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Is Your PTSD Keeping You Up At Night?

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Even though I have had a good therapy session recently, I still find myself awake almost every night. I think the earliest I have gone to bed since my accident was around 11pm. It's now 2:15 am here and I am wide awake, with my mind racing. It'll probably be around 3am or so, like usual, that I'll go to try and get some sleep. I don't have a problem thinking about what's happened to me and I'm not getting too emotional about it. I don't think I'm really that overly upset right now. I haven't cried in days and I haven't found myself getting that "sick to my stomach" feeling either. But, I still think about what has happened. I still find myself looking at the same old pictures over and over again. I know that they don't change. I know looking at them won't make things better. I just can't seem to relax. I am on medication that is supposed to make me sleep better. It hasn't helped. My doctor has increased my dosage at every visit. Still no improvement. I have even been taking Valium along with the anti-depressant/sleep-aid (Amitriptyline) and that doesn't help. I'm thinking that maybe it's not medication that I need. There's got to be something more that I'm missing. Does anyone else have this problem? Am I crazy or is this related to the PTSD? I never had problems sleeping before my accident. It's not like I'm having nightmares and I'm afraid to go to sleep. I'm not always thinking about what happened when I'm awake at night either. It's like I'm pacing back and forth even though I'm sitting in front of the computer. I check the same websites over and over. I read the same articles over and over. My wife is sound asleep in bed and I can't get myself to go and sleep alongside her. It bothers her to wake up in the middle of the night and find that I'm not there. It bothers me too. What do I do? Do I ask the doctor for a sleeping pill? Do I have her increase my meds again? I'm trying to get myself back to work too. I haven't work since June and if I can't sleep at night, how am I going to get enough rest to work my 12 hour shifts? I'm tired, but I just can't sleep. I know that my body needs it, but I just can't seem to relax enough to sleep.

I need some advice. If anyone has experienced this or is still expereincing this, help me out. I'm just very frustrated. Thanks again. -Ben

One more note. A simple reminder that I didn't CAPITALIZE my Post would have been a much better way to show me my mistake. Locking a thread when someone is reaching out for help is not the way to run a forum. It usually late at night when I'm posting my threads. I don't always think to capitalize when I post. I've posted here more than once and the first time I'm talked to about it, my thread is locked? That's ridiculous.
wrong - I've capitalized your posts more than once. Have you taken notice to the forum, that you are NOT the only one with your thread locked because you did not follow the rules? Did you see the note in General Chat?

The fact that you haven't read the rules and refuse to follow them is what is ridiculous. Thank you very much.

And by the way - this is not the only forum that I help moderate. I actually own a forum of my own and would do the exact same thing.

All you have to do is follow the rules.
Welcome to the forum..

Sleep issues are a huge part of PTSD, and one that many of us struggle with for years. I was on Trazadone for 11 yrs, prior to that I slept maybe 1-2 hrs a night. I now take nothing, sleep is better, but not great.

Keep going to therapy, and talk over your issues.

BTW... All of us here have to follow the rules, or we get our ass chewed out, so you aren't alone in that dept. Rachel and the rest of the mods have a tough time, ease up on them will you.....
I Have A Feeling This May Be My Last Thread, But This Needs To Be Said

I admit that I missed the part of the rules where capitalizing is required. I apologize for that, but if you take it upon yourself to take the time to capitalize my posts without telling me about it, how am I to know I was wrong? Correcting my mistakes for me is not the same as reminding me of the rules. It's not my fault that you waited until this most recent post to lock my threads. Not once since I've been posting threads, was I reminded of that rule. I think that most people are concerned with getting help. Getting better. That's why you have so many people not capitalizing their posts. They want help. They see a place where they think they can find peace with others like them. They jump on that chance to get some help and somehow miss that rule. You have to understand that we don't need one more thing to make us feel bad about ourselves. I understand that rules are rules, but capitalizing? Come one. I came here for help, not for this. It's unfortunate that you have to be so picky about such a little thing as capitalization. Honestly, I do not need this at this point in my life. I need help. I need people who understand what I've been through and what I am still going through. I hope that you realize that these types of forums are supposed to build people up and to help them. Locking threads for such a little thing, like making sure every word is capitalized, is not a thing that people who are already depressed need. You need to take a look at yourself and see what's really important in life, helping people get better or making this forum look the way you want it to. What good does that do? It builds you up while you tear others down. That is what truly is RIDICULOUS. I was finding this site helpful. I was getting comfort from the help of other people who suffer like I do. Sometimes it only takes one person to turn you away from something that helps. I hope you take this, read it, and see where I'm coming from. If you choose to block me or keep me from posting on this site again, that is your decision. Just know that what is happening is you are making people worse by doing so. Is that why we are here? I don't think so.
Ben... Let me offer you a belated welcome. I don't have any advice but only my experience to share with you.

For me, the sleep issue was immediately resolved through the use of an as-needed sleep aid. It made a huge difference in my mood and ability to cope. I resorted to pharmaceutical help when everything else I tried (relaxation, exercise, herbal sleep aids, yoga, etc.) failed. I don't have a problem falling asleep, but I can't stay asleep. I took it daily for at least six months. Now, I don't need to take it daily. However, having it available when I am having sleep problems helps me tremendously.

There are plenty of threads regarding sleep problems with plenty of ideas on how to deal with it. I hope you find a solution that works for you. Personally, I opt for "Better living through chemistry."

At one time, I too was reminded of the editorial policy. I appreciated the reminder.

I take Trazadone, and it REALLY helps! It is safe and non-addictive, so if you're looking to take the medication route, it is one to consider.
Difficulties with sleep are very common with PTSD. Since you are wiling to take medications, I would suggest discussing your options with your doctor. If the current combination of meds is not working for you, he should have other options that you can try.

I have found that the correct combination of meds, along with good sleep hygiene, have helped me manage my sleep issues.

The "Sleep Management" section of the Information part of this forum has a lot of really helpful tips for how to improve your sleeping habits.
Well, if this is your last thread, so be it.

There was a post to all members in General Chat posted over a week ago, addressing this exact issue.

Guess what - the people who run this board also have PTSD. We know what you are going through, but we follow the rules and expect you to do the same.
Hi there-----
I am in the same boat as you. I really don't think my PTSD is keeping me up at night. I don't lie in bed thinking of the incidents that happened, or crying over the losses, or feeling angry about how they were handled. Many times I go to bed and feel really peaceful, confident that I can sleep, and all cosy and warm and happy to settle down in bed. Then I lie there like that, waiting for sleep, for many hours.
At doctors' insistence I finally started taking sleeping pills, but most of those don't work either. At most I get a few hours' sleep, then maybe a bit more sleep chopped up into little bits. In the morning I usually feel exhausted.
I happened upon a neuro-feedback clinic that primarily treats children with attention deficit disorder by repatterning brainwaves. I am willing to try anything to be able to sleep normally again, so I phoned them up and asked them if they treat insomnia. They said they kind of did, as every client that they see (they see some adults too) had insomnia as part of their symptoms. So I went.

They measured my brainwaves at all frequencies and found that I was producing a huge amount of Beta brainwaves. These are the highest frequency, and are associated with high-alert consciousness. There was much less Alpha (lower frequency), Delta and Theta (lower still). The director of the clinic----who knows more about the brain than any doctor I've ever seen or even the idiot neurologist I saw once----said that this indicates that my brain is always on "high alert" or "hypervigilance". He said that this can be caused by years of stress and prolonged "high gear", which is certainly what I endured at my job. It all made a lot of sense to me because I really did have to be in high gear all the time. Now it seems I can't turn it off, even though I am not necessarily aware of being in high gear. Maybe I'm just too used to it.

We worked at that clinic to try and bring this down, but without success. I started seeing a counsellor who diagnosed me with PTSD and I decided I would work on those issues before continuing with the neurofeedback. So now I am seeing the counsellor weekly, and also experimenting with guided meditation tapes to try and learn to relax my mind on a regular basis, and hopefully get out of "high gear". Hypervigilance can be one of the symptoms of PTSD, so I'm hoping that my counselling is going to make a difference.

As someone else has mentioned, there is a good section here on sleep hygiene, which you may already be practising (go to bed at the same time, keep the room dark and quiet, that sort of thing). There are also many good books on the subject (Say Goodnight to Insomnia is a very good one. Out of print but you can still get cheap copies online.) There is also a very good forum with a caring online community at sleepnet.org, click on the Insomnia part of the forum. Sometimes it is also worth getting a sleep study done, which can reveal problems such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, which I discovered I had through a sleep study.

Anyway good luck to you and stay with us.....it gets easier.

Just know that what is happening is you are making people worse by doing so.

I just saw this part of your post, BTMsearINH, and it made me angry. This is not a place to come if you want people to tiptoe around you. We all understand this illness too well, and no one here seeks to hurt anyone else--that's not allowed. People are here to help each other.

If having a post closed because of editorial policies makes your PTSD worse, that reflects more on the uncontrolled nature of your PTSD and emotional state than on the folks who run the forum. They did not ban you and they did not personally insult you. They closed your thread to remind you to familiarize yourself with the policy, and allowed you to open a new thread correctly.

I hope you will stick around long enough to become acquainted with the excellent people who frequent this forum, as we learn a lot from each other.
We are a pretty tight community and to be honest we are rather protective of one another. I'm not sure that I like your attitude right now, but I am willing to give you the benefit of doubt. I feel that you need to apologize, but that will have to be up to you....

There are rules in life everywhere you go, I bet that you have rules in your own home and expect others to respect them. So respect the rules here, there won't be an issue, and no one will be on your butt. It's that easy!!!!
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