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How Is Your Sleep Affected By Your PTSD?

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UmightKnowMe, I have a couple of suggestions for you. As wonderful as a walk in the forest is, if you cannot handle it, there are lots of indoor exercises you can do. Check out your local library for exercise DVD's. You might try Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates, or belly dancing. One of my favorite ways to get aerobic exercise is to just turn on some good music, and dance (usually in my kitchen).

You might also look into taking a self-defense class. I took one, and it helped my confidence, immensely. I'm not so afraid of being attacked, because I know what to do. I know how to hit, where to hit, and when to hit. Hopefully, I will never need to use these skills, but it's empowering to know that I can defend myself.
In the midst of my suffering and denial of the PTSD, I swear I didn't have a restful nights sleep for almost 5 years. In fact, I think I completely stopped sleeping for almost a year. Went to docs and they gave me an antihistamine. I was begging, nothing, absolutely nothing would put me down. Went sort of psychotic. I had really severe abuse, so not surprising.

My sleep is pretty good now. I have some money in the bank, not on the verge of homelessness, no one to trust to help me. I do have two degrees, believe it or not, but the victimization at work and being hit on by men was just too much triggering for me to take every day. I was hypervigilant constantly with the thought of having to face the harassment at work. I'm considered very attractive and I just couldn't get away from the pursuing predators. Getting hit on for me is total retraumatization. I'm still working on this one.

Finally, sleep started coming again through meditation, money in the bank, getting the heck away from men (humans). I was taking klonopin, half at night, still do sometimes....but i'm in a safe parttime job and on disability, so a lot of the stress is off. But my body and brain chemistry truly suffered terribly.

Now I make my own herbal tinctures, am off the klonopin, and do 15ml of skullcap about an hour prior to bed. Slept like a child last night.........so far so good. But it sure does help to have a bit of financial security and to feel safe and cared for at work. Without that, I'd not be sleeping, I'm sure. Still having trouble trusting any man............lonely, but it's worth it right now.
Welcome to nightmares!


I definitely need sleep medication. Until I started Ambien I would not even dare go to bed until 2 or 3 or 4 or 5. Now we go to bed at significantly more "normal" times. We still sleep half of the day away, the way it is, usually until someone shows up to wake us up. Luckily, my service dog is not a morning dog either. I also have Klonopin on an as needed basis. If I'm tired enough (e.g. after a snow shoe hike), the muscle relaxants suffice. Sadly, no meds have helped the nightmare issue. As others have suggested mine vary. I think a side effect of the meds are very weird dreams. Last week a new friend of mine (who became deaf last February), who had heard about me through a mutual friend, showed me how to make a dream catcher. I hung it from my ceiling and I haven't had a nightmare since. I am really interested in cultures and cultural symbols. So, it has been a wonderful experience. Having it hang right above my bed is cool too because I can see it if wake up.

I wish I could give you a solution as good as yours on my posting. Sorry!
if getting out is difficult try doing some gentle weights? i.e. do aerobic weight lifting. Then do some relaxation exercises. I know its really really difficult, but if you can just manage to cram in 30 minutes a day or every other day ansd stick at it for a month then it really can help with relaxing and sleep.
I used to have a lot of problems with sleep and at some point it got so bad I slept maybe two or three hours of very restless sleep with nightmares. Exhausting yourself is a good idea, but that should be something in the lines of exercise like boxing or running or whatever you like.

If you are capable of making bit more drastic changes then its reaarranging your daily routine.
What I did: *went to a doctor, got meds (AD-s)
*gave up coffee, I drank juices, milk, decaf teas (they are usually labeled, most teas do contain caffeine)
*strict daily routine - I went to bed and came out of bed at the same time every day, including weekends.
*I did the same things in the same order every time before going to bed and coming out of bed
* I had a lavalamp so I always slept with some light, I was too scared of dark at that point.
*I had strict time when I did some form of exercise even if I wasn´t capable of doing anything else besides streching and maybe walking. I walked an hour every day while the sun was out.
*Strict times for eating and food contained as much fresh as it was possible at that time of year.
*Preparation. When I had to do something in few days or few weeks and thought about it beforehand, played it through my head, got used to it and so on. Basically no last minute rushes!

Maybe its just me, but my physical health got a lot worse when I went through that period of time, everything was bad and my anxiety and depression hit the highest point of my known life then.
IT's tough for me to get to sleep most of the time. I got a CD that plays ocean waves that seems to be working pretty good. My problem was waking up from the nightmares a few hours before my wake up time, and then just laying there mad because I cant get to sleep. I am currently doing a sleep study through the Army for the Prazosin medication to stop nightmares. I am on my second week, and my sleep seems a little better, but I am still having my average number of nightmares

You offer some really good suggestions, and I work on them. Sometimes I resent having to take so many preventive actions to make sure a good night's sleep happens. I do something like drink a pop or exercise shortly before bed and I'm up all night.
I used to wake up every two hours - scares as h***. Neigther meds or sleep regulating behaviour did help. For me, therapy was what helped. After working with a good trauma therapist for over a year, I started sleeping better. Now I average 6 hours - without nigthmares.
no sleep? I take 10mg valuim ,I realy dont remember my dreams(nightmares)well I am taking it and i get about six hours of uninterupted sleep most of the time .hope this helps
Well I finally got ahold of my psychMD and she said she could prescribe Ambien but kind of wanted to hold off because she said sometimes the way it really knocks you out and you dont remember stuff can be distressing to people with trauma history. She suggested we try some melatonin and see if that helps for a few days and then we will regroup and discuss.

I have to also add in some exercise to my habits..and also getting some sunlight. I keep my blinds closed all day and dont leave my house much so its like being in a cave. She said she knows I can break out of this...I have done it before.
Yes, I have nighmares every night. For the past 8 years, I haven't slept much at all and my body has adjusted. I've tried sleeping pills but my body adapts really quickly and they only work once or twice. It has only been this past week that I have really broken the not sleeping pattern. In the past I would sleep for 45 minutes and then be up the rest of the night or I would doze off and on the rest of the night with nightmares. I don't know what is different but I think I've reached some type of turning point in my treatment cause for the past week I've actually slept 5 straight hours without waking. Granted, those 5 solid hours were with nightmares BUT it was 5 solid hours of sleep and I actually felt pretty good the next day. I don't do the meds thing but what I have found which helps is downloading relaxing music to my Ipod and listening to it just as I try to go to bed. If I wake up during the night and can't go back to sleep, I'll put it back on. It keeps me from hearing any noises in the house and helps me relax. The best sound I've got on my ipod for relaxing and falling asleep is the sound of rain. I know it sounds odd but it's just the sound of rain falling, no music, just rain. It's just white noise but it works for me. If all else fails, I take the alarm clock and move out to the couch with a dvd on tv (something I know I will fall asleep to.) Good luck, I'm sure you'll find something that works for you.

- Mel
I did the sleep hygiene thing but my sleep has never really come good, I don't take sedatives so it's whenever I can get it. I do take melatonin which helps sometimes, so does music and one of those subliminal "white noise" type CD's at the very least for blocking out surrounding noise.

My place creaks a lot, also the pub down the road has a lot of fights outside which are right outside my place (bad triggers for me) Still sleep poorly, restless, wake at noise, get nightmares although now they are more substituted with stereotypes than having the people involved in the dream. Learning to lucid dream helped with some but not the ones that wake me. I find it easier to sleep in blocks of time than regularly.
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