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Insomnia! Advice needed!

Bill Hicks

My partner has been suffering from Insomnia for the past 9 years. She can fall asleep easily enough, but she will awake 2-3 hours later and not be able to get back to sleep. This problem only arose after her fathers diagnosis and subsequent death of cancer in 2004. Our GP appears unwilling to help, and has actualy said "Some people only require a couple of hours sleep a night!" And offering out the occasional prescription of sleeping pills. In fact I believe that this problem is stress induced brought on by her fathers death, due to the fact that she never suffered from insomnia before this. I'm suprised (And frustrated) that our GP will not try to refer her for bereavement counselling/therapy that will possibly help her! Or look at other possible treatments other than the highly adictive sleeping pill. Has anyone any experience of this problem, and have any advice on what to do. Please any help would be very much appreciated.
Many thanks, Ed.


Distinguished Member
Hi mate

Doctors are useless, and in my own expierence so are sleeping pills.

Sleeping pills are fine for a few nights, or even a couple of weeks sometimes (Ive had loads) but as soon as your body has gotten used to them they stop working, and need different ones.

What I did was get as much exercise as I could, physicle and mental during the day, and in the evening used stuff to keep my mind working opposed to watching tv to drain a bit more.
I found the more I used my brain, the more mentally tired I got and gradually slept better and better.

I sometimes still cannot sleep or wake up and not able to sleep, but mental exhaustion for me helped a lot.

These things are gradual and and do take a long time and a lot of paitence.

Hope this is of some help however little.



Kava Kava is good, you'll find it at any health food shop. Its not addictive, harmful or possible to build up a tolerance.


Distinguished Member
Get a 2nd opinion from a different doctor.

Some of them are awful, one of my co-workers had problems with his balance, went to the Dr and he told him it was nothing to worry about, probably just low blood sugar (without doing a blood test or anything) anyways it kept happening his wife told him to see a different Dr and it turns out he'd had a small stroke.

I guess you just need to see a different Dr, explain how it's affecting the lifestyle, sometimes it helps to tell them a little white lie in order to make them realise it needs sorting.

I'm sure there are ways it can be sorted.

As suggested herbal remedies can help also.


Distinguished Member
When she wakes up, does she get hot? I sometimes get situations where I wake up and can't get back to sleep. My mind goes into over drive and my body gets hot. When this happens now, I relax, cool my self down and eventually fall back to sleep.

Also, no carbohydrates or caffeine in the evenings help.

Bill Hicks

She has tried various herbal remedies with no success. I was thinking about trying a completely new route and maybe trying acunpuncture! l'm convinced that her sleeping problems are tied in with her fathers death, who she was very close too.


Distinguished Member
If you get a 2nd opinion from another Dr they may prescribe more sleeping pills, maybe antidepressants or if you're lucky try help properly.

I think it's most likely they'll just opt for pills as opposed to other methods. They seem very reluctant to do that a lot of the time. That's why there's such a high number of people on anti depressants. May help though... It does sound like the 2 are linked, I knew someone who had family issues that spared off agoraphobia. So it's quite likely it is her fathers passing that has caused it.


Distinguished Member
I've given up caffeine completely and find that I am sleeping better now, it's worth a try I reckon. My problem is that I fall asleep and then wake up about 20 minutes later and then can't get back to sleep, but the number of times this has happened has decreased significantly since not having caffeine. I've also started exercising a lot more and have not had any alcohol for a month, so these factors may be helping as well.


Established Member
You don't mention if she has a stressful job or responsibilities in her life?

Write down a list of things requiring action the next day

Cut out caffine as stated elsewhere

Take up exercise

Black out blinds

Fresh air in the room

Set heating lower

If this fails she needs to go and see someone about her mind, she may need support therapy or counselling due to her loss.

Good luck

eric pisch

Distinguished Member
I have a great deal of trouble sleeping / restless nights

I have found several things that help me drug free.

Certain foods cause me have weird dreams if eaten before going to bed, for me its cheese and garlic (i have freak out dreams on this stuff) so I allways eat them at least 4 hours before I sleep.

If im stressed or worried about something say work, physical exercesion can help, say 30 mins on the treadmill an hour before bed.

I have also found that sometimes if I am producing alot of stomach acid this causes me to have have very restless nights, a Zantac and a glass of water 30 mins before bed helps me greatly with this.

I have given up caffine as well. I also leave the window open abit even in Winter as a CO2 build up in the room can cause disturbed sleep (and it gives me a headache).

Alot of people who have disturbed sleep suffer from disrupted breathing, this can be as simple as an allergy to feathers (I am) pet hair on the bed / carpet, or there may be physical condition causing a reduced air way (does she snore?) There are some cheap nose strips you can try for this. Changing bedding frequenlty etc can help with alergys.

90% of the time i sleep 6-7 hours a night now up from 2-3 hrs


Distinguished Member
I sleep around 4-5hours a night as I find it impossible nearly to get to sleep and when I finally do I'll wake up a few hours later and never be able to get back to sleep. Does me fine though as I don't really get tired much. Does catch up with me every other month or so it seems and I end up sleeping 10+ hour nights.

You sleep better when you drink as well.


Distinguished Member
I think the Doc is spot on in this one, drugs or pills aren't needed, from where I am sitting counselling is required, the Doc might be able to refer her but if not seek help elsewhere.


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