How to stop anxiety over sleeping?

Posted , 2 users are following.

Hi, some of you may recognize my earlier posts as ive used this forum to get by during an incredibly difficult time. So i went into crisis over some major stressors happening in my life.

I have managed to resolve some things that initially started this, but some things remain. There has been a major shift in what my anxiety revolves around, and now its my sleep. Normally sleep fine, but when anxious i awake early in the morning and cant get 8hrs of sleep. I went to the doctor who gave me a prescription for zolpidem (ambien?). I took those a few nights, but it worries me a lot to be on something addictive and i know its only for shortterm use. It gets me to sleep, just turns everything off, theres no natural sleepiness no nothing. It feels scary.

I tried to go a night without (ive only taken the pills about 6 times and not every night..) and i just dont get sleepy like i used to. I try to read, distract myself (im normally not anxious at night that much) but i am so SCARED to go to sleep. Ive started to associate my bed with terror and i remember the sleepless nights when i despite being exhausted and working all day just couldnt get to sleep. Its like my body has stopped its normal functioning regarding sleep. It wears on me. Im not as anxious in the daytime about the things that started all of this, instead im anxious about not being able to sleep! I know this is a vicious cycle i just want it to stop..Im going to go back to the doctor and try to ask for something that isnt addictive like zolpidem, cause it just adds to the stress thinking about that. Other times with temporary insomnia i have used Benadryl purchased over the counter in the US, this has been really effective for me. Does anybody have any experience with antihistamines? Or any tips how to manage this? I would just like som reassurance..Im scared i will never work normally again- thats my worst fear. I also simply will not risk an addiction to sleepingpills. 

Please just any kind words would make such a difference. This is gruelling and i would appreciate anything. 

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Sam

    Being riddled with allergies and also having sevaral menatl health problems including anxiety I have quite a bit of experience of the drugs you mention and others too.  Sedating anti-histamines are great but I got taken off mine in all of a rush when the pharmacist warned my gp that they can cause heart irregularities when taken with SSRI anti-depressants.  I had an ECG and lo! they found I'd devloped a prolonged QT interval since going on the hydroxyzine (sedating anti-histamine) which can be fatal, like sudden unexpalined death!  So I'm now backl on diazepam for sleep aid and a non-sedating anti-histamine (fexafendine).  It does help but I don't need a lot of sleep since retiring and just accept it, I tend to go to bed late and wake early, make my self a cup of earl grey tea and read listening to Classic FM through the night.  I think you said you work, so its more critical for you to get sleep as I can just doze off in the day if I feel tired.  Before I retired I also stressed about sleep, and this was before I was on the diazepam, so know how horrid that tossing and turning is.  I always found it better to just get up and do soemthiong pleasnat until sleep overcame me whethere that was 1am, 3am or even later.  It isn't necessary to get 8hours sleep a night, I function perfectly now on little more than 5 hours and live a full and happy life.  I too would avoid the Z drugs, I tried Zopliclone once and hated it, it really spaced me out, the diazepam is much more gentle

    Wishing you well

    Lizzie xxzx

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    • Posted

      Hi, thanks for the reply.

      I have diazepam too, but i didnt find it all too helpful when it comes to sleep? Maybe thats weird or im being too impatient. I know its addictive and that worries me.. I keep getting all these different messages everywhere and i feel lost. My family doesnt know anything about this type of medication and the doctor just prescribed it and then i didnt get any followup. Im going to another doctor in the morning and hopefully getting antihistamines instead. It feels a lot more safe. I dont want any addiction, and i just want my life back is all. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Sam

      Yes, diazepam is addictive too but I have been lucky in that I don't seem to have deveoped tollerance and can keep my dosage relatively the same day to day.  Definitely try a different gp, I've changed gp's in my practice, its your right, and have landed with a good one who will ring me when I need help, change my meds if I ask him, and is open to ideas.  Sadly I don't have a psychiatrist anymore as they cut his job and as I was deemed to be stable , which good, I was taken off their list.

      Good luck

      Lizzie

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  • Posted

    Hi Sam,

    I'm sorry that you aren't sleeping and I know how difficult it can be and it's not good to rely on pills to help you as the quality of sleep you get isn't normal.

    There are several items you can get over the counter from your pharmacist and it may be an idea to talk to your local pharmacist and see what they suggest. The only thing that did help me both at night at during the day was Kalms but you may have tried these already  or Nytol. Also warm milky drinks such as Horlicks or Milo can help too. You've said you are going back to your doctor and I think that's a good idea too. As for Benadryl, this, as far as I know is meant as a cough relief and I wouldn't recommend it personally. So I would recommend the pharmacist - who can only sell non addictive products over the counter. Anything the doctor prescribes is likely to be addictive if taken for more than two weeks and you don't want that. So best of luck and let us know how you get on.

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  • Posted

    Hi again sam

    I forgot to say, don't be tempted to induce sleep with alchohol as I find if I drink in the evening I sleep really badly.

    LIzzie

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    • Posted

      That is so tempting to do..i normally enjoy wine a lot. Other times i have been able to induce sleep really well with a little bit of alchol. I find that with anxiety it doesnt work so well..i couldnt sleep last night and i went up had a bit of whiskey and it literally did nothing for me. Probably only excerbated things. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Sam

      I know how tempting alchohol is, I've tried to do without it and thought I'd conquered it once, but yes, I love the taste of a nice glass of wine or three.  I just know that if I drink more than a little in the evening I don't sleep as well.  I also know I'm not supposed to drink on my med combination, allegedly as it increases the sedating effect, but that doesn't work like that for me, just gives me a headache, which paracetamol hardly touches.  I was addicted to co-codamol once so won't touch that now and just put up with the poor sleep and headache for the joy of the wine; is that terribly irresponsible?

      Lizzie

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    • Posted

      Hi Lizzie, no i dont think so. I generally find wine and whiskey delights in life, to consume responsibly. To each his own if it gives you a headache and you put up with that then its fine. Im a worrier myself so maybe i shouldnt talk on the matter..but i think everyone should strive to live life to the fullest! Thank you Lizzie for being a co-person today..im struggling so hard right now, im at work and cant barely stay awake.
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    • Posted

      Its my pleasure to help you Sam.  I love this forum, its the only one I've ever felt safe on and I wish I'd known about it when I was going through my worst times both in 1999 and autumn 2014.  I was put onto it by my cousin in Japan of all people and checked it out on Wikipediea before joing to ensure it was legit.

      I'll be on line for little while yet but have to go out this evening.  I'm in the UK by the way and its nearly time for our evening meal

      Best Wishes

      Lizzie 

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