To ask about anxiety and difficulty sleeping.

(33 Posts)
tiredtedsanxiousmoments Sat 26-Mar-16 19:10:23

What does anxiety feel like? I'm feeling worked up all the time and stressed with life etc. Sometimes I can't breathe properly and feel like an elephant is sat on my chest. Needless to say it's affecting my sleep too. I am getting less than 3 hrs most nights and feel so down with it all. This has been ongoing for some time.

Does anyone take medication for this? And it so does it work? My doctor hasn't been very good so far with just generic advice and the usual exercise more etc. I have done all of this and it hasn't worked.

I need to go back really but feel like they aren't taking it seriously. I find lack of sleep is rarely taken seriously by anyone other than fellow sufferers.

Are there any other sufferers with this insomnia/anxious feeling. I sometimes think I am going mad.

Zaurak Sat 26-Mar-16 19:46:04

Yeah, that sounds bad sad I have terrible insomnia, all mixed in with anxiety and depression. What causes what is unclear.

The problem with medicating inomnia is that not much works. Sleeping pills are horribly addictive so you can only take them short term. Melatonin has helped me but you can't buy it otc in the U.K.

Good sleep hygiene is vital. Then see if you can go back to your GP - concentrate on the anxiety and ask for antidepressants.

secretgirl Sat 26-Mar-16 19:52:55

Yes I'm no doctor but it sounds like anxiety. The elephant in your chest & the lack of sleep. I suffer and you have my every sympathy. When you feel like that all the exercise in the world, the best of diets, nothing really helps. You need to talk talk talk. Do you have a good friend or family member that you feel you can talk to 100%? Also look up some meditation on you tube. It doesn't cure but it soothes the mind for a time. I am on medication for mine but have put myself on a list to see a psychologist and try get to the root of it. It's gonna cost a fortune but it need to be done. Go back to the doc and take it from there.

tiredtedsanxiousmoments Sat 26-Mar-16 20:04:33

Thank you for replying. I feel so desperate at times I could cry.

Sleep deprivation is torture when it is every day for weeks and weeks. I have spoken to friends and partner but they don't seem to fully understand what it feels like to have 20 hrs sleep in a week when they are having 50-60. It affects job, day to day life, relationship and my happiness.

I will go to the doctor again but was wondering what anxiety tablets do? Are they a relaxant because that's the bit I seem to struggle with.

thatcoldfeeling Sat 26-Mar-16 20:06:58

Yes this sounds familiar! When my anxiety is esp bad I get hardly any sleep, and when I do I sleepwalk a lot.

You can take anti anxiety meds citalopram or potentially diazepam but be cautious, esp with diazepam as coming off it is hellish and it makes you into a zombie. I take fluoxetine which works for me to an extent, well, not that much actually, but is not specifically for anxiety.

HPandBaconSandwiches Sat 26-Mar-16 20:09:54

How old are you OP?

Old enough for the perimenopause?

Maybe try a different GP. I have enforced sleep deprivation (toddler) and peri but I think insomnia plain and simple must be even worse.

tiredtedsanxiousmoments Sat 26-Mar-16 20:12:52

Thanks. I read so much about medication and the side effects and wish I could sort this without but nothing seems to work.

Has anyone tried CBT as I believe this can help.

tiredtedsanxiousmoments Sat 26-Mar-16 20:14:45

40. It is hellish HP. It's been a problem for a while now.

No kids to keep me awake. Quiet house, no noise anywhere. Just the noise in my brain that won't stay quiet.

Jemimapuddleduk Sat 26-Mar-16 20:15:12

Hi I had severe anxiety and insomnia with pnd. I found a combination of cbt (I paid as couldn't wait for the nhs app to come through) and a sedating antidepressant (dosulepin) worked. I am still not as great a sleeper as I used to be but my situation has improved massively and I no longer have crippling anxiety. This is despite me only being on 25mg of my meds now (I was on 100mg). Not sure how to link to my threads re this in mental health but if you search under my username they will be there- Feb/March time last year.

edwinbear Sat 26-Mar-16 20:17:48

Thankfully I don't suffer from anxiety but DH, my dad and sister have all suffered. I'm told St John's Wort can help and doesn't require a prescription, maybe worth a try?

thatcoldfeeling Sat 26-Mar-16 20:18:00

I have had CBT and MBCT (mindfulness), both not particularly helpful but I have other issues too and am pretty long term fucked up. I can see how they cld be useful - esp the mindfulness.

HPandBaconSandwiches Sat 26-Mar-16 20:19:23

I'm 40 too.

Just had blood tests confirm perimenopause. DD is only 2. Have a Google tired it may ring some bells. Daisy network is useful. May be nothing to do with it of course but the unexpected anxiety was the key for me finally figuring out what's going on.

Felt Sat 26-Mar-16 20:20:38

I find listening to something on the radio (or iplayer or podcast) helps to calm my whirring contemplative mind and ease me into sleep. I've also found nightnurse tablets to stop me waking too early, though I ration myself to one dose per week.

tiredtedsanxiousmoments Sat 26-Mar-16 20:24:34

Thank you so much for replying and for your stories and suggestions. Sometimes you think you are alone with this problem. I one told someone that if I won the lottery I would give it all away in exchange for a good nights sleep every night! If only it was that simple.

Jemimapuddleduk Sat 26-Mar-16 20:30:17

Honestly it is possible! Please have a read of my old threads and how anxious and desperate I was. Loads of great advise on there from fellow sufferers. You WILL sleep well again and the anxiety will ease. I am in a rubbish situation at the moment with lots of stress with my poorly ds and I am still managing to sleep. The medication totally re set my sleep patterns and associated anxiety.

amarmai Sat 26-Mar-16 20:31:40

hi ,op, sorry to hear this has been going on for a long time as it becomes a vicious cycle. I have been battling it off and on for years and currently for the last 12 mths . I turn on music to interupt my brain, ,drink a lot of water with vit c powder in it when i wake up enuf, take magnesium and valerian root capsules before i go to bed and try to relax and say a mantra to stop what is churning in my mind. Currently it's a bad root canal job , so my mantra is -not going to die from this tooth tonight. if you can identify a particular thought that is repeating in your brain, tailor a mantra to contradict it .

BeanCalledPickle Sat 26-Mar-16 20:32:07

Have you tried over the counter sleeping pills? I take phenerghan or diphenhydramine most nights. Both knock me out and keep me asleep. Without them I sleep the same amount as you. Both are just antihistamines and seem to do the job. It may not work but might!

Gardencentregroupie Sat 26-Mar-16 20:34:10

I had horrible anxiety and insomnia when I was pregnant. I found that pilates helped a lot - it might do nothing for you but it helped me focus on my body and core and breathing and pushed all the anxiety out of my head for a while so I could sleep. Could be worth a try? Good luck, it's awful I know.

Mishaps Sat 26-Mar-16 20:39:30

You are definitely not alone. It is very common indeed. I think it would be a good idea to go back to your GP. Anxiety and insomnia are totally debilitating. I do hope that you get some help.

I have a good relaxation exercise that I listen to when I need to get to sleep or to relax. I listen to it on my iPod in bed or any other time that I think it might help.

Crabbitface Sat 26-Mar-16 21:14:45

Yip. Anxiety and insomnia exacerbate one another in a horrible vicious cycle and if you let it go on too long depression can pop it's wee head up as well. DO NOT BE AFRAID of medication. Ideally people wouldn't have to take it but then ideally my pal wouldn't have to take insulin for her diabetes.

Yes explore underlying stress factors and find help in addressing any that you find. CBT can be helpful if you get a good therapist. BUT unless you can afford a private counsellor your mental health may deteriorate in the time you have to wait for an nhs one. Anti-depressant can help. I only had to take them for a short ish period of time and it was enough to regulate my sleep and clear my thinking. I was prescribed a very small dose of Sertraline.

Final piece of advice - step away from the internet. Anxiety and the Internet are not nice when mixed.

When this happened to me, my doctor told me it would pass and i wasn't permanently "broken". In the midst of it I struggled to believe her but it was true. The right medication, support from home and some cbt techniques and I've been absolutely fine for years now.
Hope you feel better soon.

ciele Sat 26-Mar-16 21:22:41

I take half a zopiclone every night and have done for years so I'm probably addicted but I would rather be a prescription addict than an insomniac. It's awful not being able to sleep.
My GP is fine with it.
I also take ADs and beta blockers and agree about listening to radio to block out thoughts. I player is great.

GymBergerac Sat 26-Mar-16 21:23:51

Hey tired

From OH..... Feels like a huge fat guy sitting on your chest. Comes on suddenly with little warning and night time is worst. Scared of putting the light of at night. He has Citalopram and now also 10mg amytriptaline and finally rests enough to sleep. He says the fear of the anxiety coming is worse than the actual anxiety attack itself. We talk about it a lot, we're not afraid of talking about it. It's not something shameful or to be ashamed of. He distracts himself as soon as he feels it coming on by coming downstairs, reading, listening to music etc. Having people to talk to is a huge thing. Take care, get all the help you can x

TremoloGreen Sat 26-Mar-16 21:28:20

I suffer from anxiety and am a chronic insomniac. Obviously, meddication will not solve everything, but you may find you feel a lot better than you do now, then you can access CBT and make better use of it. I take mirtazepine an antidepressant that has a side-effect of drowsiness. I take it before I go to bed. First few days, you will feel a bit zonked but it evens out very quickly. I sleep well now but it doesn't affect e.g. ability to drive or anything like that.

MumsGoneToIceland Sat 26-Mar-16 21:30:49

A hypnosis MP3 download has really helped me to get into a relaxed enough state to sleep

TremoloGreen Sat 26-Mar-16 21:31:04

Ps, one side effect is weight gain. So it may not be great if you struggle with your weight. Saying that, I have managed to lose 10kg (that I put while pregnant) in 4 months despite taking it, so it is not inevitable that you will gain/ struggle to lose weight on it,

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