Haven't been able to sleep for weeks.

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hello,

I know this is probably a pretty common problem with anxiety but I have tried everything and literally just cannot sleep without waking up feeling like rubbish. Averaging maybe 4 hours a night.

As soon as I lay down I am instantly congested and can't breath. My legs throb so much from tension (guessing anxiety) that the pain / congestion keeps me awake

I wake up with sinus pain, tension headaches and sore legs to the point of I can hardly walk some mornings. I also have to clear a lot of mucus which has built up (100% not allergy driven after a few tests from ENT) It's been going on for months. I am shattered because of the poor sleep and the tension headaches make me tired / dizzy as well.

I have tried everything, muscle soaks, muscle rub, breath easy strips, mouth guard. Mediation, relaxing music, breathing exercises, gym - Nothing works.

Half the time I think my mood and anxiety would improve if I could just sleep normally and let my body recover.

The doctor thinks i need Sertraline but going off reviews (I know - worse thing you can do) it sounds like it will give me yet more sleep problems and muscle pain on top of every other side effect to deal with as well.

Can anyone suggest anything to help at all or has gone through something similar? (Sleep tablets / herbal remedies have literally no effect on me now)

I had Mirtazapine in the past (15mg) but it made me sleep for like 14 hours and so sedated throughout the day. Brilliant sleep, but not when you have a job to do sadly rolleyes

Thank you

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Thomas, you sound severly sleep deprived, i can imagine how miserable you must feel. I suffered from the same congestion problems when laying down at night, and elevating the head end of my bed considerably improved my condition.

    I put 2 big bricks under each head end leg and also use two pillows nowadays.

    Also it became clear that I have sleep apnea, and since I use a CPAP machine (which has a filter) my complaints are practically gone.

    By the way, did you discuss treatment for Restless Legs Syndrome from which you seem to suffer? And did you already try L-theanine and/or taurine as supplements? They support sleep in general but RLS realted insomnia specifically.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the reply.

      If you don't mind me asking, how did you get diagnosed with sleep apnoea?. I have asked my doctor about it, however I think they think I am being a hypercondraic hence anxiety.

      Just reading into L-theanine and it looks interesting. Might be worth trying as doing nothing isn't helping sadly.

      Thank you for the advice smile

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    • Posted

      You're welcome Thomas.

      I got diagnosed in a sleep clinic, they did a polysomnigraphy twice. They hook you up on a bunch of wires which during your sleep monitor your brain waves, breathing, muscle activity, snoring and they also record an ECG all night long. Some clinics offer the posibility to do this at home, in a simplified form.

      You could fill out the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (google it) and take the results to your doctor. I have no doubt about it that you will score high enough for getting some proper sleep test, it's about time. You also will find out if you have RLS, it sounds a lot like it.

       

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  • Posted

    Your headaches might be coming from something as simple as how many pillows you're using. I used to get them daily. Try sleeping with no pillows for a night and see if it helps. Or they may be related to your body just being sleep deprived, so maybe it wouldn't be a bad thing to take an entire day to just be sedated.

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  • Posted

    Sleep apnea comes to mind, but a couple other weird ones are: Nonallergic Rhinitis and Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR).  Stuffiness going horizontal is possibly due to blood pressure changes causing tissue to swell in the nose.  I solved my problem by taking a light dose of Afrin (one light squirt in each nostril) just before I go to bed.  Doctors are always yelling at me not to do this, but I've never suffered rebound during the day nor have I ever had to increase my dose, and this has worked for me for years.  Also helped was a Nasonex/Astelin (topical steroid/antihistamine) spray combo that the doctors always push that is supposed to stabilize the nasal tissues, but I kept going back to Afrin.  I don't know what to say about the legs, it's an important clue too and maybe related to blood pressure, maybe discussing this with a cardiologist who is familiar with Dysautonomia might help.  Whatever it is, don't let ANYONE try to convince you it's anxiety, it's NOT anxiety and STAY OFF THOSE PSYCH DRUGS!

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    • Posted

      Hello Jane. Thanks for your reply.

      The ENT mentioned about testing for LPR. He said it could be reflux making me constantly congested. The congestion is literally 24/7 regardless of where I go, what i eat or where I stay. It can't be allergies, and a food diary for months hasn't really shown anything of use. I hope it is just reflux.

      The leg pain is more concerning as I am only 26 and physically very active. Yet, I have never experienced this pain or tension before, not even close when doing rigourous exercise! (I use to do distance cycling to at 40k a day). They are throbbing all day, and burn at night and that's with no exercise at all!. I take Propranolol for anxiety and have had a lot of dizziness issues. I am wondering if it is all related to blood pressure now as a side effect from these tablets?

      The problem with anxiety is once it's on your record everything including a broken arm can be explained by "Anxiety". It's the third doctor to gloss over my sleep problems and prescribe Sertraline now. I really don't know whether or not to try them and see if there is any improvement at all just to go back and say it's not that problem. Though my experience on Fluoxetine was the worse of my life and I only lasted a month and a half on that!

      Just getting frustrated more than anything. It's gone on for a year now. It took 6 months just to get the ENT!

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    • Posted

      "Propranolol for anxiety"?  WOW, whoever prescribed that for you truly doesn't understand how Propranolol works.  You need to check out dysautonomiainternational dot org - Dysautonomia is problems with the Autonomic Nervous System, and it is an emerging medical topic - now for my spiel - I firmly believe anxiety is simply a conscious manifestation of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).  The ANS controls all unconscious automatic body functions in the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, metabolic, endocrine and immune systems.  The ANS is in charge of the "fight or flight" reaction to stimuli.  At a park and an errant frisbee heads right for your head?  You jump out of the way and laugh and feel your heart rate slow back down - that's the ANS at work.  However, anything, however minor, in those body systems can potentially kick the ANS into "fight or flight mode", and if your brain can't figure out why, anxiety happens.  Propranolol is a beta blocker and is used to stabilize the heart rate.  If for whatever reason the resting heart rate is higher or not consistent, the brain starts thinking the ANS is in "fight or flight mode" but doesn't know why - many times tachycardia causes anxiety, not the other way around.  My daughter went on Propranolol to slow and stabilize her resting heart rate from the 90's to the 70's and her anxiety evaporated to the point she was able to permanently get off sertaline.  Me, if I eat something greasy I know I shouldn't eat, my digestive system complains to the ANS, and I get anxiety until the food has passed.  Some people may react to sensory input like smells, or temperature, or flashing lights, or maybe illness or infection, or food sensitivities (like soy), vitamin or mineral deficiencies (like magnesium), it's all tied into the ANS.  So the challenge is to try to find what in these body systems, however minor, might be triggering the ANS and causing anxiety.  Propranolol might be causing the dizziness and leg pains.  A cardiologist who understands Dysautonomia and the subleties of blood pressure dynamics (like POTS) might have some answers, and would certainly be better at tailoring heart medications for you.  As for LPR, we're starting to look into that too as we didn't even know that existed until last week. Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Jane et al I agree entirely with everything you have written. In fact while it is tempting to  try psych drugs to get a sleep the side effects can be tremendous and make musclur spasms, cramps, rls , tingling, burnng much worse, I ws prescribed duloxetine and had to be taken off it after only 15 mgms due to a fast heart rate, muscuar spasms and cramps, my GP immediately discontinued it. I take magnesium , vitamin B12 , Vitamin D3 under medical supervision that is to help my muscles relax. I am thinking of buying some SAD lamps too.

      ​Take care.  x

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  • Posted

    You need to follow your Doctors advice. Sertraline should assist your sleep.

    I take Citalopram half an hour before bed and I sleep very well 

    BOB

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    • Posted

      Thank you Bob. I know I need to try it. I just don't want to battle side effects over Christmas / new year's. I know I need some relief from this constant anxiety.

      Taking 2 weeks off work in January to give myself time to adjust properly then / get over the worst of them (if I get any that is) without worrying about work.

      What initial side effects did you get?

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    • Posted

      Try to have a nice day I know it is hard but please try . I can tell you are strong and can overcome this feeling.

      Have you tried magnesium whilst in bed , this helps me to sleep. HOT milk contains an enzyme to cause drowsiness then sleep. No side effects either!!

      ​Hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      Most of my side effects were Anxiety and lack of concentration. My memory became shot for a time although that was not helped with my Chronic Short Term Memory Disorder, caused by other medications such as Synthetic Opiates. Our brains need time to rest and recover and sometimes we need to understand that.

      I was part of various organisations attached to the NHS and when my condition worsened I had to take a break. Hopefully I will be back after the New Year. In a restriced form.

      Now I forget what day it is, sometimes I am unable to know the difference between Sunday and Friday, lol.

      BOB

       

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