Looking for any help with sleep

Submitted by Sugar_Honey_Ice_Tea in MentalWellbeing (edited )

Over the last four years my ability to sleep, and stay asleep, has completely gone down hill. I am at the point that if I do not take some form of prescribed drug I will stay awake for days. The longest time period being 78 hours before I needed emergency medical help.

I have tried every single sleep medication: Ambien, Lunesta, Abilify, Doxepin, Belsomra, Trazadone and the list goes on. I can combine Ambien with Ambien CR but I do sleep walk under that combination and for my own safety I had to stop.

.25mg of Xanax works wonders but it is not something I can, nor want to take every night. I have cycled through several other benzodiazepines and none work as well or as consistently as Xanax.

Just to ad: I work out, eat well, no caffeine, no late night blue light, drink plenty of water and I feel I am doing everything I can to live a healthy lifestyle.

What I am really looking for are other people that may be going through this or have suffered like this in the past.

  • I posted this in Mental Wellbeing because of my lack of sleep my counselor has diagnosed me with anxiety and major depression. I am under treatment for both anxiety and depression.

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bloodrose wrote

I am one who cannot sleep without sleep medication and insane sleep hygiene (I refuse to be in my bed awake for more than 20 minutes). At bed time I take Trazadone and .75mg melatonin. I also take huge handfuls of magnesium at night as well as my regular vitamins. I use earplugs and keep my room very cold. My mother who has similar problems takes a xanax every other night, meaning she sleeps every other night. As I've gone along, the trazadone becomes less and less effective and I have to take higher doses (or like now I have to add melatonin). I expect when it doesn't work any longer, I'll have to try something else. I may try pot.

I think my sleep problems may be related to being on a forced schedule. Because, damn, I can nap anytime. I can nap in weird places. I can nap in loud places. But nighttime sleep? That's where the drama is.


JayGrym wrote

Weed helps some people.


OldHippieChick wrote (edited )

If it is called Marijuana in your neck of the woods, OP, you might see if your local Marijuana Store carries Girl Scout Cookies (GSC) or Grandaddy Purple.

I don't know much about strains, but those are my two favourites and anything leaning on the indica side is going to be more helpful than a sativa.

Your budtenders can help you about edibles if that's what floats your boat, lol; I thought they were just for rich people until yesterday but I still like my flowers and fully intend to smoke Marijuana like a chimney until the day i die.

If it is still called "weed", "pot", "heebie-cheebie", "The Devil's Lettuce", etc. then you might want to talk to your doctor about a prescription for Medical Marijuana. Anxiety and depression are disabilities and you have every right to your meds.


celebratedrecluse wrote (edited )

The other suggestions are mostly drugs that you can consider taking. They may help many people, but what can be also effective is behavioral recognition and targeted modification.

Consider how you feel after prolonged lack of sleep-- 24, 30, 50 hours in. What are the emotions you feel? What preoccupies or concerns you? What activities do you engage in? Are there any correlations between these answers, and the length of time without sleep?

One approach to determining the answers, if the questions prove challenging, is to keep a journal. Set an alarm on your watch/phone, and log how you are feeling and what you are doing & feeling at certain intervals. You can also journal your dreams, which may make the prospect of sleeping more interesting, and may also help you achieve lucidity in your dreams

You mention you have been diagnosed with both anxiety and major depression. Sleep disruption is a symptom of both, as I am sure you are aware. One thing you can do is to make sure your sleeping environment is as free from triggers or stress as possible. Setting aside time before you go to bed which is not to be disturbed except in an unavoidable emergency, is a very good idea if at all possible. Try to stay away from the internet and digital technology in this time, and use it for reading, listening to instrumental music, or another calm activity which keeps you from going online or working on something.

Another thing to consider is the setting in which you sleep. Blue light is clinically proven to disrupt melatonin release which is essential for sleep, and blue light is also present in basically every electronics screen and artificial light in our daily lives. It is incredibly disruptive to hundreds of millions of people imo. You should remove all blue light that is possible from your sleeping environment, and if you are in a city, get blackout curtains to block out the light pollution. Remember, tiny things like phone charger lights or speakers can have strong blue lights on them, so cover those things with black tape, remove them from the room, or unplug them at least 2 hours before sleep.

Try to go to sleep at the same time every night. Making a ritual associated with sleeping is a good idea, and will build the association between certain activities and sleeping psychologically over time. This will eventually give you a limited ability to trigger a sleep response, which is ultimately the goal of these suggestions.

Try to sleep in a room which is not the same one that you work, eat, or relax in, and is devoted only for sleeping: read about the Doorway Effect if you are interested in the principle behind this suggestion.

Consuming alcohol, or any psychotropic drug, will probably impair your sleep, even if it is 4-6 hours before bed. This includes cannabis-- while certain varieties may certainly make one fall asleep easier, the effects have been shown to include disruption of REM cycles, and lowering somewhat the overall quality of sleep. Alcohol in particular is terrible for anxiety and sleep issues in people who already struggle with that, so be aware of the possibility that consuming alcohol will make it harder for you to get a good night's rest.

Last but certainly not least, consider masturbating to orgasm without the aid of visual pornography. This will likely aid the onset of sleep hormonally, but consuming visual pornography will expose you to unwanted blue light and disrupt the sleep you get thereafter so watch out for that.

Of course, all this is easier said than done. I hope these questions, suggestions, or possible avenues prove useful to you in some way.


celebratedrecluse wrote

Additionally, meditation, exercise, a mindful and nutritious diet, and a good therapist, can go a long way. It's not everyone's comfort zone or capacity to access these resources or engage in these practices, of course, so you will have to find a system that works best for your particular situation. Good luck


Catsforfun wrote

Have you tried valerian tinctures?

Do you spend time walking and sitting in nature? Some people are really sensitive to nature and find it extremely calming.

I havent had sleep issues as bad as you, but when I do its because my trauma was activated. Weed also helps me sleep.


rot wrote

have you tried melatonin?


alex wrote

i’ve taken melatonin to sleep before. in the US it comes without a prescription so maybe where you are it does too. i’ve also used a white noise app on my phone to sleep.


Raven wrote

Indica edibles can help you calm your thought and sleep nicely. Preferably 20 to 25 mg for beginner.


fjones wrote

Youtube sleep hypnosis videos & deep-relaxation guided meditations on youtube. I've used videos by: Jason Stephenson; New Horizons (a UK healing centre, which even has sleep and relaxation videos for kids); Laura Ostrowski Fenton; Michael Sealey and Lillian Eden - all certified hypnotherapists. I've had very good luck and so always remember even 15 minutes or an hour of sleep can be good sleep if you are deeply relaxed. Deep relaxation shuts off the stress hormones and adrenalin. Hypnosis is super-effective at generating deep relaxation. The therapist recordings always says, "Do not listen to this while driving..."

Massage therapy puts me right to sleep - I'd offer free massage but I'm in MI.

When I had a stressful job, I'd deep-meditate every night before bed and drop right off. Don't worry if you don't sleep 8 hours, some very productive people get far less... main thing is to get to deep relaxation to shut off the stress hormones. If you wake up, just read or draw or journal, anything productive that won't bother the neighbors.

Showering before bed removes allergens and air pollutants (if u live in big city). Hot water relaxes the muscles and opens blood vessels, lowering blood pressure. Best shower also is with filter-shower-head, but any will do for a start.

I also like herbs and melatonin as they are way non-toxic. Best of luck. Youtube also has ocean and rainforest sounds which I find very soothing. Always make sure to be in the dark or use eyecovers as your body will produce melatonin only in darkness (or with eyes covered). Best wishes, fj


F_x wrote

Vitamin D helped me a lot.

What has been working well for me is in-ear headphone listening to podcast with monotone voice or even music does the trick at time.

Right now I'm trying meditation as requirement for chaos magick, trying to get better at ignoring my thoughts and who knows maybe helping with anxiety.


throwaway wrote

I know this might seem a bit radical, but psilocybin and LSD have been a one-time fix for helping me sleep. It's worth looking into! (: