Lack of sleep: Hi everybody I had a sub arachnoid... - Headway


8,647 members11,084 posts

Lack of sleep

Saucychef profile image

Hi everybody

I had a sub arachnoid haemorrhage just over 4 weeks ago, spent 10 days in hospital had a few complications due to high levels of pain relief. I had various scans and angiograms but the doctors could not find the source of my bleed.

After being discharged I have felt very isolated and down, I have not slept for more than 3 hours at a time since my sah happened for the first 3 weeks I was taking nimodipine every 4 hours, I finished this medication over a week ago and Am still waking up every 4 hours.

I have been given sleeping tablets by my doctor but they are not making any difference still wake up after 4 hours. It's really getting me down not been able to sleep and I feel even more tired.

Has anybody got any tips for getting a good nights sleep.


13 Replies

Hi Phil

I had a TBI in May this year and sleep has been something I've struggled with too I slept for 20 hrs straight for a couple of months now I can't get to sleep then when I do I can't stay asleep

So I can't offer any advice or tips as I'm still searching myself

Just thought Id say hi :)

StaceM8 profile image
StaceM8 in reply to Broken_Doll

As I recommended t Phil & am sure would have mentioned t you Emma, have U tried having a 20 minute power nap ???

Worth giving a go - it changed my life completely ;o)

Hi Phil

Sorry to hear of your SAH. As for difficulty sleeping, I'm not sure why but it appears to be common post BI of any sort. Personally I sleep for 2 to 3 hours then when I wake I get up and potter around, get a cuppa, do some crossword puzzles etc then go back to bed and hopefully sleep for another couple of hours.

Good luck

StaceM8 profile image
StaceM8 in reply to

Hiya Hedgehog- something in your profile would be good so we know what happened to you & have U tried th infamous 20 minute power nap ???

in reply to StaceM8

Lol I don't know what to put on my profile! But I will have a think - I'm afraid the power nap doesn't usually work for me as I can't make myself sleep when I want to. But if I drop off for 20 or even 10 mins while watching TV, I usually wake feeling I've had a little top up and feel better.

How you doing Stace? You've been a bit quiet lately.

I am sorry, I have tried lavender pillows (supposed to be good for sleep), hot baths, warm milk, not eating big meals up to four hours before bed time, even not drinking up to two hours before bed time, but I have not slept for over seven years. For two years I did not sleep at all and was reffered to sleep clinics and sleep latency tests. At all places the medical staff expressed deep concerns about my sleep patterns, but nothing was followed up.

The best I get is four hours at a time. The neuroglogist reckons it is my headaches that are waking me up.

All I can recommend is you regiment your going to bed times and get up times everyday, even weekends and holidays. Irrespective of what the rest of the world is doing, I find that helps. So, for example, I no longer get involved in evening meetings because my switch off time is 09:00, bed time is 09:30 and lights out is 10:00. The reason for this is I am an early riser so I know by 06:30 I will be up. Last night I only woke up three times which is good.

The other thing, and I know this sounds strange, but don't use your sleeping space for anything else other than sleeping. Your mind gets accustomed to it at a subconcious level. OK as an adult you are allowed "that" but nothing else. Don't fill your bedroom with gadgets such as TV, Computers, bright wall lights, etc.

Hi Phil,

I like you had an SAH with complications. They didn't find an aneurysm. Unusually I was on the dreaded 4 hourly nimodipine for 3 months due to my complications and like you spent a month in hospital with nurses waking me up through the night for medication, taking blood pressure etc every few hours.

When I came out of hospital I too had trouble sleeping. I was into a pattern and also I was completely stressed and emotional about what had happened and scared about it happening again.

I am almost 11 months on now and my sleep patterns now are back to normal. I can't remember when that happened. I think possibly a few months from my hospital discharge.

Like hedgehog I just got up had a cuppa and tried to avoid iPhones etc and googling stuff about SAH!!!

I know it doesn't feel like it but you are so very early on in your recovery. Hopefully, like me you will be able to sleep again very soon.

I remember very clearly the isolation and cried more than I have ever done in my life in that first few months. It is horrible but it does get better.

Take care xxx

Thanks for the kind words, it helps to know other people are out there that have gone through the same experiences and are willing to share their experiences.


Coincidentally, I'm sleeping badly at present but in the past three years since the SAH, my sleeping has generally improved to an ok level.

For me, after 3 months of nightly BP checks and medicating I couldn't adapt for quite a while to being at home in my own bed. If I woke in the night needing the loo, I'd be looking around the darkened room wondering why the door to the ward wasn't where it should be & where had the other patients gone.

I think it was about 6 months before my brain got the hang of where I was. So maybe after only 4 weeks, yours is still struggling with orientation and, if you can accept that it might take time, hopefully your normal sleeping pattern will return ; I hope so.

Lack of sleep is so wearing but the tension that comes with worrying about it will only exacerbate the problem so try not to fall into that trap ! (easier said then done) but good luck to you Phil. :-/

I wonder if that's why I still wake up numerous times in the night as adter my tbi all three times in hospital for 6 weeks in total I was woken up akk through the night for hourly neuro obs

As I've been recommending to everyone since joining the site is a 20 minute power nap. Even if it's just a case of shutting your eyes for 20 minutes should leave U feeling refreshed. Try not to go to long over 20 minutes cos U go into a deeper state of relaxation / sleep which doesn't have the same effect as the ' power nap '

(a bit 90s I know but they really do work for a lot of people !!! ;o)

Oh & why don't U write a bit about yourself in your profile so we can read about you & your situation ;o)

Hi, I had Encephilites 7 years ago and have stuggled with sleeping through ever since, my doctor prescribed Circadin which is Melatonin in tablet form.

Melatonin is natural and something your brain produces when light levels decrease during the day however this natural rytham can be upset after a brain injury causing the sleep problems.

You may also like...