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Author Topic: I can't get to sleep! (5 hours in the last 2 days)  (Read 353 times)

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Offline Purple Scourge

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I can't get to sleep! (5 hours in the last 2 days)
« on: June 23, 2014, 06:35:55 PM »
So this happens every few weeks or so.. I've never been one to be able to sleep early. I have classes at night, so I don't have anything to do during the day. Result: my daily routine consists of going to sleep at 3-4 in the morning and waking up at 11-12. Terrible, I know.

But the thing is, and this has been getting more frequent these last few weeks and months, that every time I disturb this sleep schedule by staying up later than that (going to parties, friends' house, doing projects, etc), I simply lose the ability to get to sleep.

I'm getting pretty desperate here, because in the last 2 days I've slept about 5 hours total. Last night I had some friends over, we ended up drinking, they left at about 4:30 in the morning and I wasn't able to sleep AT ALL today. I'm sitting here feeling pretty dizzy, but I know that if I try to lay down, I'm just going to lay for hours on end and get up very frustrated with not a minute of sleep. I don't know what to do.

I normally take 0.5mg clonazepam daily for panic disorder, but its sedative effects don't help me get to sleep at all. I'm also extremely hypochondriac, so I keep worrying about things like fatal insomnia or dying of exhaustion if that's even possible. Or maybe getting a bad infection from a weakened immune system due to sleep deprivation. Yeah, pretty crazy I know lol  :spineyes:

I guess I'd just like some advice or reassurance. I'm actually terrified of getting to bed right now. Last night, my heart was pounding the whole time I was laying down due to all this "insomnia anxiety".

Can anybody help me? I'm scared I'll start hallucinating or something if this keeps up or just straight up lose my mind. I feel so alone right now. :(

I feel tired, but not sleepy, if that makes any sense. Also, I'm male, 21, no other health issues aside from all this anxiety/panic disorders and its numerous effects.

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Offline Venomsoar

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Re: I can't get to sleep! (5 hours in the last 2 days)
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2014, 09:21:53 PM »
I am in the exact same boat as you my friend. I am also a male - 21. But I am also having hypnic jerks which are frightening me - not because I think they are dangerous - but because I have them over and over for hours on end which further keeps me from sleeping. I am pretty positive that it is because of the antidepressants I am on. I am taking Citalopram - 20mg daily. I was on Sertraline for 5 weeks (50 mg daily) and the side-effects only progressively got worse. I worry that the same will happen on these. But I am only on the second week of Citalopram so I don't know yet. I am going to give it another 3 weeks or so. The antidepressants make my insomnia many times worse.

I, too, am terrified of going to bed. The moment I try to sleep, I either cannot and start to panic, or I doze off to only be jerked awake again (no pun intended) - and start to panic again.

And yes, I am a hypochondriac but I don't worry about fatal familial insomnia (it all started with this worry though) - but I do worry about everything you listed; the infections because of low immune system; the possibility that you could die from physical exhaustion (I read that there has been no known cause); but now because of the jerks, I worry about some neurological disorder. I also worry that no medication will help so I cannot use that as a last resort. I worry that I will end up *****. I worry that I will either go into depression, or some other serious mental disorder. I worry that I won't be able to hold a job for long (or even get one). I worry that I won't be able to live independently on my own. I worry that I will live alone for the rest of my life. I worry that my life is on a one way trip to death.

I have been in tears many times over this - as well as had many nights standing on a bridge feeling extremely frightened and thinking about jumping… that's why I fear of dying; not from the sleep deprivation or from some other medical disorder but I fear that I just may end up ***** in a moment of despair.

And yes, I completely understand how you can feel tired but not sleepy i.e. you are physically exhausted but your mind is in no state of relaxation to make you sleep. It feels like I am like this 24/7. I always feel tired but not sleepy at all. It is horrible. Truly horrible.

You are not alone. In fact, reading your post makes me feel slightly better. You sound a lot like me. The "sleeping disorders" topic here is very stale which scares me because I don't see much discussion on sleep. But I feel this is what I really need. Just knowing and perhaps sharing my horrible experiences with others who are going through the same can help in times when I am thinking irrational.

I hope you can get better. And I sincerely hope it doesn't get any worse for you.
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Offline Purple Scourge

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Re: I can't get to sleep! (5 hours in the last 2 days)
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2014, 12:23:23 AM »
I'm also glad I'm not alone, thanks for posting! I also hope you get better with your sleeping, it's such an awful thing to go through. It's amazing how something seemingly simple like anxiety can cripple us so much.

In the time I was away just now, I managed to get a solid hour and a half nap. I don't feel sleepy yet. It's about 1:17 A.M. local time here. I'll be going to bed soon though. Hopefully I get better luck this time. Also, next time I have a doctor's appointment, I'll definitely talk about maybe prescribing some sleeping aids, because I can't stand this anymore.

Anybody out there who take medication to sleep, can you vouch for its efficacy? I'm scared that even if I get pills, I won't be able to get knocked out. Then again, I'm probably blowing this whole thing out of proportion.
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Offline Venomsoar

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Re: I can't get to sleep! (5 hours in the last 2 days)
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2014, 04:42:22 AM »
Sorry for the late reply. I was given some sleeping pills (Zoplicone). I, like you, was immediately doubting whether they would actually work. And after 40 something hours of being awake, I took one tablet and I honestly think I was out within a minute!

The problem you may get though, and this is the problem I ran into, is that you may start to worry about not being able to sleep without the sleeping pills. I got this anxiety feeling straight away. I ended up taking a sleeping pill (one day I had taken two) every other night because I couldn't sleep - it was all due to anxiety though.

Then there is the problem that if you rely on them too much, they start to lose their effect. And not only that, but often the side effects and the withdrawal effects are usually rebound insomnia! This hasn't happened to me because I was prescribed just 14 tablets. I only had taken 5 over a period of a week.

If you do decide to take some sleeping aids, try natural remedies first (I take valerian everyday)! Although there isn't sufficient evidence to suggest valerian works, and it certainly doesn't have much of an effect on me other than making me yawn but not actually feel sleepy, it may work as a placebo! Even if you are aware that it could be a placebo effect, it can still work. If natural remedies don't work, and therefore you do decide to take prescription pills, use them as a last resort and intermittently!

I take valerian everyday like I said as well as a tablet with 3 different natural extracts including valerian. I take them because I do think they have a slight effect - but only little. I had some Diazepam left (5x 5mg tabs that I would snap in half to get 10x 2.5mg) that I would take as a last resort (but only to calm down). I would have just half a tab and this would usually calm my anxiety down to the point where I would doze off purely because I am not panicking as much. I still have the Zopiclone left that I will use as a last resort (but I haven't needed to take one for about 3 months).

Be very careful with sleeping aids. Especially if you use Benzodiazepines. You really do need to be very conservative with them. In the worse case scenario, do what I did; take them every other night if you cannot get any sleep at all. So, for example, if you don't sleep Monday night, take a pill Tuesday night. If you don't sleep Wednesday night, wait until Thursday night to take the next pill. And so on and so forth. However, if you manage to get some sleep on one of the nights that you didn't take a pill, don't take one the following night. Try again without a pill. But if you don't succeed, wait until the following night to yet again take another one.

For example, let's say you don't get any sleep Monday night at all; take a pill on the following Tuesday night. Then if you sleep without a pill on Wednesday night (even if it is as little as 2 hours), try again to sleep without a pill on Thursday night. If you didn't manage to get any sleep Thursday night, then take another pill on the Friday night. So basically, every night that you don't get any sleep, take a pill the following night to make sure you get sleep. But for every night you do get some sleep, even as little as 2 hours, then refrain from taking another pill the next night and try again without a pill.

Sorry for the massive replies but as you can tell, I take this serious. This is my method of using sleeping aids and I find this to be the best method. It also puts my mind at rest a little when I don't sleep because I feel confident in that I will sleep the following night because I feel I have the pills to rely on. But 9 nights out of 10, I don't need to take the pills. So they usually last a long time. And I think this is partly because of the feeling of safety I get because I know I have the pills there to take. And like I said, the placebo effect works wonders - especially if the insomnia is anxiety related.

I hope you sleep well ;)
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Offline ckongsang

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Re: I can't get to sleep! (5 hours in the last 2 days)
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2014, 08:26:37 AM »
I have sleeping problems too.

I never could get to sleep immediately after going to bed like some people, not even when I was a kid. It usually takes me about half an hour, unless I'm very tired or have been drinking. This is normal for me and it's not a problem (other than "wasted" time). However, sometimes I lay awake for hours, unable to sleep. The problem that I have is that I can't "shut down" my brain. I keep thinking about something and I can't turn it off.

I'm not a nervous type and although I'm often under stress I'm able to forget all the daily problems before going to bed. The problem that I have is that sometimes I start thinking about trivial issues, like whether to get a mechanical wristwatch or a quartz one, for example. I then keep listing advantages and disadvantages of these two technologies in my head for hours, despite being aware of time and wanting to stop doing it and go to sleep.

This doesn't happens too often, but I hate it when it does.

Anyone with a similar problem?

I'm not taking any sleeping aids and I don't intend to. Alcohol helps with this particular issue, but I sleep terribly when I drink even small amounts and I wake up feeling knackered. Also I frequently get sleeping paralysis when I drink (especially if I'm tired).
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