No Rest for the Wicked: Anxiety & Sle... - Anxiety and Depre...

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No Rest for the Wicked: Anxiety & Sleepless Nights


So, for about the passed year, my fiance has been working graveyard shifts. He works a minimum of 5 days a week and sometimes doesn't have time off for weeks at a time. I've always suffered from these all-consuming, recurring nightmares that cause me to wake up screaming and in a full on panic attack in the middle of the night. Since he's been working at this place, I still have nightmares but now, since I'm alone, it can take hours for me to calm myself down and get back to sleep (if I'm lucky). Instead of waking up and having him there to center my breathing and pull me out of it, I wake up and can't stop the panic, completely paralyzed but also frantic and pretty shaken up, something like a night terror or sleep paralysis. In addition to the nightmares, my quality of sleep has greatly declined because I honestly don't feel very safe when he's gone at night, and it's caused of lot of night time anxiety that I've never experienced before. With this new thing, it all started with me waking up every so often and not really getting any REM or deep sleep, I think because I was trying to avoid the nightmares, but now I wake up every 15-20 minutes. For the most part, my waking up doesn't totally feel like a reaction to my anxiety, I don't know what it is, but it's not something I have much control over and I'm finding myself constantly tired. Anyone else experience anything like this or any thoughts on the subject? I am open to any and all ideas, guys! Much appreciated!


5 Replies

That’s awful, I’ve had insomnia for months before and panic attacks before bed and sometimes in the middle of the night, it made daily life absolutely horrible. A couple of suggestions- are you taking a sleep medication? They do work, even for really bad insomnia there are medications that will knock you out all night. Secondly, do you have a dog or pet that can keep you company, sleep with you? I also don’t like sleeping alone overnight but with a pet next to me I feel better. Third, there is a crisis text line 741-741 in the US, you can text them next time you wake up and can’t calm down. Finally, do you get any sun or exercise during the day? Even 20 minutes a day will help with anxiety, depression and sleep.

in reply to lynnalice

I used to be a personal trainer so I'm pretty active, it's been my #1 way to cope with my depression and it works most days. I struggle with my anxiety on daily basis but my attacks are few and far between aside from these nightmares. I don't know why this sleep thing came to be and I honestly prefer sleeping alone, since I live in a place where it gets to be well over 100 degrees for the summer months, and I am physically so tired that I should have no problem sleeping. I take nyquil once it gets it be beyond frustrating but I haven't seen a doctor about it, which is what I guess I'm gonna have to do because it's starting to seem like I may have insomnia. I haven't heard about that textline though so I'm definitely going to try that too. Thank you so much!

in reply to taylorrr

Yes seeing a doctor is a good idea you are suffering from no sleep and that can be fixed! The text line is great, I hope you have a good experience with it

I don't know the name of it, but there is a medication that can help reduce nightmares. Perhaps that would help as you seem plagued by these. I hope you find relief soon.

I second the sleeping with an animal suggestion. Do you have sleep paralysis frequently? I've had it quite frequently since I was 16. I've also been looking at some of my other symptoms and a lot of them are symptoms of narcolepsy. You may want to look into having a sleep study done. Also, do you have an alarm system? The fear of being home alone at night is no joke. I worked night shift for years because it was the only way I could actually get sleep. Do you have a friend nearby with an extra room or an open couch? You need to get your sleep! Hugs and good luck! xo

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