Sleep??? Mind always racing??

Hi everyone

Currently at work but thought I would post this now as I am extremely tired.

Some people may have seen my previous post that I had a TBI back in 2013

I am having real problems with my sleep, I live off 6 hours a night and those 6 hours are very broken sleep which could be down to my bad lower back (EDIT - Been struggling to sleep for a long time before back problems) While I am at work I am just incredibly tired, but when I get home I almost feel fine maybe because I am moving around.

I don't get to sleep until very late normally purely because I get up to my room and my mind is just racing still, I try to relax and just switch off but I just mentally can't.

Even when I try to meditate before I sleep thoughts race back into my head telling me this isn't working.

I have normally been taking strong co-codamol + paracetamol before I sleep which tends to just send me off but it pains my stomach and I look and feel very very tired the next day.

Last night they wore off at 3am and again I was wide awake, I then took the last sleeping tablet I had which I can't remember the name and I am sure I was still awake but sleeping at the same time.

So confusing, just can't carry on like this I will probably self destruct. I almost need like a really good wind down ritual so I can sleep at like 10 pm would be so nice instead of like 12 at night.

Does anyone have tips on sleep????? Any help would be amazing.



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18 Replies

  • Do I take it your seeing someone about your back? Since from what you said that sounds like the root cause?

    You say you can't get to your room?

  • yeh i am, its just taking a long time. hasn't always been my back preventing me getting to sleep .

    not sure where it says that you may have misread?

  • i did miss read it!

  • Hi Ollie. The thread below (The Brain Damaged Baron And Sleep) is covering the same subject ; hope you find it helps.

    And as Roger has said, you need to find a solution to your back pain ; are you having treatment for that ? x

  • thanks ill take a look. yes I am, before I had back problems this was still the case. really odd

  • Hi

    Sounds like the pain could be the main issue - taking painkillers long term is not necessarily going to help with sleep . Are you seeing someone to help with this ? I was told not to take paracetamol more than 3 days in a row when I came out of hospital ... and successfully ( though traumatically ) weaned myself off tramadol early on. Have you tried a TENS machine perhaps ?

    As for sleep - best advice that I "knew" already but had " forgotten" when I had BI were about sleep hygiene ....

    Cool/ comfortable room/bed

    De clutter bedroom

    NO mobile phone or computer work at least ONE hour before bed time ( how many of us post here even during the night ??). Some purists also suggest No TV

    Ensure enough exercise during the day

    Might be worth meditating earlier in the day as well as in the evening ?

    Have a bath about an hour before your chosen " bedtime"

    Write things to be done out well before bedtime - better on paper than in your head ?

    Relaxing music ? Lavender oil ? Milky warm drink ?

    Good earplugs and eye mask are great help for me

    My medication - keppra and amitryptiline help me with pain and make me sleepy anyway.

    Oh and some say never do anything else in bed BUT sleep .. make it associated with sleep and nothing else... ( I have been known to sit and type/ read / sort bills out /chat on the phone etc )

    I had opposite problem early on in recovery ie sleeping over 12 hours - managed to pull it back to more sensible bedtime after a few months by adding 15 minutes to my bedtime every week or so .... but can still sleep for England on a "bad" week . The pulling forward / putting back technique worked well for me but don't rush it ... it's something that worked with my babies in the past - glad I remembered :-)

    Hope you find something that works for you :-)


  • thats really helpful thanks

    thanks for those tips

  • I have had sleep problem after my brain anerysm and all other problems with it I am lucky to get max 4 hours sleep a day tried everything nothing has happened I get up at 5 am for my part time work am now trying my local hospital for help and gp but this is taking too long now

  • Hi Oprice,

    Sleep and backs, now I know about these 2 as I'm a builder and it comes with the territory. My lower back was always painful, every day until I brought the right mattress. My wife and I went to a bed shop can't remember which one but tried many beds. We got a Tempur mattress which is the memory foam one, yes it was expensive but it completely cured my back and was worth every penny. I too took ibuprofen regularly after my bi in order to sleep and it had the reverse effect after a few days, kept me awake and then my sleep was broken. Im over a year on now and my sleep is much much better but completely agree with replies here and reading helps me too. Have a fantastic Wednesday. Nick xx

  • thanks nick, had an absolute nightmare with mattress as I am renting a shared house and had this terrible spring one

    I went and bought a cheaper ikea foam mattress on Sunday as I just can't afford an expensive one. I bought the medium/firm stupidly, I should have got firm.

  • could get some mattress slats ( or even an old door ?) to put underneath it for support ?

  • How is it?

  • luckily ikea allowed me to exchange it for another slightly more expensive one, which is giving me the ability to sleep. Consistent meditation and getting rid of electronics at night is certainly helping

  • When my mind wont switch off I put on the radio or some calming music or read to tired and distract my brain, its also good for drowning out my mum tvs which she has blaring out so she can fall asleep but it keeps me up and im the one that has to be up for work at 5 in the morning for work ..

  • Sleep is a complete nightmare after a BI, living without sleep is bad enough. It it's even more frustrating when your brain is overworked and repairing so really needs sleep too, therefore why it can't it just switch off and go to sleep! With me a lot of it was linked to the trauma in your brain after and injury, I fiend meditation really helpful but I can't do it before bed as I am too tired to make it work, it's best to mediate in the day when you are at your best and most calm and then that should help to deal with the trauma and eventually lead go better sleep. I also try and avoid lying in bed hoping I will get back to sleep and when I am family sure I am awake for a while I get up and have a clipper sleep easy tea and watch something I find calming like grand designs or coast so at least can have some mental down time if not sleep!

    There is some info about trauma on a website I did -

    Hope it gets better for you

  • Well I know it's wrong but it's so refreshing to know it's not just me with sleeping problems. My SAH was 23 years ago and I still don't sleep properly. Some nights I get only two hours sleep. I'm afraid I'm naughty and have my computer next to my bed so I put iplayer on and eventually will fall asleep watching something. I have done this for so long now I can't sleep at all if I go somewhere else to stay!

    I hope it gets better for you soon

  • I have always been a good 'sleeper', and in the neuro unit post accident, started experiencing severe sleep issues caused by (Excruciating pain/Tinnitus/Hearing loss/inability to move/Trauma/Upset etc.) This seemed to improve as I improved, and although I was getting never more than two or three hours at a time - mo more than 4/5 hours a night, it was getting better. Later on when I was moved to a different hospital, all the improvement went out the window and it's stayed that way sadly. I basically use radio iplayer. Totally understand the 'monkey brain' - thoughts running riot and unable to get to sleep problem. Once asleep - if something disturbs me (Someone watching tv etc) and I've had even half an hour of sleep - that's it. Then it's a fitful night of trying to get back / radio / doing 'go to sleep' exercises / reciting song words in my head etc. etc. Followed by zombie like behaviour the next day and tearfulness. It's a crazy life :)

  • I too have struggles with sleep since my brain injury. I have tried lots of different things, with little success. If I can get really relaxed I have a better night, but if things aren't going too well relaxation stuff just doesn't touch it. Wrongly when I'm really desperate it's a bottle of wine or one of the antidepressants I was prescribed but don't generally take. It doesn't make me feel any better, but less boring than being awake all night. It really germane down as it means separate bedrooms, which obviously isn't the best for relationships.


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