All of us experience those nights when we can’t sleep. For those of us with PTSD, they may happen more often than is usual. Last night I was up almost all night. It’s my own fault. I didn’t think ahead, and went out with a friend for supper. I had a large diet Coke with my meal. Normally, I drink caffeine-free, diet beverages, but this restaurant didn’t offer the caffeine-free variety, so, I took what I could get. I paid for it too.
I was several hours into the sleeplessness when I realized what I’d done. I quickly got up out of bed and went out of the room to pursue quiet activities until I became sleepy. After watching a bit of TV and playing some soft music, I returned to bed and fell asleep quickly. Getting out of bed is one ploy for remedying the situation. Doing something calming until you become sleepy is another. Some of the other tips for overcoming sleepless nights include:
- Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool
- Get regular exercise, and make sure you don’t exercise late in the day
- No caffeine within six hours of going to bed
- Establish a routine so you go to bed at the same time every night
- Avoid taking naps in the middle of the day
Sleepless nights can be frustrating and may leave you feeling like you’re among the living dead the next day. Try to avoid getting caught up in negative thoughts about how your sleepless night will affect you, as it only makes it worse. Reframe those thoughts by realizing you’ve been here before and you’ve gotten through it successfully…and you will again. Sweet dreams.