I’m not on the medication, they increase my anxiety. Heck valium can cause a panic attack for me. I hate medication, it freaks me out. But…
This past year has been the absolute worst year of my life anxiety wise and up there on the top 3 worst nights sleep wise.
At first I was taking medication when it kicked in but the meds were making me uncomfortable so I stopped them and my anxiety got better, not great by any means but better. Oh my gosh how terrible it was. For months I would wake up in the middle of the night sweating and shaking the entire bed waking my Fiance up. I was having attacks in my sleep, when I was awake, it got to the point where I was afraid to be alone and would call anyone and everyone to come over when I was alone.
I had a seizure in August 2011 and another in May 2012. I’m 25 and had never had a seizure in my life so those seizures freaked me out bad and were the cause of the anxiety. Lost my license for it too, you can’t drive for at least 3 years after you last seizure here in South Carolina. So that kicked in the depression. Driving was something I love to do and all of a sudden I become afraid of it and the ability to drive in itself is taken away. Needless to say this last year has been a roller coaster of emotions with that going on.
Anyways, after stopping the medication I realized a great thing for anxiety, my absolute best tool against it is distraction. Find things to do to occupy your mind. Pick up a hobby or two or three. Read books, go for a walk. Just do things that get you out of your current mind set that caused the anxiety. It truly helps.
My sleep was horrible. It would take 4+ hours to fall asleep and I would sleep 30 minutes and be wide awake again. And the lack of sleep caused anxiety to get worse. But what I learned when it came to sleep and anxiety, a lot of the time when you’re going to sleep you go into the fight or flight mode which gets your adrenaline pumping. Makes it impossible to fall asleep. You wouldn’t fall asleep if you were about to be attacked, so it’s natural to not be able to sleep when your mind is being attacked by itself. If you have anxiety about not getting good sleep, because you can’t sleep, there lies the problem. When you go to sleep you automatically think “Well I’m never going to get to sleep, I wish I could sleep just a little bit” but it doesn’t work.
What really truly helps with this are positive affirmations. Tell yourself before sleep, start telling yourself any time you think about sleeping troubles, “I will get good sleep tonight, I will sleep through the night and wake up feeling refreshed and new”. You’re telling your subconsciousness this and soon it will start to believe it and you wont go into fight or flight mode when you’re trying to sleep. It will take a few nights to really show great results but within that first week of doing these I was sleeping better than I had in years.
I hope something helps, I hope you find some help. It was so terrible this last year with my anxiety and sleep. I’m so incredibly thankful I’m done with that now. For the most part at least.