View Full Version : Staying asleep in the morning

09-26-13, 11:48 PM
I have trouble getting a full night's sleep - I often wake after about 6 or max 7 hours (woken by needing to pee, by a demanding cat, or for no obvious reason). Then I feel exhausted, but can't get back to sleep properly. After half-dozing a while I get enough energy to get up, but still feel like crap.

I came looking for advice, but thought I'd start by listing things that have helped me at times. Partly as they might help someone, and partly to remind myself to do all these things :-).

Make it really dark. Hanging an extra sheet over the curtains can be good. A scarf over the eyes that keeps out all light is great. A piece of black velvet cloth is excellent - it's heavy enough that it closes off all the gaps where light would get in.
Earplugs. If there's no major stress and no animals disturbing me, I can sometimes get back to sleep and wake up really refreshed, by using an eye-cover and earplugs.
Yoga during the day or evening. I have an excellent yoga yeacher, who taught not to over-bend or over-stretch, but me to activate the muscles and really exert myself.
An early night (of course!) The problem is (a) if I haven't got my tasks done during the day, or (b) I just feel down, I end up staying up late.
Stop eating at night after dinner. I don't know if it affects how long I sleep, but I tend to be more alert when I wake up. I also go to bed earlier if I'm not fuelling myself into the night.
Stop drinking at night so I can make it 8 hours without having to pee. No more than sips of drink after 5pm. (I normally drink a lot of water & herbal tea. I have to actually let myself get a bit thirsty before I sleep.)
Learning to sleep through loud noises. This is weird, I know, but a few years back I was traveling and had a room next to a mosque. During Ramadan. The loudspeaker was painfully loud, starting at 3:30am - I've been to quieter rock concerts. I moved to a different place, didn't like it, and moved back... and by then, I slept straight through it. Handy ability to have when living in a Muslim country, as I was. I wish I could channel that ability for cat noises, but they still wake me up for some reason.
Work out how to stop the cat of the house from tapping my door in the morning. A tub of shallow water near the door has helped so far - he'd have to get wet paws to get to the side of the door where it opens, where he used to tap it. (Plus explaining to the cat who the alpha male is around here... don't worry, the cat's fine, but now he goes away when I make a cat-like hissing noise.)
Sex. Especially after good sex, I sleep wonderfully well. But I'm single now, so... it's pretty quiet on that front.

Other things I'm trying:

Meditation - I'm meditating (watching my breath) for 5 minutes every morning. It's been a couple of weeks, and it's become a habit now.
Ritalin (methylphenidate). I've been reading here that after taking Ritalin in the day, some people find they actually get sleepy at night... not that sleepiness is my problem, but it might help. This is my first day on Ritalin. (Dexamphetamine seemed to reinforce my bad habit of sleeping late, and wasn't making me a lot more productive, so I gave it up months ago.)
Hypnosis recording (on my phone). The recording I have definitely helps to scramble my thoughts and let me drift off more peacefully... I'll try it some more and see if it helps me sleep through. And have it set up so I can hit play in the morning, to sleep again.

Well, at least one useful idea I gave myself there (using the hypnosis recording in the morning.)

I know I've got a lot of underlying stress (trouble concentrating on my work, so I'm waaaay behind on submitting contracts, so I'm borrowing money against my investment funds, so I'm stressed). I'm hoping that Ritalin & continuing to work on good work habits will turn that around.

Other suggestions?

Btw, hi - this is my first post :-). I'm in my early 40s, diagnosed with "attentional issues", and I'm more inattentive than hyperactive (other than fidgeting a lot). My work involves writing, which is a big challenge, but more on that in another thread.

09-27-13, 12:46 AM
Welcome to the forum!

You may be doing this already: a bedtime alarm. On your clock, on your phone, on your oven timer, whatever works for you. Alarms are not just for getting up. :)

Also, and related - keeping a rigid schedule*, for no other reason than that it helps your sleep if you have one.

* (or timetable, if that's the preferred word in Aus. I forget which country likes which word.)

09-27-13, 10:53 AM
Eat a Banana! Bananas have melatonin and serotonin, which both help to relax your mind and body.

ana futura
09-27-13, 11:47 AM
Also try meditating at night before you go to bed, it helps me sleep sounder, and return to sleep easier when awoken.

You are correct about Ritalin vs. Amphetamines. I take Focalin, which is derived from Ritalin. I used to take Dexedrine and it made my preexisting sleep issues worse.

Taking focalin during the day actually makes me very tired at night. By midnight I am desperate to go to bed. I also wake up much easier in the mornings. But I MUST maintain good sleep hygiene on it. If I force myself to stay up too late, I will still want to wake up with the sun.

09-27-13, 12:28 PM
I have these same issues!
if it's light out and I'm awake, forget it, I can't get back to sleep.
I've been in a terrible sleep cycle, of falling asleep out of sheer exhaustion when watching TV in the evening, waking up at midnight and then sleeping very poorly and awake before the alarm, every morning.
I bought some Valeriane (capsules) in a pharmacy. this actually seems to help. I don't know if it's the valeriane or just that I'm finally doing something about this.

I thought if I could just calm down I could sleep but it's to the point where it's the other way around: i can calm down if I could just get several good nights of sleep.
I was a wreck monday and tuesday, almost lightheaded, incoherent. ugh. today I slept until the alarm went off! finally!

also they say no screens before bedtime - serioulsy I sleep much better if I turn off my ipad at least 30 min before I go to bed.