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Looking after ourselves

Senior Contributor

need help with sleep

Hi Everyone

I am at my wits end with trying to sleep and im hoping someone might have some other ideas.


I have a good bedtime routine but I will admit that since my sleep has gotten worse I havent been keeping up with everything. Im having trouble with the layout of how to describe things so will do more paragraphs...



my daily routine always has a walk often of an afternoon, eating well, limiting caffine (I dont have caffine after 12 oclcock except a cup of tea every now and then but not after 5 oclcock with dinner), basic hygeines of a bath or hot shower, and before bed calming down by reading a book or doing abit of relaxation and incorportating an extra self care activity of some sort like arts or baking, abit of extra exercise and watching a favourite movie.



The things ive tried are:

-limiting caffine

- going to bed early and sticking to a routine of sleep/wake

- going to bed only when im tired (with such little sleep atm im very fatigued and in bed by 9ish)

- relaxation methods inlcuding breathing and/PMR exercises.

- making sure I journal and use my worry box to get things off my mind

- when awake or constantly tossing and turning ill get up and go for a walk, get a drink or just get up out of bed. Lately ive been even more distressed over sleep and so jittery I find my self cleaning (scrubbing floors, mopping, scrubbing the sinks) or pacing.

- Ive tried natural remedies for sleep (as prescribed by a naturopath)

- Tried (one type) of sleeping medications to which my gp and psychiatrist are now telling me I dont have any other options.

- salt lamps- they are suppose to help so have one of those

- essential oils- I put abit on the tops of my feet and my wrists

- making sure my room is comfortable- with always clean and fresh sheets/bed covers, room is tidy, cool room with the fan on lo and often oscalting so its like white noise.

-listening to music both the music I actually like and calming music including certain sounds like waves or the rain (via youtube links)

-going to sleep with the tv on so its abit of noise.

- making sure im not in pain the best I possibly can by taking all my meds ive benn prescribed, and physio exercises etc.

-letting myself just move around and accepting itll stop eventually but it never seems to (takes over 4 hrs to even partly settle but then it starts back up again)

-recent one- as suggested by someone to try listening to a book while falling asleep but stayed away for a long time.





Ive spoken to my gp and psychiatrist to which their replys were I dont have any other options for sleep medications or other mh medications despite only trying 4 (one only for 3 days as had a reaction) with each being in a different drug category. She wont refer to me to a slepe specialist either.

I am forever tossing and turning, it becomes very distressing to me to the point I have tears of distress, desparation and frustration, I get hot like I have a fever but my temp is normall though occassionally goes up to 37.6 and im guessing its from being hot and very aggitated.


It has been over 3 weeks of either no sleep, or 3hrs and under. I think ive had one or 2 good nights (5 hrs). I am exhuasted but yet I cannot stop moving.



Any ideas on what I can do?


Re: Please help- i cant sleep!!!

@outlander Hi outlander about time ... my mum has always been an insomnic and it gets worse with age so it is very important that you get this undercontrol now rather than later I think. She is on a very heavy sleeping pill which works .... I wish I could tell you what it is but think the heaviest you can possibly get  and google it.... anyways I dont sleep that great but have a fan on the grey noise really help plus the movement of air around the room makes a huge difference. Apparently magnesium works ... who knows it didnt work for my mum. I just wish this once I could tell you the name ... I would guarentee it would work. xx

Re: Please help- i cant sleep!!!

Hey there @outlander disturbed sleep and being unable to sleep, as you're aware, just dominoes in it's effects. 
I often have trouble sleeping and I have not yet worked out any particular catalysts for it other than anxiety of course. I've found over time, things change and when some things work others don't, you sound like you have a decent awareness of what to do to help yourself, so I understand your total frustration at this. 

I'll make a bit of a list of things that you may not have thought of, or might not have thought of using in a particular way. 

~ The white noise is a given, fan always on when sleeping, directed away when cold. 

~ Sometimes light is a problem, any light, so I have a way to darken the room if needed. Usually light being bothersome is an indicator of a migraine in the offing. 

~ Sometimes sounds can trigger disturbance. Again, if of a particular disturbance, migraine coming on.

~ Anxiety of course is a big one. Use what you have to manage it. 

~ I also need a cover, no matter how hot, must. have. light. sheet. 

~ Can't have any lumps, bumps or crumbs in the bed. (think Princess and the Pea)

~ My main go to is to use what's called 'square breathing', it's just four simple (hah, yeah, some sides of the square are much shorter than other sides for a while) breath segments done to a count of four, I imagine the sides of a square and follow the steps:

Inhale 2 3 4; Hold 2 3 4; Exhale 2 3 4; Hold 2 3 4. 
Focus on the action of breathing, holding, exhaling each breath for the same length of time.

It may take a while to get to a calm state and to then fall asleep, but this has not failed me yet. Remembering to do it can be an issue when I get too agitaged though. :womanfrustrated

~ Not sure if I can say the naturally occuring supplement that I've been using for the past 4 months or not that has worked remarkably well. It's the stuff that regulates your body clock - I get it (legally) from a reputable source overseas, customs checks every package to ensure it's only enough for 3 months, so don't be suprised at that, it makes me feel safer.

The brand I researched with the help of a pharmacist starts with "N" and ends with "L" with 4 letters in between. The stuff available here is script only and has other meds added into it that are not useful to me and which makes the price astronomical. 

~ I have some support pillows too, so I'm not lying flat, flat is an anxiety inducer for me. Also have a knee support pillow, I sleep in a nest of pillows more or less Woman Happy good neck support too. And I've recently made myself a soft but chunky sized cuddle pillow to rest my arm/ shoulder for side sleeping. 

~ Just a thought, because I've been wondering about it for myself - do you rest better, feel less agitated if you have a weightiness across your chest/torso? if so, a weighted blanket concept might work for you. With the heat it's going to be harder to test, otherwise a folded blanket would work to test with. 

~ If there's an issue of restless legs, the need for constant movement, or muscle jumping - I have some serious muscle jumps that wake me - there's magnesium blend of powders that I get from the chemist and use when I need it. I'm pretty sure it helps with that 'can't sit still, have to keep moving' awfulness that I get too. 

~ As you've said, essential oils can be really useful too, I have an electric oil burner, similar ish to a diffuser but not. Be aware of having pure essentials and not cheap blends, they will not necessarily work the same. Try some blends if you can sometime.

Check the labels for the oils being used and if they don't work to relax you, then they won't work. EG: Lavender is supposed to be relaxing, but it makes someone I know very angry (always fun in those stores that have smelly candle things). 

 Sorry for the wall of text .... hopefully something in there might give you some ideas to use or head you in a direction that finds a solution for you.

A good night's sleep is such a gift. Heart


Re: Please help- i cant sleep!!!

@outlander I feel so guilty about my grumpy post. I am nearly as frustrated as you that you cannot sleep ... I do not understand why no one can help you ... in fact it really upsets me sweetie it really does. Smiley Sad

Re: Please help- i cant sleep!!!

i didnt think you were being grumpy @greenpea so all is well. im hoping i can make an appt to see a gp next week. they are open tomorrow till 12 so will give them a ring and see if i can see someone-anyone at this point i dont care nor does it matter.  i was on magnesium for a while and i didnt see a great deal of difference. not for sleep or restlessness etc. 


Re: Please help- i cant sleep!!!

@outlander God I wish I was there with you I would go in there and say my peace and tell them to stop messing you around and give you something that you can take up to 3-4 days a week for a month or so to get you into a pattern of sleeping and then see how it goes after tht and by God if they put up a fuss omg would I give them a serve on your behalf.Smiley Mad

Re: Please help- i cant sleep!!!

hi @Former-Member thank you for all those suggestions. i dont mind a book sometimes. 

so im just reading through your list and ill jsut address the parts i havent tried/ thought of etc. 

the light- my room is dark but i cant sleep in totol darkness so have just a little bit of light but its a comfortable light. the sounds- if they are loud yes for sure they are triggerring but i cant have it too quiet either so im trying to work on that balance, sometimes it varies from night to night. ive often got pop walking around until about 12ish and his brother is coming (which is a big trigger for me becasue they are so so loud and very inconsiderate of their noise)  i always seem to have really high anxiety lately so have been trying to manage- not doing a good job of it though but getting by the best i can 

yes the covers! ive alwasy got a light sheet on me with a cool room. i dont like being uncovered. 

i havent heard of square breathing i usally do it by 3s but can try 4 might be able to go abit deeper. 

i was on melatonin for a while with no change and a few naturopathic things as well but no success...

i sleep sort of upright too, i dont like laying flat at all so abit like you. 

hmm havent tried the weight part yet so could try that tonight if i can stop moving but worth a shot


thanks again for all those options and suggestions!



Re: Please help- i cant sleep!!!

they did give me a med that i could take no more than 3 nights a week but those are the ones that increased my nightmares @greenpea i dont have the energy to give them a talking to, so would be handy for you to yell at the for me

Re: Please help- i cant sleep!!!

@outlander it is my motherly instinct coming out. It is a shame you have to do this by yourself .... that makes me sad. You deserve so much support and you not getting it *cries* Smiley Sad

Re: Please help- i cant sleep!!!

Hi @outlander

Can I ask, when you are trying to sleep, are you thinking about something?


For urgent assistance, call:


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