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aquagirl2
I started a new teaching job this year which requires me to get up about 5:45, and also have a half hour commute, which I haven't ever had before. I have always fallen asleep in cars, but I started to have real problems because I could not get to sleep at night, even when I was super tired, and then 3 or 4 days a week I fall asleep driving home in the afternoon. Like, careen off the road asleep. I have gotten off at the wrong exit, and driven up a one way street the wrong way--a street right next to my house that I go on all the time!

I have been on Ambien for a while now and last week I did a full-on sleep study where they hook you up to all the wires. I don't think they found anything interesting so I spent $750 (that's WITH insurance) to figure out that gee, I'm just not getting enough sleep. It sucks. I don't want to take Ambien every night. But when I try to go to sleep without it, I lie in bed thinking:

DEATH DEATH DEATH MY MOM DYING MY HUSBAND GETTING TERMINAL DISEASES MY CATS DEAD MY FAMILY DEAD WHAT ABOUT WHEN I DIE I'M SCARED DEATH DEATH DEATH CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT THE SERIES FINALE OF SIX FEET UNDER. WHAT ABOUT WHEN I HAVE BABIES. HORRID DISEASES INJURIES DEATH DEATH DEATH.

I cannot stop barrages of horrible, negative thoughts. Does anyone else do this??? It's like the dark of the night brings them on. When I take Ambien, it's such a blissful, easy slip into the void.

It has gotten so common that unfortunately even if I was thinking about something else, I am now reminded that that is my problem when I try to go to sleep like: <i>wait, why can't I usually go to sleep? I feel fine! Oh, right. DEATH DEATH DEATH.....</i>

Anyway...just thought I would share my experiences...

What the f??? Why can't I put that in italics for the life of me??????? (Probably not enough sleep)
periander
Hi Aquagirl
That's exactly what happens to me when I turn out the lights. I can not stop my brain. Its like the silence and lack of visual stimulation allow my brain to go over EVERYTHING that I didn't think about during the day.
My stress tends to be more work or sickness related though I have been down the obsessed with death path before.
Why can my brain mot just switch off like everyone else. I am so jealous of people who are all like "oh I am asleep within 5mins of shutting my eyes" grrrr.
midgemcgrath
periander--that sucks, it sounds like you're delving into actual anxiety about falling asleep, and that is definately not going to help you get any shut eye! have you tried therapy or even any self help books on techniques to battle this?

aquagirl- wow, is this a thinking pattern at all when you're awake too, or only when you're trying to get to sleep? i would seriously look into some counselling if i found myself consistently having these thoughts, that's definately not healthy!

hope you all got some good snoozes!
midgemcgrath
ugh. i went to bed to early cause i was really tired, and now it's late and i'm still s.o.l. geez. you'd think if it was too early i'd just fall asleep in a while, not hours and hours later!
raisingirl
No sleep 'til Brooklyn!

(Just bumping this up... move along, nothing to see here...)
erinjane
Man, my sleep patterns in the last three years have not been as great as they were in high school, but since June when my grandma got sick, i've been perpetually tired and having so much trouble sleeping. I used to be the heaviest sleeper, I was constantly sleeping through my alarm in high school, but now anything wakes me up.

I just switched doctors and I love my new one. I've only had a intro meeting with her, but I see her again on Monday and she wants to talk about my sleep/stress/depression issues. I know that my sleep problems are linked to stress, but man, i'm so tired of being tired. Blech.
treehugger
My sleeping patterns SUCK lately. I fall right asleep but I wake up an hour later and don't go back to sleep till about an hour or two before the alarm has to go off. I have crazy thoughts in my head too...mainly work and money related. A sample of last night....

"so i gotta call forma tomorrow and find out what kind of door handle that freezer is supposed to have...or is it a bad switch...geez we just got that $90.00 assessment for condo repairs and the financial statement says they're 12000 in the hole..what am i going to do on thursday at work when s-and-s is gone..geesh i hope i didn't overextend myself on this place..gotta refill my medicine in the morning...i hope the problem with that freezer IS the handle..gotta get the minus 20 one back to the lady, i've had it for a month and nothing's going right...I am SO MAD about our new bathroom at work because the women have no access to first aid supplies!!! I wonder what'd happen if they took all the first aid supplies away from the men...it wouldn't fly i bet...i hope i get through to forma in the morning and the guy doesn't treat me like an idiot..

Lather, rinse, repeat. I just can't turn off the thoughts that keep me awake. I think it's related to switching to refrigeration work..it's much more stressful. And I sort of feel discriminated against at our shop. Ugh.
blakcherry
Im sure my post is COMPLETELY unrelated,but as soon as I scrolled down and saw "insomnia" I instantly empathized. I've had difficulty sleeping for as long as I could remember. I've even taken some prescription meds (they were either too strong or not strong enough). I'm currently using melatonin and it-is-AMAZING! Sorry, I don't mean to invalidate anything that anyone has been saying. I just feel like I found a miracle cure for me and want to shout it from the rooftops.
erinjane
treehugger, i'm the same way with my thoughts just not turning off. Christ, it's unbearable sometimes.
rocketslide
Oh god, I wanna poke holes in my brain sometimes. I'll wait up, and out of nowhere I'm picking a fight with someone in my head. I'm creating drama about nothing & worrying about stuff that hasn't even happened. The only thing that seems to improve my sleep patterns in exercise. I make a point of wearing myself out a few times a week, and then I"m able to sleep almost through the night. Having 2 cats doesn't seem to help the situation.
chachaheels
Blakcherry, I'm so glad you found the melatonin useful especially since the prescribed drugs didn't work. Sometimes it really is because we're not making enough melatonin that we don't sleep easily.

I found a melatonin that comes in 3mg pills that you take sublingually--they dissolve right away, and they work in less than 10 minutes (for me, and that's after spending the evening drinking coffee).
I can usually get a bottle of those for about $6 at the health food store.
erinjane
Yesterday my doctor prescribed trazodone for my mom and me as a sleeping pill. We each took one last night and it didn't help with sleep at all. I got so frusturated I was crying and was having horrible anxiety. My doctor wants to try and get my sleeping under control and see if that relieves my anxiety and stress. Ugh, i'm falling asleep at work here. So tired.
chachaheels
Maybe you could try the melatonin, Erinjane? It might be helpful, it isn't expensive, and it isn't harmful to you.
erinjane
I might give it a try. I want to talk to my doctor first though. My main problem is that I just can't stop thinking about things that make me anxious and then I wake up repeatedly over night after having weird dreams. I've also started waking up earlier and earlier.
maddy29
erin- one great thing to do when you are awake because you are thinking about things-get up and write it all down, or type it all out. that way it's out of your head, and on paper. sounds dumb, but it's really worked for me.

what things are you thinking about at night? what are your weird dreams about?
pepper
what is with me? i keep Waking Up In The Middle Of The Night.
sometimes it's because i really have to pee (thank you pregnancy) but other times it's just for no reason what-so-ever. i woke up at 4:20 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep forever and now i'm dragging my sleep deprived ass around the house like a zombie. ugh. why can't i just relax? can i take anything, valerian, melatonin, anything? i spritz my linens with lavendar water, i sleep in a dark quiet room that i ONLY sleep in, there are no work related things in there, my room is the right temperature, i can't see the clock from the bed unless i sit up a bit, grr! i'm doing it all right, Why Can't I Sleep.

i'm going to throw out the tv and not even watch an hour of it at night and see if that works. maybe those stupid shows are messing with my unconcious mind or something.
erinjane
QUOTE(maddy29 @ Nov 21 2006, 01:58 PM) *

erin- one great thing to do when you are awake because you are thinking about things-get up and write it all down, or type it all out. that way it's out of your head, and on paper. sounds dumb, but it's really worked for me.

what things are you thinking about at night? what are your weird dreams about?


That's an idea. I might try that next time it happens, probably tonight. I think about things that upset me, like a fight i had, or all the stuff i have to do, or just feel sorry for myself and when I try to steer my mind somewhere else I always come back to it and end up crying.

I get these dreams from time to time but they've been happening more lately where I'm either trying to scream, but can't, trying to run but it's really hard, or fighting with someone but my punches have no power behind them, like I feel weak, and often I"ll wake up right after i have a dream like that. Weird.
maddy29
uuuuh, i HATE those dreams! so upsetting, and they always leave me emotionally wrung out and weak feeling, yuck.

try the journaling thing-my mom had major anxiety that was keeping her up and she was just not getting any good sleep, so she started writing about her fears, and found it helpful.

especially with the "stuff i have to do"-you can just write it down, thenyou don't have to worry about remembering it in the morning, etc. i'm an avid listmaker, myself. it's something i do when i'm anxious, just start making lists. it weirdly helps me, cause otherwise it feels like my brain will just explode.

the other thing i've found is, when i'm thinking about tons of stuff, what is teh ONE thing i'm NOT thinking about? that is-does your incessant thinking actually protect you from thinking about something else? or keep you from feeling something?

hm, not sure that made sense. but dang, i love sleeping and my heart goes out to y'all who can't sleep sad.gif that just totally sucks. if you aren't getting rest, how can you do anything else?!

chachaheels
Pepper, a little bit of melatonin is better than taking valerian (just cause so many of the "kalmerite" or "nervine" herbs end up being used for pregnancy and childbirth, so you should avoid them at this stage). Trying a small dose in order to avoid a routine use might help.

I think that lots of women experience surges of sleeplessness--like having "too much" energy--during pregnancy. Also the 4 am waking time might indicate a need for more iron in the diet. Were you prone to the anemia that a lot of women have when pregnant?

Erinjane, I think the journalling idea is a good one, just to give yourself a bit of a mental break from carrying all this stuff around with you so much. Maddy asks some great questions--like what aren't you thinking about?--that could really help calm down some of the anxiety. I get the sense from your writings here that all of this mental activity is a result of a lot of difficulty and trauma in your life, so it does have to at least be acknowledged. But I also think the melatonin might be able to just give you a bit of rest (those exhaustion dreams are actually mirroring what's happening on the physical level--no sleep=no physical power). If you do decide to give it a shot, I really hope it works.
pepper
i have really low iron, not anemic but close. it's chronic, i supplement all the time. three months on, three months off (or until i start to feel depleted, believe me i can tell when i am). it's in an ok range, i just got tested, still lowish but acceptable. i take a desicated liver supplement with vit c, manganese, folic acid and b12 added. it's good, i feel it working. i read to take it with dinner, is there a better time than that?

what about 5htp? i considered it when i was feeling so low but the st john's wort worked really well for me. does it help with sleep as well? can i take it during pregnancy or should i just stick with the melatonin? and can i take one when i wake in the night or will that not be as effective as taking it at bed time? i never know when i'm going to be restless until i am.
chachaheels
No, that's a good time to take them...however I do wish you'd get those tissue salts. I chose them to help you digest everything! And there is an iron salt in the group I recommended too. That will help you assimilate all the iron you need. I don't think the sleep issue will be such a big one once the iron deficiency is looked after. I want to caution you about pernicious anemia too--but you know to look out for that. I'd love it if you could take a separate, 1000mcg sublingual tablet of B12 on a daily basis, just to make sure you don't come close to it, ever.

I think if you get a sublingual melatonin you can take a dose of it in the middle of the night. It usually works within a few minutes. 5htp, to me, is a bit of an untried thing. I get that it's supposed to be a variant of tryptophan, but it's touted as a miracle cure for things like depression and sleeplessness and so on. If you haven't had the sleeplessness before and you seem to be experiencing it now as part of this pregnancy, I think it comes as a result of the changes taking place with this child. It's safer to address the dietary issues first, use something gentle that won't form a dependency like the melatonin when you need it, and see what happens with the tissue salts.
pepper
ok, i'm on my way out. i'll stop by the co-op for some more wee tablets. i swear, i don't have to eat anymore. i can just fill up on pills!
chachaheels
Well, at least mine will taste good! biggrin.gif

pepper
i'm glad to hear that they'll taste good and not, well, like salts! or tissue, eww. that name is a little off-putting for me, i have to get over it.
i got the calc phos, that's the one for nutrient absorption right? and i got an elemental iron solution to alternate with the tablets. it's ferrous gluconate and lactate 10mg with b12 (cyanocobalamine) 25ug. should be ok.
is liver pate as good as eating plain liver for iron? i'm pretty darn sure that i can't eat liver or fois gras but i could do pate. not every day but often.

i went to the chiro today for a very, very gentle mild adjustment because my lower back has been achey when i lie down. he gave me some little exercises to do that should help and i felt better after the adjustment (no cracking) so we'll see how it affects bedtime.
chachaheels
Yes the calc phos is right. I would have liked for you to have more B12, and in a methylcobalamine...but a girl can't have everything. If you still have the 4 am waking problems, do go and get the Ferrum Phos tissue salts to just fix up the iron problem once and for all.

Yeah, the tissue part just refers to what they effect--not what they taste like. They taste faintly sweet, and dissolve fast. Boom! and they're gone.

As for the liver pate--that is preferable to the dessicated liver, and preferable to liver itself. Pate de Fois Gras is even better, fois gras itself is good too. Sure, not every day...but once a week or so would be great.
pepper
i looked at the b12 methylcobalamine, i wonder though if i really need so much b12, i'm not eating strictly vegetarian and there is some in my supplements. i should just be taking lots while i'm pregnant? or for the sleep, now i'm confused.

ferrum phos for iron, got it. will get it i mean.

since i am taking SO very many supplements how will i know which is doing what? ha.
chachaheels
Well, the higher amount of the B12 is to deal with the iron issue. It isn't about vegetarianism so much, in your case. Chronic iron deficiency, so bad that you can actually feel it, usually does better with more B12. Our bodies don't store this stuff, they just use what they can get and eliminate the rest--that's why it's got to be taken daily or in large dose, repeated injections if there is a severe deficiency. Whenever iron is a problem in the body--either too much or too little, I never actually give iron (dangerous) or remove it (impossible) from the diet; it's just always better to supplement with B vitamins as this gets the body to process iron properly.

B vitamins are also very necessary for supporting the adrenals, and generally they support the entire nervous system, but they play a special role in the relationship between the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (resting/digesting) nervous systems. If you are dealing with an increased stress load (in other words, reacting to the world around you as if you were forced into a fight or flight reaction) then the B vitamins enable you to temper your reactions appropriately. This takes a huge burden away from your body, eliminates the added stress on the glands and organs, and, yes, makes restful sleep possible. Baby will benefit from the nutrient too.

And the methylcobalamine is just easier for you to use...but you're healthy, and the cyanocobalamine will be converted once you take it, I'm sure.
pepper
chacha, i was taking a b-complex, is that good are should it just be the b12? is it possible that i will have to deal with this long term (i mean, it's been going on forever) or will this fix me up finally? i know that's a big question but it would be nice if it were a possibility.
the restlessness isn't exactly new, it's just More now than before. sometimes i can't shut my brain off and it disrupts my sleep, this is just extra plus plus at a time when i really need my rest. i confess that i'm missing a few things that i know would help, going to bed earlier, not watching tv at night to relax, not eating so late. i'll get it into a better routine, i just take time to get routines in place before i'm good with them. le sigh.
zora
Normally it takes me about an hour to get to sleep. Usually I mentally tell myself a story. I picture the characters and their surroundings and I re-word the sentences so they sound right. I'm quite good at it and it helps me drift off and have interesting dreams.
Unfortunately I can't do that tonight. All of my night fantasies are running together and I can't keep on one track. I'm so tired and I feel sick to my stomach and I really, really need some sleep.

I drank some bedtime tea. I swear, I don't sleep soon and I'm going to crack. And I have a wedding cake to start working on tomorrow. Meanwhile, my boyfriend goes to bed, he gets comfy and within about 5-10 minutes is snoring loudly and scratching.
dani837
Have you tried taking some Nyquil? That thing does wonders!
I think I might have a small case of insomnia. I'm only sleeping like 5 hours a day or less, and I don't even take naps. Yesterday I went to sleep around 12-1 am and I woke up at 5:30. Maybe its just that I've been going out so much lately(even though I work haha but don't worry, it doesn't affect my work at all, I had 5 years ofuniversity to make me an expert on that!) that my sleep patterns are just screwed up? I'm sooo tired and I want to sleep, but i can't sad.gif
zizola
The only thing that's really worked for me when I have insomnia is self-hypnosis. Basically, it's just a relaxation technique where you slowly relax your entire body, from your toes to the top of your head, and then do some counting. For me, insomnia is definitely a mental issue, with my mind wanting to race like a drugged-up greyhound and no amount of sleeping pills, hot baths, or soothing cds can fix it. It takes some patience, but it's definitely worth a shot!
Lunalu
Count your breaths!

Please do that, don't let yourself get distracted. Even if you start thinking about something else while you are counting, go back and start from 1 again. It's such a boring method that you're sure to fall asleep in half hour.
Don't let your breath change its speed. Just relax and count it as long as you can.
kiss_the_fiddler
Aaargh. Being on the fire dept is hard on my already sketchy sleep. At least the birds are singing.
sassafrass
So, what's the consensus on melatonin? I took it many years ago and it worked great for me, but then I heard that I might be messing with my body's natural melatonin supply, thereby endangering my futre production of it and possibly dooming myself to late-in-life permanent insomnia. Kinda like how my mom used nasal spray to such an extent that now she HAS to use it (and has almost no sense of smell left) in order to keep her nasal passages lubricated.
opheliathemuse
I'm starting to have nightmares again, and a shorter duration of overall sleep time. Is there a way to STOP the nightmares?? I know that's a little general, but my god they're really scary and awful. I wake up instead of sleeping because they are so scary.
p_176
ophelia -
i have chronic nightmares myself. sometimes it's worse than at other times. i found that doing yoga/stretching/pilates before going to sleep helped, and also i bought a dream catcher. call me superstitious, but i have not had a nightmare since i bought the dream catcher.
opheliathemuse
p_176-

it's funny you should mention that! everytime I work out (walk 2 miles, weights, bike, so a lot of stimulation) I get better sleep, as well as when my boyfriend is around, even though I generally don't sleep well with other people. He's my human dream catcher. Maybe I should buy one for times when he's not around. That's actually a really excellent idea. I'll try stretching lightly just before bed too, thanks! Sorry you suffer too. =(
sassygrrl
I swear by my dream catcher. It's weird. When I stay at my boyfriend's house (normally at the weekends) I tell you that have more nightmares there b/c it's not there. I may actually buy a small
one b/c they're coming back. Mainly they're nightmares about my ex fiancee.


Typewriter
I'm the opposite! I actually sleep much better at my Unboyfriend's apartment than I do in my own home. I might not sleep as much, but I wake up feeling so much more rested, even though my dream catcher isn't there. Bizarre, no?

In my own bed, though, I have certain sleep-related superstitions, and they're getting worse. I've been known to stay awake for days on end, but lately I can get a decent sleep if I lay on top of the bedsheets, caccooned in an old blanket, and turned slightly on my side.
Italianwife88
I couldn't sleep last night...it was terrible. I felt so restless. I finally got to sleep around 4am and got up at 9.

dream catcher? what can that do, i thought they were myths? I used to have one but i thought it was fake, my mom dated an Native American man.
I have dreams every night that i remember vividly, some of them sexual some just disturbing. I've had all sexual dreams about my English professor... but hes hawt so whatever lol.
sassafrass
Oh, btw, I asked a pharmacist about melatonin and he said it shouldn't cause any long-term problems.
p_176
i have not been sleeping well lately....apparently am stressed out but am not sure why.....i know one reason for it, and i'm annoyed with myself for being stressed about it - i am involved with the same social group that my exfiance is, and there are pictures of activities/outings that people go on, and i'm constantly seeing photos of him, and it really is upsetting me because i know he's out of work, and i'm betting that he's not looking hard for work, and i keep imagining that i get a phone call notifying me that he hurt himself because he was depressed over not finding a new job, even though it does not seem like he's looking for one....i guess it's upsetting because there's nothing anyone can do FOR him - he needs to do it for himself. but he's really irresponsible. and it's sad.
and i'm stressing again over money. i know i'm in an adjustment period since my pt job ended, and i have more time to do other things, but it's a matter of my structuring my free time to get things done or to relax.
and also, people at work, and the general situation at work, are really getting on my nerves the last few weeks, and it's starting to really get me down (the fact that there are so many people who don't deserve their high salaries because of lack of experience (they just got a career-ladder type job) or education, and yet they're constantly looking at me, waiting for me to make the smallest mistake. normally my skin is thicker (esp since there were people i thought i was friendly with who did not speak to me after i got my promotion), but it's pretty disheartening to realize that many times, education and experience don't always mean anything.
i realize this funk will pass soon....i'm just trying to stay focused - give myself goals for each day, and that's helping.
thanks for listening.
kiss_the_fiddler
After several hours of tossing and turning last night, I finally resorted to the radioactive moth. Worked like a charm. And no rebound for me. I don't take it often at all. Less than once a week.

What do y'all know about Sleep MD (from wallgreens)?
erinjane
p_176, I was having problems last week because of stress. I was in a week long intensive Feminist Activism course and I was working 1/2 a day, going to class 1/2 a day, then coming home and doing all these readings and assignments. Not to mention their was some not-so-great chemistry with a few of the participants that stressed me out. I didn't sleep all week because I was so stressed and I was super depressed by the end of it. Unfortunately I don't know how to stop from being stressed either than to get rid of the stressor. I was so relieved this week because all I have to do is come to work and go home. I don't have to take any baggage home with me.

Of course now I'm terrified about what's gonna happen when I start classes again full-time in September, especially given my depressive episodes all last year.
Muffy
I can't remember the last time I went to bed and actually went right to sleep. I lost my graphic design job in March so now I have this 10-15 hours a week retail job & part time unemployment checks both of which pay jack shit... the bills keep on rolling in and I stare at my check book hoping it will magically change to an amount that will pay off my medical bills, I live with my parents because I can't move out, I keep sending out resume's that gets no response... Rather than go to a doctor for my stress, insomnia and all that crap inside my head driving me crazy because I can't afford it, I get out of bed at night when I can't sleep and read or write or stare at the ceiling listening to the radio wondering do people actually just go to bed and fall asleep?
erinjane
I had a short period for a while where I was falling asleep in about 20 minutes which was a first for me, but now I'm back to tossing and turning for a while. I'm hoping that once I get a little further away from the stress of the class I just took that I'll fall asleep faster again.

My dad though, sometimes he'll be laying on the couch and he's out in 30 seconds flat, no exageration. My parents room is next to mine and I'll hear him get into bed and then start snoring with 3 minutes. It's unbelievable and he's the only one in my family that can fall asleep so quickly. But he also has insomnia and wakes up frequently in the middle of the night for hours at a time. He probably falls asleep so fast because he's exhausted from being awake in the middle of the night.
crazyoldcatlady
a late evening three hour nap plus a 10:30 pm coke zero = catlady up at 1:30 am. this is gonna kick my ass tomorrow, althoug i must say the nap was wonderful.

listening to some govinda and aphex twin, hoping to mellow out, laying in bed with laptop on my stomach, contemplating pulling the old phenergan rx out of the cabinet to help speed things along. i feel like it's 3 pm, except all my usually subdued anxieties are amplified at night, perpetuating the 'i can't sleep' cycle....


:::rambling... off to lurk the board for a while...:::
snarky7
catlady, i got all of a 3 minute nap and i'm now screwed til maybe 3am. joy. i'll think of you at 130.

i was just talking to cute neighbor crush and wondering why he can say he's off to sleep and knowing i'll be up for hours yet. sigh. i want to sleep, i am tired in the daytime, but bring on the evening and the dark and i come alive - things to do, people to talk to, message boards to read, you name it....

give me saturday sleeping-in already please? i want/need it badly.

hoping the dreams, when they come, are sweet for all....
kiss_the_fiddler
Going to bed and going right to sleep? What a luxury! I can't imagine what that must be like. I've been running ragged for the past few days/nights, with various things in my personal life and with storms and the fires they start in the hills in my fire district. I'm so tired that I'm dizzy for fuck sake. Why can't I just sleep? Gees, and when I do sleep, my dreams are almost more exhausting than staying awake for days is. This sucks.
snarky7
come on, fiddler, you can get past this. get those assholes out of your head and focus on who's with you in your bed (when possible due to work). wishing you sweet dreams tonight.
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