Improving Sleep and Rest

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GRC109A

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I've found a few "rules", things that helped me to get better rest and thought I'd share them here:

  • The bedroom is for sleeping. No phones, TVs, conversations, screens, radios or reading. Remove or turn off the electronic junk.
  • Its OK to get out of bed if you're restless, don't lay there fidgeting and ruminating, go to another room that is quiet and read or meditate. When you feel sleepy again, go back to bed.
  • Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. I excuse myself early from social events that would disrupt my sleep schedule.
  • Napping is OK, but go to bed to nap and get under the covers. Set an alarm for about 30 minutes.
  • Lighting is important. Avoid too-bright lights, or blue tinted lights (high Kelvin temperature lights) in the afternoon and evening. Instead, read with a 40-watt equivalent "warm" or 2500-2700 kelvin light over your shoulder. Blue tinged or high-Kelvin lights (above 2700 kelvin) simulate bright daylight, and will wire you up....good for the workplace or morning but does not promote sleep. For night or meditation lighting, use a red or orange light. Adjust computer, tablet and phone screens and colors to "warm" and dim them. If you use a "happy light" for SAD, do that early in the early morning.
  • Thick blinds and curtains will reduce unwanted noise and soften "reflected" noise in the bedroom, as well as keep out light pollution.
  • Be non-social a few hours before sleep. Turn off the social media and texting. Avoid family squabbles. These things tend to wind us up.
  • Turn off TV and internet news in the latter part of the day, watch some "fluff" or a comedy instead.
  • Find a comfortable bed that suits you. I use a natural latex bed and soft topper. You may require something else.
  • Make sure spouse, partner, roomies or family understand your sleep needs and keep quiet. Some of us are noise sensitive. Thick fabric wall decorations and coverings may reduce some noise. I find that disposable soft or squishy types of earplugs (found in builders stores and pharmacies) will stop a lot of the noise.
  • Watch what you are drinking and eating. A large evening meal, too close to bedtime may keep you awake. Watch caffeine and alcohol late in the day.
 

JayCS

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Agreed on all of this (and lots more)... except
  • Napping is OK, but go to bed to nap and get under the covers. Set an alarm for about 30 minutes.
Many seem to not do this, but I actually swap clothes and go to bed properly, even for only 15 minutes.
Now I usually stick with a power nap, which is sposed to be 20 minutes.
But in the past I have sometimes needed long 1 or 2 hour sleeps and it didn't affect my night sleep.
It was when I realized that I wasn't getting enough restorative sleep at night and getting feverish from that at daytime.
First I cold showered to decrease the feverishness, cos I misinterpreted it.
Then I realized it was needing sleep and a long day sleep helped.
It got important to sleep directly when the feverishness came up, as long as necessary.
Some people can't manage to keep to night sleep.
With FM we may and will be different. It's just a case of knowing these rules and trying to find our exception.
A large evening meal, too close to bedtime may keep you awake.
I'm never sure if it really makes a difference in my case, but since I eat very healthy it's fairly light anyway.

What is making a difference at the moment is the old boring rule of going to bed "before midnight". The later it gets, the less I sleep. However what's keeping me from going to bed is that I'm not feeling tired. Usually I find that my sleep is still quite OK even if I go to bed altho I'm not tired. However only after a cold shower :rolleyes::p.
After the jabs as the only positive of 25 side effects improve my sleep, taking my 2nd gen. antihistamine in the evening continued that.
Acupuncture is now I think substituting that and together with increased GABA also my histamine-y jab-symptoms, so med-free again.
And have also been able to halve the passiflora from 4x.35g to 2x.


You can find a sleep thread of mine through 2021, and specifically a long update post on my "30 wakers and stoppers" list -> here...
 
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sunkacola

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One thing to keep in mind is that there is no rule or set of rules that works for everyone.
As a person with life-long insomnia, I know that what helps or doesn't is a very individual thing.
In the post above, there are some things I do because they can help, and others that I don't do because they only make things a lot worse. Just like anything else, it is good to experiment to find out what works for you and to remember that no list of suggestions will contain only things that will help every person.
 

Badger

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I've always found it difficult to sleep, it's awful for us having to lie down and rest in pain with things on our minds. Sure enough we may end up having to get out of bed a few hours later with painfully stiff joints and muscles. If anything changes such as stress, an injury or illness we could be up all night. It's a strange feeling with lack of sleep when you catch yourself dropping off but can't be sure if you really did.

Amitriptyline helps towards sleep, I couldn't manage without it. Learnt the hard way with Pregabalin if I miss an evening dose I'm likely to be wide awake most of the night. Having to get used to a new mouth guard doesn't help. What did help was waking early everyday, much as I hate it. When I've stuck to it, no caffeine in the evening and a herbal tea may be worthwhile.

Breathing techniques learnt along with meditation could also be positive in combination with a sensible routine. Deep breathing is something I come back to when things are bad. A sleep hypnosis track by Paul McKenna is worth checking out. The first two mornings after trying it, I felt like I had been under, not drowsy just a feeling for a couple of hours that I'd been under. Since then if I try it, results vary, sometimes falling asleep before the end, sometimes not, but my mind does frequently wander.

Consistency is really important and I must change my lifestyle in case it helps. In a YouTube about sleep and the brain they say there is a part that will take to regular bedtimes and expect them so there may be hope for us. All the best for a better nights rest
 

JayCS

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It's a strange feeling with lack of sleep when you catch yourself dropping off but can't be sure if you really did.
It's helpful that studies show that we sleep much more than we do. It is even proven that we often dream that we had woken up.
I think that is insanely helpful to soothe ourselves. I count anything sleep-like or what is possibly sleep as sleep. At the moment I need to use Yoga Nidra recordings at least half of every night. My wife says it'd make her mad, but it's even better than light sleep. Only when I am really wide awake do I get up, till I get "heavy" again - happens often enough, at the moment about 2x1-2h. But I'm close to regaining control. :rolleyes: Specially intricate cos I need more than 9h, so it's taking about 12h. A month ago I was at 9h with hardly any breaks. Re-starting acupuncture seems to have unbalanced my cortisol / neurotransmitters. So I've had to take my passiflora back up to maximum (4x.3g), after increasing GABA by 25%(5x.6g).
 

Badger

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Yoga Nidra had been helpful too. I've been trying it some afternoons to break the day up. Sometimes end up catching myself snoring, not too bad I guess. Worth a try in case it helps.
 

JayCS

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Re-starting acupuncture seems to have unbalanced my cortisol / neurotransmitters.
I'm considering worse sleep is the downside of my increased energy up to 30% (= 3 hours of "activity") in the afternoons... :rolleyes: :unsure:😞
 
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