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My Battle With Insomnia: How Roxanne Pallett Didn't Sleep for Three Days
Mirror ^ | 24 Apr 2012 | Olivia Buxton

Posted on 04/24/2012 3:18:26 PM PDT by nickcarraway

"I have had to live with being constantly tired all my life and I walk around in a constant daze", says the former Emmerdale actress

Former Emmerdale actress ­Roxanne Pallett, 29, has suffered from insomnia since childhood.

Her chronic sleep problem was at its worst when her best friend committed suicide two years ago.

Here she tells how it can affect her ability to lead a normal life…

Being constantly tired is something I have had to live with all my life and most days I walk around in a constant daze.

Normally I can never ever get to sleep before 1am, and sometimes it might even be 3am.

I can lie awake for three or four hours at a time and my mind is racing.

Generally I have about four hours sleep a night and at the most six.

I don’t think I’ve ever had eight hours sleep in a night. It’s horrific.

When my best friend Pamela committed suicide back in December 2010, I was so grief-stricken, I didn’t sleep for days on end and I couldn’t continue with the pantomime that I was starring in.

Every night I would lie in bed replaying everything in my mind and wondering what more I could have done to help her. These torturous feelings kept me awake all day and all night.

It got so bad that I didn’t sleep for three days in a row. I was delirious and started having hallucinations as well.

I remember hiding upstairs when people rang at the door. I didn’t want to see anyone.

My mum was that worried that she came close to getting me admitted to hospital but I didn’t want to go.

With her love and support I started to get better and when I landed a part in Casualty and two theatre roles, it gave me something to focus on.

But it didn’t mean my insomnia is or has been cured.

I have been to various doctors about my chronic sleep pattern and they always ask if I am either stressed or depressed because those are two of the main causes of insomnia. But I’m neither!

Their solution was to give me sleeping tablets but I don’t like the thought of being sedated because that’s not solving the problem.

Ever since I was a baby I haven’t slept. My mum said she would talk to other mothers to compare sleeping patterns and she was the only one with the baby who was constantly awake.

As a little girl, I remember mum going to bed around 11pm and I would then get up and start playing with my dolls – and I would still be up early the following morning!

Over the years I have tried everything to improve my quality of sleep, including trying all the obvious wind-down techniques from having a hot bath and a milky drink to always going to bed at the same time.

But I’ll still lie in bed for hours worrying about not being able to fall asleep, which just makes the problem worse.

One of the other causes of insomnia is having too many stimulants, but I don’t smoke and I don’t drink coffee – and I hate the taste of alcohol, so I can rule that out.

However, I do like my fizzy drinks and I love any kind of sweets. I used to have two cans of Coke and a packet of Skittles a day but I've cut all of that out, too.

When I was a contestant on Dancing on Ice for four months in 2010, I had the best night's sleep I've ever had. Because my body was so tired and exhausted from the physical activity, it made getting to sleep easier. I was getting up at 6am to train at the rink, too.

But when it stopped it was horrific trying to get to sleep. I still had had the adrenaline and excitement in my system but the cardio had stopped.

Now I power-walk everywhere. I go out jogging and I am learning martial arts after I was attacked on a train. It was a terrifying experience and that hasn't helped my sleep either.

The only thing I can think of that is not helping my insomnia is that I don't have a regular bedtime schedule - it's pretty impossible as an actress.

Sometimes I might be up at 5am, as I was when I was filming parts in Casualty and Waterloo Road recently. At other times, if I am in a play, I'll be on stage until 10.30pm, and when I come off stage, the adrenaline is surging through me and it takes me a few hours to wind down.

For some reason the lack of sleep doesn't affect my memory when it comes to learning lines but I've become so clumsy.

The other week I was on Daybreak and I was so tired before I went on I managed to clamp the inner part of my arm with my hair straighteners and ended up in A&E having a dressing put on the burn.

The next morning I woke up and missed the bottom four stairs in my house and hurt the same arm. My mum came running in from the kitchen and said: "You are a walking disaster!" But you can't function properly when you don't have your sleep.

I have been advised by a friend who is a sleep expert to cook all my own food, cut out any flavours and E numbers from my diet and to have regular massages - and it is helping!

I had a massage at Champneys the other week and they gave me this pillow mist spray with the same oils in that I had for my massage.

Now when I'm staying in different hotels, I spray it on my pillow as it helps me to relax and I find I can fall asleep with an hour rather than three.

The irony is that when I do fall asleep, I go into such a deep slumber I feel like I've been knocked out by a sledgehammer and it's really hard to wake myself up!"

What is insomnia and how to treat it Insomnia sufferers have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep and insufficient sleep leaves them with an inability to cope.

Psychologist Marisa Peer says: "Without sleep we become emotional, we can't cope or function and are more prone to giving up. Symptoms include irritability, poor concentration and memory, clumsiness and an inability to perform tasks to the extent that people affected should not drive, operate machinery or be in charge of young children.

"Without sleep we can hallucinate and feel like we're drunk or drugged - we are not fully in control of our body functions or mental faculties." So what does Marisa recommend in order to get a good night's sleep? The answer is to train your body to sleep normally.

"Remove all electrical appliances from the bedroom.

Then, when you go to bed roll your eyes up, then close the lids down as this puts you into an alpha brainwave - the one you get when you are truly asleep. Lie still as immobility brings on sleep and don't try too hard, let sleep come to you. Use relaxing oils on your pillow and don't drink too much before bedtime so you don't need to go to the toilet."


TOPICS: Health/Medicine
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 04/24/2012 3:18:29 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

She answered her own question. She doesn’t have a “regular” schedule. I think in some ways the busyness of our modern lives contributes to the inability to fall asleep. Also, I know from personal experience - and research - that being on the computer within an hour of going to bed can be like drinking a couple of cups of coffee, due to the light from computers being in the blue spectrum.


2 posted on 04/24/2012 3:23:34 PM PDT by Paved Paradise
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To: nickcarraway

Just put on one of Obama’s speeches, that will solve that problem.


3 posted on 04/24/2012 3:25:01 PM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: nickcarraway
Didn't Sleep for Three Days
Boo-fricken-hoo. I was in VN ... didn't sleep for 13 months.
4 posted on 04/24/2012 3:27:33 PM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: nickcarraway

I’m a lot worse than she is! Add somnambulism to my problems! Thought I’d outgrown it, until I got on Ambien. Totally came back with a vengeance! Almost burnt my house down one night. If you’ve ever, in your life, had a problem with somnambulism, do not take Ambien.!


5 posted on 04/24/2012 3:28:56 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: oh8eleven

ROFLMAO! Amen to that.


6 posted on 04/24/2012 3:30:21 PM PDT by doc1019 (Romney will never get my vote!)
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To: nickcarraway

get a physics book and start doing the problems at the end of the chapter..... or listen to TOFUS speak...or any democrat


7 posted on 04/24/2012 3:32:11 PM PDT by Dick Vomer (democrats are like flies, whatever they don't eat they sh#t on.)
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To: nickcarraway

Huckabee has a radio show...


8 posted on 04/24/2012 3:41:23 PM PDT by Tex-Con-Man (T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII 2012 - "Together, I Shall Ride You To Victory")
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To: nickcarraway

Insomnia can be a blessing if you learn to use it correctly.


9 posted on 04/24/2012 3:43:38 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: nickcarraway

>>Generally I have about four hours sleep a night and at the most six. I don’t think I’ve ever had eight hours sleep in a night. It’s horrific.<<

Seriously? Who the hell gets 8 hours of sleep a night? I average 5 hrs a night...it’s called being an adult with kids - lol.


10 posted on 04/24/2012 3:44:15 PM PDT by ItsOurTimeNow (Can't afford a ticket back from Suffragette City)
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To: nickcarraway

I am an insomniac. Couldn’t fall asleep as a child. My earliest memory is being awake when everyone else is asleep.

It was so bad at one time in my life...3 days no sleep...I had a full tonic clonic seizure. Dr.s ruled out everything else, it was caused by sleep deprivation.

I’m in my 40’s now. Insomnia is still with me. Sleeping pills only work for a while. At some point you have to wing it alone.


11 posted on 04/24/2012 3:45:21 PM PDT by Aurorales (I will not be ridiculed into silence)
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To: Paved Paradise
"due to the light from computers being in the blue spectrum."

I highly recommend amber-tinted computer-reading glasses, for anyone who uses screens a lot (regardless of the time). I have a pair similar to the ones shown below (except mine are Foster Grants) & I don't know how I ever got by without them. They cut glare, they cut way down on the blue-spectrum light, and they help you focus without squinting. Even people who don't need reading glasses will benefit from the tinting.

(Even if you have tinted glasses, your advice is still good. Screen viewing keeps the sand man away.)


12 posted on 04/24/2012 3:46:01 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: cripplecreek

By blessing do you mean you can get more work done?


13 posted on 04/24/2012 3:47:09 PM PDT by Aurorales (I will not be ridiculed into silence)
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To: oh8eleven; nickcarraway

I haven’t slept since 1972.


14 posted on 04/24/2012 3:47:21 PM PDT by Lazamataz (Admin Moderator refuses to let me hit it. -- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2875871/posts)
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To: Aurorales

I get my best thinking done laying awake at night. Besides, fighting insomnia is a losing proposition. You’ll sleep a lot better if you don’t try.


15 posted on 04/24/2012 3:49:55 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: cripplecreek

>>I get my best thinking done laying awake at night. Besides, fighting insomnia is a losing proposition. You’ll sleep a lot better if you don’t try.<<

I get pretty bad insomnia sometimes — same problem, the mind races and won’t SHUT UP! I have had the best success mentally replaying my favorite movies (such as Star Wars New Hope) — I have every moment of that movie memorized...


16 posted on 04/24/2012 3:57:34 PM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: nickcarraway

I remember back in the day when I was doing things I shouldn’t have done I didn’t sleep for three months, not one minute.


17 posted on 04/24/2012 4:01:18 PM PDT by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: nickcarraway
Normally I can never ever get to sleep before 1am, and sometimes it might even be 3am.

I was born with such severe insomnia that, until high school, I thought this was normal. The conventional advice for dealing with insomnia doesn't work so well when you're born with it. The best way I've found to deal with it is actually to read in bed, but make sure it's a boring book. How-to manuals or field guides work well for me. They're interesting enough to keep my mind from racing, but unadventurous enough to keep me from getting wound up. Somehow that combination seems to work, as long as my brain has something to distract it, it lets sleep come. I don't know if this would work for other born insomniacs. And yes, I'm well aware that it goes against the standard advice.
18 posted on 04/24/2012 4:01:18 PM PDT by Ellendra ("It's astounding how often people mistake their own stupidity for a lack of fairness." --Thunt)
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To: freedumb2003
I'm into science so I go off exploring exoplanets not yet discovered. I get into considerable detail over weeks and months of time. The next morning I jump on photoshop.

Photobucket
19 posted on 04/24/2012 4:04:43 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: Lazamataz

You told me you slept with a lot of people?


20 posted on 04/24/2012 4:08:28 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

How Roxanne Pallett Didn’t Sleep for Three Days
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

oh poor little dear!

I went 2 solid weeks without a single minute of sleep when I had insomnia (before getting a prescription for pills), and the 3 months leading up to that I was getting 2 hours or less per night.


21 posted on 04/24/2012 4:09:07 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: nickcarraway

She said...

“I have been to various doctors about my chronic sleep pattern and they always ask if I am either stressed or depressed because those are two of the main causes of insomnia. But I’m neither!”

Then she says...

“I can lie awake for three or four hours at a time and my mind is racing.”

“When my best friend Pamela committed suicide back in December 2010, I was so grief-stricken, I didn’t sleep for days on end and I couldn’t continue with the pantomime that I was starring in.”

“Every night I would lie in bed replaying everything in my mind and wondering what more I could have done to help her. These torturous feelings kept me awake all day and all night.”

“But I’ll still lie in bed for hours worrying about not being able to fall asleep, which just makes the problem worse.”

“...I am learning martial arts after I was attacked on a train. It was a terrifying experience and that hasn’t helped my sleep either.”

And she’s not stressed?


22 posted on 04/24/2012 4:12:55 PM PDT by Rides_A_Red_Horse
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To: Ellendra
I've had insomnia my whole life too, and like another poster mentioned earlier, was always the last kid still awake at slumber parties, etc.

One thing I do is pick a category (like “countries” or makers of products like beer, cars or types of plants, etc) and make myself go through the alphabet from A to Z, and if necessary do this several times. I think it really does help occupy my brain with nothing of significance until I finally fall asleep.

23 posted on 04/24/2012 4:17:02 PM PDT by KJC1 (Go Newt!)
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To: Paved Paradise
yes. For me I have to take perfect care of myself no sugar, excellent amounts of daily excercise, vits., eight hours of sleep, going to be before I get my second (and third) wind at night (thanks fellow late night FReepers!!! or else I am a mess and can barely get a regular sleep time much less sleep at all. Sad but true.

Every since I was a kid this has been true. I would need up to 11 hours a sleep until I was 18 but often stayed up until 5 AM watching shadows on the walls and making up stories in my head. Needless to say I am an artist and a productive business woman.

24 posted on 04/24/2012 4:19:40 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

I’ve never had that...but...

I used to get caught in-between sleep and awake. I’d fall asleep with my eyes open. Then when I woke up, I couldn’t move. I could see, hear, and think (although the sounds were slightly muffled and the vision a little blurry) ok but I couldn’t move a muscle. It seemed like sometimes it would take an hour to wake up and sometimes I would drift back and forth from sleep to half-asleep for several hours. For the longest time I wondered if it was actually a dream.

Then one day I fell asleep on my back for just a couple minutes in a recliner with lots of people around. Then I woke up to the in-between state and I could hear and see everyone. They thought I was awake because my eyes were open. When they wondered if I was asleep(because I wouldn’t respond) they tried to wake me. Then decided I was faking it, or messing around with them. When I finally woke up 100% I told them everything they said and did and explained to them I couldn’t move. They said I described everything exactly how it happened so that was proof I wasn’t dreaming.


25 posted on 04/24/2012 4:23:51 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: Lazamataz

Yeah but aren’t you a leap year baby that sleeps with one eye open so that’s like only 10 years isn’t it ?.....:o)


26 posted on 04/24/2012 4:26:37 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: cripplecreek
Insomnia can be a blessing if you learn to use it correctly.

Correct on that!
My job, before I retired, I could work 30 hours or better at a stretch and sometimes got by on 15 hours of sleep a week.
Once worked 18 hours a day for 3 months with a half hour travel time to and from work to boot, that was pushing it a little even for me.
Ain't the greatest way to live, but would leave people scratching their heads, LOL.
Did make for pretty big paychecks, however.

27 posted on 04/24/2012 4:30:02 PM PDT by The Cajun (Palin, Free Republic, Mark Levin, Newt......Nuff said.)
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To: Paved Paradise

When I had to retire my sleep schedule derailed and is still wacky. I go for days with short naps and then crash for 18 or 20 hours.


28 posted on 04/24/2012 4:45:07 PM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: nickcarraway

Reduce the carbs and sleep will be enhanced

It can be that easy. I know for certain


29 posted on 04/24/2012 4:49:32 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: nickcarraway
i've had it most of my life and a sleep pattern/habit is very important indeed...

i never change my sleep pattern with the time changes, in the fall when the clocks turn back i goto bed an hour earlier and get up an hour earlier in the morning till spring

for years four hours was the most, now i get ~six

and pills? feh... they don't do squat

30 posted on 04/24/2012 4:56:26 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: mamelukesabre

Man! Been there, and done that forever! Sometimes I’m in REM, and awake at the same time. The dreams are superimposed over reality. That can be tough, cuz REM ain’t always very pleasant! I’ve had friends who call me after I’d gone to sleep. I’d answer the phone, and they were convinced I’d gone crazy! One night, sleepwalking, I put chicken in a frying pan, and settled down to watch tv. The tv wasn’t on, so I wonder what program I was watching! Didn’t wake up until I started choking on the smoke! Ambien. Had to re-do the whole first floor due to smoke damage!


31 posted on 04/24/2012 5:08:20 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Chode
A couple cops I know use Somnapure. Concentrated Melatonin. Helps take the edge off, they say.

Studies have shown nurses, cops, firefighters, etc. who work midnight to 8 AM shift can become mildly psychotic after a couple months. I know this to be a fact...

32 posted on 04/24/2012 5:15:35 PM PDT by donozark (The key to winning the Vietnam War was not Vietnam, but Laos...)
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To: nickcarraway

A few years ago I had trouble sleeping, working a few overnights a week with a growing family, didn’t help, plus a bout of anxiety and depression. It was not a good time, the lack of sleep increased my moodiness. I tried meditation and while some live classes were great relaxing meditations, I couldn’t find a cd with one that I liked. Then I tried listening to a cd of ocean waves at bed time. I did this consistently and after a while it started to help me drift off to sleep. Now several years later, all it takes is a few minutes of hearing my ocean cd and I am out like a light.


33 posted on 04/24/2012 5:35:55 PM PDT by This I Wonder32460
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To: donozark
no doubt, swing shift is the absolute worst... a friend of mine did it for eleven years and i NEVER understood how he survived it
34 posted on 04/24/2012 6:05:13 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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