How can I achieve a positive approach to reduced sleep, please?

Posted , 3 users are following.

Coming to the end of the 6th week on Fluoxetine. Most side effects have diminished apart from hand tremor, sudden toilet dashes and not being able to get more than 6 hours sleep.

i saw my amazingly kind and efficient GP yesterday and she suggested I take 10mg propranolol in the mornings. So I did this morning.

I've had sleep issues for ten years but was fairly sorted until I started the Fluoxetine. It seems that bang on 6 hours I flip awake and cannot doze back off.

I'm anxious that the Propranolol will worsen my sleep even further. Even if it doesn't, I'm still stuck with being awake for between 60-90 minutes before i get up. I get up at 05:30 anyway, I don't want to be even earlier!

I suppose I can move my bedtime later still, so that it's within about 6 hours of 05:30 but truthfully, I'm tired by 22:00! So I'm looking for a way to change my attitude from "ugh, only 6 hours again" to "woohoo! 6 hours solid sleep! now, what can I do to occupy my mind for an hour?"

Suggestions welcome!

I'm on Losartan 100mg

Fluoxetine 20mg

Propranolol 10mg

in the morning


Amitriptyline 10mg an hour before bed.

Thank you.

0 likes, 6 replies

6 Replies

  • Edited

    Hello Ailidh, wow you're doing so well just 6 weeks in to the meds! I only just lost the shakes and twitches after 17 weeks!! Just getting a bit of fatigue for an hour or so after taking the meds in the morning. I went through a lot of sleep disruption, sometimes only 3 hours a night. And the dreams and night sweats, omg, who needs the cinema! I noticed that this last week it's been different as I've calmed overall. I'm going to bed a bit earlier, I don't think so much before I drop off, which is much more sudden than before, and then it's morning. I'm getting about 5 hours in total but it's much much deeper than sleep before the meds so I feel more energy the next day, mentally and physically. I was suffering like you especially not being able to get back to sleep for an hour or two which was bloody frustrating esp on the weekends when I wanted to rest longer! Again, this week I've noticed I am dropping off a bit again - in fact I went flat out this morning and missed a meeting at work (They usually get me off to sleep quite well!). I think it will come back to you over a bit more time, give it a few more months. That's a lot of other meds you're taking, do you think you could reduce those and let the fluo take over as time goes on? I only ever took 2 of the Propranolol as they made me very unwell and the fluo started working anyway to get rid a the anxiety - that's completely gone now, absolutely gone. I'm actually looking forward to challenges and meeting new people - which used to blow my fuse before the treatment! Anyway, 6 hours isn't too bad a stretch tbh, I took your "glad it's that long" option rather than not enough! I used to just get up, food, bath, tablets then just lay down and rest for an hour or so. I guess it was a kind of mindfulness or meditation although I don't know anything about those things. I just used to visualise doing nice things for the evening or the coming weekend. It helped to push me to go away on the weekends, just get in the car and go - no sat nav or maps, just see where the road goes. It's so distracting and fun, and surprising who you meet and get talking too! I'm sure you'll be sleeping normally soon, take it easy and keep on going!

    • Posted

      Thank you for your kind and hope-filled reply! I'm glad you're doing so well. I will keep practising the "6 hours! how great is that?!" response.

      I think I am lucky. Weeks 3 and 4 were pretty good, week 5 not so much, week 6 (day #42 today) improving. In addition, I'm retired, so I don't have to worry about losing my job - in fact the first time Anxiety assaulted me, ten years ago, I had to take early retirement on health grounds. I live in supported living - independent flats but plenty people around to chat to, and no worries about security or repairs. The only anxiety I have is about the Anxiety.

      The Propanolol yesterday took longer than expected to kick in but once it did, I had a very good day. I wish I'd taken them sooner.

      I pinged awake after five hours this morning but once I'd relocated to the settee, I got another two more. I'll settle for that. 😃

  • Edited

    Hi there

    Yes sleep is one of the common side effect and it happened to me too.

    You getting 6hrs of sleep is pretty good at this stage and early wake up is due to adrenalin that accumulates in your body over night and now with anxiety and meds its much higher. But it will change soon, as soon as anxiety lessens - ypur sleep will get better.

    Just remeber - your body very smart and it will not deprive itself of sleep - it gets as much as it needs.

    Consider nice long walks after dinner and not much screen time before bed.

    It will be ok

    • Posted

      Thank you! I didn't know about adrenalin accumulating overnight. That makes a lot of sense. It's also very reassuring to know it's a physical thing, and not just me going potty!

      I turn my ipad and phone off 2 hours before bed, TV one hour. I read a paper book in bed to relax - fell asleep reading it last night.

      For four months I had Achilles tendonitis, which meant I couldn't walk far but Hurrah! it's finally cleared up. I'm building up slowly, so as not to damage it again, but you're right! a bit more physical activity will certainly help too.

      Thank you for replying to me, and for all your other replies too! You have great insight!

    • Edited

      The way you describe - you are progressing very well and all sensations and feelings are normal)

      Keep going, be patient and remember you are not alone

  • Posted

    The Propranolol seems to be helping! Best of all, I've lost the tremor in both hands which is a real bonus, it was making me feel very decrepit.

    The first day, 2 days ago, it took a while to kick in but by lunch time I felt utterly myself, and myself on a good day to boot! Not euphoric, just normal.

    The second day was yesterday. A few more butterflies but that was probably down to me worrying (sigh) that it wouldn't be as good as the day before. On the other hand, I was at a (very mild) social event that was outside of my current comfort zone, so maybe it was that too.

    Best of best of all, it hasn't had a negative impact on my sleep, in fact I've had two nights of pushing 7 hours!

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