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Insomnia Making Me Crazy!

Discussion in 'General' started by EmeraldRiver, Aug 17, 2007.

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  1. EmeraldRiver

    EmeraldRiver Member

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    Hello all....just thought I'd see if anyone else suffers from insomnia to the point of hallucinations/hearing voices? Maybe not, but I'm sure at least SOME of you have trouble falling asleep.

    I've tried every drug the doctors threw at me for sleeping, and none worked. I'm usually lucky to get 2 hours of sleep - if I sleep at all...and if I DO sleep I end up waking up every 5 minutes after that 2 hour stretch. Then I go right back to sleep and wake up in another 5 minutes or so. Repeat that dreaded cycle for about a half hour and then I'm up for good.

    I've tried exercise and no exercise before bed. Turning the clock around so I can't see the time. Reading/bath/knitting/writing/TV before bedtime. Installing alarms on every door and window in my house. Meditation. Yoga. Alcohol. Repeat all of above as necessary....but nothing really works.

    Anyone else have anything that's working for them?! I'm SOOOOO desperate for some sleep.:sleeping:
     
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  3. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Welcome to the world of PTSD...Sleep deprivation is so grand...NOT.....believe it or not.....You will sleep one day. I do...

    I Spent years trying the drugs, sleeping pills, hot baths, and playing solitaire till I wore the spots off the cards.....It will come, but personally I think it's all about getting the daytime issues solved to the point that your mind can relax at night. At least that's how it was for me anyway. It took years.....

    Sorry that I didn't have any short term hope....But rest when ever you can, even cat naps are better than no sleep at all.

    Wen
     
  4. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

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    What you describe was me a few months back. And yes I did get visual and auditory hallucinations, it was truly awful. I felt like I was losing my mind. The waking you mention I also had even when the sleep was 1-3 hours a night. not to mention the ever present nightmares. The drugs I did try did not work much on me either.

    I am having a spot of insomnia to a lesser degree now myself. But at the moment I am just grateful it is not as bad as it was.

    Things that helped? Hmm... well I have just moved to a house with high security and that has helped me as I do fear safety at night. Relaxation is virtually impossible to me so that never worked... however when I sleep, I go through phases in turning lights off until the last thing is the glow light so that my eyes adjust (as Im scared of the dark). That helps reduce an anxiety attack. Then I don't try to shut my eyes unless I start feeling sleepy... that only frustrates me when I realise I am just keeping them shut and not getting sleepy. Don't stay in bed for hours if you are not even getting to sleep, get up, do something then go back and try again. When you do try to sleep, try concentrating on your body how it feels. At first you might notice that it is totally live with anxiety, or at least I do. It's not pleasant, but try to focus on it, and focus on your breathing... but try to breath as naturally as possible. The idea is to try to relax somewhat. Sometimes when i concentrate on my breathing, with every breath I try to feel my body sink down, down, down... it's weird especially with me as I can often feel my blood fizzing through me. But sometimes just listening to your body can help calm it, it's actually a technique called biofeedback, just without the technical equipment. With just knowing what your body is doing, your mind can rectify it though I'm not sure how effective that would be in cases of PTSD as it is an anxiety and fear based disorder.

    If that doesn't work, try not to think about things if your mind is active. Try writing in a diary before goign to bed.. but sometimes that can make it worse so it's whatever works for you.

    Whatever you do, don't start sleeping in the day, if you can... it messes your sleep rhythms up even more.

    All the obvious things like don't drink, do drugs etc.

    You probably won't see drastic change overnight, because the insomnia is happening for reasons that you need to sort out. But some of the above can help increase the hours at least, even if just sometimes. Just knownig you are trying new things and are hopeful is helpful in itself, as often the insomnia causes worry and stress about if you will sleep the next night and that becomes a vicious circle, so to break that, try different things and to try to stop the anxiety caused by the insomnia about the insomnia just causing more insomnia!

    I hope it gets better soon... I remember what it was like for me at it's worst, and I don't envy you!
     
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  5. Monarch

    Monarch I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    I think we all have gone through that, when i fell vulnerable, when I feel that figure, I call mine the "hooded guy", being that he wears a sweatshirt with the hood up, I just keep my eyes closed and tell myself that he isn't real and I don't have to open my eyes to see him. It took awhile, but i learned that if I keep my eyes shut i will eventually fall asleep.
     
  6. EmeraldRiver

    EmeraldRiver Member

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    Well, so much for a quick fix, but I wasn't really expecting any. Thanks for the ideas. I will try a couple tonight, maybe something will help.

    The high security house is a great idea. When I move I plan to install MUCHO alarm systems. Too bad I can't boobytrap the yard too for any poor little burglars that may come my way...

    Yes, I suspect that until I actually start to remember more of the cause of my PTSD I will continue to be a rabid insomniac. Oh well. If everyone were sane the 'normal' people wouldn't have anyone to point their fingers at! LOL!
     
  7. melvin

    melvin New Member

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    have you tried kava tincture? i usually disolve three dropperfulls in a shotglass of water just before bed, its amazing. most health/wholefoods stores carry it. acupuncture has also been superhelpful for managing my raging insomnia, it takes awhile, but im sleeping pretty regularly these days and dont need to take herbs as often.

    goodluck!
     
  8. EmeraldRiver

    EmeraldRiver Member

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    Update: Well...the closing the eyes thing does not work for me, but thanks for sharing anyway. I laid there shaking for a awhile -and wanting to scream, so that was not the best plan for me. Note to self - do not try that again...

    Also, have found that I cannot relax more than I am, not even if I try for a few hours with pretty music on. I don't relax much during yoga or meditation either. I figure either that means I'm very relaxed, or very tense. Gee, let me guess which.


    I can't have acupuncture done. LMAO...I tried and passed out while laying down. Some people will tell you that's not possible, but they lie. Oh well, I knew going in that I had a pretty healthy fear of needles, so it wasn't completely unexpected.

    I have not tried Kava. Can I put in more than three dropperfulls, or would I OD on it? I would prefer NOT to OD..but I would like to sleep and will try anything once at this point. I'll have to try to find some the next time I venture out of my cave...
     
  9. melvin

    melvin New Member

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    i don't think you can od on kava, but huge doses aren't great for your body.. three dropperfuls usually do it... really!
     
  10. PATHFINDER

    PATHFINDER New Member

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    I find long walks at night work for me...But I live in the middle of beyond, so beware if your a city dweller..
     
  11. Charon

    Charon Active Member

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    Yeah insomnia sucks. I had some issues with it before my trauma, but not like it is now. I tend to get around 5-6 hours of sleep, which I know a lot of people would be grateful for but when you're in college you kinda need to be on your toes.

    My doc has me on hydroxyzine for anxiety and she recommended taking it to help me get to sleep. It does in a way, like it makes my body relaxed/tired but my mind will still be active. Some nights I just say "screw it" and go back to popping benadryl pills but it tends to make me feel knocked out/drugged.

    I don't know if this will work for you, but one thing I try to do when I have racing thoughts is I really try to relax my body, then I focus on relaxing one part of my body till I can't even feel it anymore starting with my feet and slowly moving up my body till I get to my head. Sometimes I have to repeat the process, but the goal isn't for it to make me go to sleep, its to get my mind off of all the thoughts. I'm kind of focused on relaxing rather than on the thoughts. I hope it works for you because a good night's sleep is worth a lot.
     
  12. godhelpusoneandall

    godhelpusoneandall Active Member

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    No, about the KAVA. A little bit is okay, but too much is definitely not good. Just because it is natural, doesn't mean you can't OD on it. It gives me a terrible headache. Just google it. You won't find it in stores so much anymore.

    I went through the thing of not sleeping for about 2 years. It had gotten to the point a month or so ago that I felt like I was just running on adrenaline. Sleep. All I wanted to do was sleep, but like so many others I just couldn't do it! I got some antihistime from my doc that is also used for anxiety (the cause of my not sleeping). It is hydroxyzine HCL. I tell you, I was so exhausted, the first time I took one, I got dizzy and slept for hours and hours and then felt drugged for about a day. But it broke the cycle of not sleeping ( like it is 2:51 in the morning now, but I am awake because I want to be and not because I can't sleep). And it is really inexpensive, too.

    Kat
     
  13. cat

    cat Well-Known Member

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    Hi Emerald

    No quick fixes for insomnia I'm afraid. I've had it for five yrs & until I started seeing my psychologist I'd go of to sleep fine but I wake at every sound in & outside my house & recurrent nightmares, usually getting 2hrs a night. Now after six months I am sleeping longer, I still wake to sound & with nightmares but I now sleep for around 3hrs at at time, she's has made a number of suggestions which work for me, most of them are just common sense so you may have tried them
    1) a good bedtime routine which meant going to bed when I felt really tired (at first that was around 8pm & getting up at 4am) & getting up at the same time everyday, so I spend the hour before bed relaxing in my hot tub & meditating.
    2) make sure your bedroom is cool & dark like a cave
    3) remove tv & radio she also suggested mobile phone but I cant be without that
    4) play calming classical music - I use a baby CD, just loud enough to hear, it gives you something else to think about & seems to block out some of the other noises, if I wake I put it back on & concentrate on my breathing
    5) not sleeping during the day

    Although all these things help with sleep they don't stop the nightmares & night time anxiety. I feel that therapy and reducing my daytime anxiety with meds has been the biggest help. I've tried all the usual natural remedies & my GP wont give me sleep meds because they are only a short term fix.

    I hope you find something to help you, sleep deprivation is horrible but it will get easier one day!

    Cat
     
    BethRSA likes this.
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