This is a patient with longstanding sleeping problem, not that he isn’t able to fall asleep, but he can’t sleep for many hours, is usually awake at about 2-3am, then has to lie on his bed till 6-7am.
He struggles so much with sleep for the past 30+ years of his life, now in his 60s. With medication his problem improves, but when his body starts to tolerate with the medicine, he will struggle to sleep longer again. To him having a good sleep and being able to sleep till morning is the most important thing. He’d rather over sleep and be late for work. He’d exchange anything for a good sleep till morning.
To make sure he’s able to sleep, he stays away from coffee, tea and anything that may lead to restlessness or insomnia for all these years. Sometimes he does feel too tired able and blurred in the day so he’ll have a lie in. But he doesn’t fall asleep, isn’t taking nap.
Advice given that he shouldn’t even have a lie in, as sometimes people are resting and they fall asleep without realizing it. Secondly, to learn one important fact that “if you can’t fall asleep, then just let it be”. In fact lying down on a bed is also a type of resting, you get to relax your muscles, body, and eyes. The only part that doesn’t really rest is perhaps your brain, but it doesn’t and will never rest completely anyway, whether you are sleeping or not. So accept the fact that your brain doesn’t want to fall asleep, let it be, just relax yourself. Do more exercise in the day, engage in more physical and mental activities in the day, get yourself tired.
What to do if I can’t sleep (well)?
- Make sure you don’t sleep during the day, not even lying down and rest
- Engage in more mental and physical activities in the day
- Avoid tea, coffee and anything with caffeine in it. You may have tolerated it well in the past, but no longer now.
- Accepts that lying down is also a type of rest, your muscles, body, eyes are all resting.
- Accepts that it really doesn’t matter if you can’t fall asleep. Just continue lying down, relax and enjoy the sense of it.
- Don’t be afraid and worried that you won’t fall asleep. The more you worry the harder you fall asleep.
- You’re not alone. About every 4 out of 5 patients who visit our clinic has problems with sleeping. Some have not slept properly for few weeks. Some have not slept at all for 3-4 days.