One night 8 months ago I got stressed and woke up in the middle of it and couldn’t sleep for a number of hours. Since then I have woken up at least once per night and found it difficult to get back to sleep. Recently it has gotten a lot worse, and now I wake up at 5 every morning and cannot get back to sleep. Nothing the internet says seems to help. Can you think of something drastic?
Although I’m not sure what you mean by ‘drastic’, but I agree with you that you need to address this issue. Research has shown that ongoing sleep problems can affect concentration, physical well-being and mental health. I’m not sure what you have checked out on the internet, but here are some simple pragmatic recommendations for better sleep:
– Exercise for at least 3 hours accrued per week (sweat enhancing exercise)
– No screens (smart phone, laptop etc.) at all in the hour before getting into bed
– Establish a night time routine to wind down before getting to sleep (shower, music, reading)
– Write down to-do-lists if they emerge when you wake up or track what’s on your mind in a journal. Try some worry scheduling.
– Don’t stay in bed getting more & more upset, instead get up and do something relaxing until you get tired again.
It sounds like your sleeping problems relate to increased stress/ underlying problems which emerge at night when your mind rests and is less controlled: therefore I suggest you talk to a counsellor about potential underlying issues, and possibly to explore what happened 8 months ago when your problem started. You may also want to consider consulting with a GP in order to rule out medical reasons for your insomnia.
Check out this video for some useful information. To access counselling support you can book an appointment with Counselling and Psychological Services, or you can book an appointment with a GP at the University of Melbourne Health Service.