Saturday, October 15, 2011

*Insomnia Explained

You lie there, awake, your eyes closed but just barely so, your mind refusing to shut down. You shift positions, hoping against all hope that it will help. Instead you repeat the whole process again and again only to be able to fall asleep about 15 minutes before you have to get up and begin a brand new day. This used to be how my life was some time ago that I had actually dedicated a 'label' on this blog to the word 'Insomnia'

Without me realising it, the inability to sleep slowly disappeared over time. Of course it would occasionally creep up on me every now and then, but it was nothing that made me worry endlessly about ending up like The Machinist. Over the last two weeks however, the inability to sleep or insomnia, as I'd rather call it (lets face it, insomnia is just one word that describes the situation instead of the three words used in 'inability to sleep', making it much more convenient!) made a comeback. Being sleep deprived after a long, long time was awful, but this time, instead of puzzling over it, the reason for this insomnia was suddenly apparent.

See, when I was was suffering from the initial bout of insomnia, I used to work rather late on a regular basis. The 'working late' trend came to a halt circa 2009 when the economic crisis happened (although we were not affected very badly) I followed this new trend although the economy picked up later on, and never realised that this could've been the contributor to my ability to sleep well. Since mid September, I've had to work late rather often, and all of a sudden, the insomnia came back just like that - with my mind actively working while it should actually be trying to get some rest.

Now that I've discovered the rootcause of the problem, the only thing left is to find a solution!

* Self-diagnosed

4 comments:

  1. In the past when I've worked late, I'd get home, think I MUST sleep or I won't wake up in the morning so went straight to bed and expected to sleep easily. Of course I didn't.

    You need to wind down first. However late you work, stay awake for at least an hour after you get home, regardless of how tired you think you are. Let your mind and body slow down and acclimatise to being at home. Soft lighting and no music, computers, TV, phonecalls or other distractions. Read a book (but not in bed and nothing too racy) until you can't stay awake a moment longer, then go to bed.

    Forgive me if this sounds simplistic but I finally found out this worked for me. I think, fundamentally, we are creatures of habit and don't like disruption, particularly before we sleep. Avoid sleep-assisting medication - you'll just get dependant on it.

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  2. Or don't work late?

    I have had trouble with insomnia all my life. My doctor recently recommended trying melatonin as a natural, non-addictive sleep-regulator. Melatonin is the sleep hormone out bodies produce naturally but can be taken as a supplement. She said it doesn't work if you take it prn, it has to reach a steady state in your bloodstream. I've been using it for several weeks and it actually seems to be elping.

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  3. I've been having insomnia for the last couple of months to the point where reading books doesn't help anymore.

    In my case, the cause is horror movies which normally leaves me sleeping with the light on for weeks before I can be comfortable with the darkness. Childish, I know.

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  4. King of Scurf: Thanks for the tips... I actually don't attempt sleep straight away, but when sleep decides to stay away, it just does.

    SAW:Don't work late, definitely. :D

    sriyani: Horror movies... yeah, they might cause some damage to our sleep patterns I guess....

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