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Anxiety about sleep... insomnia from anxiety.

8

8damien8

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
13
I'm 41 years old, and have always had OCD (washing hands, opening doors with paper towels, etc) and have always been a bit anxious... But I somehow managed to deals and live a good life.

In 2014, I got married, bought a house and moved out from my family. All the changes caused me anxiety and I ended up noticing it in my sleep. My doctor prescribed Ativan, and after a month of taking it, I couldn't sleep without it, and even with the drugs, I wasn't sleeping well. I finally quit a few months later, and went through hell that I just attributed to withdrawal... Until now.

On March 1st, we had our second son, and a lot of other life changes a d stressors, and once again, I started to experience insomnia.

It has been two months, and now I understand a lot of what happened to me in 2014 had to do with my anxiety, not just the pills.

In March, it seemed like I'd get 1-2 nights of sleep, and then 1-2 nights of little to zero sleep. Over the last two weeks, I've been trying to use CBT and meditation to help myself, and I did see improvements. I slept every night and my anxiety was noticeably lower. But this past Tuesday, I could not sleep at all. Maybe got half hour.

That spiked up my anxiety, and I've been filled with it all week and had trouble with sleeping.

I keep worrying about sleeping. I worry I won't sleep for days. I worry I'm going to fall apart.

I will not take prescription meds because that causes me super anxiety knowing I'm on meds for something.

I do have some prescription cannabis that helps a bit with the anxiety, but it's hit and miss with the sleep.

I feel alone here. Can anyone help?
 
Hopeful313

Hopeful313

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
892
Location
Minnesota, USA
Anxiety is the major culprit of your insomnia. It’s going to be hard to fall asleep if you’re anxious. I usually try distractions in order to fall asleep. Try listening to Ebooks or calm relaxing stories on a low volume.

Have you tried melatonin? It’s a natural hormone that regulates sleep. It’s over the counter so no prescription is needed. If you’re not on any antidepressants or any medication for mental health, you can try GABA, L-theanine as relaxers combined with melatonin.

I hope this helps.
 
8

8damien8

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
13
I used melatonin and some cannabis last night, and got zero sleep.

This has been going on since late March.

Has anyone else had this sort of anxiety where you can't sleep sometimes for a couple of days?

And has anyone felt so much anxiety about it, that is just feeds the insomnia?
 
K

khw777

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2019
Messages
10
Location
Lubbock
Yes I have horrible insomnia and always become very anxious when it gets dark. I'm always on high alert and worried that I won't get any sleep, and I usually don't or very little. Insomnia is killing me and makes me suicidal. It's horrible. I'm sorry I don't have any good advice.
 
F

Freckles1968

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2019
Messages
101
Location
Norwich
Yes I have terrible sleep anxiety and it’s made me feel suicidal sometimes. I catatrophize and think I’m going to go completely mad and lose everything cos of sleep deprivation. It’s horrendous. Just coming out of a really bad patch of it. I’m on zopiclone and when I’m really bad will take anything I can get my hands on. I’m also going to be starting Cbt in the next couple of weeks and while I want to keep an open mind I’m not holding out much hope as I’ve had this problem for years. Sorry I can’t help but just know you’re not alone xx
 
8

8damien8

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
13
I'm sorry you guys are suffering too. Last night I was dozing off as I was telling my son a bedtime story at 8:30. Decided to try going to bed even though my bedtime is looking like 12-1am. Lay in bed and pretty much became awake.

Got really frustrated and just went downstairs and talked loser talk to my wife. Went to bed around 1:30am and tried reading to get my relaxed and tired. Felt my eyes getting heavy so I put the book down, but no sleep came.

Tossed and turned, got up to pee a couple times, and eventually I went out. Woke up probably 3-4 hours later.

I'm sleeping in the spare bedroom now because I had been sleeping well in here for about 2 months. Now I'm afraid to go back toy bedroom, or even try a different sheet on the bed as I'm worried it will make sleep worse than it already is.

I definitely need to figure this out :(
 
A

albagobragh

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2019
Messages
155
Location
UK
I note you said you tried to use CBT and meditation is this mindfulness? It might help control your anxiety, you can download an app onto your phone.
Sleep hygiene may be useful: moderate exercise during the day, going to bed at same time, no food/alcohol before bed, no mental stimuli.

Had insomnia while trying to come off olanzapine cold turkey - not nice.
 
F

Freckles1968

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2019
Messages
101
Location
Norwich
8dsmisn8 so sorry your still going through this I know how tough is.it’s literalky the Bain of my life. It seeps into every aspect of my life and consumes my waking hours constantly. I’ve been down every possible route regarding sleep hygiene and meditation but I have a serious phobia about not sleeping and the future ramifications of that. It scares the hell out of me so am constantly on high alert at bedtime. It’s ruining my life. Sometimes I self medicate with neat vodka just to get drowsy- not good. It’s crazy how irrational I am about this. I sincerely hope you get some relief from this I know it’s torture. Wishing you all the best. Hope you manage to get some rest tonight. Love and hugs. Freckles
 
J

Jules5

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
1,556
Location
Florida
I remember insomnia. So much so I thank God every morning when I get a good nights sleep. I was always up and wide awake with nothing to do. I am not into tv or the computer. I would just sit for hours. I did get put on sleeping pills and it did the trick for me. I conq out every nite. I was going nuts staying up all night. I have some relief now. I do not know what to tell outside of the sleeping pills worked for me. Lots of love and hugs No fears No worries Jules
 
F

Freckles1968

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2019
Messages
101
Location
Norwich
Hey Jules glad to hear your sleeping better now. I do exactly the same thing when I get a half decent nights sleep- thank god! Insomnia is hell on earth. Xx
 
8

8damien8

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
13
Insomnia is the devil himself. I keep a diary, and I noticed something interesting. Seems I have had better luck sleeping when I go to bed later. I'm a total night owl, and spent most of my 20s and 30s going to bed at about 3-4am because I worked in the evening.

I wonder if me trying to adjust to sleeping earlier has had a negative affect on my sleep? It's weird because at times I can sleep decently at 12-1am, but it doesn't seem to last more than couple of weeks.

I wonder if there is something worth me looking into here. Maybe o should stick to a later bedtime.

I have to figure out a way to sleep, because the last week has been hell.
 
F

Freckles1968

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Aug 17, 2019
Messages
101
Location
Norwich
I guess it depends what time you have to get up in the morning. I know a lot of Cbt is based around sleep restriction and spending less time in bed so maybe that might work for you going to bed a bit later? I have to be up at 4.15am so go to bed pretty early. Cos I was so uptight about sleep I was going to bed earlier and earlier like 6.45. I know ccrazy but this just results in me being wide awake with a thudding heart at 1am not being able to go back to sleep. When I start my Cbt I am really gonna try working hard at going to bed later as currently think I am making the situation worse. But am to afraid to make changes on my own.
Hope you manage to get some decent sleep this with, maybe try incrementally going to bed say by 15-30 later every night to see if that makes any difference. Take care , freckles xx
 
8

8damien8

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
13
Last night I decided to stay up until 2am before heading into bed. I set my alarm for 9:30. I ended up being up at about 8ish. I barely slept the previous 2 nights, so I was hoping I'd shut down and sleep more, but the anxiety is too high.

On top of that, I made the leap and went into my old bedroom that I was nervous about returning to.

I'm already thinking about the next night which just goes to show how relentless this wave of anxiety is. For most of July and August, and even the first two weeks of September, I was able to manage the anxiety on the majority of days, and sleep was good for probably 80% of those days.

Now I've been in a straight week of struggling to fall asleep, and stay asleep.

I really hope this changes soon so I can feel less of this anxiety. It's with me all day and night.
 
F

Freckles1968

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2019
Messages
101
Location
Norwich
8damien8, I know how you feel, I’m constantly anxious about my sleep. As soon as I wake up I’m worrying all day about how I’ll sleep later. I’ve been running in the mornings, meditating, saying out loud positive sleep affirmations and taking both prescribed and unprescribed meds. I have been doing a bit better these last couple of weeks but prior to that I got only 2-3 hrs a night for about a month. I was losing my mind and thought I might lose my job, but I pushed through it. I wish I could wave a magic wand over us and make this go away. Hoping the Cbt will give me some better or useful coping strategies. It’s good you went back to your old bedroom as that couldn’t be a permanent solution sleeping in the spare room, but I know how scary it is to make changes. Have you seen your Gp about this recently. Might be good to talk to someone about it. Are you in the uk? I self reffered myself to the mind/ well-being services and that is who I am getting the Cbt with. I know how desperate this makes you feel it’s all consuming and relentless. I hope you get some relief soon, take care,
Freckles xx
 
8

8damien8

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
13
I'm actually in Canada.

I'd be very curious to know what the CBT approach is that they will recommend.

I've seen CBT therapists, but haven't found a good "fit" yet. I also need to commit myself to more meditation practice.

I play hockey, do boxing and Jiu jitsu and that gives me 3 days a week of intense exercise. I think maybe I need to put some yoga in between those days.

I also need a better bedtime routine. Right now I lay on the couch either reading or listening to a guided meditation and when I feel myself nodding off I walk upstairs and slip into my bed.

I found doing these things in bed are touch and go. Sometimes it actually wakes me up to do it in bed. Curious to know what the rest of you do?
 
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