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MBlokzyl
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15 Jul 2022, 7:27 pm

All my life I’ve had trouble getting to sleep because my brain just would not turn off. Once I knew I was autistic it made sense that I would get chronically overstimulated during the day and just never take the time to try and wind things down.
I starting to get the hang of it but there can still be some late nights. I have to really work hard to shut down discursive thoughts and just listen to the background noise.
How do you guys get to sleep if you can’t shut down?



DanielW
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15 Jul 2022, 8:07 pm

I have a bedtime/sleep routine that allows for time to fall asleep plus 8 hours. It takes time, but I fall asleep fairly quickly now.

I need darkness, quiet (some people need white-noise). I generally listen to about 20 minutes of audio (the same 3 tracks) I'm so familiar with it that it lulls me to sleep out of boredom.

I find that now I have a 15-20 minute window for when I need to be in bed or I won't fall asleep, so I am pretty strict about it.



MBlokzyl
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15 Jul 2022, 8:28 pm

DanielW wrote:
I have a bedtime/sleep routine that allows for time to fall asleep plus 8 hours. It takes time, but I fall asleep fairly quickly now.

I need darkness, quiet (some people need white-noise). I generally listen to about 20 minutes of audio (the same 3 tracks) I'm so familiar with it that it lulls me to sleep out of boredom.

I find that now I have a 15-20 minute window for when I need to be in bed or I won't fall asleep, so I am pretty strict about it.


Funny you mention the repeated tracks. I will put on Monty Python episodes, The Young Ones, or a MST3k I’ve seen a bunch of times. I’ll play it on my phone and put it under my pillow and just listen. Usually helps me get to sleep faster



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15 Jul 2022, 9:27 pm

MBlokzyl wrote:
How do you guys get to sleep if you can’t shut down?


Zyprexa or heavier. I can't really sleep without such. I've tried pretty much everything. The PTSD doesn't help either. Nightmares and night terrors waking me up when I do fall to sleep.

I don't sleep much.

Such is how it goes.



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15 Jul 2022, 9:34 pm

5-10 mg of prescription Ambien, and a low dose Alpha Blocker that stops PTSD nightmares.

I've been using both every night for years.

Even with that, I can only sleep about 3-4 hours tops.

I also need six pillows, about six blindfolds layered on top of each other (lol - yes they generally fall off), 30 DB foam earplugs, a custom made dental guard, a 20 lb weighted blanket, and my dog.



HighLlama
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16 Jul 2022, 12:56 am

MBlokzyl wrote:
All my life I’ve had trouble getting to sleep because my brain just would not turn off. Once I knew I was autistic it made sense that I would get chronically overstimulated during the day and just never take the time to try and wind things down.
I starting to get the hang of it but there can still be some late nights. I have to really work hard to shut down discursive thoughts and just listen to the background noise.
How do you guys get to sleep if you can’t shut down?


In my own experience, managing stimulation is what helps keep those thoughts away. Light bothers be tremendously, to the point that I don't watch TV and barely use a computer anymore. Otherwise, I will only sleep 2-4 hours a night. I find the pain from the light leads to anger which leads to discursive thoughts, as you put it. I used to think this was an emotional issue until I controlled overstimulation more.



klanka
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16 Jul 2022, 2:06 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
5-10 mg of prescription Ambien, and a low dose Alpha Blocker that stops PTSD nightmares.

I've been using both every night for years.

Even with that, I can only sleep about 3-4 hours tops.

I also need six pillows, about six blindfolds layered on top of each other (lol - yes they generally fall off), 30 DB foam earplugs, a custom made dental guard, a 20 lb weighted blanket, and my dog.

Wow!! !! !! !
I thought I was bad , I just need absolute silence,or close to.

I make sure to exercise before bed which helps me.



IsabellaLinton
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16 Jul 2022, 2:13 am

Oh I need that too.
I can't have a fan or open window blowing on me.
My feet have to be untucked.
The door has to be closed.
It must be pitch dark.

I have Apnea so I'm supposed to wear a C-PAP machine with a gas mask and hose on top of the blindfolds, earplugs, and dental guard, but I flipped out and couldn't do it for sensory reasons.

The only way I can fall asleep, is I keep writing online until I physically pass out.
I just took the Ambien so usually within an hour I'll stop writing mid-sentence.
Then I carry on dreaming words in my sleep until waking about 3.5 hours later.

My brain never stops.



klanka
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16 Jul 2022, 3:03 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Oh I need that too.
I can't have a fan or open window blowing on me.
My feet have to be untucked.
The door has to be closed.
It must be pitch dark.

I have Apnea so I'm supposed to wear a C-PAP machine with a gas mask and hose on top of the blindfolds, earplugs, and dental guard, but I flipped out and couldn't do it for sensory reasons.

The only way I can fall asleep, is I keep writing online until I physically pass out.
I just took the Ambien so usually within an hour I'll stop writing mid-sentence.
Then I carry on dreaming words in my sleep until waking about 3.5 hours later.

My brain never stops.


whoa....

(no sleepovers for you when you a kid then)



IsabellaLinton
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16 Jul 2022, 3:18 am

Very few.
I had one where the mother tried to put me in a sleeping bag.
I couldn't stick my feet out the end.
I had a meltdown and went home.

I couldn't do hotels.

I'm still awake but slowly fadi .. .



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16 Jul 2022, 3:27 am

I never slept when I was young. I used to climb out of my bedroom window and sit on the roof all night. I could stay awake for days at a time.

I've got better as I've got older. I think the medication helps though. I don't think I'd sleep so well without it.

I do get distracted though so I sometimes wear ear defenders in bed. I also find that reading a chapter of a book clears my head a bit.


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16 Jul 2022, 4:05 am

I give myself 2 hours to wind down at night. Get all works done earlier and only do "brainless" stuff before bed like browsing groceries, watching familiar YouTube videos, reading long rambling threads or old books. No eating or drinking anything. Go to bed at the same time everyday. I follow very rigid bedtime routine and find them relaxing. I also wear ear plugs and eye mask (homemade, very highest quality). I do not put them on until I feel sleepy, then I'm out within a minute. It's all part of the classical conditioning I guess. :D Of course that means I always have trouble sleeping when away from home. Melatonin and sleeping pills help. I wouldn't travel without some sleep aid. :o


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16 Jul 2022, 8:32 am

I have a bit of bi-polar to keep things tending toward irregular. I have had years where I only had naps when exhausted. I still average under 4 hours per sleep, so I have to fall asleep at least twice a day. I keep as much of a routine as I can. It is easier to regulate eating times, so I try to use that to anchor a circadian rhythm. Then, I wind down before sleep by re-reading some light humour, and then meditating a bit. Sometimes I block my windows, but a black t-shirt over my eyes is usually sufficient. It does not always work. Sometimes, I think I've been laying awake trying to meditate all night, but I've actually had many short naps. Sometimes, I notice that I've been thinking nonsense, realize I was dreaming, and try to let go again. One aggravating quirk is that I am sometimes still aware at the time that my hearing shuts off, and it startles me because there is no electronic "pop." It may cut in and out a few times as I try to let go.



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16 Jul 2022, 11:00 pm

P.S. - Sometimes, I have to force myself to stay awake, and that costs me a lot of extra time trying to remember how to sleep when I do get the opportunity. If noise has kept me awake for five hours, it takes five hours of silence before I stop worrying, and that can often run my sleep time into the next noise time. It is frustrating.