Post # 1
Bedtime has never been my favourite. I was a total night owl in high school and college, which worked around my sleep anxiety but as an adult with a normal 9-5 schedule I had to come to terms with my bedtime anxieties. I used to suffer from regular sleep paralysis nightmares/hallucinations – those now only happen rarely, but I still have anxiety at bedtime sometimes.
Ever since moving a week ago, I’ve had increasingly bad anxiety when SO and I go to bed. I know it’s probably the stress of sleeping in a new place, with new concerns (we have a first floor balcony that opens into our bedroom – not my ideal), but it’s driving both of us crazy. I’m totally fine until the minute the lights are off and then the familiar tightness in my chest and general anxiety symptoms move in.
SO is great, he helps me take my mind off stuff and holds me and reminds me that I’m safe and protected. Eventually, I do fall asleep but anxiety sleep is never pleasant.
I usually take my anti-anxiety meds a couple hours before bed. I am hoping to work toward getting off of them in the near future, so I don’t really want to up my dose. Does anyone have suggestions for me – maybe something herbal/natural or a relaxation technique – to help make bedtime less stressful?
Post # 3
I actually talked to my doctor about this last week. She suggested Melatonin and meditation. I haven’t tried either to know if they work, but just thought I’d pass that along.
Post # 4
I’ve heard melatonin before, I’ll have to look into that. I’m absolute rubbish at meditation – my mind just moves too fast to relax enough for it.
Post # 5
@MissCalifornia: This is really good; it helps me a LOT. And it’s free, and easy. http://www.relaxationresponse.org/steps/
Post # 6
I used to take melatonin when I worked late nights at a bar many years ago. It worked really well. Now I take my anti-anxiety an hour before bed and read until I cannot keep my eyes open anymore. It’s also ok to leave the light on or have a nightlight. Sometimes I find it soothing to focus on that nightlight. Don’t stop taking your meds though until you are really ready.
Post # 7
Hi, I’m a polysomnography tech, we deal with what you are describing often.
1) talk to your doctor
2) try some CBT to re work some of the negative thought patterns
also I have found Rhodiola and melatonin to be helpful, but you should not take melatonin indefinetly.
Work on some sleep hygiene. Regular bed times, relaxing routines, elimination of situmlants near your sleep area and times, keeping the room dark and cool. If the dark bothers you, a dim night light on a timer may help.
Post # 8
I have GAD, and for some reason when my head hits the pillow at night all the things that worry me manifest best at that time.
I have never tried melatonin, but I know others have to great relief.
For me, I started going to yoga, and at night I use the technique of guided imagery to go to sleep, something that happens in shivasana during my yoga classes. Basically, you do the deep two-part breath of yoga exercises coupled with a scenario…. like floating in a boat, lying on the beach, in a field… eventually I zonk out.
You can google guided imagery and practice them during the day before you are trying to go to sleep and then recall them when you are trying to go to bed. Just google until you find some that work for you.
Many nights I am too stubborn to do this, so yes, I stay up far past my intended time, but this works for me a lot.