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This topic contains 20 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Daz27041 8 years, 4 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)
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  • #8475

    Daz27041
    ✘ Not a client

    Hi Everybody! My name is Darrin, I'm 42, live in Sydney and have suffered with insomnia since July last year (2010). Mine started after a very short period of a depression. The depression went but the sleeplessness stayed! I have tried many treatments – medication Ambien works well but I don't like to take it for it's hangover effect the next morning, Avanza (anti depressant/anxiety drug), acupuncture, hypnosis (waste of money), counselling, homeopathic medicines etc. Miy insomnia is kind of weird. I might sleep quite ok for a week straight, then all of a sudden go to bed and not be able to sleep at all for the night. Then the anxiety starts about sleeping and the vicious cycle begins. I find this the worst, the constant thinking of “Am I going to sleep tonight?”. I used to get quite anxious laying in bed trying to sleep as I was one of those who would stay in bed… I figured if I was in bed there was a chance I might be able to drop off to sleep. I usually am able to get some kind of sleep the following night, even with all the anxiety. I have gone on periods like no sleep for a night, sllep for 2, none for a night, sleep for 2, none for a night, sleep for one etc. How this frustrates me! I have been medication free for a while now, but recently I started using 15mg of Avanza at night just before bed as that drug in low doses is used as a treatment for insomnia. It was also used to treat my depression. I have resorted to using it the last 2 nights at about 1am and it does send me off. However, I think I have a quick tolerance for this and from previous use, it will have no effect sometime down the track. I haven't used Ambien in quiet a while and I like it that way. In a way I am a 'lucky' sufferer. I am able to function well the next day. The lack of sleep seems to have no effect on my work performance. I was a shift worker for 21 years, but was able to give the shift up late last year. I used to do 12 hour shifts consisting of 2 days (6am-6pm) then 2 nights (6pm-6am) then have 4-5 days off. After a night shift I would only sleep 5-6 hours. I seem to be able to manage on little sleep. So, the big question is (apart from why am I not sleeping) is why do I worry so much about it?? I don't know the answer to that one! I wish I did. I think I have a fear that 1 sleeplees night will turn into 2, which will turn into 3 and so on. In my initial depression episode I think I went for 3 days with absolutely minimal sleep, plus with the feelings of depression which I was experiencing for the first time really scared me. This was completely new to me. My psychologist I was seeing told me not to think about it. Don't entertain thoughts of not sleeping. Don't put it on a pedestal. It will happen when it happens, the body will get sleep when IT needs it … Mmmm So where am I at now? I am working hard on my sleep hygiene. I am following a program called “Learn to sleep better without drugs” written by an Australian psychologist. It has an 80% success rate. It has 9 golden rules and there is support sections giving some answers to the 'what if's' about insomnia. I go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every day. I try to relax more with self hypnosis (spoken words, music and binaural beats/isochronic tones), get more sun on the body, develop a nighttime ritual in readiness for bed. I did this for a while and it was working – then I started to sleep in a little on weekends and then it all stopped … again!!! DOH – my mistake!!! Its a 6 week program with very easy to follow instructions. You keep a journal of your sleep habits for 6 weeks as well. Happy to share it with anyone who'd like a copy. Oh well, just have to keep at it I suppose. Sorry if I went on a bit, it's just that if I am to contribute here and help others as well as get help and support myself, then people or should I say my new found friends should know a bit about my history! I am so glad I found this website. I have looked at others on the net and some of the members are quite scary to be honest with what they write!! Thanks for reading.

    #12908

    fishyherring10
    ✘ Not a client

    Hi, I was interested to read your story. I have suffered from insomnia for about three and a half years now, and like you and many on this site, I have not been unable to find any satisfactory cure. From your shift pattern you sound like a fireman. If you are, you might be interested to know that I am one of the six Scientific Advisors to London Fire Brigade and understand the workings of the fire service quite well. Getting enough sleep to be able to function well at work is always a challenge, but I have to say that after all this time my body has adapted to much less sleep – I think you will find that too, although sound sleep is a dream we all pursue.

    Anyway, perhaps we can speak again. Hope you find sleep somewhere – a last question – do you think your shift work has had something to do with your insomnia? Take care.

    My email is [email protected] – drop me a line sometime.

    Nigel

    #12909

    Daz27041
    ✘ Not a client
    'fishyherring10' wrote on '15:

    Hi, I was interested to read your story. I have suffered from insomnia for about three and a half years now, and like you and many on this site, I have not been unable to find any satisfactory cure. From your shift pattern you sound like a fireman. If you are, you might be interested to know that I am one of the six Scientific Advisors to London Fire Brigade and understand the workings of the fire service quite well. Getting enough sleep to be able to function well at work is always a challenge, but I have to say that after all this time my body has adapted to much less sleep – I think you will find that too, although sound sleep is a dream we all pursue.

    Anyway, perhaps we can speak again. Hope you find sleep somewhere – a last question – do you think your shift work has had something to do with your insomnia? Take care.

    My email is [email protected] – drop me a line sometime.

    Nigel

    G'day Nigel,

    I knew it was a great idea joining this forum – I have met you already! Close with your choice of occupation. Policeman actually, but your educated guess as a fireman is spot an as that is what firemen work here in NSW. I do think that my shiftwork has enabled me to have less sleep in my life. Two nights a week I was doing the opposite to what my body wanted, and in the same vein, 2 days a week as well (working at night when it wanted to sleep and sleeping during the day when I should have been awake!!). My commander was very supportive during my initial period of depression and sleeplessness and put me in a daytime administrative position (which worked to their advantage as well!). I have not done nights now since August last year, but alas, no usual sleep pattern has returned. The funny thing is Nigel, before this I was on holiday in Europe and sleeping everynight fantastically well. I supposed my mind was switched off and enjoying the holidays. I had trouble sleeping in Hong Kong for a few nights on the way home as a stop over. I remember one morning waking up with what I describe as a cloud of despair hanging over me. For some strange reason, I thought something was wrong at home. Nevertheless, I thought it would blow over especially after I got home and checked up on all my family, but it never. It got worse – to the point where I went into a short lived depression. One psychologist that deals with police related people trotted out the old PTSD one size fits all diagnosis! From that point on, I can honestly say I have not been the same person. The rounds of doctors, medications, psychologists, acupuncture visits, hypnotherapy sessions, self-hypnosis mp3 downloads and cds which promised to end insomnia in one night!! One good thing though, the anxiety of when I can't sleep is getting much better. It was terrible in the beginning. Now, I can last the night relatively relaxed, but still frustrated at not being able to sleep again for no real reason. I am going to try and refrain from using the Avanza medication tonight and for a few nights just to see how I go. I know a sleepless night will have no impact on me being able to perform my duties. My wife thinks I should just give up and accept it as being part of my life now. I think she might be right. If I do that, who knows, I just might be letting go of something that is holding me back and things may improve. I am interested in your work studies. I know there are people in my line of work who have sleeping problems. I often hear of people having trouble sleeping and describing all the medications both prescription and OTC that they use. I thought I was alone … now I know very differently. There are so many people out there now with sleep issues it's amazing. I think it's because we live in a 24/7 world. You can now buy groceries at 2am at your local supermarket… How do you cope when you can't sleep? Do you stay in bed or get up? I am curious to know and speak with those that suffer from sleep anxiety issues and how they cope. I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that if I don't sleep – it will be OK, I won't go down in a screaming heap like I did initially. I will eventually sleep when the body wants me to. That for me is the hardest part – not the actual lack of sleep. Make sense???

    Cheers,

    Darrin

    #12910

    PatO
    ✘ Not a client

    I can definitely understand your concerns over going multiple nights in a row with no sleep. I presently have chronic insomnia that effects me every night without exception. I keep a journal which lists the times I go to bed and get up in the morning (also when I am out of bed in the middle of the night). My reason for keeping a journal is because my doctor has placed me on “cognitive behavioral therapy”, and it helps to keep track of any progress. I have found that being on the therapy has helped limit the depression that is associated with insomnia, because it sets clear parameters to follow and gives me some hope of regaining a partial or complete ability to sleep normally. The program requires me to get out of bed and go into another area of the house If I am unable to sleep and then return to bed when I feel tired again. So far only limited success, but I must keep working at it. Welcome to the group

    #12911

    Daz27041
    ✘ Not a client

    Hi PatO,

    Thanks for the welcome to the group. I am going to have to start getting out of bed as being in bed awake is associating the brain with 'It's ok to lie here and not be asleep'. I too will have to start a journal recording my sleeping habits and hygiene. One integral part of the program I will be resuming is to stay up atleast 1 hour past your normal bedtime. The author warns that you may get less sleep in the short term, but in the long term it will be resetting the biological clock and as sleep comes easier you can start winding back the lateness of going to bed and slowly get to bed earlier over time. My issue is sleep on-set. Getting to sleep. Once I am asleep no problems, I don't wake up and if I do I can go right back to sleep usually without a problem. I have a friend, a fellow police officer who has to be in bed every night by 9.30pm as she will be awake anytime from 1-2am and will stay awake the rest of the night. She has been like this her entire life. She limits personal activities in the evening as she has to be in bed ready to go to sleep at her appointed time. Sometime she lays there for a while before going to sleep. She too is trying the program and had some early success, once even sleeping till about 4.30am. She came in to work absolutely glowing and on cloud nine. She had not slept that good in a very very long time. I forgot to mention it but I am also taking powder magnesium as well as it can have great effects on insomnia. I might double the dose to one tsp in the morning and another at night. I am really amazed at something which I have managed to do automatically for 41 years, now somehow for some reason eludes me. I would like to see/hear from someone who can dispel the myths associated with insomnia. I think this in turn would ease my sleep anxiety a little. I wish you the best of luck PatO.

    #12912

    Mike Hooker
    ✘ Not a client

    Hi, Dazz27041,

    Welcome to Insomnia Land.

    #12913

    Daz27041
    ✘ Not a client

    Thanks very much Mike, I feel welcome already. 🙂

    #12914

    ptalwar
    ✘ Not a client

    Hello Darrin,

    I can completely relate to your post and I have suffered for many of the same symptoms and anxiety related to NOT falling asleep at night. The approach you are using sounds like CBT – Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. I did this for a few weeks and found this to be very helpful. It is fair to say that you need to give yourself a break. It took a while for you to get to this point and it is going to take time for your body and mind to re-adjust. It will not be smooth and you will have set backs. These are the normal ups and downs of the process. Take solace in the fact that I am 60% to 80% better than where I was a year ago. I still have a bad night here or there, but nothing like I used to. Give it time and most importantly, DO NOT GIVE UP on it. It will happen and it may take a different path to get there.

    You had mentioned the Australian pscychologist who developed 8 golden rules on sleep hygiene. I would love to read that if you could send me a link or a copy of that.

    Much Thanks!

    #12915

    Daz27041
    ✘ Not a client

    Thanks Ptalwar for your message and encouragement. My sleeping will get better. I know it will and I will do everything I can to change it. My friend once told me that our life is a like a rubber band. For whatever reason we all get strectched and pulled out of shape from time to time but we always come back to being the original shape we were meant to be. I will come back to my original shape – I know it. Just might take some time as you say!! I am so pleased that you have made significant improvements in your sleeping patterns. I have also noticied improvements in my sleeping from where I was last year as well so I think your right when you have to give it time. I have sent you a personal message. All the best, Darrin.

    #12916

    1949Molly
    ✘ Not a client
    'Daz27041' wrote on '14:

    Hi Everybody! My name is Darrin, I'm 42, live in Sydney and have suffered with insomnia since July last year (2010). Mine started after a very short period of a depression. The depression went but the sleeplessness stayed! I have tried many treatments – medication Ambien works well but I don't like to take it for it's hangover effect the next morning, Avanza (anti depressant/anxiety drug), acupuncture, hypnosis (waste of money), counselling, homeopathic medicines etc. Miy insomnia is kind of weird. I might sleep quite ok for a week straight, then all of a sudden go to bed and not be able to sleep at all for the night. Then the anxiety starts about sleeping and the vicious cycle begins. I find this the worst, the constant thinking of “Am I going to sleep tonight?”. I used to get quite anxious laying in bed trying to sleep as I was one of those who would stay in bed… I figured if I was in bed there was a chance I might be able to drop off to sleep. I usually am able to get some kind of sleep the following night, even with all the anxiety. I have gone on periods like no sleep for a night, sllep for 2, none for a night, sleep for 2, none for a night, sleep for one etc. How this frustrates me! I have been medication free for a while now, but recently I started using 15mg of Avanza at night just before bed as that drug in low doses is used as a treatment for insomnia. It was also used to treat my depression. I have resorted to using it the last 2 nights at about 1am and it does send me off. However, I think I have a quick tolerance for this and from previous use, it will have no effect sometime down the track. I haven't used Ambien in quiet a while and I like it that way. In a way I am a 'lucky' sufferer. I am able to function well the next day. The lack of sleep seems to have no effect on my work performance. I was a shift worker for 21 years, but was able to give the shift up late last year. I used to do 12 hour shifts consisting of 2 days (6am-6pm) then 2 nights (6pm-6am) then have 4-5 days off. After a night shift I would only sleep 5-6 hours. I seem to be able to manage on little sleep. So, the big question is (apart from why am I not sleeping) is why do I worry so much about it?? I don't know the answer to that one! I wish I did. I think I have a fear that 1 sleeplees night will turn into 2, which will turn into 3 and so on. In my initial depression episode I think I went for 3 days with absolutely minimal sleep, plus with the feelings of depression which I was experiencing for the first time really scared me. This was completely new to me. My psychologist I was seeing told me not to think about it. Don't entertain thoughts of not sleeping. Don't put it on a pedestal. It will happen when it happens, the body will get sleep when IT needs it … Mmmm So where am I at now? I am working hard on my sleep hygiene. I am following a program called “Learn to sleep better without drugs” written by an Australian psychologist. It has an 80% success rate. It has 9 golden rules and there is support sections giving some answers to the 'what if's' about insomnia. I go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every day. I try to relax more with self hypnosis (spoken words, music and binaural beats/isochronic tones), get more sun on the body, develop a nighttime ritual in readiness for bed. I did this for a while and it was working – then I started to sleep in a little on weekends and then it all stopped … again!!! DOH – my mistake!!! Its a 6 week program with very easy to follow instructions. You keep a journal of your sleep habits for 6 weeks as well. Happy to share it with anyone who'd like a copy. Oh well, just have to keep at it I suppose. Sorry if I went on a bit, it's just that if I am to contribute here and help others as well as get help and support myself, then people or should I say my new found friends should know a bit about my history! I am so glad I found this website. I have looked at others on the net and some of the members are quite scary to be honest with what they write!! Thanks for reading.

    Darrin,

    Thanks for sharing your story. I've had insomnia for 30 years and have been on drugs for about 5 years. My first set of 3 drugs worked fine for years and then suddenly stopped working. So my doctor prescribed more drugs. I hate taking them too but its that or NO SLEEP AT ALL. Stress and anxiety are a big part of my life (job, etc.)How I wish I could be a different person and not react to stress by having insomnia. But that's the hand I've been dealt. Welcome.

    #12917

    Daz27041
    ✘ Not a client

    Hi Molly,

    Thanks for the welcome. I am lucky I suppose in the fact that I can get by with the minimal of medication. I only take it if I know there's going to be a second night of no sleep. One night I can handle. Two and the anxiety gets ramped up a bit and then I might take half an anti-anxiety tablet. When I was taking them full time, they worked wonderfully well for the first 3 weeks, then they lost their sleep inducing effect. I felt better mentally, so I stopped taking them about 6 weeks or so ago after being an anti-depressant/anti anxiety medication for almost a year. The Avanza that I take apparently works better in smaller doses, so I only take 15mg when needed. When I went off them I was on 30mg per night, but as I say, I think I have come a long way from then, even just being able to handle the sleepless nights. They are less stressful and hopefully will get even more so. You know a funny thing, I sleep the best when I say “Right, stuff it, I don't care if I sleep tonight, I've had enough.” Then miraculously, I sleep. I had that for about 3 weeks and thought, you beauty, I've kicked it and then whammo, out of left field, there it was again. Another all nighter for no good rhyme or reason and then things went off the rail again. For me, I have no known stressors, so I really don't know why this is happening to me. Later, in life I'll look back and think, wow, what happened there? 😀 All the best to you Molly

    #12918

    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    Welcome to Insomnia Land, Darrin and thank you for introducing yourself.

    As you have already seen, you are not suffering alone – I think that's one thing many insomniacs don't realize. There are so many people out there that simply don't understand what real insomnia is, which can lead to a feeling of isolation and being misunderstood. Now you've found us you can see that you don't need to suffer alone.

    We all know what you're going through and we support each other at all times of the day and night. We also like to have fun in the 'off topic' sections of the forum, too. Your sleep hygiene course does sound like a form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Have you ever looked into CBT for your insomnia before?

    I'd be interested to hear how you get on with the sleep hygiene course. Do keep us all updated.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts and getting to know you better.

    #12919

    1949Molly
    ✘ Not a client
    'PatO' wrote on '15:

    I can definitely understand your concerns over going multiple nights in a row with no sleep. I presently have chronic insomnia that effects me every night without exception. I keep a journal which lists the times I go to bed and get up in the morning (also when I am out of bed in the middle of the night). My reason for keeping a journal is because my doctor has placed me on “cognitive behavioral therapy”, and it helps to keep track of any progress. I have found that being on the therapy has helped limit the depression that is associated with insomnia, because it sets clear parameters to follow and gives me some hope of regaining a partial or complete ability to sleep normally. The program requires me to get out of bed and go into another area of the house If I am unable to sleep and then return to bed when I feel tired again. So far only limited success, but I must keep working at it. Welcome to the group

    PatO,

    I was very interested in your “cognitive behavioral therapy” as this treatment has been discussed a lot on this site. I for one would love to hear your entire experience with this. I could never afford to do it so second hand info is about all I'll get.

    #12920

    1949Molly
    ✘ Not a client
    'Daz27041' wrote on '16:

    Hi Molly,

    Thanks for the welcome. I am lucky I suppose in the fact that I can get by with the minimal of medication. I only take it if I know there's going to be a second night of no sleep. One night I can handle. Two and the anxiety gets ramped up a bit and then I might take half an anti-anxiety tablet. When I was taking them full time, they worked wonderfully well for the first 3 weeks, then they lost their sleep inducing effect. I felt better mentally, so I stopped taking them about 6 weeks or so ago after being an anti-depressant/anti anxiety medication for almost a year. The Avanza that I take apparently works better in smaller doses, so I only take 15mg when needed. When I went off them I was on 30mg per night, but as I say, I think I have come a long way from then, even just being able to handle the sleepless nights. They are less stressful and hopefully will get even more so. You know a funny thing, I sleep the best when I say “Right, stuff it, I don't care if I sleep tonight, I've had enough.” Then miraculously, I sleep. I had that for about 3 weeks and thought, you beauty, I've kicked it and then whammo, out of left field, there it was again. Another all nighter for no good rhyme or reason and then things went off the rail again. For me, I have no known stressors, so I really don't know why this is happening to me. Later, in life I'll look back and think, wow, what happened there? 😀 All the best to you Molly

    Right now I can't even think of going without sleep all night. Real chicken, eh? I'm 67, with a part-time job and LOTS of stress and anxiety so I have no doubt why I can't sleep. But lately I have been saying to myself when I wake up in the middle of the night worried sick about any number of things – JUST LET IT GO!!! Most often the things I worry about are completely out of my control anyway.

    #12921

    1949Molly
    ✘ Not a client
    '1949Molly' wrote on '17:

    Right now I can't even think of going without sleep all night. Real chicken, eh? I'm 67, with a part-time job and LOTS of stress and anxiety so I have no doubt why I can't sleep. But lately I have been saying to myself when I wake up in the middle of the night worried sick about any number of things – JUST LET IT GO!!! Most often the things I worry about are completely out of my control anyway.

    For all:

    Don't bother buying GABA (from a Health Food Store) I tried it last night and it worked just the opposite – woke me up.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)

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