I realize I sound like a broken record on this blog...feeling blah, trying to feel better in all my usual ways, still feeling blah. This is lasting well beyond my typical "feel blah for a few weeks, bounce back & everything is amazing". And I think I know why.
I haven't slept well in MONTHS. I can't recall a single time in 2016 that I've had even 2 good nights of sleep in a row, and more recently, I don't think I've slept more than 4-5 hours/night. I am not on call or being woken by my children or my husband or anything else. Its just...my stupid freaking brain. I can't fall asleep, sometimes for hours, and then I wake up crazy early and can't get back to sleep.
The thought of another sleepless night has also led to a really intense visceral anxiety...about sleeping. Every evening I look forward to being done with the bedtime routine and the tasks so I can finally rest, and then the moment its time to turn off the light my heart starts racing and my stomach clenching. I swear I can feel my blood pressure rise and the blood pounding in my head. I feel like I've taken shots of espresso or as if I'm about to do something terrifying. I try deep breathing, imaging a calming space, progressive relaxation etc... and nothing works.
I've done all the usual things---I exercise in the morning, I only have one cup of coffee in the morning, I've stayed away from alcohol, I dim the lights, I avoid blue light, I tried meditating before bed etc... None of that is working.
I thought the insomnia was a symptom of anxiety, but my therapist pointed out that perhaps the anxiety was caused by the insomnia. I've been anxious many times, and I've never had three months of not sleeping in my life. She recommended melatonin and I tried it. The first day I thought it worked...I got sleepy and was able to calm down and fall asleep about an hour after taking it. But the next day, same time, same routine---didn't work. I stopped it for a while, started again---same hit or miss effect. But now with the side effect of "excessive daytime sleepiness" and all-day headaches. So...defeats the whole purpose of trying to get a good nights sleep, right?
I bought some magnesium today and will start that this evening. I also finally bit the bullet and made an appointment with my primary care doctor to discuss prescription sleep medication---I'm going in 2 weeks.
I need to fix this---I can't really function in my life on half-empty. I notice a difference in my efficiency at work (and lets not get into motivation, which is a struggle at the best of times lately). I'm always irritated & quick(-er than usual) to anger with my kids & husband. I can't get excited about anything. I struggle to write "3 good things" in my journal about each day...everything just seems like a struggle and something I need to get through. Its all about endure and not enjoy. Yes, I might be depressed, but I think its related to the lack of sleep. I remember this happening in the newborn days and a good night or two of sleep made ALL the difference in my outlook and mood.
My mother has not slept more than 3-4 hours/night in over 10 years. She is always tired and, while she's learned to cope with it, its a constant frustration. I admit I'm terrified that I will share her fate.
Any advice or even anecdata appreciated!