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Still anxious in the evenings about going to sleep

Insomnia Forum Insomnia Help Still anxious in the evenings about going to sleep

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Martin Reed 6 days, 8 hours ago.

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  • #35962

    ✘ Not a client


    I had a fairly bad case of sleeplessness during Oct19-Jan20 mostly due to work stress and changes in personal life. I enrolled in sleep therapy, which lasted for two months (Jan20-Feb20) and it helped a lot. Also went through some ‘restructuring’ of my work and personal life to get things with sleep on track again. I went from using sleeping pills and antihypertensive pills to using only antihypertensive pills in the evening. I am also sleeping relatively well at the moment (getting 6-9 hours of sleep on most nights).

    However, the reason why I’m here is my evening time anxiety that relates mostly to getting to bed. I still get really anxious when thinking about going to sleep. There are lots of thoughts in my head about how I won’t fall asleep, about how miserable it is to stay up at night again, about if I get another no-sleep-at-all night, if I feel really bad and tired in the morning, and so on. And naturally, this train of thought fires up my anxiety even more. Sometimes to the level where my heart is pounding and I feel nauseous – on the verge of a panic attack.

    I am prone to being anxious, so in a sense this is nothing new to me. But, having this evening anxiety because of being afraid of how my sleep will turn out is getting really tiresome.

    I’ve tried all possible tricks I can think of: meditation, deep breathing, tension-and-release exercises, keeping a journal about these thoughts, discussing my worries earlier in the evening, watching old movies with no sound on, reading, keeping my life at a relaxed pace. But nothing, except antihypertensive, pills seems to work.

    Is anyone having the same issues? Any thoughts or experiences?

    I’d be happy to put my case of sleeplessness behind but this evening anxiety just seems to persists.


    ✘ Not a client

    Hi Echo
    Yes I struggle the exact same as you. I find my evenings with tension and anxiety building up to the dreaded idea of trying to go to sleep. I have started my 3rd attempt at cbt-i this week. On my first night without sleep aids I didn’t sleep a wink. On the second night I slept and forced myself to wake after 5hrs. 3rd night I felt like I did sleep some of the night but felt awful next morn. Last night even tho I was exhausted during the day- just as it came to bed o felt wide awake and anxiety through the roof! I tried to sleep but after 20 mins rolled over and took a xanax. As always I then slept really well but forced myself to wake after 5hrs so I will have some level of sleep drive for tonight. Feeling so disappointed with myself today tho for taking xanax- feels a bit like back to square one. Have you started cbt-i yet how are you finding it?


    ✘ Not a client

    Hi Dazzio,

    Thanks for sharing.

    I completed a two-month long CBT-I during Jan-Feb and it really helped a lot. Was able to get rid of benzos (I didn’t have Xanax but similar) because of it. I hope you can pull through CBT-I successfully as well. It really is worth it, even though the beginning might be tough.

    I still get disappointed with myself as well when I have to resort to the antihypertensive drugs to reduce the anxiety in the evenings, and still lie awake on the couch waiting to get sleepy again. Doesn’t feel as bad as going back to square one but it still sucks.. I feel exactly those days are the worst when you’re feeling really tired during the day and know you want to get some sleep early on in the evening but then you just get anxious and don’t fall asleep.


    ✘ Not a client

    Hi Echo,
    This is my exact issue for the last 5 months..the dreaded “sleep anxiety”…I have always been a little anxious but never had sleep issues..I spent thousands with a functional doc thinking it was pre menopause or something physical but was finally dx with “sleep anxiety” after seeing a psychologist..I have tried all natural remedies and nothing has helped…I started CBT-I 5 days ago and its not really been effective yet…can you share how long it takes to help? How long was it before you started having relapses? Do you still adhere to the rules strictly? I feel so desperate..


    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    I am so glad to hear that you are sleeping well at the moment, and getting between six and nine hours of sleep on most nights.

    Building sufficient sleep drive can really help when it comes to falling asleep. If you are getting between six and nine hours of sleep each night, this suggests that you are allotting a lot of time for sleep or you don’t have a consistent sleep schedule. This can make it more difficult to sleep at night, and this can feed into sleep-related worry.

    Feeling anxious about sleep is completely understandable if you have been struggling with sleep for a long time. It can be really helpful to evaluate the accuracy of the thoughts you have that lead to worry and anxiety — when you do this, you will often be able to recognize that the thought isn’t is accurate is it first seemed.

    A common worry is about next day performance — how the day will be ruined or impossible if you don’t get a good night of sleep. If you are able to take a step back and remember all the good days (or at least the positive or OK moments) that happened after a hard night of sleep you can see that this thought that might be generating so much worry isn’t even all that accurate!

    It can also be helpful to make a conscious effort to add enjoyable, enriching, and rewarding activities to your day as much as possible. This not only improves the quality of your life, but it helps you recognize that you can have good days (or good moments) after a hard night, and it distracts you from thinking and worrying endlessly about sleep.

    I hope this helps.

    The content of this post is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, disorder, or medical condition. It should never replace any advice given to you by your physician or any other licensed healthcare provider. Insomnia Coach LLC offers coaching services only and does not provide therapy, counseling, medical advice, or medical treatment. All content is provided “as is” and without warranties, either express or implied.
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