Lack of sleep is killing me - Anxiety and Depre...

Anxiety and Depression Support
45,365 members46,735 posts

Lack of sleep is killing me

Hidden
Hidden

I suffer from anxiety and literally cannot sleep. I am not on any SSRIs as they only make things worse...if that is even possible. I am practically suicidal. Next step is an anti psychotic I guess. Please someone help!!

17 Replies
oldestnewest

The lack of sleep drove me to my darkest point. Without question. So - what have you tried? I found the sleep stories on the Headspace app helpful for falling asleep. Staying asleep is a different matter - if I wake up to early now, I medicate. You're right to focus on solving this problem - the lack of sleep literally makes us nuts.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to JAYnLA

What meds do you take specifically for sleep,

JAYnLA
JAYnLA in reply to Hidden

I take ¼ mg of Ativan before bed. It's not a 'knockout' dose but it's an insurance policy.

Hidden
Hidden

I am so stressed I have to take meds to sleep. Problem lately is waking up during the night.

JAYnLA
JAYnLA in reply to Hidden

I had the same pattern, PZ. Can you try something like relaxing audio programs to get to sleep and save the medication for if you wake in the night? It is 'working' for me. I put working in quotes because until I can sleep through the night unassisted I don't consider the issue solved.

HiddenThis reply has been deleted
JAYnLA
JAYnLA in reply to Hidden

Lexapro and mirtazapine were not good for me. 9 weeks in to Zoloft (sertraline) and so far so good - it's helping a bit. I'm also taking a minimal dose of Ativan, but the sleep audios helped before the Ativan.

HiddenThis reply has been deleted
JAYnLA
JAYnLA in reply to Hidden

Why aren't you taking sleeping meds? They are for crisis and I think you're in one.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to JAYnLA

I don’t have any prescribed for me and I am away from home

JAYnLA
JAYnLA in reply to Hidden

Well, if you can't get a prescription you could try over the counter remedies. They aren't as good but they can help.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to JAYnLA

My issue is that I have to be up for work 5:30 and can't depend on sleep music. I have been on sleep meds so long, currently trying to ween off Ambien. I have headspace and tried it last night but had ruminating thoughts all night. Now at work with 4hrs sleep

Hidden
Hidden

First and foremost, you'll need to find a way to calm your body and mind. Deep breathing techniques....in through your nose, deep into your "belly", and out through your mouth. Holding slightly at the end of each. This should start to tell your brain it's time to relax. It's hit or miss/works or doesn't work, but if you have any essential oils, lavender and chamomile are great scents for bed time. Even better if you have a tea (warm) with either in it. If you don't, try playing a guided mindfulness session for sleep on your phone. Here's one I found (find one that works best for you) youtube.com/watch?v=Dw5xcoR...

I am not a medical professional, so the following ideas are opinions/things you can try...just putting out the old disclaimer. The next things you can try are melatonin (some do well on this, some don't)...usually 1 to 3 mg works. If you're taking any medications, run it through an interactions checker or through a pharmacist/doctor. If not that, there are several OTC type meds (the active ingredient in Tylenol PM) that could help. Otherwise, if you're having this problem daily, it would be wise to see your doctor anyway. They could try many of sleeping aids they have available prescription wise. For instance, I take hydroxyzine (antihistamine) that is helpful for both anxiety and sleeping.

I truly think once you're able to work out the tension and anxiety, your mind will be too exhausted to put up a fight. A mindfulness exercise I like is the deep breathing while doing the following three times each...first we scrunch up on our face (bitter beer face) as hard as we can...and let go. Three times. Feel the anxiety and tension leave. Next raise your shoulders inward up towards your ears. Three times, feeling all the tension leave. Then stretch your back out, letting the deep breathing work tight parts out of it. Next, with each arm three times, squeeze and make a tight tight fist like you're about to become the next Apollo Creed. Three times, again, focusing on the anxious energy leaving. Finally, curl your toes backwards so that your front calf muscle stretches. Three times on each foot, again, letting the tension and anxiety leaving as the primary focus.

I hope this works for you, the latter is really helpful for me in that it's like a meditative "massage" for the body, especially while we focus on the breath. My doctor has suggested other things like a warm cup of milk, tea, or something soothing as well. There are also noise machine type apps available on the phone, but I really think the mindfulness for sleep sessions are fantastic when there's nothing else left. The more worked up and pissed off (using this because I know what you mean) you get, the worse it will be. Once your bed etiquette is set by you through techniques above, the body, exhausted as hell from fighting, should finally give up and go, as Samuel L. Jackson's critically acclaimed voice-over of a book said, "The $$$$ To Sleep". Best wishes and hope some of this helped.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Hidden

Thank you❤️

pianoplayer90
pianoplayer90 in reply to Hidden

I listen to the honest guys all the time!

Sorry to hear that. I too cannot sleep. I can go days with only a few hours. Mine come of fearing what my spouse can do to me. I hit a broken point today and it really scare me. I don’t take any meds they make me feel worst.

A low dose of mirtizapine works wonders for me

You may also like...