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Thread: Bad anxiety at night in regards to insomnia. At a loss of what to do.

  1. #1
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    Bad anxiety at night in regards to insomnia. At a loss of what to do.

    I've posted about past bouts of insomnia years ago so this is not a new issue. However, this is the worst it's been for me and i'm generally scared. I want to post what's going on in hopes I can get feedback/help.

    So, the past few nights I'll go to bed around 11 pm. I take something like Benedryl or Motrin PM to try to help with sleep. Benedryls usually help me but last night, I'm not so sure. My phone is on night mode at night so it doesn't affect my eyes with blue light. I will occasionally note the time at night if I'm getting out of bed to use the restroom. What I remember is sort of feeling like maybe I was dozing off but not much time going by. For example, I went to bed around 11:45 pm last night and while my memory is a bit foggy, I remember it being 2:22 am and perhaps I slept a little bit there prior to that. Then I went back to bed and I think I remember it being 3 something but not sure if that was previous night or last night. I remember taking something around 4:00 am and then again at 5:20 am because I still wasn't knocked out yet.

    I have my curtains down to dampen any sunlight when it gets to be time for sun to get up and I recognized I was still up as it was getting brighter. I knew it was the 6 am hour. I don't remember much aside from trying to be calm and telling myself I'll eventually sleep when I need to. I guess I did pass out but I don't know when it was. I only recall getting up to see it was 8:17 am. It kind of felt like I was sleeping because of how i lifted myself up and opened my eyes. I proceeded to go back to bed and then it was 9:27 am.

    I do not know if I slept at all though because I have nothing to go on. I feel fine and alert today but had some redness in my eyes. I did consume a bit of caffeine but would that even be able to cover up the effects of a night of no sleep? That's what I'm mostly worried about. I don't know if I slept last night at all. I know being fixated on the times during the night is bad but it doesn't affect my mindset at night when trying to sleep. I only look to measure if I was sleeping or not.
    ,
    The past several nights have been like this with like no sleep until 6 or 7 am. It's frustrating to go the whole night and sleep just doesn't come. I don't use electronics before bed, no caffeine 12 hours out, I take stuff to help me sleep, and I'm relatively calm going to bed. I thought about stuff I look forward to and relaxing stuff. Sleep just never came. (unless I did sleep from some of the gaps in time I mentioned earlier but I can't say for sure.)

    Not sure what to do. I'm worried I'll go sleepless for days to the point where I'll die. Is that even a possibility or will I sleep eventually? I need to know for peace of mind. Like, I've heard stories of people dying from forcing themselves up for 11 days but I'm actually trying to sleep so I can't imagine that'd happen to me. But despite these nights, I've felt fine during the day and able to work my job without ever feeling exhausted. Well, I do get tired from my job but nothing out of ordinary I would say. Able to drive home at night too. All on just 110 mg of caffeine; 2 cans of soda for whole day. I would imaging the caffeine intake is small enough to where if I was sleep deprived, it would show itself?

    It usually takes me a while to fall asleep on a normal night but only an hour or so. And my normal for sleep is 6 hours. If I get that, I'm golden all day. But I know I haven't been getting that and it's only adding to my anxiety when it comes to how I'll sleep each night. I did get out of bed with "sleep/eye gunk" in my eyes so perhaps that's a sign I did sleep a little? The small amount of sleep is concerning and makes me wonder if I'll make it through this. Yes, I feel fine during the day and even after 10+ hours of no caffeine, I don't feel any different or sleepy. Idk what that means but I know I'm not getting much sleep so it's strange.
    Last edited by Seaster; 21-07-21 at 20:57.

  2. #2
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    Re: Bad anxiety at night in regards to insomnia. At a loss of what to do.

    When I went through this I started listening to podcasts so quiet that I had to strain my ears a little to hear them. and eventually I realised I was missing huge chunks of them so i MUST have been asleep. Worrying about it is pointless and counter-productive - but you already knew that.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Bad anxiety at night in regards to insomnia. At a loss of what to do.

    I was the same when going through a particularly bad phase of anxiety. I could drift off for maybe an hour or so at a time during the night but couldnít get any solid sleep. I think itís just because our bodies are in a heightened state of anxiety, itís not really conducive with solid sleep lol. I was very worried about it too at the time for the same reasons as you.

    Youíre obviously thinking about it a lot because youíre noting the times youíre awake and also noting the amount of caffeine youíre consuming. Thinking about it isnít going to help but I know how hard it is not to!

    I think it lasted a week or two with me, then I just started sleeping properly again. Trust your body/brain, theyíll make sure you get enough sleep.

    Sorry that I havenít got any real advice, just sharing my similar experience. Youíll get there pal!

  4. #4
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    Re: Bad anxiety at night in regards to insomnia. At a loss of what to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alde View Post
    I was the same when going through a particularly bad phase of anxiety. I could drift off for maybe an hour or so at a time during the night but couldn’t get any solid sleep. I think it’s just because our bodies are in a heightened state of anxiety, it’s not really conducive with solid sleep lol. I was very worried about it too at the time for the same reasons as you.

    You’re obviously thinking about it a lot because you’re noting the times you’re awake and also noting the amount of caffeine you’re consuming. Thinking about it isn’t going to help but I know how hard it is not to!

    I think it lasted a week or two with me, then I just started sleeping properly again. Trust your body/brain, they’ll make sure you get enough sleep.

    Sorry that I haven’t got any real advice, just sharing my similar experience. You’ll get there pal!
    My biggest worry is just that if I won't sleep at all. Because I know I always have circles under my eyes regardless of how I sleep so that's just allergies. However, I feel fine during the day despite very limited amount of caffeine. Even hours after my last consumption of caffeine, I don't feel much of a drop off if any and I'm not nodding off or unalert. I would say that's a good sign I'm getting SOME sleep?

    Getting any sleep at all I consider a blessing with how the last few nights have gone for me. I woke up with redness of eyes but eye drops seem to have helped make them look better. Not sure if that would be the case if it were lack of sleep.

  5. #5
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    Re: Bad anxiety at night in regards to insomnia. At a loss of what to do.

    One thing I do which does help is lie there and tell myself, "At least I am resting my eyes. I am resting my eyes, and that's good."

    We really don't die of lack of sleep. It regulates itself if we let it.
    __________________
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  6. #6
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    Re: Bad anxiety at night in regards to insomnia. At a loss of what to do.

    I do try to let it. It just hasn't been coming to me at all. I guess I did fall asleep late into the morning but it took so much to get there. I took 2 doses of Zzzquil at separate intervals and after the second one, I got worried because usually one dose does the trick. This is usually in the middle of the night. I take Benedryl to start and sometimes I drift in/out of sleep but as usual, it leaves me wondering if I slept. So I take something around 4 or 5 am, Zzzquil. It's been my go to routine at night for many weeks now. I wish I didn't have to even get up to take it in the middle of the night but it usually always works and puts me out.

    My general worry is when it doesn't work and I just won't shut off. Why? I should be plenty tired to sleep at night with no caffeine in me by that point. It just makes me question if I'll sleep at all nowadays. I haven't been having any drowsiness during the day but I wouldn't say I feel completely perfect body wise.

  7. #7
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    Re: Bad anxiety at night in regards to insomnia. At a loss of what to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seaster View Post
    So, the past few nights I'll go to bed around 11 pm. I take something like Benedryl or Motrin PM to try to help with sleep. Benedryls usually help me but last night, I'm not so sure. My phone is on night mode at night so it doesn't affect my eyes with blue light. I will occasionally note the time at night if I'm getting out of bed to use the restroom. What I remember is sort of feeling like maybe I was dozing off but not much time going by. For example, I went to bed around 11:45 pm last night and while my memory is a bit foggy, I remember it being 2:22 am and perhaps I slept a little bit there prior to that. Then I went back to bed and I think I remember it being 3 something but not sure if that was previous night or last night. I remember taking something around 4:00 am and then again at 5:20 am because I still wasn't knocked out yet.
    Mistake number one: NEVER check the time when you wake up!

    Reason being is that looking at the clock and realising it's only 2am or 4am( or whatever) releases stress hormones because we worry that we won't get back to sleep etc. This triggers the fight or flight response and then it's a case of not being able to go back to sleep because of the hormones (inc ADRENALIN) or it's a sleep/wake cycle and we never reach deep and restful sleep..

    You need to get yourself a bog standard alarm clock and move it away from you so you can't see it. All that matters is that you hear the alarm go off when you need to. Not a good idea to have mobile phones by the bedside as they emit EMF and that interferes with sleep. I put mine onto aeroplane mode and well away from my bed.

    I have my curtains down to dampen any sunlight when it gets to be time for sun to get up and I recognized I was still up as it was getting brighter. I knew it was the 6 am hour. I don't remember much aside from trying to be calm and telling myself I'll eventually sleep when I need to. I guess I did pass out but I don't know when it was. I only recall getting up to see it was 8:17 am. It kind of felt like I was sleeping because of how i lifted myself up and opened my eyes. I proceeded to go back to bed and then it was 9:27 am.
    Mistake number 2 - going back to bed. You should have got up at 8.17 and stayed up. With insomnia, you need a routine. You need a set bedtime and a set wake up time and you need to stick to those no matter what happens in-between. The likeliness is that the following night you will sleep more.

    Also, don't nap in the afternoons if you can help it...

    That's what I'm mostly worried about. I don't know if I slept last night at all. I know being fixated on the times during the night is bad but it doesn't affect my mindset at night when trying to sleep. I only look to measure if I was sleeping or not.
    Mistake number 3 - worrying about not sleeping.

    You're actually sleeping more than you think you are. It might not be a lot of the restful sleep, but you will be sleeping. The worst thing we can do is to worry about waking up. That's setting ourselves up to do just that! What you do is to say to yourself. 'It doesn't matter is I wake up in the night. It won't hurt me. I'll just do some breathing exercises and then I'll go back to sleep. The only reason you wouldn't go back to sleep is if you start to overthink it and release those stress hormones, right?

    If you feel 'wired' it's best to get up and go and do something to burn off that energy. It's not unusual for me to be cleaning at 2am when my body is overwhelmed with stress hormones!

    The past several nights have been like this with like no sleep until 6 or 7 am.
    See, this isn't what you said at the start of your post...

    Below is what you said...

    Quote Originally Posted by Seaster View Post
    I went to bed around 11:45 pm last night and while my memory is a bit foggy, I remember it being 2:22 am and perhaps I slept a little bit there prior to that. Then I went back to bed and I think I remember it being 3 something
    Clearly, you slept. Yet in another sentence you're saying that you had 'no' sleep until 6 or 7 am, and it's dialogue like this that makes the issue so much worse!

    It's frustrating to go the whole night and sleep just doesn't come. I don't use electronics before bed, no caffeine 12 hours out, I take stuff to help me sleep, and I'm relatively calm going to bed. I thought about stuff I look forward to and relaxing stuff. Sleep just never came. (unless I did sleep from some of the gaps in time I mentioned earlier but I can't say for sure.)
    It did, trust me..

    Not sure what to do. I'm worried I'll go sleepless for days to the point where I'll die.
    Not going to happen, and that's not what's happening now.

    Like, I've heard stories of people dying from forcing themselves up for 11 days but I'm actually trying to sleep so I can't imagine that'd happen to me. But despite these nights, I've felt fine during the day and able to work my job without ever feeling exhausted. Well, I do get tired from my job but nothing out of ordinary I would say. Able to drive home at night too. All on just 110 mg of caffeine; 2 cans of soda for whole day. I would imaging the caffeine intake is small enough to where if I was sleep deprived, it would show itself?
    If insomnia was a massive issue to your body, you would be feeling like shit - unable to function - and falling asleep throughout the day..

    What soda do you drink? Is it Cola? Because that stuff generally has shit loads of caffeine in it. So does chocolate. All you're doing is looking at the coffee intake. You could potentially be consuming a lot more caffeine than you think!

    It usually takes me a while to fall asleep on a normal night but only an hour or so. And my normal for sleep is 6 hours. If I get that, I'm golden all day. But I know I haven't been getting that and it's only adding to my anxiety when it comes to how I'll sleep each night. I did get out of bed with "sleep/eye gunk" in my eyes so perhaps that's a sign I did sleep a little? The small amount of sleep is concerning and makes me wonder if I'll make it through this. Yes, I feel fine during the day and even after 10+ hours of no caffeine, I don't feel any different or sleepy. Idk what that means but I know I'm not getting much sleep so it's strange.
    I had severe insomnia for years and even I realised that I was actually getting more sleep than I thought I was because I did a sleep test which proved it. My problem was (is) that I keep waking up and also, then, I was having nocturnal panic attacks almost every night. I still wake up throughout the night and never feel rested - I haven't had a restful night's sleep in 10 years - but this appears to be an issue with people with the condition that I have - fibromyalgia. It's some kind of delta wave issue to do with pain, so I've had to accept it. I was up at 1.30 am this morning because I was in pain. As I said, I don't check the time but it's necessary when I have to take my migraine medication -hence I knew the time..

    I slept on and off and now my eyes are on fire and I have only a few 'spoons' to start the day with - but I'm not worried or anxious. I accept it.

    I honestly don't think you have as serious a sleep issue that you imagine you do and with a few tweaks to your lifestyle, and some relaxation techniques - and of course, acceptance - I'm sure you will be able to get back on track with sleep..

    Hope this helps you..
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  8. #8
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    Re: Bad anxiety at night in regards to insomnia. At a loss of what to do.

    Update: Last night was weird but I'd like to think I did better. So I went to bed around 10:30 pm. I struggled to sleep for a bit as usual so I got up and read some books, etc. At around close to 2 am, I decided to try to go back to bed. I don't remember much other than going to the bathroom and the clock in the hallway saying 3:50 am.

    Here's the thing though: It felt like I was laying there in some kind of trance and that I wasn't actually sleeping. Time did pass clearly but I didn't feel like I was waking up. This happened again after I went back to bed and was up at 6 am. (I know because of it getting lighter outside my window.) So 2 hours had passed suddenly and it didn't feel like I had layed there awake for 2 hours. But it also didn't feel like I was asleep for 2 hours either. It felt like I was snapping out of some kind of trance and I snapped out of it. I went back to bed and I remember laying there for a good bit but I think I kinda dozed off in and out of sleep till close to 10 am.

    But again, it didn't feel like I was sleeping. Clearly, I must have been if time is passing? I did not look at the time as much last night but the whole laying there awake but in a trance feeling bothers me. Was I really sleeping? If not, I guess I somehow pulled an all nighter but I don't feel too bad overall.

    I woke up with redness in my eyes and watery eyes with the whole area around my eyes feeling weird. I felt that feeling last night too but it's not to be confused with sleepiness or anything. I never felt sleepy going into bed last night. Idk if that's cause for concern. If I don't feel sleepy, is it possible to go without sleep and just not truly feel like I should be feeling?

  9. #9
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    Re: Bad anxiety at night in regards to insomnia. At a loss of what to do.

    Everyone needs different amounts of sleep. I suspect that the times when you aren't sure whether you were asleep or not, that you probably were.

    Do as Nora suggests, set a routine and stick with it, no distractions in the bedroom. If you wake in the night, get up, go and do something; get a drink (no caffeine), read, tidy, then go back to bed a little while later.

    One of the first things that go to pot when I'm anxious is my sleep and for a few days last week it went completely haywire. I'm on more of an even keel thankfully now. But last week there were a few days I could barely function and felt thoroughly awful.

    Also maybe discuss with your GP different sleep medication? I think you can buy melatonin over the counter in the US and I've used it in short spells I the past and found it beneficial.

  10. #10
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    Re: Bad anxiety at night in regards to insomnia. At a loss of what to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Catkins View Post
    Everyone needs different amounts of sleep. I suspect that the times when you aren't sure whether you were asleep or not, that you probably were.

    Do as Nora suggests, set a routine and stick with it, no distractions in the bedroom. If you wake in the night, get up, go and do something; get a drink (no caffeine), read, tidy, then go back to bed a little while later.

    One of the first things that go to pot when I'm anxious is my sleep and for a few days last week it went completely haywire. I'm on more of an even keel thankfully now. But last week there were a few days I could barely function and felt thoroughly awful.

    Also maybe discuss with your GP different sleep medication? I think you can buy melatonin over the counter in the US and I've used it in short spells I the past and found it beneficial.
    Yes, I have been setting a routine and doing as Nora says. I was actually going to take something in the middle of the night around 2 am but opted not to. I went back to bed and it was suddenly 3:50 when I got up to use the bathroom. (there's a mini clock in hallway). From there, I guess I was out a bit because it was suddenly 6 am. Which normally I would have been going to work but I called off because I need to get back on track. Plus, my job has me working 2 pm to 11 pm 4 days of the week, then 1 random 7 am shift. It's hard to change gears like that.

    That said, I want to believe I was sleeping during those lapses in time. It just didn't feel like I was sleeping but I don't recall being awake either if that makes sense. If I was awake for those periods of time, I probably would have known it. Also, I feel fine so far today. I just have some light pressure in my head, eyes don't burn but they always have this weird feeling around them.

    I'm really hoping I did sleep last night because that would be an improvement for me. It does scare me that there's a chance I wasn't sleeping and my body just isn't showing the effects of it for some reason. If that's even possible. But like Nora said, i'm probably worrying too much.

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