Having Trouble Sleeping and Waking Often

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Lately I have been having a great problem going to sleep. I go to bed and one way or another I do not fall asleep. When I give up I try to find ways to relax. Talking on the forum helps me to relax sometimes. Speaking to people in private messages helps me too. My schedule is becoming more and more erratic. I am at a wall in my thinking about how to help myself with this problem. I know about the ways to aid sleep thread in the information section but what more specifically has it been helpful to do? Does anyone have anything special that they do to help them go to sleep? What kinds of things have helped you go to sleep? How do you maintain some sort of schedule?

A second part to this is that once I do fall asleep I tend to only sleep for three or four hours at a time. On the nights where I sleep two 3 hour blocks I often feel the need for more and so end up sleeping 9 or 12 hours and sometimes more throughout the day. I know that I have been trying to sleep more on those days so that I can wake up more completely so I suppose this has to do with quality of sleep. Sometimes instead of sleeping I forge on and find myself very tired during the day; what has helped you to rejuvenate yourself during the day? What kinds of things have been successful with helping to improve the quality of your rest and sleep?
Hello, I know some of these things are already on the forum. The things I do that work to varying degrees are:

I put my bed into the corner of the room. So I can sleep right in the corner with my head and and body in the corner of the room.

I bought a soft toy. My therapist suggested this and I fought it for a long time, until I was prepared to try anything. It worked like magic. Dont know how or why but it does and really helps when I get nightmares too.

I have a shower/bath even if its in the middle of the night

I have a hot water bottle

Get some physical exercise

I use a meditation/relaxation tape

Chill out time before bed, quiet, no computer

I sleep with a pillow on top of my head

I sleep best of all in my van on the beach in the summer. Its small, contained, warm.

I write myself/the forum or my therapist an email. To get out whatever is in my head, even if it doesn't seem that bad. I cant tell what's stopping me from sleeping so I just write everything.

Go to bed early. It takes the pressure off a bit. That way if you cant get to sleep or you wake in the night you still have time to get the hours in.

Dont clock watch. If you wake in the night dont look at the clock. It doesn't matter what the time is, its still sleeping time if your alarm hasn't gone off.
AND I forgot, the best of all is a massage. I have a massage every month or so or when things are stuck in a rut. It sometimes breaks the cycle.
all of the above are great ideas and you can also do something that makes you tired, like reading a book for example.
but if you are still awake after about half an hour get up and go through your bed time routine again and see how that goes.

good luck with it.
Claire and Paul-you hit just about all of the items in my box of tricks. Sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep, I'll take my pillow and grab a blanket and curl up in my recliner with the heating pad (there's usually some part of me that's sore!). This helps me to get at least a couple more hours of sleep.

And Claire-I love my monthly massage, too! I wish I could afford the ones that come to your home so I could go to sleep afterwards in my bed-not have to get up and drive home. LOL

Andre-when I'm totally wiped out and at work, I'll go into the ladies room where we have a couch and rest for a few minutes to recharge my batteries away from phones and emails and such. Actually Friday at lunch, I went in there and took a nap. I try to limit my intake of coffee. And sometimes a change of scenery will help me to clear out the cobwebs-but I guess that the best way I've found to rejuvenate is rest. I guess our bodies know what they need.
Wow that's a lot of good advice Claire. Thanks for sharing, I'm going to save your post for the next time I have problems, which I'm sure will be soon!
I really like the idea of not clock-watching. I always torment myself by watching time pass, creeping closer to the moment when my alarm will ring.
other things that also help me are:

yoga and

a night light - i sometimes find surrendering to sleep (and the possible nightmares that go with it) very difficult. Having the night light on somehow eases the transition.

Really pleased my suggestions have helped you guys.

Sweet dreams!
i have a special soft lavender "blanky" that works like a soft toy for me, like for Claire, it really does work. Also suffer from erratic sleep. i find for me that i need a snack before bedtime, a warm drink of tea (herbal would be best i guess but i usually have normal), and i have a large pillow that i hug. i lie awake sometimes and just try to stay still so at least my body gets rest even if my mind is racing. Sleeping pills give me nightmares, and i dont want to overdo the diazepam as it reduces its effects when i need it for a panic attack. Having a bedtime routine does help. i've learned to have small daytime naps which help if it was a bad night (except they have to be at home in private because sometimes i sleeptalk). Otherwise i let myself cry and pray. Nights can be long, but the morning always comes.
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