or playing on the computer. I feel like such an ass. And then I'll finally fall asleep at like 6 in the morning and not wake up until when it's getting dark out. I feel like. A fucking. Bat. He'll wake me up earlier and want to go out or something and I'll bite his head off and be all cranky and mean because I want to sleep in.

The best compromise I've made so far is being awake until like 9 or 10 AM and then sleeping until like 4 or 5 PM. This usually works as I'll just get my school work done through the night when I'm most awake and have time in the evening to go out and see a movie or something with my boything if he doesn't have musical practice. And he has school from 7 to 2 so I'm pretty much asleep while he's at school.

Confusing I know, I know, I know.

I have reasons to believe that this might just be my normal sleeping pattern but some of it might have to do me used to being really fatigued during the afternoon and napping. I feel a lot better now since my numbers have gotten less wonky, but as a result my sleeping patterns are absolutely fucked.

Offline Razorbill

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Re: Urgh. Sleep advice, please?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2007, 06:38:59 AM »
You have no regular schedule to anchor your sleeping.  Unlike most of us and your boyfriend, you don't have a set daily schedule (school or work).  Also I don't see gym or exercise in your write up.  Regular exercise during the day would make you want to sleep.  I'm not sure how to reset your schedule, but unless this is the lifestyle you want, you'll need to be up at 7 or earlier to do you school work.  Then I'd suggest some gym or exercise in the afternoon.  Or even a job during part of the day!  No naps.  Have set times to do things and stick to them.  Perhaps a mild sleeping pill at night to get you to sleep until you're reset.  Mouse, you don't have anything challenging your time, it just drifts.  You do what you want when you want.  I don't think that's a plan.  I'm just a cranky, old high school teacher - but that's what I think.  Good luck.

Offline dtwpuck

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Re: Urgh. Sleep advice, please?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2007, 06:47:30 AM »
I actually sympathize with your BF.  I have one who is a night owl and I get really tired of him rustling around until three or four in the morning, and then waking me up when he comes to bed.  Not to mention I feel like I sleep alone, which I didn't really sign up for.  It makes going to work in the morning trying at times. 

I'd have to echo Razor's sentiments.  You need to make a daily schedule and give it importance.
Regular, vigorous exercize will set your sleep patterns.  But, mostly, sleep patterns are something you can change, as anyone who has changed time zones has figured out.  It's psychological.   One way to force yourself into a different sleep pattern is to force yourself to stay awake during the day.  Take an ambien when it's time to go to bed.  If you wake up, get up.  But don't go back to bed during the day.  Believe me, by the time you've done that for a few days your body will adjust. 
Floating through the void in the caress of two giant pink lobsters named Esmerelda and Keith.

Offline mrtallguy

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Re: Urgh. Sleep advice, please?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2007, 06:50:47 AM »
Hey Mouse....I'm with the "cranky old school teacher" (Razorbill) on this one....I've had sleeping issues for years and a full schedule really helps....and some ambien, lunesta, elavil, and seroquel!!  Force yourself into a schedule and pretty soon your system will stop fighting the process.  Let us know what changes you are making and how they work!  Good Luck!

Be Well.....rested!

Offline Mouse

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Re: Urgh. Sleep advice, please?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2007, 06:55:23 AM »
Well, my latest attempt today will be to force myself into bitch mode for the next 24 hours while I deprive myself of sleep so I sleep tonight.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Urgh. Sleep advice, please?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2007, 08:29:18 AM »
Jaser, as you already know, changing your sleep pattern isn't easy. It requires a disciplined effort.

It means getting into the habit of winding down as the hour for a traditional bedtime approaches. You can have something to eat -- nothing heavy duty, but light and pleasant. It can be drinking something warm like chocolate or bullion. Some people also find taking a warm bath or a shower to be helpful.

Getting out of bed to read or to go on the computer is NOT a good idea. Then you are mobilizing your attention and energy which will not settle you down when you want to go to sleep. If you're going to read, read in bed and not elsewhere in your home.

Meditating at bedtime can be very effective. It's calming and gets you into settling down mode. Just laying in bed an doing deep and slow breathing is good. Some find meditative music to be helpful as well.

I learned long ago that simply staying horizontal in bed gives your body some rest. It's not the same as sleep, but it's still good. Where people often get into trouble about sleep problems is becoming upset at not sleeping or even resentful about having to be in bed.

What you want to do is give yourself to those things which will quiet your soul down rather than stir it up as sleeptime approaches.

Like I said first, it requires discipline, a willingness to change your habits. You're a creative guy. If you put that creativity to work here you are going to find your own formula for what'll give you a good night's rest.

Lastly, you might give some thought to resentments. All of the tricks and efforts in the world aren't going to be of much use if you're really angry at having to go to bed when you don't want to. Then your body becomes a battleground between the supposed intention to go to sleep and the conflicting intention to sleep or not when you "feel" like it.

Keep us posted on how it's going.   
Andy Velez

Offline fondeveau

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Re: Urgh. Sleep advice, please?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2007, 08:32:07 AM »
Yep, no regular schedule - the bane of all parents is getting the newborn in sync with a regular schedule.  Once accomplished, no more sleepless nights staying up with the baby.  I think it might work for you, too.  Check out some pediatric sites for advice on resetting that clock and getting a schedule in place.

Offline ACinKC

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Re: Urgh. Sleep advice, please?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2007, 10:55:16 AM »
Patterns are good.  Try melatonin at night, its a natural substance and it works for me.  I use it to help me get to sleep and start that schedule when ive been off of it awhile.  Just need to train your body a little bit.
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
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Offline Boo Radley

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Re: Urgh. Sleep advice, please?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2007, 11:30:07 AM »

I'm going to chime in with what has become my standard response to anyone with HIV who has sleep problems but your situation is probably also affected by your schedule or lack thereof.

HIV can, by itself, interfere with output of the chemicals your body uses to put you to sleep and to experience all of the necessary phases of sleep.   If you do not get enough deep sleep you will always feel tired.  Try all of the suggestions above for helping to get to sleep but if you have trouble staying asleep or you wake up and don't feel refreshed you should discuss the situation with your doctor.  You are rather young to start using medical sleeping aids (over time your body needs higher doses for the same effect) but if you cannot get regular adequate sleep your health will eventually be affected.

Like you, I have no set schedule since I no longer have a job or school to occupy my time.  I do volunteer work but presently it's all done from home so I do it when I feel up to it, day or night.  I go through cycles of sleeping a "regular" night for a few weeks then my biological clock slams me and I cannot fall asleep until after the sun rises.  It drives me batty.   I take 4 - 6 mg. of clonazepam every night and just began taking 75 - 125 mg. of amitriptyline a few hours before bedtime.  The addition of the latter has helped tremendously and I don't have a hangover the next morning as long as I take the amitriptyline before 9PM. 

I am a night owl and have been all my life but 30 years of 9 to 5 has a way of nixing the late-night antics.  When I'm ill I often feel better at night than during the day and will sleep mostly during the day since I can. 

I somewhat disagree with others who say you should not nap during the day because if I don't take a nap when fatigued I get nauseated and weak and have to lie down eventually, but my body went through chronic hepatitis B for 4 years and my energy levels have been low ever since I contracted that co-infection.  But, besides my fascinating medical conditions, many cultures around the globe have traditions of daytime naps, and a short nap can sometimes rejuvenate you for the rest of the day.   I'm not talking about sleeping all day but just a 1/2 to 1 1/2 hour nap can help. 

Try some of the suggestions from this diverse group and see what works for you!

Good luck and have a great night's sleep!

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Offline ndrew

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Re: Urgh. Sleep advice, please?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2007, 12:48:31 AM »
Hi J,

I am having this problem right now as well.  Every night I stay up later and then I sleep in later...  I know I need to just force myself to get up and suffer though until my body rhythms adjust, but I feel a little spoiled and kinda hate schedules...


Offline racingmind

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Re: Urgh. Sleep advice, please?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2007, 09:19:40 PM »
Here's what I do.....my boyfriend and I go to sleep at the same time (he gets up at the butt crack of dawn so he's wiped by bedtime...).  If I'm not that sleepy, I put on a DVD in the bedroom and turn the sound off and set it so I can read the subtitles.  My boyfriend puts on eye shades so the light of the TV doesn't bother him.
Reading TV somehow puts me to sleep....

It works for me...might want to give it a shot...it's a bit different that reading a book because you are looking at the action on the screen and reading the dialog and trying to keep up takes a little more effort that simply reading a book or a magazine.....
Tested Negative: 5/06
Tested Positive: 9/06 
9/06: CD4: 442 (28%) VL: +100,000
10/06: CD4: 323 (25%) VL: 243,440
11/06: CD4: 405 (28%) VL: 124,324
12/06: CD4: 450 (29%) VL: 114,600
1/07: CD4: 440 (27%) VL: 75,286
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10/09: CD4: 1045 (43%) VL: undetectable


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