(Closed) Please help -Can’t sleep, and I’m going insane

posted 8 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I used to have major problems with anxiety too (and was medicated for it so I’m not anti-meds) but in this case I would recommend trying a few more natural ways of falling asleep before jumping into ambien–heard horror stories about that drug.

I went through a brief bout of insomnia and what worked for me was taking a really hot (slightly hotter than normal) shower before bed. Then I’d get in bed and do a relaxtion technique (where you silently tell every part of your body to relax and go to sleep starting at the toes) and as my body cooled from the shower, I also felt a bit of a numbing sensation on the limbs I’d told to go to sleep. So I tricked my brain into feeling itself fall asleep or something? I kind of sound like a newage-nutjob at the moment..but I almost never reached above the neck before I was asleep. That’s my trick.

Post # 4
423 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

As someone who has suffered for years with anxiety disorder, I would have to recommend you get the anti-anxiety meds.  Yeah, they CAN cause insomnia, but they don’t for everyone.   They do for me sometimes, but now that I am not freaking out over every little thing, the quality of my sleep is better (fewer nervy chemicals in my bloodstream I guess). Even when I don’t sleep particularly well, I still feel better than on my old bad anxiety days, when I’d be exhausted from worry before breakfast.

Just my $0.02, what works for me may not work for you!  I will say that I put off taking anti-anxiety meds for EVER because of my fear of side effects, and I really wish that I could go back in time and reclaim those years lost to my anxiety, when there were viable treatment options available. 

Good luck!  I know how absolutely terrible anxiety can be, and what an impact it can have on your life. 

ETA: I didn’t really address your current insomnia at all: yes, it is possible to sleep without being aware of it.  Also, I had bouts of insomnia because of my anxiety before being anxiety-medicated, but nothing so extreme as what you are describing.  It is awesome that you are seeing a sleep-specialist, because they will be able to see if your insomnia is related to your anxiety or not.

Post # 5
396 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I have never been able to sleep well. I remember being in like 1st grade and cleaning my whole room at like 1 in the morning simply because I could not sleep. I still have an extremely hard time sleeping falling asleep, staying asleep, i’m an extremely light sleeper (my cats wake me up becasue I can hear them purring), I probably slept a good sleep from 1am-6am last night. Ambien does work and doesn’t really give you a hangover the next day and it does make you sleep. However I have a hard time with medications and ambien makes me sick to my stomach for some strange reason. I’m use to functioning on not a lot of sleep, but when I really need a good sleep I just take one of the benadryl pills and works like a charm everytime! My doctor told me it’s safe and it’s probably the best thing for mem because of how sensitive I am to medications. That being said I really try not to use medication to sleep a lot, and there are several things you can do to help you sleep. Try googling psychology and sleep disorders. I have taken tons of psyc classes and there are so many things that you can do on your own without medication to helo you sleep.

Post # 6
466 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Can you call the psychologist and see if you can get in sooner?  Nine days seems like a long time to wait for an issue this pressing.

Sleep is also my coping mechanism.  I had a depressive episode a few years back where I couldn’t sleep at all either.  My mom was out of her mind with worry and the nurses she called kept saying that the body will sleep when it needs to. 

Sounds like you are getting some rest but definitely not enough.  I like the relaxation techniques that @Edina mentioned.  From your post, it sounds like you are really really wound up about sleeping and being so anxious about it is only going to make it worse.

Please hang in there.  I hope the doctor is able to help you.

Post # 7
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

@lilybay: Yes. I used to get so hyped up about “needing” to fall asleep it never happened. If you approach it more as “I’m going to go relax” you might have an easier time.

Also, I should have added that the anxiety meds I was on (low doses of zoloft and wellbutrin) both had insomnia as side affects and I slept more than I do now on them (because I was depressed, most likely). Don’t let the side affects scare you off if you have exhausted all other options with your doctor.

Post # 8
1667 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

just wanted to tell you that I am going through the same thing as you right now, sleeping a lot less than i used to. Like you, I used to be able to sleep like it was my job.

My insomnia started several months ago and some nights I am ok, other nights I lie awake miserable for hours. I started taking small doses of melatonin tablets that have helped some, but several friends have suggested setting up an appointment with a sleep clinic to determine how my sleeping pattern is disrupted or how much REM cycle i am getting per night. perhaps this would be a good idea for you too.

Post # 10
1995 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Darling Husband needs benadryl to fall asleep.  He takes 2 every night and falls asleep within 30 mins.  I have no clue if this will work for you, but it’s just something to keep in mind when speaking to doctors and discussing prescriptions + interactions.

Post # 12
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

Glad to hear you got some sleep last night! I can identify with you a little bit in that I feel like I’m a hypochondriac sometimes. I start worrying about some illness and then its like all I can think about. And a headache means a brain tumor and a fallen asleep limb means MS and so on and so forth. My coping mechanism is to usually try to just ignore it and I seem to get over these things. So I guess I wouldn’t say I have it badly but I can identify with the feeling you describe of worrying. Anyways– I think it is great that you’re going to see a psychologist. I’d recommend being really forceful with her in describing your symptoms. You don’t want to come off as unreasonable of course, but make sure she really HEARS what you are saying. 

Post # 13
2066 posts
Buzzing bee

This sounds basic, but make sure you aren’t using electronics (computer, TV, etc) before bed.  Try a sleep mask – it blocks out all light and visual distractions and helps you sleep.  Putting my cell phone in the other room also helps me a lot (that way the blinky light that says I have email isn’t tempting me to read my email).  Also, no caffine after 5pm and avoid alcohol as it interupts sleep too.  Good luck!

Post # 15
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Well I’m not sure if this will work since your insomnia might be chemical rather than psychological- but I went through a bout in middle school where I couldn’t sleep. It started with a few nights where my mind was racing/songs running through my head/freaking out at how I only had so many hours left until school etc etc. I started psyching myself up way too much. Everytime I went to bed I’d keep asking myself “am I sleeping yet?!” it made it so much worse. I finally fixed it by turning the clock around and refusing to look at it during the night. Then I stopped freaking out, counting down the hours. If I was still awake, I’d just tell myself that it’s still early and I have plenty of time- it really helped break the cycle. 

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