Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.

anyone else have a phobia about being tired/not getting enough sleep?

(12 Posts)
arightoldbag Sat 03-Mar-12 11:21:20

It sounds daft I know, especially as a mum of two young children, but I have suffered for a long time with a completely crippling fear of being tired or not getting to sleep.

I am on 40 mg of Seroxat which helps to mask the problem a bit, but as soon as I reduce anti-ds it raises it's head again.

Doctors have recommended CBT. On a long waiting list though.

It got a LOT worse after last baby (who is now 21 months old). It's sort of related to health anxiety, as I worry that if I do not get enough sleep, then I will get ill and never get better. In my 20s I had M.E. and I am absolutely scared stiff that it will come back. I have felt like this since I was mid 20s.

I do a lot of avoidance things, sometimes not even realising what I am doing. I count exactly how many hours of sleep I have, use Nytol regularly, and have lie ins when I can. I won't go out at night, or stay out late. I don't drink as it affects my sleep. I constantly check how tired I feel. My DH is very good, and always gets up with the baby, as he says he cannot cope with my paranoia/anxiety about being tired during the day.

If I reduce my medication it literally takes over my life. It's all I can think about. I had a bad episode after DS was born, and at one point was on 70Mg of Citalopram trying to cope with disabling anxiety. I have been diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder. I had some therapy but stopped as it made me feel terrible, and therefore very very tired! If I cry during the day atall or get upset it just knocks me for six and i feel wiped out the next day. Why is it that when I get emotional I feel so terrible the next day?!?

I am 37 years old and absolutely sick and fed up with myself. Why can't I just get on with life? I need to see the doctor again as the 40mg of Seroxat doesn't seem to be stopping all symptoms. I hold down a job, do various volunteer things, and look after the children. My relationship with my DH is fairly dire, sex probably once a year and i am touchy, paranoid and very anxious.

Anyone have the same sort of phobia? What's the matter with me!!

DurhamDurham Sat 03-Mar-12 11:26:27

I don't take medication as I actually sleep very well. However if I do happen to wake up during the night, or earlier in the morning that usual then I convince myself that I will be ill. It's stupid as I know people cope on v little sleep but if I wake up at 5 instead of 7 I say to myself " Well, I'm going to be ill due to sleep depivation" and spend the day thinking I look rough/ill/pale and generally shattered. I've no idea why I do this, or when I got inot the habit. Sorry I'm not much help smile

SootySweepandSue Sat 03-Mar-12 11:34:23

I have never taken meds but I really sympathise with you. I am the most god all hopeless person in the mornings and I just hate the first 1hr or so of getting going. I realise a lot of people are like this but I'm the worst person I know for this. I need 8 hours sleep or I am a completely different person aka the bitch from hell. I would say that I am scared about not getting enough sleep. Definitely makes me anxious and is putting me off having another baby as luckily we had a great sleeper so I was only deprived for about 6 weeks.

I remember being young and being able to go out all night and not sleep for days.

I do wonder if it is some sort of depression . But I also think surely it must be your body telling you you need to have more sleep?

If I feel horrid and grouchy I lie down or even sleep in the bath, but it's hard with a toddler.

madmouse Sat 03-Mar-12 13:51:35

You say you stopped having therapy as it made you feel terrible. I think you're going to have to see that as a side effect of therapy and get back to it. Or it becomes a vicious circle. You cannot carry on with this much anxiety and just medication to control it for the rest of your life.

topsi Sat 03-Mar-12 16:16:14

I am quite obsessed by sleep. I have suffered insomnia for many years and up untill fairly recently was anxious each night about how much sleep I would get and the anxiety would then stop me sleeping.
I am better now but only because I have managed to reduce the problem of insomnia.
I take a variety of supplenments to help me sleep and some to help me feel less exhausted during the day.
I found the most helpful thing was St Johns Wort which really reduced my anxiety levels and helped me sleep without making me a total zombie.
I think some of your medication may not be helping with your sleep quality, it may be worth talking to your Dr about this.
It did rule my life for a number of years and I still am very strict about going to bed at the same time each night, no caffine after about 3pm, never stay out late, always have a banana before bed etc etc. However I do sleep better now than I have for years and when I have a bad night I do cope better than I used to. I do feel sick and dizzy first thing but manage to cope through untill bed time.
I never thought I would feel better but I can hoestly say that I do so there is hope!!

topsi Sat 03-Mar-12 16:17:18


yellytherebmik Mon 08-Aug-16 01:20:12

It's been four years so you probably don't even use this site anymore, I'm not even a mum (I'm 15) but I've searched the internet and this is the only account I've found that explains how I feel. The obsessive hour counting, the health scare. For me it's also self hate as well ("how could I let myself stay up this late. I guess it's just nice to know I'm not the only one. smile

Angie231677 Sun 30-Jul-17 05:17:04

Yes I completely understand you; it's not just scared you won't get enough sleep. I'm literally scared of feeling "exhausted" and being somewhere I can't sleep to recover. So I nap, or I plan my day purposely so that I'm not out more than a half day for activities. I dislike being so tired that I can't function and social settings, being at a beach all day, and the like absolutely mentally then physically exhaust me.

Angie231677 Sun 30-Jul-17 05:20:14

I'm at my best alertness in the night hours and don't feel that constant "tired drag" on myself. It's part of being an introvert and enjoying my personal space. But for example, all grocery shopping, a dinner with a friend, or a simple shopping trip must be done on a complete day off. If I couple that small trip on top of a 9-10hr work day then I feel completely exhausted and paralyzed.

NooNooHead Sun 30-Jul-17 18:06:44

I can completely understand your fear. I had a nervous breakdown in Oct 2015 as a result of complete sleep deprivation after a head injury and post concussion syndrome and it was the worst time of my life. I literally had no sleep for about 3 weeks and was so anxious that I gave myself a breakdown. I have never experienced anything so awful, and I was so exhausted that I couldn't move, had to crawl up the stairs, couldn't speak properly, and had no concept of time. Other lovely physical symptoms manifested such as a tingling feeling in the top half of my head and weird woozy spaced out feelings and a foggy head.

It was utter hell and the only thing that saved me was Citalopram. I never want to get like that again and am in constant fear of insomnia now but have coping mechanisms and would take antidepressants again if it ever got that bad.

Feel free to PM me if you want to chat. Xxx

WildWolf1 Sat 04-Nov-17 18:29:59

I have the same problem, to the point that I would rather sleep than eat. I will go to my job or to class and the entire time I will be worrying about when I'm going to get home so I can sleep. It's gotten so bad lately that I eat maybe only once a day and sleep the rest. At my college homecoming football game I could only stay until half time before leaving because I was afraid I would get sleep in before work.

spidereye Sat 04-Nov-17 18:41:17

Yes, I have lots of anxiety around getting enough sleep. Quitting full time work helped as has having older children. I start to panic that I'm never going to be able to fall asleep again. It was very bad when I worked full time - suffered stomach pain all night with anxiety

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: