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Insomnia and anxiety

Community Member

I’ve been battling with anxiety and insomnia for a few months. Sleeping tablets made me feel worse and I have withdrawn from friends and activities. I am slowly getting better but finding it hard to get back to a happy life. I feel that anxiety is not understood and often feel unwell even though I know it is just in my mind. I have some minor health problems and concerns with my family. Friends have been patient but I believe would like me to get over it. There is no magic cure and it is a hard slog each day especially after a sleepless night. I think I am reaching out to others who are experiencing similar problems. My worries are not major but they concern me in a big way and I think that is sometimes the hardest thing. this is my first post so I’m not sure what happens. A big move for me to reach out.

9 Replies 9

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear Aeofe,

Well done on reaching out and sharing your concerns. I don't know too much about insomnia, to be honest, but have certainly experienced anxiety .... for most of my life in fact. And I don't agree that it's "all in your mind". I say that because for me, anxiety is also in my racing heart rate, my sweaty palms, my short shallow breathing ..... see, it's in my body as well.

Luckily for me though I've always been a great sleeper ..... almost feel guilty about that because I know that for some people sleep is quite troublesome. I must admit though, I've almost felt the opposite is true for me, in that I have trouble waking up and can sleep a LOT sometimes. Mind you, I am also an asthmatic and so my general lung function is less than that of a 'normal breathing' person. Less air getting in means less energy.

Anyway, enough about me. It seems that you may be looking for some other solution than sleeping tablets, so maybe you could see a naturopath and look at taking some sort of herbal supplement? Or even try joining a yoga/meditation group? Please don't think that I am any kind of professional or anything though, nor that I am minimizing your issues. Just trying to think outside the square, I suppose. I know that yoga did wonders for me when I was quite young and going through a very tough time. I guess it's just a matter of doing some research to find what works for you.

Anyway, I hope that helps at least a little. My 'prescription' to you: take 10 slow deep breaths, counting to 5 for the in breath, and again to 5 for the out breath. And repeat. S l o w l y ....... 🙂

Take care. Hope you feel better soon. xo

Thanks for the comments. Must be lovely to sleep well. Enjoy!

Hi A,
I feel like I've just read a post about myself!
Really struggling with anxiety, depression and my Insomnia. Please know you are not alone in this. I've often stressed thinking I was the one but it's a big problem.
I haven't slept well for nearly a year now so I feel your pain!
I have done extensive research and tried everything I possibly can but I'm still awake at 5am.
I take medication when I just can't bear it any longer but I don't want this to be an on going issue.
I'm off to my GP next week and will be requesting a referral to a sleep specialist.
It's next on my list!
Try and hang in there. I know it's tough to ever think it's going to change but I try to stay positive and live in hope one day soon I'll get over this battle.
Take care.

Community Member

Hi Aeofe, no expert here but wanted to share some things I tried that with persistence eventually helped.

Bed habits, going to bed and getting up out of bed same time or close to as many times as you can. This didn't work straight away but I treated it like I was training my brain like you train a pet to do a trick, repeat repeat repeat. I also added in some regular daily exercise - even 30min of walking to a local park or a few laps around the block can help. I moved my entire bedroom around during a particularly bad bout of insomnia to change it up and that helped a little.

My long nights were filled with uncontrolled racing thoughts, I downloaded some audio books and podcasts to listen to when I couldn't sleep. It took my mind away from my worries and concerns that were contributing to my racing mind keeping itself awake. Found this much better than turning on a light and reading. Also i try not to use a phone or computer screen 30min - 1hr before my allocated go to sleep time. It's hard but helped me get drowsy when I wanted to.

Maybe won't work for you but these all in combination helped avoid the sleeping tablets which yes got me to sleep for up to 5hr but I never woke feeling well rested or much better..

Community Member

Hi Aeofe; i'm a newbie (I guess) and this will be my first post - haven't even created a profile yet! (I can bore people with my specific issues in that when I get around to it).

Lack of sleep is where my problems started - but racing thoughts have been going on for longer. Don't know your age, but i'm putting certain issues of mine to having crossed the '50' threshold. Went to my GP about restless legs and was prescribed a medication to help with that - that did indeed help (or in my mind appeared to help), but since doing background reading and coming off the medication, considered a magnesium supplement could help. I have to admit a bit of self-help common sense needs to be adopted as well, and getting into an exercise regime has to be beneficial - I enjoy swimming, and if I can thrash out a few laps early evening it can give me the energy boost and endorphins to perk myself up for the night.

I have a routine of applying menthol rub to the bottoms of my feet, then putting socks on; I also have a vaporiser to which I add drops of lavender oil, to try and assist sleep. I have also added a thin foam mattress onto my side of the bed for extra softness. Sometimes I play music through headphones (earbuds), but choosing the right songs can be a problem. Also listening too long can bring on a headache. My main contention is with being beside a through road, and a passing noisy car will disturb me, and then my busy thoughts kick in again.

Community Member
Here I am reading this forum after tossing and turning since about 1 am, decided to get up around 5.30. Have had this problem for years, even when taking ant anxiety medication. Having come off meds last Oct I have slowly declined and am worse than ever. Trying hard to find solutions so I don't have to resort to going back on meds. These suggestions are helpful Thankyou. I've tried many things such as herbal remedies, warm drinks, magnesium, exercise, cutting down on caffeine, which only helps for a night or two. I think I need to persevere longer with something, or all. The anxiety hits me at different times, my day is a roller coaster of emotions. But will resist going back on antidepressants. I will continue to look for solutions like this forum so thanks again for some valuable tips.

Community Member

Thanks for replying, couple of things in response;

"Trying hard to find solutions so I don't have to resort to going back on meds" not an expert but i would strongly suggest talking to your doctor about combinations of self healing and cutting down before going cold turkey on the meds, i feel (but am totally unqualified to make a call) that cutting them entirely can be worse, especially without having strong coping mechanisms in place to have as replacement habits to the meds.

" I think I need to persevere longer with something, or all" For me at least these things are stuff that i've just started trying and have had minimal effects, but when its worked its worked, i'm hoping that continuing with it all will have more long term results.

Community Member
Thanks Lemmy, I have started my own thread. "Determined to get better". Just wanted to say here that the ideas people were mentioned seemed helpful and things I hadn't thought of.

Community Member
Sorry my thread is called "Desperate to feel normal again".