Anyone have experiences with hardcore nighttime anxiety? I’ve been experiencing this since I was a kid. Around the age of 9 following some early trauma I started to get bad anxiety around sleeping which developed to the point I wasn’t sleeping much at all and felt dread about the idea of going to sleep pretty much all day. It’s lessened now as an adult and improved after I quit drinking, but in the last two years following a break up it got worse again. I find that around bed time I start to get this intense feeling like I can’t breathe, which a doctor once kindly explained was hyperventilation due to anxiety. It feels like a big knot in my diaphragm weighing in my chest and sleep feels impossible due to a high vigilance and intense alertness even when I’m tired.
I’m seeing a therapist for this and it’s helping-just felt frustrated tonight that this is still a persistent issue after so many years! I’m now 29 and feeling the weight of two decades of anxiety and disordered sleeping patterns. How do you work through this shit and not give up?
FURTHER INFO on why this totally sucks- I feel like a failure for not overcoming my anxiety issues after so long! I feel dumb and angry and soooo frustrated and it’s like a vicious cycle of anxiety and agitation in here.
I totally understand. I also have nighttime anxiety. I usually wake up feeling dreadful, then start to feel pretty fantastic after I wake up. Mine is usually circumstantial and often about money (or lack thereof). Like you, the anxiety has lessened since quitting drinking, but it’s still there. Sorry you are going through this. I have a feeling there are lots of us out there!
My therapist talks as if my anxiety is a parasite in my head. Thinking of it like that helps. Like “oh no I have a hard heart beat I must be dying” is a thought I often have. It’s not easy but you have to learn to recognize those intrusive thoughts. Sometimes it keeps me up late. And I work early in the mornings. Everyone I work with is aware of my anxiety and depression. They’ll make sure I step away from work if I’m getting overloaded. Versus last year, or two years ago, I’m way better off thanks to my therapist. I have a white noise app on my phone that helps me sleep. Or I will use a guided meditation app that knocks me out. The guides meditation for sleep is amazing. Because you have to focus your breathing. I’ll wake up feeling a thousand times better. It’s not easy and it’s been a long road. Find what works best for you. I tried medication it didn’t work well I felt like a zombie. Now I take herbal supplements and sleep aids that help so much. But if the medication works go for it! Just listen to your body and don’t let that parasite run your life (I know easier said then done but it gets easier with time). Best of luck!
that’s so very helpful to hear, thank you <3
Making sure I work out, melatonin and either guided meditation or some sort of podcast when falling asleep.
Limit caffeine and sugar as well.
Still struggle sleeping but these things help.
I feel really vulnerable and unsafe when I sleep so it causes a lot of anxiety and I get terrible nightmares on top of it so it really sucks and I understand the struggle.