1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Sleep debt. How do you catch up?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Wreybies, May 1, 2014.

    I swear that I'm behind by a good 5 or six hours.

    I suck at napping. It doesn't work for me. Either I just lay there staring at the ceiling or I lapse into an episode of sleep paralysis, which if you have never experienced it, is horrible. Happens to me aaaaallll the time.

    I do not sleep with the TV on. I have one of those cable boxes that turns off by itself after X amount of no activity. The TV turns off by itself 5 minutes after the box.

    I do not sleep with the lights on.

    I don't have urinary issues that wake me up at night.


    Tips from those with equally wonky sleep habits?
     
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  2. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh my god, I HATE sleep paralysis. I only get it on my days off now, but being awake and not able to move--even for just seconds--is freaking terrifying.

    Getting up and doing something, like taking a walk/jog or cleaning a spot of the house works for me. Also, if I've got a lot on my mind, I slap a page into my journal.
     
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  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    My sleep schedule has been getting strange for the past three or four weeks. I've been staying up later and later (I didn't get to bed until about 4:30 am today, for instance), but my body clock won't let me sleep in. I wanted to sleep until eleven or so, but I sprang out of bed at about 8:30 - four hours of sleep. That's not enough.

    I've been taking an hour-long nap about one pm most days to try to catch up, but I can't do it today - I'll be busy all afternoon with errands and general crap. If my posts seem kind of stupid later today, it's because I haven't slept enough. :( If my posts seem kind of stupid all the time, well, I can't help that - it's because I'm kind of stupid. :p
     
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  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    You need a bad book. Not so bad that you throw it across the room after the first three pages, but the kind of ...book .....that .......makes ................you .............................drop ..................................................off..........................

    I can recommend a few, if you're stuck.

    And no, I'm not kidding. This works.
     
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  5. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think I just figured out how I'm going to market my novel. Thank you!
     
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  6. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    I hate it too. It's especially horrible because once you experience it enough times, you know what's going on - doesn't make it any less horrifying though. Desperately trying to fight it, when you know it won't do you any good...
     
  7. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Ambien
     
  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Actually, joking aside, I've never heard of sleep paralysis. What is it? What happens?
     
  9. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    From Monday to Friday I sleep like crap (5-6 hours per night), though sometimes nap after work. Then I catch up on my sleep on Saturday and Sunday (usually sleep till noon). Then I usually sleep 3 hours between Sunday and Monday. I hate the night between Sunday and Monday, hate hate hate hate it. Mondays are also my longest work days, so I'm on a full-on zombie mode when I finally crawl back home in the evening.

    But I love Saturdays when I can pay back the sleep debt and actually don't feel like I have to drink a barrelful of coffee to get my brain going.
     
  10. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not sure if it's the proper term, so I might be talking about something totally diffs-- It's like being awake, sometimes your eyes are half-lidded, and sometimes you can move your nostrils. That's pretty much all the control you get, from what I've experienced. There's this wait that seems like forever, but probably isn't more than twenty seconds, where all you can do is breathe and wish that you could move.

    There is an actual paralytic that humans employ so that we don't go sleep walking because of dreams; this is what happens if you wake up before that totally wears off.
     
  11. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    Your mind awakens but your body does not. It happens during the REM stage in the sleeping cycle; from what I understand, the body goes into near-paralysis to prevent a person from acting out or reacting to the dreams or nightmares they may be having. I guess your brain got the message it's time to wake up, but your body didn't. Not being able to move your body whilst consciously trying to is quite scary.
     
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  12. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    @Okon and @Acanthophis - Good grief. No, I've never experienced this, but I'm sure it would be really scary. Does it mostly happen when you're waking up from a bad dream, or can it happen any time?
     
  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Okon does a good job of describing it.:(

    I can sometimes move enough to jostle myself out of it. I usually have this horrific sense that I'm going to suffocate. When I try to catch a nap, I have a little pillow I hold on my chest, under my chin, to keep my jaw from sagging and making it so I can't breathe. William knows when it happens to me and he knows to shake me hard to break me out of it and that sometimes it sticks and stays and he has to make sure I'm sitting up. Often, for reasons I cannot explain, I laugh while he's breaking me out of it. I know I'm laughing, but nothing is funny. It's completely inappropriate to how I feel, but there it is anyway. :(
     
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  14. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Whatever you do, don't go to Oklahoma to get help going to sleep, they'll just botch it.
     
  15. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't remember if it's ever been after a dream. And it always happens to me when I wake up gradually: no alarmses or other interruptions.
     
  16. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I just read the Wikipedia article about it. It sounds horrible. I guess there is a version of it that can last a half-hour to an hour. My god. That is so scary. And it's apparently common enough that it's part of folklore around the world, and the source of those strange incubus creatures you see so often in old paintings, as well as the term 'hag-ridden' and 'devil on your back' and other such phrases.

    Well, I guess I've just learned something new. I can't believe I got to be nearly 65 years old and never heard of this. Anyway, I hope you guys don't have to suffer this too often. The article suggests that reducing stress and getting enough sleep does help, as well as not sleeping on your back. But I assume you know all this.

    Anyway, I think I'll sleep with one eye open tonight, for sure... and on my side...
     
  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    For me it always happens just as I am nodding off. I can feel it when it's happening.
     
  18. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    Oddly enough, I only get it if I'm asleep on my back. I used to get it every night. I caught on to what was happening, so I started sleeping on my stomach/side. Sometimes I'll shift onto my back, and then it usually happens. Thankfully it doesn't seem to be harmful in any real way.
     
  19. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yep. Same here.
     
  20. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Same here. With me, it doesn't happen often, just a few times a year or so, depending on how I sleep, but it usually happens if I've stayed up longer than 48 hours straight, going closer to the 70h mark, go to bed, and just start drifting off.

    Or with certain drugs I've been prescribed for various reasons. Mirtazapin triggered it a few times, I think it's happened once while under the influence of tramadol and pregabalin (big doses, at least 48 hours awake), and also quetiapine in low doses (25-50mg). It seems tramadol and pregabalin both also cause vivid nightmares, dunno if that has a connection to the sleep paralysis -thing.

    Mine don't include any physical sensations save for the paralysis: my eyes are open and I feel kinda hazy, but I always, always get very vivid aural hallucinations which, for some reason, are always the same:
    I hear someone moving in the living room (sometimes I hear "him" breaking things like smashing dishes etc) when I know there's nobody there. @KaTrian always sleeps next to me, so I know it can't be her, and since we live alone...

    The only way for me to break it is to either get my voice going or move. Usually it's just a grunt and a twitch that breaks it although I always try to scream and jump up (I've never screamed even though they always do that in movies), but once I sat up and threw my pillow at the opposite wall (great way to defeat the intruder, isn't it? Throw a pillow at 'em; that'll show 'em!) even though I told my body to go for the gun. Once or twice I've reached for it but have realized it was just the sleep paralysis playing tricks on my mind before I grabbed it.


    Anyhoo, as for the thread, I'm in a bit of a pickle since one back problem (degenerated discs and a spinal disc hernia) makes all other positions painful except lying down, but a newer back problem makes lying down very painful after around 4-6 hours, so I wake up to the pain and have to get up or the pain will just keep getting worse until I feel like I'll lose it.

    Because of that problem, I don't really like going to sleep anymore (used to freaking love sleeping), so usually I sleep only few nights a week. When I've stayed up longer than a couple of days, the next time I go to bed, I'll be dead to the world for around 12 hours until the pain wakes me up and by then it's agonizing. Then it's two hours of teeth grinding before the pain medication kicks in and I can breathe again.

    So maybe I'm not the best person to give sleeping advice :D But one thing I'll tell you: just getting a tempur pillow has fixed a lot of sleeping problems (like a stuffy nose, the occasional snoring, stiff neck etc). I'd imagine a full tempur mattress would help a lot with my back pains, but we can't afford it yet.
    However, if you could, I highly recommend you check it out. Around here, the tempur shops allow you to book a time to actually go and sleep on such a bed for a couple of hours to test drive it and then make the call whether you'll invest in one. I'd buy it in a heartbeat if I had the money.

    Oh yeah, you can also always manipulate your blood sugar. For instance, don't eat anything for 4 hours or so before the night, then eat something like 2 candy bars worth of chocolate or some such, i.e. a huge sugar rush, but when that fast sugar comes crashing down after 30mins or so, you'll nod off like a kitten after a good run.

    Kat has also found melatonin quite useful (3-5mg seems ideal for her whereas I usually take around 6-9mg although I take it very rarely). In my case it doesn't really help me fall asleep as well as it helps me stay asleep/deepens my sleep.

    Or you could follow Lorne's advice:
    "I got some earplugs. Put 'em in and slept like a baby. Cried and wet the bed all night."
     
  21. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @T.Trian: For a several months last year, I had trouble sleeping. I used melatonin too. Usually 10mg per night. It helped a great deal, and I find I don't need it anymore. It's a lot less scary than actual sleeping pills, and for me it's very effective. I found out about it from my niece - she has Asperger's and when she was in her early teens she had an awful time sleeping. Melatonin solved her problem, and it solved mine, too.
     
  22. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @minstrel, I've tried most of the usual prescription sleeping pills, but only melatonin and quetiapine (which isn't even used/prescribed for sleeping problems) ever worked for me.
    The latter was like a knock-out drug: when it kicked in, I'd pass out then and there, sometimes with food in my mouth if we were having supper, and Kat couldn't get me to wake up. The first time I was out 14 hours straight.
    If taken daily, however, it loses its effectiveness and larger doses than 50mg actually make falling asleep more difficult and turn you into a zombie, so yeah, if I need anything, I'd much rather take melatonin than anything else. It has far fewer (and much less scary) side effects as well.
     
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  23. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I only sleep about 4-5 hours a night, and it suits me well. If there is a deficit to be paid, plenty of time for that when I'm looking up at dirt.
     
  24. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I read an article a while back that different people can make do with different amounts of sleep: some need 8-9h per night while others can make do with 4h etc. The article mentioned a mother and daughter who both slept only 3-4h per night and were fine.
    Then again, I've read claims that you can somehow lessen your need for sleep, but if I remember correctly, none of it was particularly scientific.
     
  25. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm at my best if I get about seven hours a night. Four or five isn't enough, and after a few days, it really hits me. I get thickheaded and start neglecting things like making dinner. That's right - if I miss too much sleep, we order pizza or something. And we don't have any really good pizza joints around here, so we're always disappointed. And don't get me started on the local Chinese food - ugh. :eek:
     
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