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The nightshift

Well I was just intending to post a quick message to say hi to anyone who can't sleep - it feels very lonely in the night sometimes and the night lasts such a long time at this time of year. I'm about to try to settles down and get my usual 3/5 hours. I'm exhausted (aren't we all?) , so I typed the title of the post. Sadly I mistyped and I noticed I'd written 'The nightshirt'. Still struggling with labile issues, I for some unknown reason found this so hilarious that I laughed and laughed until I ended up crying. I then started feeling sorry for myself (which is never a good idea in the middle of the night) and then I remembered all the silly things I've done today, and became much more uoset. Then in the middle of the tears I remembered I must finish my post. That's when I noticed the title again - the Night shirt - and so I started laughing and laughing again, So all is well that ends well and I've altered it and I'm off to sleep hopefully if I can get over the excitement caused by my own silliness. I can't imagine what you would expect to read under a heading The Night shirt. I'll leave it to your imagination. I think my injury has bestowed upon me the sense of humour of a five year old. I can't say I mind. wishing everyone a good nights sleep and a peaceful week.

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you could have missed the r/f and put the night sh*t instead, Im sorry you felt upset in the middle of the night I over slept my alarm and woke up at 6:20 yet still managed to get into work for 7:00 I feel very tired but I have to give another blood test later then Im going to Swindon after for work with a colleague for I may be home late

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Ha :) that's funny. Yes that also occurred to me and was another reason why I was laughing. Apart from two major 'nods' and a couple of meltdowns today, I've managed to stay awake, so for sure I'll have a better night tonight. Well done for your suspect speedy dash to work and for getting there on time. I can imagine how stressed tou must have been when you saw the clock. x

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Yes I was but when Im under pressure I can get dressed in lighting speed, have a small coffee and be out the door I surprise myself sometimes how quick I can be when my brain wants to be but 3 hours worth of driving when you havent driven in months shattered me so I tried to fight myself from falling asleep but I still feel asleep early and now Im still tired due to too much sleep (I would give you some if I could)

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Im sorry i wasnt awake to read that Elenor its mase me laugh too. At least we can laugh at those silly moments. I only sleep all night because i take medication that makes me drowsy but i fully expect that to wear off once im used to it.

I intend to post later with update on my last few months, im feeling tge need to share, it is indeed a lonely old world in your own head all the time xxxx

Take care

Janet xx

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Hi Janet. Maybe ask GP to try circadin. It's not a sedative but the natural hormone we should produce at night time to give us our sleep cycle. I now take it and it's made quite a difference to my sleep which was chronically virtually non existent since acquiring my bi.

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Hi Caroline, I haven’t been searching for something to help me sleep, but the rehab consultant has now put me on pregabalin to treat the pressure headaches I get and the drowsiness is a side effect so have to wait and see if this medication works first.

Janet x

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Thank you, I don't think I've heard of that. I'll have a look. It would seems very wise when being in hospital has broken your sleep patterns so badly. I'll check that out. x

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Indeed. It's a very weird feeling trying not to wake everyone else up when you start laughing in the dead of night, and laughing on your own at things as well...I getting used to it, but I'm not sure the rest of the family are. x

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It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve crept downstairs, made myself a cup of tea, snuggled down on the recliner chair book to hand and then been found there asleep in the morning,

Jx

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Hi Elenor, if you try 5HTP or CBD oil before bed, it can facilitate more sleep. What are you using at the moment to help you sleep? H

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Hi :) I've been given a sedative which I'm supposed to take occasionally when I get desperate, but it's a viscous circle. Usually by the time I get so bad due to lack of sleep - I'm too worried to take it as I sometimes wake in the night with a huge jolt and can't breathe. The dr said you can get so tired that you go into a very deep sleep. I don't want to start using it until I'm sleeping better. I know that sounds like nonsense but it's frightening when it happens. I'm sure it all has to improve some time :) The circa din sounds interesting. I was also offered preglabin but always hoped everything would just get better with time. It hasn't. I have a neurology appointment soon so it may be time to rethink :) x

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If its any consolation, I used to get what I call night jerks. One minute asleep, next minute jolt, woke myself up, switch light on, in shock, drink water, put pillows behind, sit up, stare and wait to see if it happens again. It doesn't, snooze in that position out of fear it will happen again. I would also get these during the day time while just sitting quietly. It occurred over a period of a few months, so an acute stage of brain healing, I did start taking magnesium and had acupuncture and cupping (which I loved) which I believe made it stop.

nosleeplessnights.com/the-h...

Best of luck with it. You definitely need your sleep to heal, and oxygen, leave your bedroom window open!

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I'm sorry to read of your night jolts, but I find it reassuring :) I don't have this much but I do get it from time to time and it's impossible to describe to other people. Acupuncture is renowned for helping natural imbalances so I'll think about that as well. Cheers

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Great web page by the way :)

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Hi Elenor, regarding the pregabalin im nearly up to the advised dose and it has made a difference but it does affect my balance in different ways.

Positives are no pressure headaches I can get up in a morning and be confident I’m not going to be wiped out by one.

They help me sleep.

My energy levels are raised, presumably because I sleep better.

No neuro pains in my arms.

I’ve not found any negatives yet, it’s quite exciting, plus Dr Marcos, my neurologist, did say that if these don’t suit there are others to try, but he finds most people are happy on this one.

Hope that helps

Janet x

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Thank you for these suggestions - I've realised I need to do something. Lack of sleep is making day times much harder. I'll have a look at those :) thank you x

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Oh Elenor, I wish I'd thought of looking in. I haven't slept either, not for a second ; we could've cheered each other up I'm sure (seems you had a brilliant ((subconscious)) attempt at that already).

I'm sorry you had such a rotten night ; It really is the loneliest feeling, and exhausting.

I have to go off to my sister-in-law's soon ; I'll message you this evening. Sending hugs............... xxx

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Hi :) sorry you've been on the night shift as well Cat. I try to be good and not resort to electronic devices in the night. My sleep has been much more regular of late - even though it's such a short amount, at least it's been quite regular - but sometimes it just goes out the window like last night. I tired all the usual things before reaching for the toys :) I'm sure I'll sleep tonight and I hope you do too :) take care x

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Hope you had a better night last night Elenor.

I went shopping in a trance yesterday and carried so much heavy shopping I think my arms have stretched !

Got back from sis-in-law's, groped my way through a shower and flopped into bed ................. slept for 10 hours !

Really hope you topped up on sleep somewhat last night m'dear............. xxx

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I did do a lot better last night. I woke up a different person :)

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It's amazing how lack of sleep can transform us from human to zombie. Good to be back in the land of the living eh Elenor. Let's hope we'll stay human for a while longer ! xx

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Hi all,

I have found that sipping chamomile tea before bedtime instead of the usual black (caffeinated) tea has helped me to relieve chronic dreadful insomnia.

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Hi :) Yes I've heard of cahamomile tea. Im having a phase of trying to just stick to water in the evenings for a while to see if early evening tea was affecting my sleep. I'll certainly give it a try. I have a box in the cupboard that I tried a while ago. Thank you - good to be reminded of it :) x

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Stating 3 months after my bleed I'd be exhausted and in bed by 10pm, every night 2am and I'd feel like I'd just had a caffeine injection.

My partner couldn't sleep because "You're not thrashing around", so I'd get up go down stairs and continue with my needle-drop my vinyl project (NMVP). Unfortunately my sleep returned to normal and the project had a major set back.

As at the time I wasn't working and it only lasted 4 months, I was able to see it in a positive light but I don't think I'd be able to do that over a long period.

Good luck

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It's interesting how and why our sleep patterns can change so dramatically. I'm glad you were able to do something productive with your project - even if it was in the middle of the night :)

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Join the club. I suffer chronic insomnia,sleep apnea and occasionally sleepwalk! I never sleep more that an hour at a time, followed by two bursts of 30 minutes or so, so I am awake for around 21-2 hours per night,every night! The doc at the sleep clinic put my sleepwalking down to exhaustion, but I have since been told the increase in my insomnia( I used to sleep for two one and a half hour bursts, ) is down to my brain aneurysm.

Thankfully, I live on my own, and have long since learned the more you try to sleep, the less you will. I 'sleep' sitting up in front of the tell,y and this relaxes me so I can at least get some sleep!

We all find way of coping, and I think we are so brainwashed into thinking we are deprived if we do not have 8 hours sleep per night.I am living proof we can live on with a lot less. I loved your post, it raised a laugh in me.

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I think you've hit the nail on the head. We have to get used to whatever were stuck with and learn to manage life around it. I don't sleepwalk, but did 'hallucinate' a few times when trying to get to slept if it was really upsetting day for instance. But that has only happened very occasionally, I don't think it's classed as hallucinations even, but it's a very odd sensation. When I wrote this post last week it was one of those days, just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong. doing stupid stuff all day, probably due to a build up of lack of sleep over several days, getting into the bath with your underwear on, hurting yourself through clumsiness, nothing exciting - but it all just wears you out. Well I wish you all the best and hope that you get some respite soon, and make sure you get dressed if you're sleep walking :)

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Oh, Elenor3 I'm half-sad I didn't see this at the time, and half-glad as well.

My sleep pattern is WRECKED, and, if one more person says "You could try going to bed a bit later?", like I might not already have tried that, I think I might poke them in the eye. (Ooh, look, I'm irritable, I wonder if that might be sleep deprivation?)

I was a light sleeper/early waker before the brain injuries. The ex and I were like Jack Spratt and his wife, I'd go to bed about 10pm, he'd stay up until 2 or 3am, and then throw himself into bed, and start grunting and rolling about. (With the dog. He brought the dog to bed, so I'd have a dog licking himself, and a man impersonating a warthog, and yanking the duvet off me. You'd be surprised how much bed a small terrier thinks it's entitled to...) An hour or so of trying not to have a DOG kick you out of bed, while warthog-man has a fight with the duvet is about enough, so I was generally up at about 4am.

After the first surgery, and the no-day-or-night experience of being woken up every few hours for monitoring, we had the 3am medication at home for a few weeks. (Also still dog-and-warthog.) You're encouraged to nap-when-you-need-it at first, but, after I went back to work, daytime naps weren't an option. Permanently, constantly exhausted, but, me-being-me, I thought I'd come through it, if I just 'tried harder' to 'get better.' *Spoiler alert, that didn't work.*

I removed the dog-and-warthog part of the problem at the same time as my second round of surgery, and waited for my sleep pattern to start resembling a human adult's again. It didn't. I have slept later than 5am on THREE occasions since February 2015. (Yes, I've counted, only one of those occasions had me doing anything 'different' the previous day, and it's not something I intend to repeat.)

Now, it makes no difference whether I get up at 2am, or 5am, every single day, I'm profoundly and utterly exhausted by mid-afternoon, and probably-quite-dangerous by early evening. When my son is back from Uni, we've had to move the 'evening meal' to about 4pm, because on 'my' cooking days, I was cutting/burning myself, and setting pans on fire on an alarmingly regular basis. He's also realised that anything he tells, or asks me won't 'stick' after about 5pm, and there have been some fierce arguments when I've asked him the same question three times in a row, and not remembered that he's answered me. It's not so much the "Goodnight" script from The Waltons as "Go to BED, mother, it's like trying to have a conversation with a zombie!" Physical and cognitive fatigue, like clockwork, every single day. I can't 'do' anything in the evening, my brain clocks-off, rolls down the 'position closed' sign, and decides it's going to have a bit of a rest. On 'good' days, I manage to drag my carcass to bed, I'm going to get myself a star-chart, and give myself a sticker for the nights I don't nod off in the living room. (I'm 41.) Once I fall asleep, that's it, the kid went through a phase of poking me with a walking stick to wake me up, to give him a bit of distance (I'm HORRIBLE when people wake me up.) I hid the walking sticks, BUT I talk in my sleep, and there are some things a 19 year old young man doesn't need to be knowing about his mother... I started to go to bed by about 8pm, to reduce the risk of any embarrassing blurting.

Now, my 'new, improved' brain has apparently decided that six hours is 'enough' sleep for me, and it doesn't like to be argued with. After the first surgery, I blamed the dog-and-warthog. The second surgery was in spring-time, so I blamed the birdsong and daylight coming through the curtains. Then I blamed work-stress. Then I lost my job, and didn't have to worry about that any more... it's just me, I'm the only constant...

Usually around 3.20am, I'm AWAKE. None of your graceful Disney-Princess rising gently from her restful slumber, it's more like the accidental offspring of the Tazmanian Devil, and a ginger Worzel Gummidge, in its toddler-years. The toddler-bit is the crucial element here, you know that thing toddlers do, when they wake up in the night, for no discernible reason, there's nothing 'wrong', they're just awake, and don't see why everyone else isn't? That's what my brain does. Every bloody day. Anyone who has ever had to deal with a wide-awake small person in the middle of the night can see where I'm going with this, and why it isn't entirely conducive to having a 'normal' existence. "Too hot!" Well take the duvet off, and GO TO SLEEP. "Too cold!" Pull the duvet back up. "What's that NOISE?" It's the central heating, go back to sleep. "I want a drink of water/a wee/to remember the name of the actress in that thing I saw ages ago..." honestly, without going into what I do or don't wear in bed, I'm just waiting for "My sock feels funny!", and the inevitable argument I have with myself that there ISN'T a sock.

Deep breathing, thinking restful thoughts, mindfulness, moving to the other side of the bed, been there, got the T-shirt. (Not the night-shirt, mind you.) My internal alarm clock is set for six hours, and, once I've had six hours, that's it, I'm awake, and, if I don't get up, I start arguing with myself, about why I'm still in bed, I could start a fight in an empty room, and frequently do.

Right, that's my boring bedtime-story. The other bit that resonated was the giggles. I do that a lot, and that's why I'm glad I didn't see this post 'at the time', I would have started giggling.

You're not alone, Elenor, the next time I'm up at the crack of a**e, I'll have a look on here for you.

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I feel so guilty laughing at what you've written. I really understand, especially the bit about being awake and all the sensations that flood in, the 'feelings', am I hot, am I cold, are my bed socks on/tight/not on. All I can say now I've stopped laughing is that I cetianlyly don't feel alone with my problems after reading your reply and many of the others. I think I was having a little isolated moment last week. It's gone now. I'm just like everyone else here, as odd as it feels, it's normal for us. Thank you for such a wonderful explaititnn of how it all feels. x

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If I don't try to see the humour in it, I think I'd go mad, Elenor3

It's difficult trying to explain it to most people, and remaining calm when they trot out "Why don't you just go back to sleep?" (Goodness me! Why didn't I think of that?)

I used to occasionally get the 'busy' head before the brain-mishap, waking up in the middle of the night, wondering what time I'd need to get on a bus if I was going to 'x', 'x' being a place I WASN'T intending to go to, or that irritating thing where you suddenly remember the 'tip of the tongue' thing you forgot three-weeks-last-Tuesday. (That 'Battlecat' was 'Cringer' when 'He-man' was 'Adam.' is a frequent offender for the category of stuff suddenly seeming very important at 3am... I've always been odd.)

Admittedly, it's not an ideal state of affairs, and I have tried adjusting it, but it appears to be part of my 'new normal.' It's do-able to mostly-function like this, I'm just out-of-step with the rest of the world. (3am Twitter can be either mind-expandingly brilliant, or head-shakingly disturbing, depending who else is awake.)

I get out of bed once I'm awake, I was used to creeping about the house quietly 'before', as not to disturb the warthog's restful sleep, now it's just me and the bearded dragon.

(Good grief, I'm disjointed today, I can't seem to finish a thought.)

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