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Help, freaking out with sleep anxiety


[Ti...]

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If you read my history, I have had sleep anxiety since 2007 when I suddenly stopped sleeping. I have such panic and fear about going to sleep and not sleeping because it happens every night. It has made me lose weight, can't eat, feel sick in all ways, exacerbates my dry eye which is severe. I never have heard of anyone like me where nothing, literally nothing helps with sleep or the sleep anxiety. I don't get "sleepy" either, just wired and very sick. All tests have ruled things out. I don't know how to not fear this so much. I'm sorry if I'm posting too much about sleep but I just can't get any. I'll end up homeless and jobless soon, very scared.

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2 hours ago, [[T...] said:

If you read my history, I have had sleep anxiety since 2007 when I suddenly stopped sleeping. I have such panic and fear about going to sleep and not sleeping because it happens every night. It has made me lose weight, can't eat, feel sick in all ways, exacerbates my dry eye which is severe. I never have heard of anyone like me where nothing, literally nothing helps with sleep or the sleep anxiety. I don't get "sleepy" either, just wired and very sick. All tests have ruled things out. I don't know how to not fear this so much. I'm sorry if I'm posting too much about sleep but I just can't get any. I'll end up homeless and jobless soon, very scared.

I'm so sorry you're going through this. Anxiety is like a hungry lion the more you feed it the more it's going to hang around. You're caught in a loop I've been there. I've had insomnia and I hated bed time bc I just knew I wasn't going to sleep. What worked for me, and this might be weird, was counting 1-7 and then repeating it over and over. The point is to get the brain focused on the counting and off the anxious thought of not being able to sleep. I was skeptical at first but I tried it and it worked. Anything repetitive, I've even recited the Catholic Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee... Etc. over and over and I'm not even Catholic I'm Protestant. Sleep experts also recommend a bed time ritual such as no screen time an hour before bed, a dark cool room. Some say don't read before bed but I find reading before bed makes me sleepy. I also drink warm milk and have a warm bath to trigger my brain into winding down. One more suggestion is Unisom. My dil swears by it and she's pregnant and the DR recommends it for insomnia due to her pregnancy. I think your main problem though is you've already got it in your head you're not going to sleep, somehow you have to get out of that anxiety loop. Try the repetition counting or anything repetitive while trying to fall asleep. I wish you luck and peaceful sleep. 🙏

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5 hours ago, [[T...] said:

If you read my history, I have had sleep anxiety since 2007 when I suddenly stopped sleeping. I have such panic and fear about going to sleep and not sleeping because it happens every night. It has made me lose weight, can't eat, feel sick in all ways, exacerbates my dry eye which is severe. I never have heard of anyone like me where nothing, literally nothing helps with sleep or the sleep anxiety. I don't get "sleepy" either, just wired and very sick. All tests have ruled things out. I don't know how to not fear this so much. I'm sorry if I'm posting too much about sleep but I just can't get any. I'll end up homeless and jobless soon, very scared.

Hey, this anxiety and frustration is SO familiar - you're definitely not alone! I highly recommend the "Sleep Book" by Guy Meadows as he addresses exactly this problem in a novel way.

Here's a quick excerpt:

"If you ask a good sleeper what they do to get to sleep, chances are they will shrug and say, ‘Nothing.’ They simply put their head on the pillow; if they wake, they might turn over, have a sip of water or go to the loo, but they just sleep without thinking about it.

If you ask an insomniac what they do to get to sleep, they will give you a long, detailed list of what they do during the day, how they wind down before bed and what they do during the night, and yet they still don’t sleep.

It doesn’t seem fair, does it? But the truth is, most of the things insomniacs are advised to do to cure their insomnia are never going to work if they do those things alone. That’s because the mainstream approach is based solely on doing – focused on how to get rid of your insomnia by changing things in your life. At first this is exactly what you want to hear as an insomniac because you want to be free from the pain and suffering that can come from not sleeping. However, while many of the suggested changes might sound like the right things to do – such as giving up caffeine and alcohol, avoiding late nights, slowly winding down and performing relaxation techniques before bed – in the end they can inadvertently put your insomnia on a pedestal. Sleep becomes more about doing stuff and less about actually sleeping, which for normal sleepers is effortless. If you have followed lots of insomnia advice yet still found yourself wide awake, then you probably also felt a sense of confusion, failure, frustration or anxiety, all of which doubtless kept you even more awake. You’ve probably been told that if you can block out your thoughts, get rid of the anxious feelings and control your pounding heart, you will be more relaxed and therefore more likely to sleep. While these things do make it more difficult to sleep, they’re not the problem. Struggling to sleep is. Think about those times when you have been awake all night struggling to sleep, but then fell to sleep just before the alarm went off. When you ask an insomniac why they slept at that point, they will say that the night was ruined anyway, so there was no point in struggling anymore. While this is incredibly frustrating for you to experience, from the point of view of what causes insomnia it is illuminating. What I learnt from listening to people like yourself and from my own bout of insomnia is that if the focus of your life becomes getting rid of insomnia, you can paradoxically remain stuck in your insomnia. Good sleep comes about from doing nothing other than getting into bed and putting your head on the pillow, and the secret to good sleep is to relearn how to do precisely that – nothing. Armed with the knowledge that good sleepers do nothing, we’ve developed a five-week programme that can radically improve your sleep. We believe sleep needn’t be a struggle. We’ll show you how to stop struggling, face whatever it is that’s stopping you sleeping, enjoy good-quality sleep on a regular basis and get back to enjoying your life again. If you want to sleep well, then you need to start behaving like a normal sleeper.

The Sleep School’s Five-Week Programme will show you how to: •Do nothing – stop struggling. •Let go of trying to sleep. •Watch and observe your thoughts and feelings without judgement. •Become more mindful and live in the now. •Welcome and play with your worries and fears. •Decide on your new sleeping pattern. •Stay in your bed at night and enjoy the benefits of resting at night. •Become a normal sleeper. •Keep your good sleep on track.

If it’s so simple, why do we need a programme to follow? I hear you ask. As I will explain later in the book, we humans are programmed to seek out solutions to our perceived problems, whether on a practical, emotional or mental level. But we can’t fix insomnia with this kind of approach.

We need to understand how the mind works and how the mind sleeps so that instead we can use mental and emotional skills like awareness and acceptance rather than creating the perfect sleeping environment or relying on a specific set of relaxation techniques. After all, we won’t always be sleeping in the same bed or be able to have a lavender-scented bath every night, and yet we’d still like to sleep in those situations. That’s the difference with this programme – it’s about becoming a normal sleeper once again".

I found this book immensely helpful, especially the sections on obsessing over your inability to sleep which then exacerbate your insomnia and how to deal with it.

Hope it helps!🤗

 

 

 

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Thanks but I’ve done all those things. I’ve red all the books. I have tried unisom and many other things. My routine is fine. I just don’t fall asleep. I’m so scared. Another night went by and I have been vomiting sick and shaking non stop. 

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I also take melatonin THC valerian magnesium l theanine. I feel like I’m dying. I can’t ever just sleep. I’m so terrified. 

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