How Do You Folks Get To Sleep???

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I have been given hydromorphone for my pain.:loopy: the crazy thing is that it works relatively well if i don't move. :frown: as soon as i move the pain comes on untill i stop. needless to say there is almost no relief from the pain. :crybaby: that beeing the case i have a hard time managing the PTSD. so at night i am almost afraid to allow myself to sleep even when the pain isn't keeping me awake because i know that the sleep i do get will be filled with invasive thoughts. :wall: any ideas? anyone!
Ranger, there is not a quick fix to this. A drug to knock you out cold is a great band aid, but the way to get really, really good sleep is to knock the trauma out. All of the symptoms are connected and the root cause is the trauma. If you deal with the trauma, all the nasty symptoms go away. In the meantime, a band aid does work ok, since obviously, we need to get a bit of sleep.

Also, look into the drugs you are taking. I know that some of the drugs I was taking were causing some of the dreams to be more intense. The difference from reliving the trauma itself or watching it third person. I'd rather watch it third person, than relive it.

I don't have much advice but to just experiment with different techniques. I, myself, love trance like sleep music. I like taking hot baths before bed. I used to take melatonin every night before bed. I would read a good, happy novel. I have also used alcohol, and sleep aids (ambien, xanax, benadryl, vicodin, etc.) to make sleep come but I don't recommend doing any of those. (especially in combinations!)

Looking back, I think the only way I got to sleep when my anxiety was high was just pure exhaustion. I'm sorry I don't have much to offer. The only way to truly love getting in bed and look forward to sleeping is kicking the trauma.
Hi Ranger, welcome to the forum. Yeah, I'm still trying to figure out the sleep thing too...I have trouble getting to sleep and if I do finally get there...I have trouble staying there...intusive htoughts, hypervigilance...all that "fun" stuff...Sorry...I guess it's not much help...but I have an idea of what it's like...though I can't imagine being in a lot of physical pain at the same time...
You can only do what you can at present, and as you heal your trauma, sleep comes back too you as part of that healing process, because your mind no longer has anything to fear, thus have nightmares, your anxiety is no longer controlling you, thus your tired, you sleep, and the list goes on. The solution, heal trauma and learn PTSD management. The bandaid for the time being... put up with it, take sleeping medication.
hey, ranger, i sleep if i take med., not much if i don't. i usually only take the med. when i know for sure i'm not going to sleep.(flashbacks and si have already begun) or if i have something really important to do early. couple times a week, that lets me catch up some without getting dependent. i usually sleep a couple hrs a night, wake up, get up and do something til i am exhausted, pass our for a couple more, if i'm lucky. somehow i went months without sleeping earlier, til i absolutely felt like i was not asleep as much as in some kind of trance (my body couldn't move, but my mind was still poking at me.) it does get some better with time. hang in there.
I agree with Nam and Anthony. For me I do sleep a lot better now. Not all my nights are full of nightmares, I don't wake in the middle of a panic attack like it used to be nightly. Not to say I don't have some rough ones. But I was in therapy weekly for months, and the best therapy being this suppport group to help me sort things out. I have a long way to go yet my sleep has improved. So do not think you will have to be 100% to get some shut eye, it will come. Before, I slept when I finally collapsed. Now I can usually sleep and most nights it isn't bad. I use the relaxation CDs and meditate. With therapy and that it seemed to finally come. I was shocked at my first night and they are now more often than not. And I still have a lot of shit to address.
I don't wake in the middle of a panic attack

I never, in a million years, would have thought that that was possible until it happened to me. Scared the hell out of me.

When my symptoms first started, the one thing I could say was that at least my sleep wasn't being affected. I used to be asleep by 8:30-9pm. I get up at 4:30am every weekday morning. Now for the last few weeks just getting to sleep has been difficult. 11, 12, 1am is now when I'm falling asleep. Actually when it gets to be 1am it's my body just shutting down from exhaustion. Unfortuantely, it's still 4:30am to get up. I have no idea why my sleep is changing, but it can go back to what it was any time now!
If I missed this point somewhere please excuse. Ranger, most people don't understand how pain meds work and if you take one in fornt of somebody you get that look. After you've been on one type (class) of pain meds your body habituates (Gets used to it ). You can take more of the same drug for the pain but the body uses only the amount that it neededs for the pain. If you got a decent doc he/she should be able to switch you to something (different class) that will work as well. Been on that rollercoaster for years. Never get good sleep because of the pain.
Hey ranger cant coment of the pain side of things but with my PTSD symptoms sleep is slowy but shorely coming back after two months exposure therapy. I now sleep 4 to 5 hours a night with the help of pills, no pills its 2 to 3 hours i only take them when i know that i will be busy the next day. Other wise its pay TV for me this is probaly no help at all to you at least you know you are no orphan as to no sleep.
Hey Ranger, I can totally identify with the circle of chronic pain, PTSD, insomnia, etc. Been there, done that, still have the crappy T-shirt.

This is one of the hardest parts of my new self to come to grips with.

I'm still trying different approaches after over 3 years, but I'll share some with you in hopes they may spark an idea for you as well.
* take a bath before bed
* have a book handy, when all else fails I get up and read
* I write in my journal, seems to make room in my head for restful periods
* biofeedback for additional pain relief (drugs never work well enough)
* I am just beginning to see that I have accepted this as my new normal self. So my expectations about rest, sleep, pain relief are different than they once were.
* It's ok if I only get 2-3 hours of sleep. At this point 2-3 hours of sleep is wonderful and I celebrate it as such!
* With the help of my husband, I have everything in the house rearranged or modified so that I can easily reach dishes, cooking utensils, etc.
* If you are more mobile in the morning- plan your physical activities of daily living for the morning. If the late afternoon is better for you, adjust accordingly.
* Try really hard not to isolate yourself. Invite someone over for coffee, call someone just to say hi, talk to others here in this forum.

Best of luck, let me know what's working- we'll swap sleep stories LOL!
Well still fightin wth this one. Been takin two ta three showers a day(no tub) trying at various points to relax and sleep. No luck, but I not the "dirty ol' man." :biggrin:Haven't slept in a while. After the "sleep aid" the Dr. gave me didn't allow me to wake from nightmares I haven't been too keen on the sleep thing. Even though I haven't taken that med again I can't relax enough to sleep. Unfortunately my dislexia gets the better of me when I'm this tired, so reading doesn't do very well. Wife is starting to acuse me of having a mistress(the forum) she's joking but still sayin' that she needs some time too. Was on from 11:30 pm last night till 7:15am this morning, almost continuous. Have tryed hot tea, I'm getting somewhat iritable. Imagin that.
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