Sleep

Hey all, just wondering if this was normal following a TIA. So some days i suffer fatigue and other days not so bad. However, when it comes to going to bed, trying to fall asleep is a nightmare, all through the night is broken sleep,is this normal? I dont sleep or nap in the day, i used to sleep 8 hours a night before my TIA. Is it because im not as avtive as i was possibly?

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Hi @Trevor46

A lot of people report disturbed sleep post stroke - Mine took a year plus and isn’t fully right yet.

What worked me in the first year was getting up for 10 or 15 minutes when I couldn’t get back to sleep and starting the go to bed routine again.

There is lots on the web about sleep strategies - routines, things to avoid like phones that generate blue light… and if you search with the magnifying glass above for posts in the forum about sleep and insomnia it will get a lot of strategies and examples of other people’s challenges.

I wrote a bit on a technique that has worked for me but took a while to to become dependable. It is in
Sleeping &Stress and works fairly well for me now

Ciao
Simon

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Hi Trevor,

I’m not an expert about this, haven’t had a stroke myself, but it can definitely be true that getting to sleep at night can be more difficult if you’re not as active during the day. Personally I find it easier to fall asleep while the sun is crossing over the horizon, either going up or down, for some reason that is the time I get the sleepiest. If I am still awake after the sun goes down then it can become more difficult to fall asleep until dawn, then important to go to sleep before the next day starts if possible.

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@Trevor46 many people report sleep problems after a stroke although I didn’t have that problem. I was complete opposite - slept long hours. I did suffer pre stroke though and tried to set myself a routine. Same time to bed same time to get up irrespective of how well i’d slept. I eventually tried a herbal sleeping tablet - jist for a couple of days & it helped a bit.

Some people use lavendar on their pillow. All the usual things should be avoided too - phones, tablets, eating too late etc.

Hope it starts to settle for you soon.

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Hi @Trevor46 and welcome to the forum🙂
I went through the exact same thing post stroke. It took me the best part of a year to sort itself out. It was just a case of go with the flow until it does. You can’t fight it, and I didnt relish the idea of going down the route of sleeping pills.

Right now your brain is in repair mode. Its working round the clock repairing the damage done. So its working to its own time scale not yours. So its more a case of rest/sleep when you can. Doesnt matter if you only get to close your eyes but not actually fall asleep, the brain is getting rest. The key is not to bother actually getting stressed about it, that’s is just a waste of energy your brain could put to better use.

Nutrient supplements wouldn’t go amiss to backup your system and support your brain’s recovery. Healing takes a lot of energy and a drain on your body’s resources.

So don’t worry about not sleeping. Just develope yourself a bedtime routine. Then repeat in the night by getting up in the night if you wake, go do something for an hour then try again. You will eventually get it back, its just a matter of patience and perseverance :wink:

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I was on sleeping tablets for the first couple of years because I had such trouble sleeping and worried it would impact on my energy levels/mood. My sleep wasn’t too bad after that. Now I usually put on an audio book and that gets me off to sleep almost immediately. It has the same effect if I wake up during the night (I know the book inside-out now, so it doesn’t matter if miss bits!)

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I’ve been using Calm sleep stories on YouTube for a few years now. You don’t have to pay for them and there are a few to choose from. I have recommended the Nordic night train read by Erik Braa in the past which is one I’ve used regularly. It was a good while before I ever heard the end of the story, I was always asleep before it finished. It’s worth a try anyway.

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Hi Emerald eyes you are everywhere, get the brain rest thing, but feels my energy levels would be so much better if I got solid nights sleep, last Friday night slept from 24.15 solid until 06.30 saturday over six hours without waking and needing a pee when I woke felt great, overdid everything as a result and knackered myself out, really do feel good regular sleep is key to my recovery Does not help that part of my blood pressure medication is a diuretic which seems to work really well at night!!
Wattsy

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Yes, sorry about that Phil, I do tend to get carried away on here :laughing:

I think it took me about 6-8mths before even started to get any kind of quality sleep and that was anything from 2-5hrs. So actually you are doing a lot better than I was 3yrs ago after my stroke, I’m fine now though. :smile:

Just sitting on the couch and zoning out for 15mins or an hour from time to time also rests the brain. Because you are not taking in any more new information for the brain to process whilst having to contend with the its battle to recover and get things back on line for you.

Your brain doesn’t want you to run before you can walk, it just won’t let you, and that’s why you’re knackered after overdoing things. You need to go with the ebb and flow of your brain so try to relax and just go with it.

You have to learn to pace yourself, just a trip to the doctors/dentist/supermarket can wipe you out for the rest of the day in this early stage. So one major excursion such as a walk and bit of pottering around the house along with a few rehab exercises…in between rest periods, was about all I managed in those first few months. But it will get better as time goes on, 6mths months from now and you’ll be doing twice as much as you’re doing now.

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Since my stroke I’ve had no problem getting to sleep. My problem is waking up after 2-3 hours. When I wake I usually reach for my phone, do Wordle, read any messages, have a look at Facebook, WhatsApp etc. by the time I’ve done that and been to the bathroom I’ll be ready to have another go so I usually try to sleep again. It comes or it don’t. I’ll stay awake or sleep for another couple of hours.

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All the written advice I’ve ever seen says don’t do any screen time when you wake up… Whatever works for you :slight_smile:

Having a go to sleep routine is also recommended so that when you wake up you restart that go to sleep routine for me it’s a subtracting 7 from 1,000 and it normally works quite well, not foolproof, I had to stick with it before it was starting to work

:slight_smile:

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Hi again apologies not required you have given me so much useful advice already, and the point about it being my brain that does not want me to go too fast is particularly relevant, and one I had overlooked, was focusing mostly on my body. I’ve so much to learn!!
Thanks for your time and continue your progress, no doubt we will talk again
Total cholesterol on 7/2/24 was 6.41 LDL was 4.06

Had it checked this morning 4 weeks later
Total now 3.39
HDL 1.02
LDL 3.3

The best news is that all done without Statins have taken Plant Sterols and and changed my diet so it can be done without Statins
Regards
Wattsy

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It’s funny that 3 years on my brain still like to “shut down” as I say it. And it doesn’t matter what I’m doing or how engrossed I am, when my brain gets tired of it it just shuts down. I can be in the middle of responding to a post on here and find myself having to abandon it or save for later. Hard to describe really, but it just refuses to take another step, so I have to go do something else and come back to it later…if it’ll let me :woozy_face: And if I push to continue when it’s in that mood then it puts a skull cap on my head that starts to squeeze and feels like a lead weight. So I’ve learnt over the years not to push it and just go with the flow. :blush:

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I now know what you mean, always, have always been an avid reader could read for hours at a time, picked up a book this afternoon, and had to stop after 30 mins exhausted and a headache to boot.
Thank you for your time and knowledge all very much appreciated
Wattsy

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I was a great reader pre stroke. Read every day without fail. Post stroke it has taken me 2 years to read a book. I have a few small vision issues which can make reading difficult but I also find reading gives me a headache after a few minutes & I don’t have the concentration levels needed. Much to my disappointment- i tend to read short magazine articles now.

Hi

very sorry to hear that , its a great joy to read a book, I have no great words of wisdom for you, but perhaps you can try listening to Audio Books, better than nothing, and and maybe better than missing out on your favourite authors, Your local Public Library will likely be able to help, if you feel it would help give them a go.

Good luck and let me know if you give it a go.
Wattsy

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I’ve had many happy times reading many many books and it is sad that it’s been curtailed. I’m hope over time my reading ability returns to how it was before. I should give audio books a try. I’ll have to see if I can download some to my iPad as I can’t get to the local library……very restricted opening hours and all when I’m working. I do like actually holding a book and turning the pages though…….there’s just something about that which is why I’ve never had a kindle or similar. I am a bit of a book hoarder and have around 200 books still to read in a box under my stairs. I’m determined I will read them one day :joy::joy:

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I was a huge reader but have had to swap to Audio books. Have to say that I much prefer them now. I’m very fussy about the narrators though, have just discovered the ‘Rivers of London’ books and the narrator Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is fantastic, I could listen to him reading the phone book and be happy :joy:

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Well I can read for about 3hrs now so reading might well pick up for you too over time. Certainly don’t give up hope on anything improving for you, it all just takes time. And hopefully you should see a fair bit of improvement over the first 6mths. Onwards and upwards my friend :smile:

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Will do and thank you, time for bed and a recharging of the batteries, speak soon no doubt, sleep well,

Wattsy

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