OK - Who can't get to sleep?

Hi All,

Yes another night were sleep is not happening !!!

Who’s in the same situation ???

Wide awake and restless !!!


Hi Andy

There’s a whole load of things I stick to, which generally mean I sleep ok (I know that writing this now would suggest that I’ve also got of insomnia, but I’m quite happily awake now - I know I’ll soon be in the land of nod).

The main thing is to never ever toss & turn. The most helpful bit of advice I got came from a book by Colin Espie on overcoming insomnia (search for his name on Amazon & you’ll find the book). He says that if you’re not asleep after fifteen minutes or so, then get up and do something relaxing, like read or meditate or do a puzzle. Then don’t go back to bed until you start to feel sleepy (not just tired, but actually sleepy). If you don’t fall asleep after another quarter of an hour, then get up again & repeat the process. It’s important that your head associates being in bed with sleeping, not staying awake.

I find clock watching incredibly unhelpful - knowing how late it is or how long it is until I have to get up doesn’t do me any favours. Obviously cut out caffeine, if not altogether then at least in the evening. Eating late doesn’t help either - going to bed on a full stomach isn’t good, so I try to eat my evening meal by 7pm. Getting some physical exercise during the day is good too.

Lower the lights in the evening, which helps your brain to unwind. Try not to watch TV late, but if you do then turn the brightness down so as not to over stimulate the brain. The same goes for being on the computer. And don’t watch telly or go online in bed.

And when I’m in bed, if I’ve not quickly dropped off then I’ll give my brain something to focus on, instead of thinking about sleep (or the lack of it). So I sometimes do an equivalent of counting sheep, and count backwards from 1,000 in multiples of 3 (so 1000, 997, 994 etc). It doesn’t take long before I’ve drifted off. Or I might listen to audio books on my mp3, but with the volume so low that I have to concentrate to hear it. Kids books can be great for that, as they can be read in a gentle way (I’ve currently got the Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, which is very soothing).

I hope some of those tips will soon see you sleeping like a baby : )


Haven’t tried yet. I tend to put off going to bed, because it’s no longer as comfortable and restful as it once was - although I was always a bit on a night owl, so habits have probably not changed that drastically due to illness.

After enough drugs to fell an elephant, I usually do not have much trouble drifting off, but trouble strikes in the early morning, when they have all worn off, and I am awakened by pain, or needing the loo, or both. I then have to try and hold off topping up the drugs 'til breakfast time, otherwise I will either run short during the day, or have to go over my quota.

I have found Tesco Sleepaid, containing hops, valerian and passion flower quite effective when prescription stuff has worn off, and I am trying to postpone taking another lot.

In all probability, I should not be self-medicating on top of the prescription stuff as well, but we do what we have to, don’t we? Sometimes I would rather alternate with something “natural” than take even more of the prescription stuff.

I find iPlayer radio on my iPad great for drifting off to sleep. So great, in fact, that I now recognize radio as the cue to sleep, and fall asleep during programmes I’d wanted to stay awake for!


Hi Dan,

Been reading my “Rugby World” magazine, had a Tia Chi talk the other month - been deep breathing in and out, while counting to ten, while lying in bed warm and toasty. Had a drink of herbal tea in the living room with darkened lighting while all I could hear are the cats snoring. No still wide awake !!

Hi Dan and Tina,

What time did I get to sleep ? 3.30am.

lay down on the sota with another “Herbal Tea”, finally dozed off.

To wake up with a “Purring” cat sitting on my chest looking for breakfast !!


Me, every night! You name it, I’ve tried it! It’s not that I’m not tired, because I am. I must just be one of life’s insomniacs!