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Bedtime anxiety


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Lately I've been somewhat afraid to go to bed.  At night, when I lay down to rest, I'm extremely aware of my heartbeat & everything it's doing.  It seems to pound incredibly hard, so hard that it feels as though my entire body moves slightly with each beat.  I can't get comfortable in any position, and panic starts to set in from all the weird symptoms/bodily sensations.  I've been putting off going to bed until I'm so tired that I can't keep my eyes open, and it still doesn't help.  (Plus I'm not getting enough sleep >_<)  I can't seem to identify any triggers.  I've tried not eating before bed, eating before bed, sleeping on sides/stomach/back, breathing exercises, you name it.  I constantly wake up during the night - every 1-2 hours - sometimes in an immediate state of panic/dread, for no good reason.  I only get panic this intense at night, during the day I'm fine and not aware of my heartbeat at all, typically.

 

Why does this happen?  What can I do to alleviate this?  What works for you?  Any responses are appreciated :)  Thanks for reading!

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night time is the worst for me too.  i understand the fear.  i don't even like my bedroom anymore...too many nightmarish memories.  i'm usually fine going to sleep because i wait until i'm so exhausted that i just fall right to sleep.  it's the waking time that i dread.  sometimes i can ignore the physical symptoms and fall back asleep.  other times, it's just too much and the only thing that will bring relief is to get up for a few hours.  it's exhausting physically and emotionally.  ashton says 2-6 months is the acute stage.  i'm closing in on 5 months.  last night was the first in a while where i had to get out of bed for a few hours.  so far this is the only thing that i've discovered that helps me.  :)

 

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My goodness...this is me!  I have had bedtime anxiety throughout my entire taper as well as since coming off of Benzos.  I think it has lessened since coming off of them, but it still lingers.  I'll lay in bed and the instant my head hits the pillow my heart beats SO loudly in my ears and throughout my body.  It feels as though my body is literally vibrating.  It takes everything in me to not give in to the panic.  I sweat sometimes or get chilled and my stomach will turn.  Not fun. 

 

A few things that help me (sometimes)...to sleep propped up - almost sitting up.  Also, I've tried those strips you put on your nose to open your airway and it actually helped a few times.  I don't use them often but a couple of times when I tried it helped for whatever reason.  I also have my husband massage my hand (well....he just does it automatically now...lol) and that distracts me a bit.  I also sleep with a stuffed bear and I rub its foot.  Sounds silly, but I guess my rubbing its foot maybe distracts me and I able to settle quicker some nights.  I also listen to an mp3 player at night w/ relaxing music...I have several playlists so if I DO have a bad night I can listen to a different playlist the following night w/out "reminders" that I had a bad night the night before.

 

Yep, I do all of this and still have problems!  But, I don't wake up as often during the night...rarely actually.  And I normally don't go into full panic.  I am able to deep breath and use the techniques listed above to calm me enough to fall asleep normally within 15-20 minutes max.  Oh, also, white noise of any kind can help - we have a fan in our room and even my husband likes the noise. 

 

Best of luck.  I do believe it will pass eventually b/c I am seeing improvements in my case and I was REALLY bad during my taper.  Every night was full of panicked tears for a good hour before I actually slept.  Now in 15 minutes I am in a deep sleep without as many (or any at all) tears prior.

 

All the best,

Schatje

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Thank you for the input.  Last night wasn't as bad as the previous 4 or 5 nights have been, so that was nice to get some solid sleep.  Although I did have a terrible dream, don't even want to think about that =P  I've tried sleeping sitting up, but it's not comfortable for me and doesn't feel right.  If I have a major-league panic attack, I will wake up my fiance and she rubs my back for me.  (which is just pure heaven, I love me some backrubs!)  We do have a big box fan in our room, which my fiance likes because of the noise.  I hated it when we first started sleeping in the same bed, but have gotten used to it :) 

 

Distraction seems to be a recurring theme on this site when it comes to dealing with this anxiety stuff.  My fiance has an iPod, I'm sure she won't mind me loading a few tunes on it to help out.  Are there any tracks you would recommend?

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Music for the iPod...

 

Well, I have a few playlists that I use.  One is all classical - Bach, Beethoven and Chopin.  I also downloaded music used for Reiki (energy/touch healing) - similar to this kind of sound:

 

 

I then have a playlist with music that I like (current music mainly) that is still relaxing...like artists such as Sia, Tracy Chapman, Christina Perri, Enya, Mostar Diving Club and Aqualung.

 

Aqualung's "If I Fall" is a favourite.

 

I just find music that calms me but I still enjoy.  If it makes me happy then it's good. :)

 

Take care and best of luck.

 

Schatje

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This was my worst symptom and I can relate to all of the coping techniques.  The one thing that consistently really helps me is to put an ice pack behind my neck and I usually fall asleep within about 10-15 minutes.  My dad taught me this technique for panic attacks and I thought I would try it in bed because I couldn't fall asleep.  I put a tray or two of ice cubes in a plastic ziplock bag wrap a towel around it and burro myself in the covers.  Works every time.
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