Thursday, July 21, 2005

Sleepless In Sydney

One of the more enjoyable aspects of being me, is a somewhat... shall we call it 'complicated'?... relationship with sleep. I'm not a classic insomniac. I rarely have a problem getting to sleep, the problem I have is that I'm a very, very light sleeper and rarely get through a night without waking.

It has always been a pain in the ass, and something which has added strain to my relationships. The slightest discomfort makes me wake up, and I'm so sensitive to noise that I frequently have to sleep with earplugs. In the past I've even had to have a 'back-up' spare bedroom to go to if my partner was a snorer, or anything other than quiet and still.

Every Summer I struggle to stay asleep due to the heat, but it's Winter here at the moment and that's normally a good sleeping season for me. Apparently things have changed. I've tried making sure I'm comfortable; tried being toasty warm in bed, tried not being too warm, window open, window closed etc, but at the moment things are the worst they have been for a while.

About two years ago I was in a car accident, breaking my collarbone and cracking my sternum. After the accident I slept no more than a couple of hours a night for about three months, the discomfort was so bad. Even after my shoulder stopped being so painfull, I couldn't break myself of the poor sleeping pattern cycle I was in. It got better, but I have never really returned to getting a regular night's uninterrupted sleep.

At the moment I'm sleep-walking through my day, and really slumping energywise in the afternoons. I only have one or maybe two cups of coffee in a day, and never after about mid-morning, and don't drink soft drinks, so I doubt caffeine is an issue. I'm taking a long hard look at my diet, and seeing if there is something there which I can do to improve the situation (and I'm sure there is).

I'm convinced this is a physical thing; maybe I'm snoring and waking myself, or something of that nature. I'm pretty happy and content in my life these days, and have certainly never been one to lie in bed and worry. So next step, professional help. I don't want to take sleeping pills, and herbal teas have had limited affect, so I'm leaning towards maybe trying a naturopath and/or dietician for advice.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.


Michael said...

I have the same thing and it happens in streaks for me. I'll be fine for months, then weeks where I fall asleep in minutes, but awake at 2:00 or 3:00 for the day. The only thing that has helped me is to work out exhaustively, and even that is to modest effect.
Or maybe you should try a deep beef injection?

The Other Andrew said...

I'm guessing all of the above would probably help (although don't forget that I'm a vege-ma-tarian 'mkay?). Working out is probably what I do need to do, I'm not doing much exercise at all these days. Should fix that. I should get me some of them 'abs' the young people have.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

Mr Tops takes chamomile tea, but I have a feeling that's just to wind him down, not keep him asleep.

maybe it's sleep apnoea? lots of people who have it don't realise. TMFP(tm) stops breathing for seconds at a time, freaks me out, wakes himself occasionally. but often people with sleep apnoea just have lots of tiny wakes that don't register as waking up, so they get bad sleep and then are cranky and then wonder why.

and then don't do anything about it. heh.

getting your GP to recommend or refer you to a sleep clinic may be an idea.

Miss Aveline goes to a naturopath she swears by - she lives in Sydney but treats patients Canberra on a regular basis which is how Ave found her. I'm thinking of getting her details because my skin is driving me bonkers. bonkers I tell you!

The Other Andrew said...

Hey there Lou.

I don't hink it's apnoea, I'm not much of a snorer and snoring is usually one of the more noticeable side-effects of apnoea. I have always been an incredibly light sleeper though. The upside is that I wake up easily in the mornings and am fully functional in about 3 seconds flat, so if you ever have an overnight house-fire I'm the ideal house guest!

BTW - the best thing I ever did for my skin 'issues' (Rosacea) was give up drinking. Most might find that a drastic step however... :-)