Sometimes I sleep, sometimes I don't.

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Martin Reed 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • #30007

    ✘ Not a client

    I used to be able to shut my eyes and be asleep within minutes. When I was 24, I inherited the family curse. My mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother and beyond all suffer(ed) from insomnia.

    My mother has taken ambien, seroquel, lithium, and Ativan for as long as I can remember.

    When I was 24, I began to have trouble falling asleep and have been up for up to 3 days at a time. I went to a psychiatrist and was put on ambien and seraquel both.

    I’m 25 now and still struggle. I take my ambien and seraquel every night and sometimes they work great, and sometimes not at all.

    I don’t understand how an essential human need can be so hard to obtain and maintain.

    I have tried meditation, white noise, melatonin, and the whole 9 yards. I even downed a bottle off zzzquil a few times and that did nothing.

    I feel like this will eventually kill me, or at least shorten my life.


    ✓ Client

    Hi Silias – You are not cursed and don’t have to live your life like your mother, relying on sleeping pills. You have “conditioned” insomnia, which can be cured through the right type of therapy, not through pills. Please read this website which will explain to you what conditioned insomnia is and the cure for it. Most of us on this forum have this type of insomnia and many of us are doing better through practicing the therapy described here.

    You may also want to check out the book, “The Effortless Sleep Method” by Sasha Stephens. She had insomnia for 15 years and cured it finally through similar methods.


    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    Hello SilasAlberts and welcome to the forum.

    First of all, let me reassure you that you are capable of sleep and you do not need to live with insomnia. Chronic insomnia will not kill you or shorten your life. In fact, a recent review that involved 36,938,981 individuals found no difference in the odds of mortality for those with symptoms of insomnia compared to those without.

    You have tried a lot of techniques that are known not to be effective long-term treatments for chronic insomnia. Have you looked into the best treatment for chronic insomnia, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I)?


    ✓ Client

    Thanks for linking to the meta-analysis review, Martin.  So not only was there no difference in mortality between those with insomnia and those without—but it was hypnotic meds that decreased mortality, not the insomnia itself.  I am thankful to have had your help and gone with CBTI instead of resigning myself to a lifetime of pills.  Acceptance is a good thing when it comes to dealing with the quirks and challenges of our sleep issues, but not when it comes to taking pills that aren’t all that effective, not even giving true restorative sleep or enabling many of us to fall/stay asleep, make us feel lousy the next day even if we did get some sleep, and now as it turns out, shortens our life span!


    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    Just to clarify, @jazzcat22 — the study said that hypnotic meds were associated with increased mortality risk (not decreased mortality risk as you posted). I suspect this was a typo on your part, but just wanted to clarify! As quoted in the paper:

    “Therefore, when hypnotic medications are not controlled is it likely that the insomnia group have a much higher usage rate of these medications and it is the medications which are associated with increasing mortality risk not insomnia.”


    ✓ Client

    Yup, sorry, Martin.  They increased mortality risk = decreased life span.  (When I was getting 0 to 2 hours sleep nightly, I would have blamed the typo on that—with 5 to 7 hours sleep, I have to admit I was going too fast and being careless!).


    ✘ Not a client

    I’m the exact same way!!! For months I’ll be fine and then something will trigger my insomnia and I spiral into anxiety land. So glad I found this forum.


    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    Often, the key to getting over these setbacks is not to worry about a few bad nights — this is, of course, easier said than done! However, if you put deliberate effort into focusing your attention on all the good nights, the bad nights will have less importance and you will spend less time thinking about them. This will often make it easier for sleep to recover because you are no longer spending a lot of time trying to problem-solve something (a bad night of sleep) that happens to everyone at some point.

    You might find these videos helpful:

    Avoid dwelling on the bad nights and try to focus on the good nights when you have chronic insomnia

    A positive attitude can change the way you think about insomnia and improve your sleep

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

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