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Sleep for One PLEASE!
Member Name: katyboo123
Advantages: I get more hours out of the day than most?
Disadvantages: I am an unrecognisable monster at certain points of the month - nothing to do with PMT!
I don't really know if I have insomnia as such, but I have terrible difficulty sleeping. With me it is getting to sleep. I sleep like a baby and extremely deeply once I get off, but I just cant fall asleep I might lie awake for hours - until 4 / 5am and then sleep until 8am and wake like I've had a full nights sleep. I think about everything and anything - including money worries, my weight, relationships with people, partners, family, friends. I think about how to make a million pounds, I think about the course I am studying. It gets to the point where I want to scream at myself! Its been happening to me for about the last 8 or 9 years. I hope that my research on the subject below along with my experience will help someone recognise that they might need a little help with their sleeping patterns for their wellbeing. Else, I hope you enjoy sharing my experience with me.
Insomnia is defined as 'a symptom of any of several sleep disorders, characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep despite the opportunity'. According to the information I found Insomnia is not a condition in it's own right, but a symptom of other conditions, including but not limited to clinical depression or nocturnal polyuria which is excessive nighttime urination.
There are different types of insomnia. Transcient insomnia lasts from days to weeks. It could be that there has been a change in environment, such as you have moved house or you are away on holiday in a strange bed, it could be caused by lack of sleep ironically, by depression or periods of stress. It causes sleepiness and impaired performance.
Acute Insomnia is the inability to sleep well night after night over a period of 3 weeks up to about 6 months and Chronis Insomnia lasts years. So, so far, it would seem fair to assume my 'insomnia' is Chronic?
Chronic Insomnia can vary in effect depending on the reason it happens. For example, if you suffer insomnia due to depression then the effects could be fatigue both muscular and mental, or if you suffer insomnia due to constant sleep deprivation (I can't really think of an example here, maybe long distance over night lorry drivers?) then effects could be increased alertness coupled with double vision. Scary?
Insomnia affects 1 in 33 people.
Onset insomnia - difficulty falling asleep at the beginning of the night, often associated with anxiety disorders.
Middle-of-the-Night Insomnia - Insomnia characterised by difficulty returning to sleep after awakening in the middle of the night or waking too early in the morning. Also referred to as nocturnal awakenings.
Middle insomnia - waking during the middle of the night, difficulty maintaining sleep. Often associated with pain disorders or medical illness.
Terminal (or late) insomnia - early morning waking. Often a characteristic of clinical depression.
So, from this information, I suppose I could deduce that I have Chronic onset insomnia.
As I covered briefly in my opening paragraph I lie awake for hours. I think and I sometimes cry (bizarrely), and sometimes I write a poem in my head (forgotten the next morning thankfully!). I try counting sheep. Focussing on nice memories or nice thoughts to relax me - you know how you were told to as child to calm you when you were given anaesthetic at the dentist? It is awful, because then I begin sweating and the covers seem to cling to me, but if I throw them off, I feel vulnerable and open. I have the window open so that the room is cool but then I can hear every little thing going on outside which attracts my interest. I toss and turn until my body hurts. Eventually with a sigh of absolute surrender my body shuts down and sleeps. The alarm goes off and I feel like I would kill to get an extra half an hour.
It is normally a monthly cycle and to be honest I favour the other kind! I get to the point after about 2 weeks where I am so monstrously exhausted that I cry at anyone and everything. I forget my house key and I scream and cry like a spoilt child. I have a feeling inside of me like I am about to errupt and blow my top at the first person who breathes near me. My body then completely gives in to sleep for about 2 - 3 nights and I sleep from say 7pm to 8am the next morning. Then because I have had too much sleep it starts again, and until the crying weeping and wailing stage explodes again, I am mildly down through the day, sleepy at work, not the most alert that I could be and I feel like my whole body hurts (fatigue). Everything just seems to be against me, its like I hit every red light, I spill my coffee on my desk, I argue with loved ones because no one seems to understand my point! I feel like I cant cope with anything, which then means without confronting things, like for example paying a bank charge or getting my car taxed, I then start worrying about them, which stops me sleeping even more. Then I ultimately end up at the crazy stage.
Treatments I have tried:
I have tried sleeping tablets, Non-benzodiazepines - Zopiclone 3.75mg, work a treat, but my GP recommended I do not use for longer than 14 days. So if he feels it necessary to prescribe them when I am at the ultimate low points that I get to, then I break them in half, so they last me almost a month. I have also been to see a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. I attended 1 appointment and was given a relaxation CD to put on, on a night when I am going to sleep. Worked well the first few times, but soon became ineffective. I had to stop my appointments with CBT because she could only see me between 11am and 2pm and I couldn't take the time off work without either being unpaid or by using holiday allocation, of which I had insufficient to cover the appointments. Would be great for the NHS to provide some support to people on an early evening who work? Not to worry!
I also have a strict bed time routine which apparently is key to sleeping well. I go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning (these are 10pm and 8am). I avoid naps, don't have time for them anyway, and I have a lovely big comfortable bed with nice clean sheets that smell lovely. I use sleep balms and pillow mists, my room is pitch black and cool, and I try to keep it silent, no ticking clocks or buzzing TVs, if I hear too much noise then I try ear plugs. I drink limited caffeine containing drinks and I stick to one or two cigarettes after lunch time. I eat my tea at 5pm when I get in from work, so it has 5 hours to digest before bed time. I write thoughts down to avoid panicking over forgetting things I think of and I read a little before bed in candle light with lavender oil burning.
Still no sign of sleep. I don't know how to break this pattern, but I guess I have tried everything I can and still doesn't help. I don't know if I have insomnia as such, but I wonder if it is linked to my Monophobia (you will laugh if you have read my review on why I think I am strange). Perhaps sleep signifies me being alone and this instigates my phobia and anxiety, my panic attacks and prevents me from sleeping. Well writing this had led me to believe a trip to the doctors is once again in order. Will update my profile if I get a miracle cure. :o) xx
Summary: I dont like it, not one bit