Pillow TalkⓇ - Questions and Answers About Sleep

Questions and Answers About Sleep

Help. 39 year old male needs advice on how to sleep.

Hello, this is the first time I've tried a forum so maybe this will help me. I've had insomnia every night for about six months now and I feel like I'm losing control of it. I never had any problems with sleep my whole life until about six months ago when I started a new job. I was laid off from my old comfortable job, quickly got started on an employment search being sort of a perfectionist and was full of energy and optimism. I quickly got a new job which was the first one I could find and have regretted it ever since. It was 10 hours of high focused monotony that turned my life upside down. I didn't recognise the warning signs at first and the experience was so stressful for me that I stopped sleeping altogether. I went to my doctor in a panic and she gave me Clonazepam which knocked me out very well. I also, asked my supervisor for change in position to a less stressful post which he gave me. I stopped the Clonazepam and tried many over the counter remedies like Valerian, Melatonin, Calcium/Magnesium, Inositol as well as exercise, hot baths, warm milk and other commonly recommended things. I slept on my own for about a week but I eventually lost the battle and returned to my doctor. This time she gave me Elavil at 10mg which I have to admit worked incredibly well for a time. I took it for about a month and slept great almost every night. With my job stress under control and the Elavil doing wonders, I felt I should once again try going solo. Like before I slept for about 3-4 days on my own before sinking back into that cycle of lack of sleep followed by anxiety over the next night. Another round of Elavil got me back to sorts for a few weeks, but the 10mg stopped working so I relied on Conazepam again. I went back my doctor a third time and this time she gave me Zopliclone, which does work for about six hours as I'm taking it now but gives a weak sleep in general.

I just want to be free of meds but can't, as the anxiety over sleep has taken on a life of it's own. It's very depressing because I want to get better but I'm losing focus and options. I know I have to quit my job and find something with a better "balance" because I hate it so. To complicate things, my wife is having trouble sleeping for other reasons. We used to go to bed at 9:00 together and loved every night together. My old life of contentment is a memory and I feel depression coming on which I'm usually not prone to.

I'd like some advice from anyone who has the time to spare. I'm sure many can relate to my position and I look forward to hearing from you!!
Thanks
Craig

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I replied to another thread a little while ago.

Since yours is mostly stress related, I believe good relaxation skills will relieve the fear and anxiety and can get you med free sleeps again. I was suffering insomnia for years whenever I had a schedule change or thought about whether I would be able to get enough sleep. Now the fear is gone beacuse I can rellax whenever I want to get back to sleep. I since regained confidence and can actively work on it rather than passively praying for some sleep.

Best of luck,

Robert
Thanks Robert, I've been working on breathing and relaxation and have become alot more positive since my posting.
Great to know that! Keep the good work and let me know if there is anything that I can help.
Craig, If you're a perfectionist, it probably connotes your a good list- maker.
I think something that would be helpful with your personality- to channel out stress, is to write down your stressors and try to evaluate what's in or out of your control, thereby winnowing it down to more manageable objectives.

Also, what helped me a lot was a sleep diary/log- ask your doc or you can probably find one online. This helps you with maintaining better sleep patterns/hygeine & habits overall, and will help you quickly spot where you may be self- sabotaging your sleep.
Some places on the site also have tips on "insomnia relief by counting breaths" and other breathing techniques you may find helpful.
Hope this is soon resolved for you....and I hope you get a job better suited to what you love and do best.
WendyO.
Thank you. More good info.
Certainly you are NOT alone-we see many people through the sleep lab with delayed sleep onset due to anxiety-(lots of things to think about in this day and age). Certainly sounds like relaxation may be the key for you--personally I use a CD that takes you through focusing on breathing and stretching, (followed by music) as youre lying down ready to go to sleep. At first I thought it was a little corny but I find that having something to focus on-no matter what it is-at least prevents my mind from going back to the same old worries. Having words instead of just music seems better for me. Severe anxiety may still warrant treatment with meds but you may be able to cut back or use it only temporarily until you develop an anti-anxiety regimen. If trouble persists I would strongly encourage you to have a sleep study to rule out any other sleep disorders, as a lot of disturbances can result during sleep that we are not aware of.
Things have changed for me since posting the above discussion. My insomnia has lifted and I'm sleeping normally again. It's been nearly three weeks since I've used any medication and I've slept surprisingly normal. I can say now with confidence that my eight-month bout with primary insomnia is gone. It's still sort of mysterious to me but the first three nights where I slept on my own without meds was crucial; once the anxiety over my inability to sleep combined with my body's readiness it has since been a piece of cake getting to sleep each night. I sleep a good 7 hours which is normal for me. It's a very confusing and scary thing when that confidence is ripped from you at first. I tried geeting off meds cold turkey twice with no luck during my eight months of misery.

I'm so happy it's over...and thanks to those who offered advice to me, it's much appreciated.
Craig

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