Anxiety & Insomnia

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Anxiety & Insomnia

Postby Salt » October 16th, 2013, 8:06 am

I need some tips on coping with anxiety during the night. My anxiety during the day is lessening, which I am thankful for, but it still plagues me almost every night, and I rarely get a decent nights sleep. I find if I go so sleep feeling lonely, I was up in the middle of the night feeling anxious, and I start the next morning with the same feeling. Even when I do sleep through the night, I always have several dreams and I never feel rested. Being tired throughout the say is something I find stressful, because I worry that I am operating subpar. Do any of you have any tips for calming anxiety during the night? I try to make sure to do relaxing things before bed, and when I do wake up with a cocktail of cortisol in my veins I try to breath it out and empty my mind. I have, thankfully, been able to fall back asleep, but I still wake up anxious all the time, and it is taking a toll...let me know, I appreciate any suggestions.
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Re: Anxiety & Insomnia

Postby manuel_moe_g » October 16th, 2013, 3:50 pm

Hello Salt! For me, writing down my fears and anxieties in my journal helps set a baseline, and helps me realize that I have already rationally dealt with something, so I can remind myself that it is out of my hands until I am able to take the next small step in fixing it.
~~~~~~ -- Obsequious Thumbtack Headdress
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Re: Anxiety & Insomnia

Postby reddelicious » October 17th, 2013, 6:12 am

I have serious sleep issue b/c of anxiety. My routine consists of stretching/light pilates in the evening, peppermint oil to inhale, lavendar scented cold pack for my neck and a lavender scented gel sleeping mask. I know this sounds super high-maintenance. Even though I still don't always relax enough to sleep it really helps calm the brain monkeys down.
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Re: Anxiety & Insomnia

Postby Data » January 14th, 2014, 6:03 pm

Sleep and I have never gotten along. I used to be unable to fall asleep at night because of anxiety. Once I got to sleep I would wake up throughout the night and be unable to go back to sleep. I have reoccurring night mares and I used to have night terrors. However, there are a few things that have significantly helped me so that it isn't as much of a problem.

1) Kick the caffeine. I was told to do this with in the first twenty minutes with my current therapist and boy was it good advice. I knew that caffeine exacerbates anxiety disorders so I had cut my caffeine to the A.M. already and that had helped a bit, but cutting it out all together was worth it. Sure I can't go turbo style into the night or start my mornings running out the door, but when I finally hit the sack whether I am wanting to think about how my life is a failure and no one loves me or not I am more likely to fall asleep. Also, I found myself less tired during the day. I used to need coffee to be awake in the morning, and then it would wear off. Without the coffee I may take an extra thirty minutes to wake up in the morning, but I don't have that three p.m. shut down I used to.

2) Establish a bed time ritual that does not include a glowing screen. I worked at a doctors office a few years ago under a 64 year old Irishman and he used to say all the time "The bed is for Sleep and Sex! That is all!" Well I haven't gotten it down to just that, but I have stopped watching movies on my computer or checking my phone in bed right before I go to sleep. (I still sometimes watch movies in bed during the day). Instead I read a book or listen to a podcast until I am too exhausted to think. This helps to set up a ritual so that when I am in bed my body is expecting sleep instead of getting angry at youtube comments or wondering if that character is going to die. I find reading and listening nice because it doesn't keep me alert the way that blue light does, but it keeps me from thinking about how I will never be a successful novelist and I am really just fooling myself.

3) If you are awake you might as well scrub the shitter! Okay, so my therapist phrased it more along the lines of doing something that requires minimal manual labor and not much thinking. If I sit in bed when I wake up it starts with that dreading feeling, then I think about how tired I am going to be the next day, then I will think about how I will probably make some horrible mistake in my delirious state and then the office I work at is going to get sued and I am going to get fired and because of what I did I will never be able to get a day job again. If i get up and do the dishes, or the laundry, or organize my medicine cabinet then I am more likely to start feeling tired faster and be able to go back to sleep. However, I have also found times that I do this and then I just keep finding one more thing I could clean until it is 6 a.m. and I have to go to work.

Now I still have nightmares and night terrors, and sometimes I can't convince myself to get up because the bed is so warm and nice to cry into but I have noticed that I have been able to get to sleep faster and that I wake up in the night maybe one or two times as oppose to five or six. Getting rid of caffeine was probably the hardest and had the largest payoff because I feel anxious less in general and I feel more awake consistently throughout the day which allows me to avoid naps and sleep better at night. I hope one of these tricks works for you.
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Re: Anxiety & Insomnia

Postby Brooke » November 13th, 2014, 8:41 am

When I'm anxious or feeling lonely like you, it's hard to sleep. I usually take 100-200mg of 5HTP and melatonin...if that doesn't work, I'll just go ahead and take an anti-anxiety pill...but try to find out why so I don't become dependent on it. Usually stupid facebook will get me all insecure and anxious. I should really defriend toxic people, but when they are mutual friends, it's really hard to do so...I know it's my own insecurity talking...I don't think I'm going to be getting sleep because of it tonight...ugh, sometimes I feel so alone and lonely...and it becomes an anxiety I turn to facebook...vicious cycle... Usually I'm off of it, but after a couple of months, I'll casually go on it and the toxic people make me feel insecure...why do I do this to myself... Well, to be embarrassingly honest, it's because if I know there's an event coming up where I'll be posting pictures, I would want people to Like my photos as well...that's the only reason why I'm on there commenting and liking others'. Sometimes I'll do it from a genuine state where I want to connect with people and socialize, but when an event is coming up, I'll go and do the cursory deeds and feel like a total fake. Facebook is not going out anytime soon, so I need to learn how to balance my emotions when I'm having anxiety. Even though I have a great husband, I still get lonely anxiety attacks. It has nothing to do with him and everything to do with my insecurities...I can't expect him to fulfill my needs 100%, no one can. I've got to learn how to manage my loneliness and insecurities on my own. So thanks for letting me respond.
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