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Early morning waking - strategies

(39 Posts)
GhostlyAbode Thu 17-Nov-16 05:17:30

I have been awake since 4. Lying in bed, trapped by anxious thoughts and physical responses (burning skin, inside tremors, nausea). I am on setraline 100mg. The weird thing is that before I started on the medication for depression this was not one of my symptoms.

What do other people do. Lying here is torture. Getting up seems impossible. I haven't to be up at 6 for work.

RainAndChocolate Thu 17-Nov-16 05:43:35

Hi Ghostly, sorry I can't help but I can empathise as in the same position. I've been awake since 4.45am. It's horrible isn't it? This is a regular occurrence for me. Either wake up early or sometimes wide awake at 2am then get back to sleep just before the alarm goes off. I tend to lie here looking at my phone which passes the time but annoys DH and gives me eyestrain.

Have you tried taking Nytol etc? Works well for me but don't like to have it more than once a week.

GhostlyAbode Thu 17-Nov-16 05:51:48

Thank you for replying. It is so horrid, the worse 'symptom' for me. What a way to start the day. I have never tried Nytol or anything as I can fall asleep fine in the evening. It's just the waking up and as it's always only a few hours before getting up time I would worry I might sleep through the alarm!

When do you take it?

RainAndChocolate Thu 17-Nov-16 05:57:53

I take it immediately before going to bed. I never have problems falling asleep but it seems to help me stay asleep. I wish I didn't have to take it though!

Yes it's a horrible way to start the day. I'm wide awake now but by the time I get up, get ready and drive to work I know I'll be exhausted.

I find when I've had a poor night's sleep I'm more irritable and stressed, can't concentrate and eat more rubbish.

On the rare occasions I sleep well without having to resort to taking Nytol, I feel amazing!

Ditsy4 Thu 17-Nov-16 06:02:30

It is awful. I had to have medication in the end as I was down to 2 1/2 hrs a night and going to work on that. GP gave me Amitriptyline 10mg but they make me a bit dopey in the morning so I take 5mg which gets me off to sleep and if I wake then with a play or the Archers to listen to I drop off again.this can be used for pain( partly why I wake up) and depression. Might be worth changing your medication.
Otherwise try radio or if you have IPad something to listen to like short story. I find it better than music because some songs wake me up.

booox Thu 17-Nov-16 06:12:02

How long have you been on sertraline?

RainAndChocolate Thu 17-Nov-16 06:12:51

Ditsy do you listen on headphones? I like the idea of trying the radio or an audio book to get back to sleep but not sure I can do it without waking DH.

booox Thu 17-Nov-16 06:16:25

Don't look at phones etc, check you're not too hot. I've got an app called calm that has a rain noise (and pic- don't look !) and find that helpful.

RainAndChocolate Thu 17-Nov-16 07:08:09

I like the sound of the rain app, VIOLET, although no need for that here today as we have the real thing!

I know I shouldn't look at my phone but find my mind races if I have no distraction, it can be quite unpleasant.

GhostlyAbode Thu 17-Nov-16 07:26:08

Hi everyone. I've been back on setraline for 4 weeks having had a short break with no medication. Before that I was on it for two years.

The rain app or similar sounds good. I listen to audio books on the commute to work to keep my mind occupied so I have the kit.

I am really suffering today. Everything seems so bleak and futile yet the anxiety is like a burning sword striking through the gloom, not in a good way.

Okay one step at a time and all that.

Rainatnight Thu 17-Nov-16 07:35:07

Poor you. I get this and it's miserable. Some things that have really helped me

- accepting that you're not sleeping and just get up, and do something like read a book, laundry, whatever. This at least removes the torture of lying there and all the dark thoughts that come with that.

- not trying to solve any problems while I can't sleep, even though the tortured feeling makes you feel like you have to solve ALL THE PROBLEMS. My therapist told me that you're not fully functioning cognitively at that time of night, so you genuinely can't solve those problems properly. So now I try to remember that and just leave it.

- being really kind to myself the next day and recognising that I'll be feeling worse than usual precisely because I haven't slept. It helps quite a bit to say to myself 'ah, I'm not getting worse or going mental, I just didn't sleep very much, so of course everything's going to seem worse today'

- this article and the techniques in it. www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jul/15/shuffle-thoughts-sleep-oliver-burkeman

And is it worth speaking to your doctor to see if there's another drug you could be taking?

GhostlyAbode Thu 17-Nov-16 07:55:40

Rain that makes sense, and thank you for your advice.

booox Thu 17-Nov-16 08:01:59

I wonder if you're still adjusting?

It will get better flowers keep focussing on that.

GhostlyAbode Thu 17-Nov-16 10:29:42

I do hope so Violet. The last time I felt instant relief and hardly any side effects, this time it's been much more up and down and some side effects.

It's the same drug so I'm a bit confused as to the different experience. A different brand - I wonder if that makes a difference.

heron98 Thu 17-Nov-16 14:30:30

If I wake up early through worrying I get up and do exercise - even if it's 2am. I have some kettlebells in the living room so put some music on and do half an hour, then sit down with a cup of tea.

Depending on how I feel/what time it is, I might go back to bed, otherwise I will stay up but feel a lot calmer than I would have done lying in bed.

booox Thu 17-Nov-16 17:47:57

If it's a different brand you could ask pharmacist and find out if they could get the other one?

booox Thu 17-Nov-16 17:48:30

It should be the same but I have had experience with a different drug where it wasn't. (Thyroxine)

GhostlyAbode Fri 18-Nov-16 06:12:20

So woke up at 4 this morning. And did the mind distraction thing for about an hour. Random objects, fruits through the alphabet. It worked as a distraction to the frustration and gloomy thoughts but I was still awake at 5. So I got up.

And actually it was a better experience than yesterday so that's a positive.

Although now I feel really low and struggling so maybe I've just delayed the gloom.

RainAndChocolate Fri 18-Nov-16 06:48:07

Oh no sorry to hear that Ghostly. I woke up at 5.00, better than 4 something (psychologically anyway) but not great as got busy day at work and meant to be going out this evening.

I checked this threat and didn't see any updates so was hoping everyone asleep!

GhostlyAbode Fri 18-Nov-16 06:51:23

Thanks rain for checking. Hope you do t get to tired and enjoy your evening out. I may have to have a little snooze at work somewhere to get through the day.

bibbitybobbityyhat Fri 18-Nov-16 06:57:49

I've been awake since 3.50am. It's shit isn't it?

RainAndChocolate Fri 18-Nov-16 07:12:24

Snooze at work sounds good. Bibbity 3.50 is horrendous, hope you haven't got a busy day today.

RainAndChocolate Fri 18-Nov-16 07:14:53

Recently heard a colleague complaining that he woke up at 5am and couldn't get back to sleep for ages. How I laughed...

GhostlyAbode Fri 18-Nov-16 07:45:18

Bibbity yep it's totally shit.

Does anyone know the science behind what causes it?

booox Fri 18-Nov-16 08:23:58

I'm sorry ghostly.
I think your strategies sound great. Remember the brain is a bit like a muscle- the more you exercise it's thought patterns the stronger they get. So, do it every day for a month and it at worst will be no worse, at best be much better.

I'm telling myself this today. I too was awake at 4 (I often find pmt does this though) and mulling over thoughts and anxieties.

I think the idea below was brilliant (as were the others): you can't solve problems effectively at night. I'm going to tell myself this next time.

I'll try to dig out a talk I watched about 3 new things every day to be grateful for abc write them down - after a month there are measurable improvements to mood (apparently). I did do this in sept and I do think it helped. I wrote on the calendar. It was hard at first but got easier.

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