Online forums

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile

Complete your profile

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Forums / Anxiety / Sleep anxiety !

Topic: Sleep anxiety !

17 posts, 0 answered
  1. Andy999
    Andy999 avatar
    20 posts
    8 October 2021

    Hey so i used to suffer a lot of sleep anxiety a few years back, this lasted quite some years, basically the more I’d try to push myself to sleep the harder it was.

    it was always worse when I knew I had to be up early (ofcourse) but at the time of my life I didn’t have to be often.

    It’s suddenly all kind of come rushing back to me, last night I was lucky to get maybe 2-3 hours sleep before I was up for work at 5am, and tonight it’s happening again. it’s really bothering me now because I’m up at 5am 6 days a week for work. what used to work for me best was just kind of telling myself I’ll close my eyes and rest it’s better then nothing, and it would work eventually, but I’m just pretty stuck atm. Nothing seems to be helping much and leading into sleep time I’m just thinking about it which definitely doesn’t help. I may notice myself dozing off at times because I am tired ! But I’ll like catch myself and Continuously keep myself awake. I’ve been through all the helping mechanisms, breathing techniques, meditation, turning of technology and so on, not having a lot of luck I just seem to have been sucked back into the cycle and yeh I just don’t know what to do, I work a physical job and have quite a bit of responsibility so I’m really worried about this happening again. I have a pretty structured sleep schedule and usually in the past I’ll get into bed, put Netflix on and im out like a light and before I know it I’m up at 5am ready for another day but now that falling asleeps on my mind it’s not that simple, anyway I see what the problem is but I can’t really work out how the break out of the viscous cycle so if anyone has any recommendations that would be great, thankyou !

  2. Ggrand
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Ggrand avatar
    9067 posts
    9 October 2021 in reply to Andy999

    Hello Andy999,

    Im sorry it’s taken a while for you to receive a reply...Through bust times on the forums some posts seem to get pushed back really quickly..

    I have had times when I worry about getting a good nights sleep...

    I tried full body meditation...white noise on tube, music and watching tv....Sometimes the music would help me...

    As I was looking around on you tube for soft music...I came across sleep stories by Dan Jones...and started listening to them...I put all my concentration into listening to the story..sometimes my mind does wander..but I pull myself up and return listening to the story...The stories are from 30 minutes to an hour or longer depending on which one you select....This has been working for me now over 12 months....maybe this is something that you could try and do..,

    My kindest thoughts dear Andy...

    Grandy..

  3. Sophia16
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Sophia16 avatar
    122 posts
    9 October 2021 in reply to Andy999

    Hi Andy,

    That sounds extremely difficult and exhausting. You must be feeling so tired and annoyed. I am truly sorry about that.

    Personally, i have also struggled with sleep anxiety but what really helped me was melatonin supplements/inhalers. Your body is lacking melatonin which makes it hard to sleep and creates a routine. I also stopped using my phone before bed due to the blue light which stops melatonin from producing. I started reading books that inspired me to sleep and wake up in the mornings. I also do this thing where I blink 100 times until my eyes get tired AND think about different words that are not similar to each other.

    Seeing a psychologist can really help you with advice on how to sleep and get out of your routine.

    Please stay safe and i am here to chat i you need me.

  4. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    920 posts
    9 October 2021 in reply to Andy999

    Hello Andy999,

    I was given some pointers, such as establishing a bed-time routine. It might start at the time when you are finished yor dinner, and want now to begin to relax.

    First, prepare what you can for the next day.

    If there is anything you can finish tomorrow, remind yourself of that fact. Most thing fit this category.

    tidy up, perhaps sit with a book, or just further away from your screen/s or turn them off. The blue emanating from apparently is a stimulation to the brain. We want to relax.

    If you want to put some music or an audobook on, choose carefully. Nothing jarring or loud, No screaming voices or electric guitar. As far as audiobooks goes, I prefer a reader who keeps their voice at a regular volume. NO sudden loud speaking, or whispering. It is jars me awake when I am drifting off. I don't want it to be so interesting that I want to keep listening. A timer is useful, but it can be difficult to guess how long you might still be awake. Don't have any sound turned up loud. Loud enough to hear, enough for a background sound. You miss anything, you can listen again another time.

    Any thoughts intruding? I would write them down. (I try to do do this earlier now, because I can't use pen and paper. A small bed light, or if you like, you might use a voice recorder. Ok, you say, thoughts are there now, I don't need to hear them repeat over and over.

    Any physical discomfort you can eliminate, is a good thing. I just have to wait for mine to settle. & listen to my book.

    It really annoys me, being so tired sometimes, I think I could fall asleep while siting up, with the tv on, but when I go to my bed, I might be awake for two hours. Sometimes, I get up, pace a bit, have a litle snack, (nothing big or heavy.) and go back. that usually helps.

    Very hot nights, I have had a cool shower. Feel much better after that.

    I have mostly not been able to establish regular habits for anything, and I have heard that would be the most helpful thing I could do. *sigh* Somewhere inside that naughty mmMekitten is rebelling.

    Regulate times for eating, getting up, going to bed, pretty much other routine activities as well. & bed is only for two activities, one is sleeping....least that's what I was told.

    mmMekitty

  5. The Bro
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    The Bro avatar
    178 posts
    10 October 2021 in reply to Andy999

    Gidday Andy999 and thanks for your post!

    Others have given you some pretty good pointers which is great. I am not qualified at all to give you advice, but would like to relate two methods that have worked for me in falling asleep.

    The first is very simple - simply focus on slowing down your breathing and count upwards very gently everytime you breathe out. This works a treat for me and I rarely get to more than 50 or so. Don't rush it.

    The second it to work on relaxing body parts one at a time. There is a term for this which I can't remember. Start with your toes, tense and relax them a few times and really focus on that. Then your ankle - same again, move and relax - focus on your ankle and nothing else and take your time, there's no rush. Then your calf muscle, tense, relax and focus. By now you have got it. Up to quads, glutes, back, core, abs, pecs, shoulders, fingers, hands, wrists, forearms, bicepts, tricepts, neck, ears and scalp.

    There's about 19 parts at least to focus on. I don't think I have ever got through my complete body before falling asleep!

    Very simple I know, but I find these so very effective. I suspect its all about calming the mind and short circuiting the brain waves that are making you anxious about staying awake.

    All the very best with these, assuming you haven't tried them before.

    Happy to chat anytime.

    The Bro

  6. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    920 posts
    10 October 2021 in reply to The Bro

    Hi, The Bro,

    I forgot, I used to do the body thing, (I don't know if I ever had a name for the exercise), when I was younger. I seem to be too easily distracted by what I am physically feeling these days.

    *

    Another thing I do, if I don't have music or a book playing, is to make up a story in my own head, make up characters and their appearance and name and age, all that, then what clothes, where they live, other characters to interact with, and so forth. You could base some characters around those from tv, books, wherever you like. I wonder what sort of storyteller I am, because I often fall asleep trying to move my story along....it's a never-ending story for sure! The idea is to distract myself away from thinking those things which would keep me awake.

    I have also used soundscape recordings, but I would advise to find gentle - no thunderous waves, or storms, unless you particularly like these things.

    Those of gentle water you might visualise being on a boat, raft, or simply floating on your back, warm and bobbing about.

    I learned I had to be careful about imagining I was walking, because I might 'trip' on something!

    Often these types of imagining develops into a dream-like state, which can lead directly into proper sleep, if you let it, don't be startled realising what is happening, & just let it happen. That's the tricky bit. It can take some practice, as with all the suggested methods for getting to sleep.

    So, Andy999, would you let us know how you are doing?

    mmMekitty

  7. The Bro
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    The Bro avatar
    178 posts
    10 October 2021 in reply to mmMekitty

    Wow mmMekitty that's good stuff!

    Write down your ideas as they come into your head so that creativity can be harnessed!

    I just wonder if that method is a little complicated - but Hey if it works thats great!

    All the best, The Bro

  8. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    920 posts
    10 October 2021 in reply to The Bro

    Hello The Bro,

    I've managed to hang onto a few, not so complicated musings, or only parts, and have expanded upon those later.

    I can't see well enough to use pen and paper, but I used to keep a notebook beside my bed, and a small lamp. Even doing that much was risking having to begin all over again.

    Being awake for an hour or two didn't used to bother me. I enjoyed the quiet around me, and being in my head with almost dreams, and forgetting all about my body. I sometimes think I forgot to breathe. Time would draw out and I was fine with that.

    I guess I'm getting older, I feel more bodily discomfort, I have tinnitus and my poor eyesight has messed up how my brain interprets much of what I see, so I have colours, kind of like a visual tinnitus, & I shoved my unpleasant thoughts away better than I can do now, (which isn't far at all anymore).

    What I do can be simplified. At first, you might think up a person, and begin with themost obvious features. You may be surprised how your subconscious brain will fill in many bits for you.

    Have you been reading a book, and the author gives you very little by way of description of a character, but you seem to have a clear idea in your head about what the character looks and sounds like? Or a scene,? You don't need to be told every little detail to conjure up a visual representation of the scene, well enough to enhance your reading.

    I haven't managed to write a whole story, let alone a novel, based entirely upon such imaginings. That's way beyond what I can do, 'cause I keep falling asleep, or I don't and have to get up to go to the loo! (That's when I am awake for more than1.5 hours.

    I can still wake early, too early for my comfort, but not be able to go back to sleep, any night. I haven't found anything which helps with that.

    mmMekitty

  9. Mk2692
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Mk2692 avatar
    97 posts
    10 October 2021 in reply to Andy999

    Hi Andy999,

    Thank you for reaching out here. It sounds like you have a bit of anxiety, have you seen someone about it? If you have not I would recommend to see your GP to ask for a referral to a psychologist or counsellor to help you with your current situation. You might find it useful to talk to someone about your feelings and why you are having them at night time. It could be also from the pandemic and its uncertainty. Have you realised it happened recently or during the start of the lockdowns? I personally have trouble sleeping sometimes and I usually would put on calming music to help me sleep or read a book, i'm not sure if you tried that. There are also natural supplements and herbal teas for sleep, if you haven't tried them already. If you find that this is an ongoing problem, then it might be useful to see a doctor for a medication to use on the days you can't sleep. Hope this helps.

  10. The Bro
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    The Bro avatar
    178 posts
    12 October 2021 in reply to mmMekitty

    Gidday again mmMekitty

    Your descriptions certainly paint a very vivid word picture - pretty impressive and amazing.

    I wonder of your mind is over active, racing visually when it should be emptying ready to rejuvenate with a good nights sleep? I am not at all sure what might help apart from the calming suggestions I have previously given. Perhaps there is a meditation style that might help, or even an expert in mind calming to help with sleep that you could talk with?

    All the very best, The Bro

  11. Banksy92
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Banksy92 avatar
    100 posts
    12 October 2021 in reply to Andy999

    Hi Andy999,

    Healthy sleep is so important for our wellbeing, it's understandable you're concerned by this. Sorry to hear you've had such struggles. It's honestly such a frustrating experience isn't it?

    There are loads of great suggestions in this thread, so I won't repeat, but I definitely agree with the tips others have mentioned.

    Do you read? This is also a great way to tire the eyes and unwind. I like light fiction before bed because it's easygoing. Another thing I've been doing recently is taking magnesium supplements, there are ones designed for sleep called L-theanine magnesium I like.

    All the best, hope something here works for you.

  12. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    920 posts
    12 October 2021

    Before trying any supplement, vitamin, complimentary .. whatever, please consult your GP or qualified Pharmacist FIRST. Just because something says it's 'natural' does not mean there can be no harmful effects, especially if you are already taking other medications.

    mmMekitty

  13. Banksy92
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Banksy92 avatar
    100 posts
    15 October 2021 in reply to mmMekitty
    Great point mmmMeKitty, thank you for raising this - I certainly agree - always chat with your doctor.
  14. Andy999
    Andy999 avatar
    20 posts
    21 October 2021

    Hey guys thanks a lot for reaching out and giving me all your tips on what works for you, sorry it’s taken a long time for me to reply I havnt been on here for a while because well I’ve been sleeping alright, not perfect but generally pretty good, I’m having one of those nights though tonight where I can’t quite drift off to sleep, sometimes it can just take a good night or two and and I’ll improve a lot because I’m not worrying about not being able to get to sleep throughout the day, but it does seem to always find its way back here and there. For myself I almost find myself reluctant to try some of these recommended techniques because I’ll beat myself up about it more if they don’t help and I’ll become more frustrated, silly right. I do have a pretty set sleep routine, I usually like to get into bed around 8-8:30 and start to relax watch some tv and eventually drift off, I just think it works best for me because it feels natural, it’s not forced I’m not trying to hard it’s just right.

    I think what’s gotten to me tonight is me and a work partner have been planning to start our Own business for a little while now and today we made a big step towards that and it’s all really starting to feel serious now, I remember when I was having these sleep problems a couple weeks ago I would get really anxious thinking about how can I run a business if I can’t sleep how am I going to handle it ?! And I think making that big step with the business today brought back that fear about, like this is getting real now.

    I do really want to look into the melatonin and see if that may help, maybe I’ll try the breathing techniques and turning off blue light and that stuff again but yeh In the past I havnt had much luck.

    I will be seeing my GP again this week, he’s recommended trying some medication for my anxiety and I think it’s time I give something a go, I just want a break, I want to be my best again and not let this anxiety hold me back anymore. Thanks again guys!

  15. Andy999
    Andy999 avatar
    20 posts
    21 October 2021
    An update because I don’t know what to do with myself lol, tonight’s just not my night I’ve tried turning the tv volume right down, turning the tv off, on, off I tried some breathing techniques, I’m just to restless now, I really try to not let it get the best of me at first but it just becomes to much, the scary thoughts of this becoming a vicious cycle and me not being able to sleep at all and not being able to work and the rest of that crap, I try to stay strong and keep myself together but this shit terrifies me, I’m supposed to be up in a couple hours for work, and I’ve just given up on trying to get to sleep, I’m pacing up and down in the kitchen I’m just fed up, I’m tired but my minds not complying. I think I’m just gonna jump on the PlayStation or do something because I’ve had enough of staring at the ceiling. Maybe I’m being over dramatic but I’m just sick of being this person, I feel so defeated. Sorry guys I’m not trying to be a sad sack I’m just sick of putting on this brave persona.
  16. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    920 posts
    21 October 2021 in reply to Andy999

    Hi andy999,

    It's good to hear from you. One thing to remember about any & all the things we might do to get a good night's sleep, regularly, is that none of these suggestions are guaranteed to work first time or every time. It is encouraging to note that you had some fairly good sleep recently.

    You speak of your business venture with excitement, some anxiety, which is kin to fear, & that is natural. When any strong feelings keep us from sleeping, it is frustrating, & natural to want to control it. I get very cranky with myself, my environment, anything & everything going on, biggest to smallest, & doing that doesn't help me sleep. It just makes me laugh at myself. I think that's marginally better than beating up on myself. That's all it does, so I may as well accept the night is an uncomfortable night, & not insist on making it perfect for sleeping.

    I remembered playing video games, how they could distract me all so VERY much, that I didn't go to sleep because I was still playing the video game at sunrise. But my mind had been diverted! For a while, though, when I did manage to turn it off, & go to bed, I would still be playing the game in my head, partly because I was playing puzzle games with pieces, which my mind could recreate & I could manipulate as when playing. I could drift off to sleep when I did that, because my mind was diverted into the continued gaming instead of those annoying thoughts. It felt strange & I wondered, like duh, 'am I playing video games too much?' but it was better than my thoughts & feelings chasing me all over my brain, making me feel persecuted & as if I was going crazy. A whole lot better than that. So, thinking that, I could then not criticize myself when the images of the game pieces appeared in my mind, & just see if I could play as honestly (no cheating, by deliberately changing what I was visualising to more useful pieces), as I could. Just let it happen, go with it and finally, relax & sleep.

    I know, I would still prefer to go in, roll over & sleep, as easily as Mekitty had done.

    But I am human, human brain & all, so what's the point of beating myself up for my natural human functions? We may as well quit that as a bad joke, as one which turns against us, you know. It only helps to lead us to having less sleep.

    I hope your Doctor can help.

    mmMekitty

  17. Andy999
    Andy999 avatar
    20 posts
    21 October 2021 in reply to mmMekitty

    Hey thanks for the reply you’re a legend, no I agree you’re 100% right these aren’t over night fixes and I do see how some of these methods can be really effective.

    Yeeh you’re right, it is an exciting but anxious time, I’m confident with my work and In general I’m confident in myself but I’m anxious about my anxiety (e.g sleeping issues) getting in the way of me making the most of the opportunity ! I guess a lot of my anxiety is about my anxiety in general if that makes any sense haha.

    i Used to experience that a lot myself actually actually haha, when spending hours on a game on my phone or the play station the game will play over and over in my head as I drift off, sometimes I will try to use this as a way to distract myself from anxious thoughts.

    I do try not to beat myself up, maybe I do have to work harder then that, I’ve just always been very hard on myself.

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up