I'm Olivia

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Tired Ted 6 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #8762

    ✘ Not a client

    I have been suffering from insomnia for three years now. It started in university and it has been with me since. I am terribly addicted to sleeping pills. I feel like the sleeping pills made my insomnia 10 times worse. Eventually my body built up a tolerance to it, and even when I take them – I only get three hours a night.

    I have a really cool job in a creative industry ( though I hate it – but it appears cool to others), and there are a lot of deadlines and long days, and I go in with three hours or sleep everyday. I always feel terrible and tired.

    I feel like the pills made everything worse. I can't even nap or sleep at all without them. I tried to wean myself off of them, but I found I was only getting an hour of sleep for work – and this was too difficult.

    I'm thinking of leaving my job soon and trying to quit the pills cold turkey, because I can't do that while I'm working.

    I'm also seeing a CBT, but I'm not sure it's working. I don't earn that much at my job because I'm young and just starting out, and the expense of the therapy stresses me out.

    But i would still like to try acupuncture, massage therapy, and seeing a chiropractor. I'm sick of feeling like I'm about to die when I wake up every day.

    I used to be in love with the world and everyone in it. I used to light up a room with my laugh, and my smile. Now my eyes are dead and cold. I don't laugh as much. I've lost a lot of friends because the insomnia gives me great fatigue, and so I often don't want to go out on weekends, especially after a long week of work and sleepless nights.

    I used to be a very happy girl. People used to say my vivaciousness made others happy. Now I'm a very sad, tired person. I used to be really funny too. I'm not anymore.

    Everyone is telling me your early twenties is the time or your life. Well I am having a terrible time. lack sleep makes me feel like I'm 90 years old.

    What's worse is my only form of moral support (my boyfriend) is leaving in a month for school in New York (we live in Canada)

    Anyways, that's me. Sadly.


    ✘ Not a client

    I can sympathize with you as functioning on 2-3 hours sleep is not enough – it can make you withdrawn and limit you to going through the day by rote. What type of sleeping pill are you using and what dosage? To get off a pill is hard and some people try by gradually decreasing the dosage rather than totally stoping cold turkey all at once. I try to limit use of sleeping pills to when I see no other choice than being up all night. So far most of the time I don't use the sleeping pill and on “good” nights get 4 to 5 hours sleep, which I can live with. However, when I get just 2-3 hours sleep it is awful. You might want to talk to your doctor about how to get off the sleeping pill. CBT has helped me to some extent but not completely. I am currently trying acupuncture – too early to say if it is helping.


    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    Hello Olivia, and welcome to Insomnia Land. You'll find plenty of support and advice here – we all know what you're going through, and we all want to help.

    Have you spoken to your doctor about wanting to come off the sleeping pills? Have you been recommended any particular strategy other than 'cold turkey' or slowly weaning yourself off them by reducing the dose over time?

    Keep in touch, dive into the forums here and get involved. The more you put into the forums, the more you'll get out of them.


    ✘ Not a client

    Thanks for the replies guys!

    I'm on Apo-Zopiclone.

    I have tried to wean myself off of them…but I found that there's too much stress at my work. When I tried lowering the dose I didn't sleep for days – it got so bad that I was crying at work for no reason because I wasn't getting even the three hours a night I at least get + I couldn't concentrate on my assignments, and therefore wasn't getting any work done.

    I think I'll just have to quit my job, and then maybe I can slowly reduce the amount of the pill each night. That way I don't have to worry about going into work and having so many people counting on me. It seems like this is my only option.

    I am going to talk to my CBT on Tuesday. But I find that most doctors don't like their patients to leave their jobs. It's a big concern for them. But I really think it's the only way I can get better.

    Also forgot to mention – I can usually sleep a full 10 hours each night of the weekend. This is still while on the sleeping pill though (if I don't take a pill I don't sleep at all). But it's weird that I can sleep for so long on the weekends, but during the weekdays I get max 3 hours.


    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    Quick question – have you enrolled in my free sleep training course? You'll pick up a lot of tips and advice that will help improve your sleep.


    Tired Ted
    ✘ Not a client

    I am so sorry to hear how insomnia is making you feel Olivia and totally understand from past experience of my own.

    Your vivaciousness will come back and I am sure you still make people laugh and can still light up a room . . . the way you see yourself when you feel as you do at the moment is invariably not the way others see you . . . easy for me to say I know but I have been where you are today more times than I care to remember.

    Try Martin's free sleep training course . . . it changed my world and I cannot reommend it highly enough.

    The best tips I got from the course was to turn the clock away so you don't look at it everytime you wake up . . . in Martin's very wise words . . . you don't need to know what time it is when you wake up and you can turn over and try to get back to sleep as long as you know you have an alarm set if you need to be up for work, or anything else. The second thing that has always stuck in my mind is don't worry about being awake, I trained myself to accept that I have a sleep bank and I know I need c 6 hours sleep to be able to function well so I top my sleep bank up whenever I can. A snooze during the day on a Saturday and Sunday has turned into a real decadent treat . . . I tend to go out for lunch, or do a nice lunch at home with a bottle of wine ( shared of course ! ) and then really enjoy some ZZZZZ's during the day. I work full-time so this is not possible during the week and this makes the weekend snoozes even more of a special treat.

    I am currently having a spate of being sooooo tired after my evening meal that I fall asleep c 6.30 pm until c midnight ( tonight it was 10.30 pm but it is a really busy time at work so I suppose things are whizzing through my mind ). Anyway I am not bothered that I am awake and I can feel my eyes slowly coming down and I am I going to top the sleep bank up again ( hopefuly ) after this message. The other relvation for my insomnia was to not worry if I woke and and to not toss and turn as this turns into a vicious cycle of frustration and lack of sleep ! When my insomnia was at its worst last year I used to have plan of activities for when I got up so I could keep my mind occupied with something other than worrying that I was not sleeping. This worked for me and it may be worth thinking about . . . especially as you are obviously very creative . . . I did knitting / cake making / recipies / writing / emailing / sewing . . . I had to stop using the sewing machine c 2.30 am as my husband was not a happy bunny as it woke him up and he affectionately called me the Wood Knome as I had a little industry going by the the time I had found a way to live with insomnia . . . note I said live with and not recover from insomnia !!!

    Good luck with your insomnia and if I can help I will.

    Tired Tedz who is now going to try for some more ZZZZZ's x

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