Insomnia is a complex issue for many…

John Crace, in the Guardian, discusses insomnia, along with an “expert” who says the “NHS ought to be providing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to treat it.” Oh bollocks! CBT is snake-oil for the 21st century! Anyway, some of us already know all too well why we can’t sleep, so having it explained to us by some numpty is no help at all.

As for all the smug, simplistic, buggers touting running or walking, as a cure, well, they might like to bear in mind that for many of us neither is an option. Nor is exercise in general even possible for many of us.

Neither, in my own case, is going to bed – at any time – an option. Thanks to a bunch of respiratory and heart problems, if I lie down I lose a fairly important ability – I can’t breathe.

For 10 months I’ve slept – or not – sitting up on the couch. The pain this causes, after a while, in both butt and spine, has to be experienced to be believed.

There is also the risk that if I sleep, I’ll die, which keeps me awake. In truth, the risk is no greater  than when I’m awake. I know this – it doesn’t help! I also know why that is – awake, I might be able to summon help in a crisis; asleep, I’m history.

The fact is that insomnia can have many causes that are far more serious than a failure to eat the right size meal at the right time (which is rubbish anyway, as I know from experience), or to exercise until tired – for many of us, simply existing is exhausting.

And we still can’t sleep – there’s no easy solution, and for some of us, even drugs are out.

Just sayin’

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7 thoughts on “Insomnia is a complex issue for many…

    • Oddly enough, no, and my GP dodges the question.

      I even had a 2-day assessment at the Pulmonary Function Lab. They increased my meds but never mentioned PR. Maybe it’s not suitable for everyone…

  1. Strange as I feel it will help you. I only have 10% lung function left, however I went on my 3rd rehab this summer and it has given me a little more mobility and puff back. It proves that any exercise is good exercise. Maybe you should push to be included., it is your right to be at least be considered.

    • Actually, my lungs aren’t the real problem these days. My heart’s so severely compromised even getting dressed can be a challenge some days. If I go out it takes 3 – 4 hours to get ready.

  2. This is quite a timely post for me, Ron, as my sleep pattern has just nosedived in response to my seasonal lowering of mood.

    I’ve suffered from insomnia to varying degrees most of my life. I am one of the ‘lucky’ ones, I am able to get sufficient sleep as long as I sleep when I can instead of when I ‘should’. Not being able to sleep properly at all must be unbearable, there is a reason why sleep deprivation is used as a torture technique.

    So much rubbish is spouted about insomnia by people who don’t have a clue. People who wouldn’t dream of discussing my personality disorder or cyclothymia will happily give me advice on how to manage my sleep pattern and people who are mostly sensitive to my depression think nothing of making fun of me ‘not being able to get up in a morning’. Even my psychiatrist found it difficult to grasp that long term insomniacs have invariably done the research and tried all the recommended remedies. He was quite hurt at my look of disdain when he asked if I drank a lot of coffee! I won’t repeat my reaction to this, I’m pretty sure you have your own.

    I’ve yet to be offered CBT but I’m sure it will happen as its the proven cure for all ailments known to man.

    Cheers and sweet dreams, Ness.

    • “…there is a reason why sleep deprivation is used as a torture technique.”

      I made that point in hospital, when I asked to be discharged after 4 sleepless days and 5 sleepless nights. Got a very odd look.

      I seem to be getting by OK on very little sleep at present, which is just as well!

  3. Oh dear, your condition, Ron sounds complicated. Hope you find a solution. It is healthy for the body long term to get consistent block of restful sleep.

    My partner has a long term sleep disorder. He was actually tested at a research sleep disorder clinic at a hospital. He falls asleep if his body is still and ie. watching tv, movie at length. Which means falling asleep at the car wheel for long drives. Therefore he hardly wants to drive now.

    He’s tried taking a prescribed drug to keep himself awake at right times. But he didn’t want to get his body hooked on it and didn’t feel well anyway.

    So he just puts up with it. And so cycling for him, is very helpful for his body activity swings. It keeps him awake, but he gets somewhere for transportation!

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