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Author Topic: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?  (Read 12891 times)

Offline neilep

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Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« on: 09/02/2004 19:07:54 »
I wish someone had an answer for me....since I was 6 (Im 39 now) I have managed on 3-4 hours sleep per night....over the years I have tried various diets and techniques and therapies.....I have had intensive sleeping studies and the result each time is...you don't sleep much !!!.....even under sleeping tablets I am a very very light sleeper....it ruined my education...at the moment I am being looked after by the sleeping disorders clinic in a hospital in London (Guys and St Thomas')......latest diagnosis is that I have 'Phased Delay Syndrome' which effectively means my body clock is screwed !!!there'sno cure apparantley and the latest treatment is Melatonin which helps to regulate the body clock....anyway, after a two month trial it doesnt work (with me anyway) but before you say 'you just don't need as much sleep as most people' I kind of subscribe to that, but I  do tire just like everybody else,though I think after all the years I cope with the tiredness very well, often not sleeping at all and missing a night out...... but what really freaks me out is how some people can fall asleep so quickly .....I was driving my car with a work colleague who announced he was going to have a 'power nap' I kinda laughed and shrugged my shoulders...but...within a few minutes he was snoring away !!!!..I couldn't believe it !!! I almsot crashed the car !!.....I can not comprehend such a thing !!.....I normally do not sleep till 5-6am...and then it's for a couple of hours or so.....though I can happily laze away in bed if allowed......If anyone has any suggestions I would be most grateful...Many Thanks

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Offline Ylide

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #1 on: 10/02/2004 05:41:56 »
Have you tried smoking pot?  Seriously.  If I get really high then lay down on a comfy couch or bed while I'm coming down, I'm out like a light.  Isn't medicinal marijunana legal in the UK?







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Offline neilep

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #2 on: 10/02/2004 13:29:58 »
Hi Jay (or should I say High Jay ? lol)Pot is available on prescription here in the Uk but usually as a pain killer....having said that I have tried 'recreational drugs' and pot believe it or not just gets me buzzing even more !!!...If I get too high I have to get outside into some 'environment' and space !!.....obviously I would not condone this practice but when I have a joint in conjunction with a sleeping tablet...then that actually works !!...after discussing it with the consultant he (off the record) said it's not something he would be in a position to officially recommend but at the same time thought it was not a 'dangerous' combination. However, I don't want to go through life depending on drugs to get me to sleep. What I find so difficult to do is to put a blank in my head !!  :-) ...I need to learn how to switch off....Thank you so much for your comment though.

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Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #3 on: 10/02/2004 13:38:26 »
I thought pot was a depressant drug?

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« Last Edit: 10/02/2004 13:38:49 by Quantumcat »
 

Offline Ylide

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #4 on: 10/02/2004 16:24:17 »
Not really a depressant...it can make you tired when you're coming down from the high (it does for me!) but during the high itself you're usually pretty geeked out.  I find as I get older, I like being high less but like the comedown more.  

Bummer it doesn't work that well for you, neil.  I used to have a lot of trouble falling asleep, but a few weeks ago I was put on an anxiety medicine that lets me fall asleep in a couple minutes.  That's really weird to me, it used to take me upwards of 2 hours to fall asleep.  



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Offline neilep

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #5 on: 10/02/2004 17:15:47 »
Anxiety medicine eh ?....now that sounds interesting.....could you let me know what it is Jay and I'll mention it to my consultant.....glad it's working for you......and to fall asleep within a couple of minutes...that almost terrifys me !!......I can't imagine such a concept......I remember when as a child I broke my arm and I was petrified of the general anaesthetic, the thought of forcefully being put to sleep in only a few seconds was horrendous to me.......Many Thanks again for your insight and advice.

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #6 on: 10/02/2004 19:25:05 »
Hi Neil,

Sounds like there could be a psychological component here.  Were you always afraid of (or resistant to) going to sleep as a child?  You said since you were 6 you've been getting by on 3-4 hours a night.  What were your sleep patterns before then and what caused the change?  Perhaps there was a trauma, like a house fire at night, that made you fear sleep.

For now you could try taking the herb valerian about an hour before bed time.  I've used mj as an excellent sleep remedy too, but if it doesn't work for you it could be that that is just your body type, or it could have been the wrong strain of mj for you.  To settle your nerves, try meditating.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #7 on: 10/02/2004 22:08:22 »
Hi Donnah,

Thank you do much for your comment and suggestions.

My mother recollects that it was at the age of 6 when I regularly awoke to join my mum and dad in bed, this happened almost nightly till I was brave enough to stay in my own bed....or not disturb the parents anyway....I honestly do not recall any trauma at that time, nor can my family...(Perhaps some hypnotherapy might help me here).....but until then, my sleep patteren was good.

I did 18months of psycotherapy in my late teens and although I found it therapeutic it didn't help. With regards to the mj, I've been through enough strains to conclude it doesn't help me to sleep, however, I've never tried Valerian and will definitely give this a go.........I did try Yoga once but found that I coulddn't relax enough and I suspect that this may be the foundation of my problem......in any case, I have managed to maintain a very happy marriage with three children and a fair measure of success in my business ventures so at least the lack of sleep has not interfered with that too much.

Donnah, thank you so much for your suggestion and taking the time to read my 'crappings'....I will let you know how the Valerian goes.

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Offline tweener

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #8 on: 10/02/2004 23:20:56 »
When I was younger I meditated a lot and could put myself to sleep in just a few seconds (literally).  Anywhere, anytime.  I could also stay awake for 48 hours straight without too much problem.  After that, I would start hallucinating about things running in front of me.  Shadowy things.

I don't know how to help you meditate, but if you could get into it, you would be amazed at the control it offers to your sleep patterns.

Good luck Neil.


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Offline neilep

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #9 on: 10/02/2004 23:57:39 »
John,

Where did you learn how to meditate like that ?  were you self taught or study some texts ? I'm sure there's a plethora of info out there as well as classes but there's nothing like a good recommendation.......If you can't recall that's ok...I'll look into it myself....with regards to the hallucinations...oh yes !!...quite often I've simply not bothered to go to bed and within a couple of days/nights...oh boy !!...many many thanks for your input , it's greatly appreciated.

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Offline Ylide

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #10 on: 11/02/2004 00:03:06 »
John, that's weird that you mention seeing shadowy things when you're hallucinating from sleep deprivation...I get the same thing.  Makes the imaginative part of me wonder if the biological need for sleep is a result of collectively tuning out a whole host of shadowy critters.  Maybe that's even why animals and people die after extended sleep deprivation....the shadowy things start noticing you noticing them.  Spooky!  Would make a sweet horror flick.

Neil, I'm taking Klonopin.  It's a benzodiazeprene, the same class of drug as Xanax.  The first couple days I took it, I could hardly stay awake.  Now I can stay awake just fine, but I can fall asleep pretty muc on demand.  Getting regular exercise is helping with that too.  If your sleep disorder stems from anxiety, though, (mine did) I can certainly see it helping you.  Do you ever have regular anxiety problems or is it just trouble sleeping?





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Offline neilep

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #11 on: 11/02/2004 00:20:47 »
Hi Jay....Only recently(the last couple of years) have I had the odd panic attack , but generally anyway I consider myself a bit hyper !! (in my head).....having said all that...I've just taken my Nitrazepam AKA Mogadon (same class as your Klonopin) so I'm beginning to feel a little woozy....over the years it's the only drug that has helped me.......I gotta try the meditation and valerian......but to answer your question.....it's getting to sleep and then actually staying asleep that has always been my problem.....I don;t think I suffer regular anxiety problems...but, contradictingly so..... I do worry a lot....!! (self contradiction mode!)...but as a child and through my teens I had no such worries.........I will mention Klonopin at my next consultation...thank you so much for your valuable contribution........

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Offline OldMan

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #12 on: 11/02/2004 02:38:24 »
Hi Neil
In regards to meditation I've found sometimes different types can work better for certain people so you may want to try a few different methods. I know my mum has a relaxation tape of some sort by a lady called Sandra Sebeillis (not sure of spelling) and she finds if she puts that on she'll be out like a light 99% of the time.
She also tried some sort of herbal capsules at soem stage, don't think it was valerian I'll try and find out the name, but she found them to be very effective. So much so that if she took them too late at night she might sleep through her alarm or wake up feeling like she was drunk and stumble around for a while.

What do you before you go to sleep? Read, listen to music or just jump straight in? I sometimes find if I listen to music a song will get stuck in my head and just drive me nuts, when I eventually get to sleep it will often still be in my head the next morning. Mind you when I was younger I used to often listen to music before I went to sleep no worries at all. If read before going to sleep I'll usually nod of in a reasonable amount of time but if I don't read sometimes I'll toss and turn for hours.

Finally one thing I have found to sometimes work is in a calm manner just repeat a few times in my head the word sleep and sure enough after a few minutes I am.

Hope you find yourself  a good solution.

Tim
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #13 on: 11/02/2004 05:39:14 »
You bring up some good points Tim.  Steven Halpern works with frequency and has some tapes out for various problems.  I use his pain control tape and it is VERY effective.  It sounds like gentle music and has subliminals (listed on the jacket).

Neil, what do you habitually do before you go to sleep?  News is a horrible thing to watch before bed.  I make a point of talking/thinking about, reading, and watching ONLY positive things the last half hour before bed time.

And Tim, I love your idea of repeating the word sleep over and over.  It's like a mental command to your body, or alternatively like a mantra when you meditate.
 

Offline Ylide

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #14 on: 11/02/2004 08:18:35 »
I was reading a pamphlet in the clinic on campus the other day that had something to do with a biophysical way to trick yourself into sleeping.  I didn't finish it, so I'll look for it when I go again next week, but it was something along the lines of laying on one side for a certain number of deep breaths, then laying on the other side for a certain number, then your back for a certain number, then when you change you your natural sleeping position, you will fall asleep almost right away.

As far as STAYING asleep, geez, I dunno, I never really have that problem.  I sleep through the night 90% of the time.  The other 10% I wake up 5 minutes before my alarm goes off or I get woken up because I drank too much water before bed and have to pee.



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Offline neilep

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #15 on: 11/02/2004 20:15:09 »
Tim, Thank you (I'm becoming a habitual gratitude giver !!)....I don't think I can tell you what I do before I go to sleep !!   ;-)......but I usually listen to the radio....not a music station but talk-radio....I have found sometimes that if it is barely audible then it can ocsasionally help me drift away......other times, if I have no radio on then I get even more on edge......I have tried relaxation tapes before and probably like you suggest for the meditation, I just need to find the right one....however, if you can find the name of the herbal capsules your mum has used that would be most helpful...admittedly I have tried the repeating the word 'sleep' over and over again....only to be frustrated about fifteen minutes later !!!....actually ..over the years I have tried many techniques.....I'm sure there is a right one for me somewhere...thank you very much  Tim.

Donnah....before I go to sleep I normally read to tire my eyes...sometimes it's unavoidable and I do get up to watch TV....even with a house full of family it can be very lonely at 3am !!..however, music being my passion is something I try to listen to a lot....it soothes my soul.......I have found that after a couple of hours of tossing and turning I have to get up, I have learned to not associate the bed with not getting to sleep.....though, if I'm just too tired I find that all I can do is put the light on and read some more...eventually I just sleep via exhaustion. Oh dear I am being very negative about all this aren't I ? I suppose that's what happens after 33 years of bad nights.....Donnah, you also mention Steven Halpern I think I'll do a search and see if he has tapes available here in the UK.....thank you again for your kind support.

Jay, that pamphlet you mention sounds very interesting...if you get the chance more info on it would be very helpful.

Thank you everybody......I must say I am extremely humbled by all your kind responses.



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Offline MissMontana

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #16 on: 11/02/2004 21:31:44 »
Neil, just a thought but do you have a digital clock within your eyeline when trying to sleep as I find that if I can't sleep but can see the clock I get more frustrated by the fact that I can see time moving on but still can't sleep, catch 22.  I only have problem when I am worried about something but what I try and do is count backwards from 200 (100 wasn't enough) and try and bring myself back to the numbers every time my minds wanders
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #17 on: 11/02/2004 22:40:49 »
Hi TG,

Thanks for your thought. I do have a clock within my eyeline but I've long gone past the phase of letting the time worry me anymore. I will try the countdown  from 200 tonight...but I fear when I reach zero my house will blast off !! lol.....sorry...I don't mean to jest, I have actually tried this before but it's been a while....so I will definitely try that again. Thank you so much.

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #18 on: 13/02/2004 00:55:36 »
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #19 on: 13/02/2004 03:55:22 »
Thanks for the link Donnah.......it's a lot to digest !!...still !...with my sleeping pattern I have plenty of time !!.....phew !!...just took a time out to browse through the Sept 11 section and flick through the others too !!......fascinating !!......thanks again.

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« Last Edit: 13/02/2004 12:27:37 by neilep »
 

Offline bezoar

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #20 on: 14/02/2004 19:34:45 »
Just a thought here.  If the marijuana made you more hyper, then maybe, like hyperactive children, you have an idiosyncratic effect from downers and should try an upper for relaxation.  How about a cup of coffee before bed?  It used to work on my hyperactive stepchild.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #21 on: 15/02/2004 02:56:29 »
Nancy, many thanks for your tip....I'll give it a try....and report back.

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Offline tweener

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #22 on: 15/02/2004 03:49:21 »
My meditation was self taught.  I decided that it was something I needed to do and just started doing it.  It took quite a while, but I was able to go really deep after a while.  Like I said, I can't really help you much in a forum.  Probably not at all, even if we were able to meet every day.  

I will say that many of the books I've read on meditation don't take the same approach I did.  Not to say it wouldn't work.  Some are close.

Basically, I would visualize something familiar, simple, yet detailed (like an apple or orange) and concentrate on it down tothe finest detail all the way through.  Sometimes I would count backwards from 100 and visualize the numbers.  Then I would try to visualize the space around me, all the way through the walls and furniture.  I could "find" things that I had never seen before.  If I was meditating and someone came to the door, I would know who was there.  I could also find things in my mind that I didn't know were there (self-hypnosis?).  I found some really scary things that way.  I think that may be what ultimately drove me away from such deep meditation.

Jay, the "shadowy things" would make a good horror story.  There have been a couple of times I've been so far gone that they were stopping to look at me.  Still shadowy though.


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Offline OldMan

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #23 on: 16/02/2004 02:11:13 »
Hey Neil I finally found out what it was my mum took that really knocked her out. Turns ot it wasn't a herbal one afer all but is called omnicontin. Not sure if thats the correct spelling but it sounds right. Hopefully with all the suggestions people are giving you here you might find something that works for you.

John, thats really interesting about the meditation you mentioned. How did you know who was at the door? Did you just sense as such who it was or see them? (Astral projection?)
I agree the shadowy things would make a great horror story! Sounds kinda freaky having them stop to look at you.

Tim
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #24 on: 16/02/2004 15:31:00 »
Hey John,

Cheers for your insight into your meditation technique.....I'll do a little research before I have a go and I thank you for your input.


Tim, I appreciate you letting me know the name of that drug.....I must admit I can't find any info on it, even changing the spelling a little reveals no results, but, I've made a note and will mention it to my consultant.


One thing I forgot to mention is that I find I have the most vivid dreams, spectacular in colour and form, surreal in nature and on occassion very lucid, so much so that It dawns on me that I'm dreaming and when you realise that, the sensation of being able to control the dream is extraordinary, better tha any theme park ride or drug induced high !!! I wonder John, if that is a similar state to your 'astral projection'...actually, upon reflection I suppose it's not, as one deals with reality and the other does not.....still, It's an incredible experience though.

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Re: Power Naps - Are they beneficial ?
« Reply #24 on: 16/02/2004 15:31:00 »

 

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