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Waking Up At 4Am


mellabella

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I fall asleep ok but I keep waking up at ridiculous times with my mind racing. I'm usually up for an hour or 2 (often worrying obsessively about something) before i feel tired enough to go back to sleep and then wake up exhausted later. It's annoying as I know sleep is important for mental health.

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It is really annoying, isn't it? 

 

I just try to meditate and I usually can eventually fall back asleep.  I am not sure if I fall asleep any faster but at least I meditated.  I've also read that journalling can be helpful when you can't sleep.

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This happens to me all the time!! I cant stand it! I wake up at 530 every morning for work and spending an hour at 2 am thinking about everything and nothing at the same time leaves me exhausted when the alarm goes off. 

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hey guys, i've had the same problem (it's called sleep maintenance insomnia). i would wake up every night after 2.5 hours of sleep, and would often have a panic or anxiety attack. i told this to my psychiatrist who prescribed me an anti-psychotic/mood stabilizer based on quetiapine (quetiapine fumarate). it's called Loquen in my country, but i've googled it now and it seems that it's the same as Seroquel. anyway, i have slept well ever since i've started taking it. i started at 50mg, now i'm at 25mg and i'm still sleeping well. of course, i recommend talking to a doctor first and not taking it on your own without consulting a professional

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I know the feeling and it's the pits. I've tried a couple of things when this happens. One thing I do is listen to s guided meditation app I have on my iPad called Simply Being. Other times I get out of bed and lay down on my couch in the living room, for some reason I'm able to fall back to sleep much more quickly when I move to the couch. When I'm in a long cycle of of early waking with a racing mind, I take an ambien before bed for several days.

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Yep. My sleeping pattern is irratic and weird. I started listening to those lucid dream audio tracks, which has helped a bit. It would be nice to lucid dream too but I haven't got that far yet lol. At least with the holidays over, my dreams aren't completely anxiety-riddled nightmares.

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hey guys, i've had the same problem (it's called sleep maintenance insomnia). i would wake up every night after 2.5 hours of sleep, and would often have a panic or anxiety attack. i told this to my psychiatrist who prescribed me an anti-psychotic/mood stabilizer based on quetiapine (quetiapine fumarate). it's called Loquen in my country, but i've googled it now and it seems that it's the same as Seroquel. anyway, i have slept well ever since i've started taking it. i started at 50mg, now i'm at 25mg and i'm still sleeping well. of course, i recommend talking to a doctor first and not taking it on your own without consulting a professional

Oh yes :P i've started taking seroquel 10 years ago at 25 mg...now i need to take 450 mg to sleep. 

 

But it's strange that all depressed people have their own different wake up times for themselves...brain puts a timer to wake you up by annoying you with racing thoughts.

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also, i forgot to say this in my post but it goes without saying that the pills would only be the temporary solution to your problem.
what is your diagnosis? is it depression, anxiety, or something else? in any case, sooner or later you'll have to adress these underlying issues, the insomnia is only the symptom. as others have pointed out, guided meditation can help with these problems (just type in 'guided meditation' on youtube), but i'd also recommend practicing meditation and yoga during the day. there's a great app called Headspace that has different guided meditations for every day. i've also found that certain sounds have a relaxing effect on me (thus helping me fall asleep), for example, the sound of rain or the sound of a hair-dryer.

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I had this problem a lot, it began last year! I would wake up between 4-6am, then lie in bed awake for a few hours before falling asleep again (luckily I didn't have a job to go to). It's really hard to deal with, I guess the only thing you can do is try and make sure you go to bed at a similar time every night and don't nap during the day.

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Thanks so much for the help guys. 

 

I have anxiety and depression. I do meditate before bed but i think meditating when I wake up in the night is a great idea and maybe getting up for a bit to stop the worry cycle. If I don't I end up thinking, 'problem solving' and googling which only makes me think and feel more anxious! It's a terrible habit I'm going to stop doing this!

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If you can avoid light when you wake up you'll have a better chance of getting back to sleep.  If not, no need to worry.  I think that digital screens can make it even harder to fall asleep and to get back to sleep.

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I relate to what you are saying.  I have been taking a medication for years for a chronic physical issue which gave me terrible night mares, or night terrors.  Many times waking up with a panic attack, or even trying to determine if my dream was a dream or actually something real.  My sleep patterns were way off, many times waking up at specific times like many of those who responded, in a panic from my dream or worrying about the next day appointments.  My doctor bit the bullet and put me on sleepers, and that did the trick.  I think trying everything prior to having to resort to a sleep medication is good.  But when all else fails, isn't it worth taking a pill and getting a good nights sleep?

 

I would talk with your doctor if you haven't already about your sleep problem and what he or she recommends for you. Getting a good night sleep has done a world of good for me.  

Edited by highanxiety
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Wow seems like a really common problem for us. Thanks for all your feedback. 

 

Yes I am on fluoxetine, lamotrigone and sometimes lorazepam. I also take phenerghan for the sleepiness side effect which helps a lot. My Doc says this is ok long term and isn't addictive although I'm not convinced that it's completely healthy.

 

I'm trying to be more disciplined at turning all screens off 30-60mins before I turn my light off to sleep.

 

I'm also trying to make a conscious choice not to worry/think when I'm in bed or wake up in the night. It's hard but I'm trying to stop worrying in general so it's a good habit to practice. 

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you should check out a free program called flux (just google "flux", i can't post the link due to forum rules). it's a simple and small program that slightly changes your screen color according to the time of day. when the sun sets, it changes the screen to a warm pink color, instead of the standard bright blue which tricks your brain into thinking it's daytime

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Was happening to me for months.  I'd fall asleep no problem by 11:00 or so.  Then I'd wake up around 2:00 a.m. (sometimes earlier) in a cold sweat, absolutely panicked and wouldn't go back to sleep.  I know it's complete hell.

 

I hate taking drugs, but I now I take Ambien and lorazepam at night, and it helps a lot, even though it's harder to get up now.  I don't want to be addicted to sedatives, but I'd rather be addicted than go back to the hell I was in.

 

At some point I might try to go off the pills again, but the thought of returning to my previous state terrifies me.  What a life, uggh.

Edited by One More Red Nightmare
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also, i forgot to say this in my post but it goes without saying that the pills would only be the temporary solution to your problem.

what is your diagnosis? is it depression, anxiety, or something else? in any case, sooner or later you'll have to adress these underlying issues, the insomnia is only the symptom. as others have pointed out, guided meditation can help with these problems (just type in 'guided meditation' on youtube), but i'd also recommend practicing meditation and yoga during the day. there's a great app called Headspace that has different guided meditations for every day. i've also found that certain sounds have a relaxing effect on me (thus helping me fall asleep), for example, the sound of rain or the sound of a hair-dryer.

That new age stuff doesn't work for everyone.  For some of us, the depression is genetically hard-wired in us, and we can't wish it away with happy thoughts.

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Hi V. I have Flux since someone (maybe you!) recommended it to me. It's great!

 

One More Red Nightmare I know it's a tough one with meds... I mix in an antihistamine for the sleepy side effects so that I'm not always using a benzodiazepam to help me get to sleep (although I totally use that too). Maybe you could talk to your doc/chemist about trying that...

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