Sleeping Problem

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Sleeping Problem

Postby The_Hankerchief » January 6th, 2012, 7:05 am

Ordinarily, I like to sleep as much as the next guy. But lately, I've been having this weird sleeping pattern, and it's got my friends and family thinking I got some sort of health problem, which is starting to freak me out a little. I mean, I just had a physical at the enlistment center next month, and they said I'm healthy as can be, but if something's genuinely wrong, it could disqualify me from the service, and that would really freak me out.

I have a history of sleeping a lot, but not like this. Some nights, I go to sleep at, say, between midnight and 3:00 AM, and I wake up anywhere between 4 and 7, and feel fit as a fiddle. Other nights, and this has been happening with greater and greater frequency as of late, I'll wind up coming home and sacking out as early as 5:00 PM and not wake up until late in the following afternoon, and then feel extremely tired all day. The other night, I went to bed at 8:00 PM, slept until 3:00 PM the next day. Last week, I went to bed at 5:00 PM and slept a full 24 hours. The night after that, I took a two hour nap in the middle of the night and felt so good, I worked out, and then did some jogging before driving out to the farm. What the hell?

My grandma wants me to go see a doctor, my uncle thinks I've been drinking (I haven't lately), my mom thinks I'm developing narcolepsy, and my friend came in this morning and thought I was comatose. Everyone's saying something's wrong, and I'm getting nervous, but I have no money to go see a doctor yet. Anybody else ever have to deal with this sort of thing?
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Re: Sleeping Problem

Postby Nymine » January 6th, 2012, 8:23 am

First, deep breath. The best way to tackle problems like these are calm. If you upset and believe there might be something wrong, you can easily convince yourself there is something wrong with the littlest things.

Two things that often mess up sleep, whether we realize it or not, are diet and environment. How have you been lately? Has there been a lot of stress? Are there things you're worried about, something that's been bothering you but you've been ignoring it? I know it doesn't seem like much, but things like that can often cause irregular sleeping patterns(waking up in the middle of the night ect). Heck, even just the excitement/stress of joining the Armed Forces could have triggered this. It happened to my older brother before he left for boot camp. He never outwardly showed any nervousness, but up until he left, he never seemed to be able to get a good night's sleep. Even didn't eat as much.

As for diet, and this also ties in with stress, how are you eating? Are you getting enough of a balanced diet? Eating enough fruit? I know this sounds weird, but it does help. I'm not trying to be patronizing, of course. Just trying to help.
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Re: Sleeping Problem

Postby Twickitybix » January 6th, 2012, 9:43 am

It's probably just stress/excitment that's caused you to stay up some nights and now your sleep pattern is messed up. Your body doesn't know if you're supposed to be awake or asleep. It's nothing to worry about. You should try to back into a regular routine if you can, and don't worry too much if you can't.
You only need to see a doctor if you're feeling tired all day and have flu-like symptoms, high temperature and the shakes so on. Otherwise, just get a good night's sleep and try to stay awake juring the day, but take is easy. Chill. ;)
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Re: Sleeping Problem

Postby Guest » January 6th, 2012, 10:31 am

I'm far from an expert at this, but your erratic sleeping pattern does sound like a symptom of bipolar disorder. Especially if you have like weird moods swings throughout the week or something.
But other than that I really don't think it's a serious medical condition so just relax, you're fine :) I've gone through weeks of sleeping for 4h each night and feeling perfectly well throughout the day, and then panicking that maybe my brain was dying off or something, but my sleep cycle always reverted back to normal in the end. Although I guess in your case it's a bit different :/
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Re: Sleeping Problem

Postby mitchellbravo » January 6th, 2012, 11:33 am

This is really simple so maybe it doesn't help, but I've found that sleeping too much makes me tireder. If I go to bed at midnight and wake up at 9, I'll be okay, but if I decide to keep sleeping past that, it's like my body goes into hibernation mode and expects I'm goign to keep sleeping through the whole day. Sometimes it'll happen when I take a nap, if I go lie in bed but don't set an alarm or something and accidentally sleep for three hours and then feel like I got hit by a truck.

One piece of advice I always hear is that you should try to get on some kind of schedule that you can enforce, going to bed and waking up as close to the same time each night/morning as possible (realistically allowing yourself a window for special circumstances). At the very least you might decide to select a certain hour of the morning/early afternoon that you absolutely may not sleep past, and set like, the alarm of alarms for that. As long as you are getting enough sleep, and there isn't something else at play that's making that turn out to be low-quality sleep (such as some noise that wakes you up without you realizing it, or something like sleep apnea), you're at least on the right track.

If it's somethign that really concerns you, definitely talk to a doctor about it. Ideally yours is a temporary situation that just requires some simple changes or "waiting it out."
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Re: Sleeping Problem

Postby Rivana » January 6th, 2012, 12:21 pm

This hasn't happen to me (it was more like the opposite - could not sleep but I knew what was causing that at that time)

But like what Mitchell mentioned, maybe enforcing a sleep schedule and routine of activities would help. If that doesn't help, you might want to check with your doctor anyhow.

I hope it all goes well.
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Re: Sleeping Problem

Postby RyoSoulreaper » January 6th, 2012, 1:12 pm

I say you got a case of insomnia. Like Nymine said, it probably stress induced or a subconscious suppressing of a problem.

If you get into a routine or something where you eat at a certain time and do certain things then you should fix it. I have this problem now and routines are what's slowly fixing it. Even if I hate my alarm I purposefully set early.
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Re: Sleeping Problem

Postby The_Hankerchief » January 7th, 2012, 2:38 am

Nymine wrote:First, deep breath. The best way to tackle problems like these are calm. If you upset and believe there might be something wrong, you can easily convince yourself there is something wrong with the littlest things.

Two things that often mess up sleep, whether we realize it or not, are diet and environment. How have you been lately? Has there been a lot of stress? Are there things you're worried about, something that's been bothering you but you've been ignoring it? I know it doesn't seem like much, but things like that can often cause irregular sleeping patterns(waking up in the middle of the night ect). Heck, even just the excitement/stress of joining the Armed Forces could have triggered this. It happened to my older brother before he left for boot camp. He never outwardly showed any nervousness, but up until he left, he never seemed to be able to get a good night's sleep. Even didn't eat as much.

As for diet, and this also ties in with stress, how are you eating? Are you getting enough of a balanced diet? Eating enough fruit? I know this sounds weird, but it does help. I'm not trying to be patronizing, of course. Just trying to help.


I don't know, I just got really panicky last night, especially with all the people urging me to go see a doctor. When you're in the Service, even something as trivial as a stubbed toe has to be reported to your recruiter (or, if you're on Active Duty, your superior), and if I start going to the doctor for sleeping problems, it may affect my ability to be able to serve, and I got panicky. I'm still concerned, mind you, but nowhere near as nervous as last night.I just needed a little time.

There's been a lot of things needling me lately, nothing big, aside from when I'm going to get sent to basic in Texas (which, I was told this morning, could be as soon as this month, more on that in a minute.) Normally when I'm in company, I try to be calm and relaxed, but ever since my state job ended, I've been nervous, especially when nobody else is around and I'm left to my thoughts. Trying to find a job, pay my bills, not getting around to updating my comic, dealing with my dad's nonsense, joining the Force, wondering when I'm going to be sent off, and everyone at home concerned about my sleeping patterns. I'm also getting concerned about making commitments (like helping my grandma out at the farm, or going to do something with someone) and then sleeping past them, that's been getting on my nerves too. (I guess you're right, perhaps it's just stress or something. Maybe I'm worried about a whole lot of nothing. But why?)

Then today, I got a phone call from my recruiter saying I got a job offer pending (In the Air Force, when you have successfully enlisted, they put you in the reserves until they offer you a job, and once you accept that job, you are officially on active duty). He's not allowed to discuss job offers on the phone, and I couldn't come in today, so I have to wait until Monday to see what it is. All day long, it hasn't bothered me, and then on my way home from my grandmother's, I panicked again, and couldn't go home for some reason. I just kept cruising backroads until I made it all the way to the other end of the county, and it wasn't until I saw the county line that I'd calmed down enough to get back to the interstate and go home.

I don't even know why I did that, I mean, it's what I want. I want to hurry up and do my six years (I signed for six so I could hold onto my active duty benefits longer) so I can meet the requirements to become a U.S. Marshal, it's what I want to do. And the Air Force, unlike the other branches, tends to accommodate their members better (even the Army and Marine people I know admit this.) But at the same time, despite all my traveling across the U.S., no matter how long I was gone, I always knew where I was going and that I'd get to come home. After basic in Texas, I don't know where I'm getting sent, but it's definitely not going to be Oregon (Aside from a few National Guard bases and an old Army-owned chemical depot that closed down last year, there are no military bases within the state of Oregon). And this bothers me for some reason. This is my home, I've been all over the U.S. and there's no other place I'd rather be. It's what I know, it's where I'm from, it's what helped make me, me. I'll have the equivalent of two months of leave a year, so it's not like I'll be gone forever, but, for the first time in my life, I won't be calling Oregon home. I guess that's probably a big part of the problem. I'm excited to go ahead with my dreams and goals, but I'm sad to leave, if that makes sense.

Shit, I'm doing it again. Better get off that topic.

As for my diet, it varies a bit. Normally, I sleep past breakfast, and sometimes, I skip lunch, but eat a good dinner, especially if I'm at my grandmother's and she's cooking. Lately, it's either one or the other: On days I get up early, I start out with a bowl of Cheerios and some juice, have a sandwich or something for lunch, and then eat a good well rounded dinner. On days I wake up really late, I usually have something light, if I eat at all, which I usually don't. And on occasion, I'll eat a lot in a day (for example, the steak challenge I did with my brother last month in California, or that huge burger I tried to eat on New Year's), so my diet's odd. As for fruit, I haven't been eating much of it lately, though I do burn through orange juice pretty quick.

Twickitybix wrote:It's probably just stress/excitment that's caused you to stay up some nights and now your sleep pattern is messed up. Your body doesn't know if you're supposed to be awake or asleep. It's nothing to worry about. You should try to back into a regular routine if you can, and don't worry too much if you can't.
You only need to see a doctor if you're feeling tired all day and have flu-like symptoms, high temperature and the shakes so on. Otherwise, just get a good night's sleep and try to stay awake juring the day, but take is easy. Chill. ;)


magnetic-porcupine wrote:I'm far from an expert at this, but your erratic sleeping pattern does sound like a symptom of bipolar disorder. Especially if you have like weird moods swings throughout the week or something.
But other than that I really don't think it's a serious medical condition so just relax, you're fine :) I've gone through weeks of sleeping for 4h each night and feeling perfectly well throughout the day, and then panicking that maybe my brain was dying off or something, but my sleep cycle always reverted back to normal in the end. Although I guess in your case it's a bit different :/


I hope it's just all the stress. Although, sometimes, I do involuntarily shiver at random times throughout the day, but I've been doing that since I was a kid, so I've never shown much concern about that. As for the bi-polar bit, I highly doubt it, but I hope to God it's not true. I don't have mood swings, per se. I just tend to be really relaxed with people, and, when I'm stressed, really tense when I'm by myself. Please don't even suggest being Bi-polar, let's just put that to bed and never, ever wake up that thought again. Again, if something's wrong, I'm supposed to report it, and I don't want something to be wrong. Mental conditions in the military are a big disqualifier, and according to the mental evaluation test they gave me, I'm okay, so I'm going to believe that. If they even get it in their heads I have a mental problem, there's a 95% chance I'll be gone, and once you get booted from the military for having a mental disorder, you're gonna have a hell of a time finding a career that doesn't involve fast-food or manual labor, plus I can kiss the Marshals goodbye. I'm not even gonna entertain that possibility. (Porcupine, do you recall the conversation we all had about the mental health rehab system a few weeks ago in the Vent thread? I do not want that happening.)

mitchellbravo wrote:This is really simple so maybe it doesn't help, but I've found that sleeping too much makes me tireder. If I go to bed at midnight and wake up at 9, I'll be okay, but if I decide to keep sleeping past that, it's like my body goes into hibernation mode and expects I'm goign to keep sleeping through the whole day. Sometimes it'll happen when I take a nap, if I go lie in bed but don't set an alarm or something and accidentally sleep for three hours and then feel like I got hit by a truck.

One piece of advice I always hear is that you should try to get on some kind of schedule that you can enforce, going to bed and waking up as close to the same time each night/morning as possible (realistically allowing yourself a window for special circumstances). At the very least you might decide to select a certain hour of the morning/early afternoon that you absolutely may not sleep past, and set like, the alarm of alarms for that. As long as you are getting enough sleep, and there isn't something else at play that's making that turn out to be low-quality sleep (such as some noise that wakes you up without you realizing it, or something like sleep apnea), you're at least on the right track.

If it's somethign that really concerns you, definitely talk to a doctor about it. Ideally yours is a temporary situation that just requires some simple changes or "waiting it out."


Rivana wrote:This hasn't happen to me (it was more like the opposite - could not sleep but I knew what was causing that at that time)

But like what Mitchell mentioned, maybe enforcing a sleep schedule and routine of activities would help. If that doesn't help, you might want to check with your doctor anyhow.

I hope it all goes well.


RyoSoulreaper wrote:I say you got a case of insomnia. Like Nymine said, it probably stress induced or a subconscious suppressing of a problem.

If you get into a routine or something where you eat at a certain time and do certain things then you should fix it. I have this problem now and routines are what's slowly fixing it. Even if I hate my alarm I purposefully set early.


That's exactly what I'm describing, Mitchell! Except, when I get to sleeping, waking me up is hard. (Yakkity can vouch for that). I have five alarm clocks in my room (six, when I set the one on my phone), and on those days I sleep a long time, I sleep through all of them, even my iPod (I set the alarm on it and connect it to my stereo, which I crank to full volume. Part of this may be my stepbrother's fault, his bedroom is adjacent to mine and the walls are thin, and he sleeps a lot lighter than me. When the alarms wake him up, he comes in and shuts them all off. He also used to try and wake me up, but he's since given up on that.). Even throwing a bucket of water on me doesn't do it anymore. Remember how I said my friend thought I was comatose? I wasn't kidding. Perhaps I need an alarm clock that Tasers you when it goes off. That might help...

As for schedules, mine is weird. Since I don't have an official job (at least until i get put on active duty) or currently attend school, I usually have a lot of free time that I usually burn up doing odd jobs at my grandmother's ranch in order to pay my bills and have a few bucks to myself at the end of the month. With the exclusion of a few plans I may make with people a few days or so in advance, I usually just see where the day takes me, which makes schedules difficult. I suppose you're right, though, if I'm gonna be going into the Service, I better get re-acquainted with routine.

Thank you, everybody for listening to me babble pointlessly and offering advice on something I really shouldn't be freaking out over. I don't know why I do it, but I do. Hopefully getting it all out in the open might help me sleep better...
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Re: Sleeping Problem

Postby Guest » January 7th, 2012, 9:24 am

(Porcupine, do you recall the conversation we all had about the mental health rehab system a few weeks ago in the Vent thread? I do not want that happening.)


:/ sorry, I don't really look at peoples' usernames on the forums. And I didn't know it would be such a touchy subject; I thought you genuinely wanted to know if there was the slightest possibility that something was wrong. My apologies! I shouldn't have suggested such a thing. Really. Especially since you're in the military and all.

Hope it all works out though!
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Re: Sleeping Problem

Postby mitchellbravo » January 7th, 2012, 12:06 pm

In my non-medical opinion, Hank, you are going through a lot of enormous life changes right now, and might be underestimating the toll that kind of stress takes on the body and the delicate sleep process. You're in a transitional phase right now, neither here nore there, and that's the kind of situation that makes you ask a lot of scary questions and come up with things you normally wouldn't even worry about. As a personal anecdote, a few years ago my living arrangement was, to put it very mildly, unpleasant, and my sleep schedule changed entirely- I'd go to bed around 10:30 or 11:00 PM and not come out of bed until 1, 2:00 the next afternoon, because sleeping made the hours pass faster. Some of it was a deliberate choice on my end, but a good amount of it was real stress-sleep.

Once you get settled down wherever your future takes you, or at the very least, once you get some answers about what that's going to entail, you'll likely start to feel much better and then sleep much better. When you have something weighing on your mind so heavily, when you're trying to figure out where you're going to be a few months from now, it's easy to get caught up in that and have difficulty doing basic things like sleeping and eating normally.
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Re: Sleeping Problem

Postby The_Hankerchief » January 9th, 2012, 4:53 pm

mitchellbravo wrote:In my non-medical opinion, Hank, you are going through a lot of enormous life changes right now, and might be underestimating the toll that kind of stress takes on the body and the delicate sleep process. You're in a transitional phase right now, neither here nore there, and that's the kind of situation that makes you ask a lot of scary questions and come up with things you normally wouldn't even worry about. As a personal anecdote, a few years ago my living arrangement was, to put it very mildly, unpleasant, and my sleep schedule changed entirely- I'd go to bed around 10:30 or 11:00 PM and not come out of bed until 1, 2:00 the next afternoon, because sleeping made the hours pass faster. Some of it was a deliberate choice on my end, but a good amount of it was real stress-sleep.

Once you get settled down wherever your future takes you, or at the very least, once you get some answers about what that's going to entail, you'll likely start to feel much better and then sleep much better. When you have something weighing on your mind so heavily, when you're trying to figure out where you're going to be a few months from now, it's easy to get caught up in that and have difficulty doing basic things like sleeping and eating normally.


So more or less, you think most of it's just stress-induced? It makes a lot of sense to me, thinking about it. How did you deal with it, though, or what would you recommend? Should I just ride it out, or is there something else I can do?

magnetic-porcupine wrote::/ I didn't know it would be such a touchy subject; I thought you genuinely wanted to know if there was the slightest possibility that something was wrong. My apologies! I shouldn't have suggested such a thing. Really. Especially since you're in the military and all.

Hope it all works out though!


No, you were right, you were just trying to help. At the time, I was wondering if I had a problem that might disqualify me from going into the service, and seeing that suggestion just made me nervous, is all. I took a weekend vacation up in the mountains, and now that I've had a little time to think about it, it sounds a little silly, getting all worried over it. Nevertheless, thank you for your input.

I'm going down the the recruitment center in a bit to find out what I'm going to be doing and where I'll be sent. Hopefully, I'll be able to put that thought to bed. Wish me luck, guys!
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Re: Sleeping Problem

Postby mitchellbravo » January 9th, 2012, 5:12 pm

The_Hankerchief wrote:So more or less, you think most of it's just stress-induced? It makes a lot of sense to me, thinking about it. How did you deal with it, though, or what would you recommend? Should I just ride it out, or is there something else I can do?


Well, mine was a time-limited thing, I knew when the stress was going to be over, which helped immensely. Different things work for different people. I found that having some people I know I can vent to is helpful, as well as keeping my mind occupied with other things than the thing that stresses me out if possible (doing a comic has been incredibly therapeutic for me in that regard- if I catch myself ruminating on the stressful topic, I just switch over to thinking about future plot lines and character development. Kind of like training a pet not to jump up on the table anymore, I just have to give myself a mental bop on the nose when I catch myself walking down those paths again :P

If you have activities that help you feel at ease, like playing a favorite video game, watching a movie you've seen a thousand times, going for a walk or jog, or even having a nice cup of tea once in a while, employ them and try to immerse yourself in them to help the time pass more quickly. I can't say for sure, but brace yourself to ride it out. The good thing is that ideally one day you'll wake up and will feel much better than you've felt in months, after the stressful thing has been resolved or concluded.

Don't be afraid to talk to a doctor if you have reason to be concerned that there's something more worrisome at play, or if it starts to impact your life in a more serious and detrimental manner (making you unable to go to events or interact with people, that kind of thing).

Just know that it won't be like this forever :) One day you'll look back on this thread and this time in your life and realize how far you've come and how much better you feel. Good luck at the recruitment center, man! I think it's really cool that you're joining the Air Force. A few summers ago I was considering joining myself, but in retrospect I don't think I'm cut out for it at this point in my life :lol: I hope everything goes well and that you have good news to share when you return.
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Re: Sleeping Problem

Postby The_Hankerchief » January 10th, 2012, 1:15 am

Well, I am happy to say, the job offer meeting went over well. I'm going in as an electrician tech specialist! (I'll be dealing with electronics all around the base, including power grids in buildings and flight runways, as well as security systems and fire alarms, and some computer tech components). I also found out where I'm going after getting sent to San Antonio: I'll be there for six months, pass Basic, then I'll go north into the Texas Panhandle (near the Oklahoma border) for job training for about seven to nine months, and then after that, depending on availability, I'll get to choose a home base for myself, so it all works out! I'm extremely glad to have that taken care of; perhaps I'll sleep better.

Thank you, once again, everyone, I think I'll be okay here on out.
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Re: Sleeping Problem

Postby Nymine » January 13th, 2012, 9:05 pm

Wonderful! Happy to hear that Hank. :3
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