Trouble sleeping

This is my first post in many years…

I’m really struggling to sleep, I go to bed early as my body has given up the ghost, but my Mind WILL NOT SWITCH OFF

i’ve even been to the doctors for prescription sleeping tablets that have no effect.

i’m writing This at 2am and I’m open to suggestions that don’t involve copious amounts of alcohol, I still work and will be tired all day and even more easily fatigued.

Any suggestions please


I almost don’t want to say it, but I rarely have trouble sleeping, I just die for about 5/6 hours and that’s it, nothing wakes me up.

My wife stopped sleeping in our bed back in December because of pain in her legs, I do remember having trouble dropping off at the time - it all felt a bit weird having no-one to snuggle up to after 47 years and was too much of a change for me.

I solved the problem by glazing pots in my head, I’m an amateur potter and have usually got a few pots on the go at any one time, so I just played with different combinations of glaze in my head and soon nodded off.

I think the important thing is to stop your mind from trying to solve the world’s problems, concentrate on something that doesn’t really matter, try and revisit a favourite woodland walk in your head, or something else relaxing, whatever floats your boat.

Another technique that I’ve just remembered that I’ve used in the past is to talk myself to sleep. I’ll try and describe it, first of all you be comfortable and

Start at the toes and say to yourself slowly “Toes go to sleep”, repeat three times and then continue with feet, ankles, shins knees, thighs etc… Before you move on from one body part to the next you have to sort of feel that your toes have gone to sleep,think of it almost as self hypnotism, if it works for you, you’ll understand what I mean - I’ve never got as far as thighs.

A couple of glasses of wine is not a copious amount of alcohol and might help.

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For me…breath in deeply counting to three in your head. Hold the breath for the count of seven. Exhale counting to eight,again, in your head. You might have to repeat it 2 or 3 times. Works for me.

For years and years I had the most dreadful sleep pattern…I regularly walked the floor until four or five in the morning so often only had three or four hours which didn’t help my fatigue levels, my Dr eventually gave me sleeping tablets which weren’t a great deal of use. Then one day I decided to give up smoking and all my sleeping problems melted away!!! I couldn’t believe it!

I don’t imagine that is the cause of your sleep problems but I do know how absolutely terrible it can make you feel so good luck with finding an answer!


I went on a fabulous course on Saturday called Sounder Sleep. We were taught various very small things to do which involved breathing while doing something like pressing the thumb of one hand into the palm of the other very lightly - press down on the in breath and release on the out breath. There were lots of other things which were really great. If you can find this course near you I think you would enjoy it.

I Struggle sleeping too it’s often the needing a wee that gets me up . I’ve got a commode in the bedroom…shamefully you never think it will happen to you, I remember my nans commode if someone had told me if have needed one I’d have been horrified , it’s amazing what you get used to. Michelle and Frazer xx

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Hi Mark,

For long term sleep problems, I attended classes at my GPs surgery, led by a physio. She taught the class about meditation, self hypnosis and imagery of relaxing places we’d experienced. It included Poppys suggestion.

When in bed, ready to sleep, then all lights off. Slowly breathe in through the nose to the count of 6, hold breath to count of 4, slowly breathe out to count of 8,9 or 10. The longer you breathe out the more you’ll feel your most tense areas relax. Then even more relaxed.

Continue until you fall asleep (I’ve never gone beyond 5 or 6 deep breaths in & out) as I’m usually relaxed and asleep…

Also, I learned another method towards a good sleep. Prepare for bed from 7pm to be in bed for 10pm.

Don’t eat anything after 7pm. If possible, run a warm/hot bath (NOT A SHOWER), maybe put a few drops of Aromatherapy Lavender onto the water after you turn taps off. As you relax in the water & lavender hits your senses, think of your comfy bed and the good sleep coming up. Then slowly dry and moisturise your body, enjoying the moisturiser and think of the great sleep you’re preparing for. Put nightwear on. At around 9.30pm have a warm/hot drink of horlicks, chocolate or ovaltine etc. Take any meds due at bedtime.

Make sure you are in bed by 10pm, taking a cold drink and something to read. After 30-45 minutes, put the book down, turn lights off and tell yourself you’re going to enjoy a good quality, restorative sleep.

As you snuggle down & place your head on the pillow, try the slow breathing technique: Slowly breathe in to count of 6, hold to count of 4, slowly breathe out to count of 8, 9 or 10.

Try this routine for at least 5 nights Mark, and your body & mind should adapt. It’s not necessary to have a bath every night, but use that time to just sit and relax in a favourite chair.

Good luck, please let me know how you’ve got on with this in a week or so.


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It may not be down to MS. Your description is similar to what I had for 2-3 years. Turned out to be anxiety and got pills to go with the rest. But it worked.