Greetings from another sleepless girl…I'll just be blunt: I may not make it through the year

Insomnia Forum Insomnia Help Greetings from another sleepless girl…I'll just be blunt: I may not make it through the year

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by owl2020 6 years, 6 months ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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  • #8745

    ✘ Not a client

    Hi everyone

    I apologize for the dramatic title but I am in so much agony most of the time it is becoming more and more difficult for me to persuade myself to live.

    The worst part of this is…I have no desire to die. I want to live something resembling a life. I am not depressed…I just can't sleep…And I have never found anyone who can completely relate to what I experience and that is horribly isolating and emotionally painful for me to come to terms with…

    I have had this off and on for years now but it has become relentless within the past year. It takes me at least five-seven hours lying completely exhausted in a dark room to fall asleep (and sometimes it just never happens. Unfortunately I seem to be hypersensitive to the least bit of sleep deprivation so this condition induces some kind of chronic pain issue where I cannot do anything but cry and lie in bed (I cannot even read or get up I'm so exhausted at points, yet my mind will not shut down). I often think I have DSPS, the one that gradually progresses and progresses so I fall asleep later and later each night even if I'm sleep deprived and ready to sleep at 7 p.m.

    Once I fall asleep I'm usually able to sleep eight hours or so and I feel okay…I can even be happy in a stress-free environment. Unfortunately the world is not stress-free and I cannot seem to cope with it. If I'm forced to interrupt my sleep and go do something it creates this cycle of excruciating sleepdeprivation until I have a mental breakdown…

    I envy people who can fall asleep easily. I cannot take naps (I'd just lie there for hours, waste of time) even when I desperately want to…Each night I dread getting into bed. I do meditate and try to remain calm.

    It just seems so effortless for most people. I know it was for me, when I was younger. I would do anything to have those times back, even though they were filled with other emotional turmoil.

    I have tried so many things…and I'm just exasperated. I honestly do everything one could possibly do to fix this. I do everything right. I have researched this extensively. I have sought professional help. I have tried pharmaceutical meds, natural remedies etc… Nothing helps.

    I am a 21 year old girl…I do have other issues such as anxiety (but my sleep disorder has become its own self-sustaining entity…my anxiety does affect it though) and…well, too many to describe now.

    My entire life has been obliterated by this…I often repeat this story to people and it just sounds…redundant. I don't even know if it's worth the effort. I had to drop out of college again (the only place I wanted to be, the only place I had hope for my future) due to this…

    I do not feel this will ever go away now. I stay alive because I question my nihilistic tendencies and I place some value in my life. I stay alive, but it's definitely not the easier route. And I'm frightened of what will happen if this worsens or never abates…I'm frightened of what I will do.

    I cannot live a life where I am confined to my parent's house doing nothing, all of my energy revolving around this sleep disorder. I cannot lead this reclusive life…never being able to be around people because it stresses me out and exacerbates my sleep issues.

    I cannot do this. Yet I cannot convince myself to die.

    …I don't feel there are alternatives. I don't know what to do

    I would do anything to have a pill that completely resets my brain and makes it so I can sleep whenever like normal people. I would do anything…And I have tried so many things…I'm at my wit's end.

    I feel mortified talking about this because it sounds so tragic and pathetic. I don't feel this represents who I am. I am a person that would love to live life and have connections and write novels and explore the earth and finish school. I want to find work I adore and people I adore, and I want to move to the northwest and I want to dance and read and play music and go to concerts and hike and camp and swim and travel…

    I can't do any of those things with this. This has rendered me stagnant. I am stagnant and therefore worthless. I will contribute nothing to anyone. I will live and die alone, rotting with mental disorders.

    I doubt anyone read this far, but thank you…if you have.

    I guess it's slightly cathartic to express all of this numerous times to various people I'll never truly know. The internet is basically the only place I interact with people outside my family now.

    I feel like I live with a disability that isn't recognized as a disability by society…it is belittled and mocked and most people seem to be able to cope with it. I can't. I can't cope. Perhaps I'm too weak for the world.


    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    First of all, if you ever have thoughts of suicide call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255.

    Have you spoken to a doctor about your insomnia and how it is affecting you? If not, that should be your first port of call.

    I hope you find plenty of support, advice and comfort here. The more you get involved in the forum, the more you'll get out of the forum.

    You are capable of sleep. It's built into every single person's DNA. Never doubt that.

    Have you signed up for my sleep training course? I am sure it will help improve your sleep.


    ✘ Not a client
    'Martin' wrote:

    First of all, if you ever have thoughts of suicide call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255.

    Have you spoken to a doctor about your insomnia and how it is affecting you? If not, that should be your first port of call.

    I hope you find plenty of support, advice and comfort here. The more you get involved in the forum, the more you'll get out of the forum.

    You are capable of sleep. It's built into every single person's DNA. Never doubt that.

    Have you signed up for my sleep training course? I am sure it will help improve your sleep.

    Yes…I'm not suicidal, you don't need to give me a hotline

    I've seen multiple doctors and psychiatrists but I don't have insurance so I have stopped recently (nothing was helping anyway)

    I signed up for that a bit ago, yes.


    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    Have you managed to figure out what triggered your insomnia?


    ✘ Not a client

    Insomnia is difficult WS and like you have figured out not many people understand it when they do not have it themselves. We all support each other here. Let me know if you ever want a chat.


    ✘ Not a client

    First off, I just want to tell you that I have been there- where you are- and I completely understand the feeling of desperation and isolation. You feel as if you are just going through the motions and you feel that you would be better of dead but you don't want to harm yourself, you just want to sleep. Sleep is a very, basic human need so please do not berate yourself for needing something so significant.

    Second, I want to tell you that it is a process, to learn to sleep again like you used to. You may have hit rock bottom but now the only way is UP. It will get better. I promise you it does.

    Let me ask you a couple of questions:

    – What initially triggered your insomnia or when did it first rear its ugly head?

    Mine was getting fired from my dream job.

    – When you try to fall asleep and can't, do you just lay in bed?

    If so, please get out of bed if it has been more than 30 minutes and you have not fallen asleep. Do something relaxing such as stretching or read a lighthearted book or turn on a cooking channel- something that doesn't require thinking and is routine and doesn't have too much stimulation. Or write, write, write till your blue in face and tired (hopefully), about all the things you have to look forward to.

    – You say that you have tried every drug, which ones? Please list because trust me, sometimes it is finding the right combination to get it right.

    Also, write down all the reasons you have for wanting to life your life. put this by your bed side. read it to yourself before going to bed every night.

    You are not alone. This is a crisis and the fact that you are here means that you are trying to make it better. Believe, believe, believe you can beat this.

    And think about this: If I was the one that wrote your original post (read it back to yourself), what would you say to me? Would you tell me to give up? It's too late? Pretend that post was me and TELL ME (really you) why I should keep going. Then tell it to yourself over and over again.


    ✘ Not a client

    Sleepless in Chicago your first paragraph sums up the bleak feelings I also have when i don't get adequate sleep – you got it just right. You coninually have to fight to push off the negative feelings, because what we really want is good sleep, not death. In fact, on days I get 4 or 5 hours sleep (good for me) I don't get these feelings. One thing I am not clear on – are you still taking medication to curtail sleeplessness and if so what are you currently taking? The problem with sleep medications is that they tend to lose effectiveness over time, although some people seem to come across sleep meds that last for awhile.


    ✘ Not a client

    I am still taking medications but boy did you hit it on the head when you stated that they lose their efficacy over time- that's the problem. To answer your question specifically, here's what I do now (listed below), including my sleep hygiene regimen, which 75% of the time works to help me achieve 6-7 hrs a night. The other 25% when it does not work, life is hell but this has been the best combination for me so far.

    – Two hours before bed, I take *two Benadryl (not generic, the Brand stuff). I do not take any calls, answer any emails and my husband knows not to ask me any serious questions or attempt to bring up a difficult issue like bills, or anything requiring me think hard. He understands that this is my time to “decompress.” If someone needs to reach me well, too bad, it will have to wait till morning, or my BFF knows the code to call me three times in a row if it's an emergency. Then I pour myself a glass of wine or I grab a beer, then I break out an Us Weekly, People, Marie Claire or Vogue. This content is vapid, it's nothingness and reading about celebrities's lives falling apart makes me feel good about mine…Within an hour, I usually start getting sleepy.

    *even if I did not have insomnia, I would be taking two Benadryl at least every other day b/c my allergies render me non-functioning.

    – Then like 1 hr or 30 minutes before bed, I write down all the great things that happened that day aka gratitude journal (thank you Oprah!).

    – Then right before bed, I take 100 mg of Trazodone and 1 mg of Ativan (when I am not pregnant or trying). Brush teeth, etc.

    – Then right as I'm about to lay down, I grab my CD Walkman (yes, I said Walkman), and I listen to a meditation CD. It's aptly titled “I CAN MAKE YOU SLEEP!” by Paul McKenna. I have to say that out of all of the meditation CDs I've listened to, this one has been the most effective in helping clear my head.

    I exercise and I eat fairly well too by the way (I'm a vegetarian and no, not one that eats pasta and french fries all day) which I do believe contributes greatly. Do I think exercise and eating alone could do it- NOT A CHANCE. Anyone who says so is a liar. My husband chews tobacco all day, never exercises, eats Subway, McDs, BK- you name it- every day and somehow manages to stay fairly thin, drinks beer occasionally and he can sleep 14 hrs if you let him.

    Hope this helps.

    DISCLAIMER: I'm sure that Martin has a general disclaimer somewhere but I would like to state on my own that this is the regimen and drug combination that works for me. I am not recommending or am I suggesting that anyone try any of the OTC or prescription meds I am on to treat my insomnia. You should discuss any prospective use of any OTC or prescription meds with your physician. Someone asked me what I am taking/doing and I am replying truthfully and that is it, without endorsement or encouragement. We all have different physiological chemistries, genetics, etc. which will impact the absorption of the aforementioned drugs. Be well and let's keep talking and encouraging one another.


    ✘ Not a client

    Thank you for sharing information about your sleep regimen- I think it helps greatly to see how others cope with insomnia. Since I use some CBT techniques, I hold off going to sleep to around 1AM even though I can start feeling very drowsy before that time (this is not easy). I go into a cool dark bedroom. I often fall asleep right away but can wake up after 2 or 3 hours and that's it for sleep on many nights. Yes I do get up and try to do something but it doesn't seem to help much in terms of getting to sleep again.

    It is interesting that you use Benadryl since it is similar to OTC sleeping pill Unasom which I have used (Unasom is antihistamine based). I used Unasom about 14 times over 2 months (never 2 days in a row) but found it lost it's effectiveness pretty quickly (now only gives between 1 1/2 – 2 hours sleep compared to 4-6 hours at the start). Rarely use it now. I guess Benadryl is more effective for you.

    I'm also surprised that the glass of wine doesn't interact negatively with some of your meds since we often hear don't drink and use sleeping meds. Maybe the fact that it is only one glass of wine limits the amount of dangerous interaction.

    Don't know much about your other meds but they seem to work for you. Yet we are continually told pills are no good. So in your case you seem to have found a way with sleeping pills, at least so far.

    Sleeptracks CDS haven't done much for me. I have tried “sleep friendly foods” as well as Tart Cherry capsules but it hasn't had much effect so far. I just started my first acupuncture session yesterday but so far it hasn't done much for me. Will continue sessions to see if it eventually helps but not optimistic. I am desperate for help. CBT has good aspects but is not a cure-all. You have found a way but I am still looking for a way to cope in the long term with insomnia.

    Thanks again for sharing about coping with insomnia. I hope others will do so.


    ✘ Not a client

    I have tried CBT to a certain extent but not as dutifully as I should have. I do know one friend who suffered horrible pregnancy induced insomnia and she did CBT with some success but her results were not consistent (she did not want to take meds while pregnant even though she was practically suicidal at one point).

    I consider the wine as kind of like something that gets me over the hump a bit, aiding the Benadryl to induce sleepiness. If I am out with friends, I will have more than 1 glass but never more than 2. I have never been the type that likes to get wasted, just don't have an addictive personality.

    I understand your desperation for help- I've been there. I am actually going to get a comprehensive sleep study done, my last resort. Not the one night kind- the one where you check into a sleep clinic for like a week. I told my husband that I cannot go on like this. So, my mother in law is coming to watch the baby and I am going to go. I am trying to work things out with insurance and once that's done, I'm going.

    Have you considered this? They look at the architecture of your sleep, heart rate and monitor all kinds of stuff and then provide you with a report and recommendations.

    By the way, I did acupuncture and it actually worked for me b/c I was like on a “high” and super sleepy afterwards. But basically I would need someone to come to my house and do it on a nightly basis I feel in order for this to be the right approah. Or maybe I should ahve gone several times and maybe it would have reconfigured me internally and I would have permanently been okay with sleep. I have no idea.

    Hang in there. Hang in there and remember not to give it power. One thing that helped me too was not worrying about the fact that I did not sleep the night before the day after. If you focus on it, it gets worse.


    ✘ Not a client

    Good luck on your week sleep study. I did an overnight sleep study where I was told I had sleep apnea and I tried a CPAP device to treat it but quicky found I couldn't tolerrate the device. Other than that they didn't find anything wrong with me; in any event I think my sleep problem of not getting enough sleep is not sleep apnea caused. I know 2 people with sleep apnea who get plenty of sleep; sleep apnea mainly effects the quality of your sleep not whether you can sleep or not in my opinion.

    After my first acupuncture session I didn't feel particularly sleepy like you. I signed up for 5 more sessions, so let's see if it increases my sleep time at night, which is what I really want. I hope for the best and that my “chi” gets in balance but I have my doubts.

    The problem with antihistamines is that they leave me very groggy the next day until the early afternoon. That's why I don't like taking a Unisom unless I feel there is no other choice (you also can't take them frequently because they can cause constipation). I guess you don't have those kind of bad effects with Benadryl.

    As your friend found CBT can help but is not a cure all for insomnia. For example, it is a good idea to get up and do something if you can't sleep, but what if you do something for a while but still can't sleep? CBT doesn't have an answer for that (at least that I've ever seen).

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

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