Does anyone here have bad anxiety that keeps you awake at night? — Scope | Disability forum
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Does anyone here have bad anxiety that keeps you awake at night?

Tammyjane33 Member Posts: 761 Pioneering
edited January 2020 in Mental health and wellbeing
I've been struggling to sleep for nearly 2 weeks and I can never get to see a gp but I'm on lots of medication anyway including sleeping pills but I still don't manage to sleep, if it isn't because of pain it's now anxiety and worrying about things that may happen in the future. 


  • EmmaB
    EmmaB Member Posts: 263 Pioneering
    Hi @Tammyjane33

    Sorry to hear you've been struggling to sleep, I wonder whether anything has changed in your life recently to have caused this?

    It sounds like it might be a good idea for you to book a GP appointment, even if it's for some time in the future when they have one available, and ask for a medication review if you are on a lot of medication including sleeping pills - I believe sleeping pills are not really meant for long term use.  Often people get get 'stuck' on a regime of taking medication which isn't actually helping them and so maybe it's time to address the root cause of what's going on for you as medication doesn't necessarily do that...

    If you are experiencing anxiety your GP could refer you for some CBT [cognitive behavioural therapy] which is good for tackling feelings of anxiety.

    It's important to develop a good bedtime routine if you are struggling to sleep, these ideas might also help:

    - no screens for an hour before bedtime
    - only using your bed for sleep [and sex]
    - no caffeine after midday [caffeine increases anxiety so maybe look at your intake if you like your tea/coffee]
    - write down everything that is bothering you before you go to bed and/or a 'to do' list for the next day-
    - don't nap in the daytime
    - only go to bed when you are feeling sleepy [not because it's the 'right' time]
    - if you are not asleep after 20 mins of being in bed then get up and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy [it's important not to start to associate being in bed with not going to sleep...]
    - develop a bedtime routine eg tidy up, teeth, to do list etc
    - do some relaxation before you go to bed eg yoga, stretches, mindful body scan []

    I hope that helps, or some part of it does!

    Best wishes.


  • Tammyjane33
    Tammyjane33 Member Posts: 761 Pioneering
    @EmmaB thankyou for your amazing feedback and advice. I do suffer physical pain 80%of the time which does interrupt my sleep and I'm on strong medication that can make me sick sometimes so that doesn't help with my sleep. I will try some of the tips stated above, so thankyou so much.
    I think the anxiety stems from ill physical health, and I used to work in  the mental health sector but now I'm unable to work at all so that's the reason I have anxiety and depression but I've just got to keep moving forward. There's been quite alot of stress in the family which I've had to help sort out and I don't think that's helped my physical health if I'm honest as I know stress doesn't but I now find it hard to switch off, I think I need to work on saying "no" to people but of course its hard when they are close family and friends.
    Thanks again and I hope you're well. 
    Tammy ❤️
  • EmmaB
    EmmaB Member Posts: 263 Pioneering
    Hi @Tammyjane33

    Sounds like you've got a lot of stress on your plate and it's interesting to be aware that our emotional distress can manifest itself in our bodies eg pain, fatigue, seizures etc.

    Managing pain is an area I'm really interested in, I've written an article about it for Motability's Lifestyle magazine which should come out soon if you get that.

    I don't know if you saw the Horizon programme which was on last week but it pretty much sums up the problem with long term use of opioids [which I presume are the strong painkillers you are referring to?] - the vast majority of the time they don't help and in fact they heighten sensitivity to pain...

    I would highly recommend watching this programme and also the great video featuring Louise on the My Live Well With Pain website, I interviewed Louise for the article I wrote and her life has been transformed after coming off opioids [a move she was very much against at first!]:

    I would also highly recommend the Mindfulness for Health book by Vidyamala Burch - who manages her own chronic pain by using mindfulness and has reduced her medication as a result.

    It's hard to imagine that something being prescribed from a GP could be making you worse but if the medication isn't helping it might be time to consider Plan B?

    All the best.

  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Tammyjane33   Sorry to hear this my friend.  I know I have some nights like this insomnia been myself not good.

    Tips I use much of what @EmmaB says but try a routine.

    Look at diet, nutrition and some certain foods you could eat, do effect the brain and make you sleepy.

    Over the years do eat a well balanced diet with wholegrains Pasta and Pulses Beans.

    These are known to induce sleep.

    All these have a enzyme chemical called tryptophan .

    Includes Lean Meat Chicken, Turkey.  Dairy foods yoghurt milk, quick tip.

    Warm milk in a mug microwave few seconds add spoonful of honey.

    Other one is malted Milk Horlicks name of product.  Old days you find used for aiding sleep.

    Pasta Rice and Wholemeal bread work have the enzyme chemical in it.

    If you Pasta, Potatoes lunch time get tired that is the chemical in your brain effecting your mind to sleep.

    Bananas contain serotine another chemical to induce sleep. 

    All depends on your diet if you having problems eating any of that need to look at Community Health Unit.

    Have wellbeing unit discuss options.

    Avoid as @EmmaB stated Caffeine in Cola, Chocolate, Tea or Coffee.

    All Alcohol.

    I would add have this organisation as well.

    Please can I suggest speak to your GP, just for a matter of precaution. Taking a lot of meds I know can effect sleep.

    Please hope this helps.

    Your friend


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Member Posts: 7,416 Disability Gamechanger
    I have trouble sleeping due to anxiety.

    At the moment I have to have a drink or two before I go to sleep. This relaxes my anxiety and also helps me sleep.

    It would be nice to be able to sleep without needing to have a drink.
  • Moaning
    Moaning Member Posts: 12 Connected
    when I had anxiety probs my GP prescribed Diazepam. Really worked. Good luck
  • EmmaB
    EmmaB Member Posts: 263 Pioneering
    edited January 2020
    @66mustang @Moaning the trouble with having a drink or diazepam is that you are not solving the underlying problem. You are just papering over a crack and it will soon reemerge... most likely getting worse over time too.  Diazepam is a very addictive drug and should not be used for more than a few weeks. If your GP is prescribing them to you for longer than that or on a repeat prescription they are being lazy and irresponsible in my opinion! Ask to see a GP who offers more effective help? 
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2020
    Hello @66Mustang   Concerns me you are having a drink before bedtime, not good to do.

    Alcohol may be for you working but its never good idea as some one who knows.

    I started doing this as well through the days thinking helping.

    Problem is creeping menace once your hooked the problem grows.

    Then more needed to take and more and more till the body needs that drink to sleep.

    Then another problem very common the body has accepted the levels of alcohol in your body. This what happens.

    Our resistance builds up and we think this is not helping. 

    Anxiety is a condition an mental illness and needs to be practical sensible.

    To learn to sleep give yourself some education, knowledge contact the following as I have mentioned before.

    These all offer solutions practical sensible support for your anxiety.

    Floating support and much health, benefit advice plus much more.

    I have to share had and still do some nights sleeping problems.  Taken me a lot of education, knowledge .

    Patience, tolerance and to adapt.

    Any of the suggestions I have explained in previous posts.

    Or my friend @EmmaB has stated to other members.

    Give you hope and reassurance it can be done, I am prove of that.

    I had a lifestyle of drinking my days were nights my nights were days.

    Effected body clock, mind and sanity. Mental health issues, personal issues circumstances.

    You could contact this The Sleep Council lots on sleep.

    I do understand if you are relied on alcohol to help you sleep becoming a problem, please talk to me or speak to your GP.

    Can offer addiction organisations lifeline and support.

    I do not want any one to become like me it can happen that is all.

    Thirteen years clean this March wow.


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • Moaning
    Moaning Member Posts: 12 Connected
    In answer to EmmaB about not solving the underlying problem, sometimes it is not poss to solve underlying probs, and live’s too short to ‘at least’ not have the symptoms.
  • EmmaB
    EmmaB Member Posts: 263 Pioneering
    I'm afraid I don't agree... whilst you can't change what has happened in the past it's always possible to change how you think about what's happened/what's happening, and therefore your future...
    There are plenty of people on these message boards, like @thespiceman, and out there in the world who are a living testament that life is better if you don't just mask over problems with alcohol or drugs [diazepam is a drug rather than medication as it doesn't treat anything in particular...]. 
    I do agree with you when you say life is short, so doesn't that make it worth making it the best it can be rather than avoiding - which is what drinking or taking drugs tends to be?  

  • Franstrahan
    Franstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    I have depression and anxiety and am not taking meds coz I think they wont solve the problems, just mask them. As for sleeping, I usually go to sleep ok but then wake up in the night and cant get back to sleep again. I usually read, rather than let my brain keep churning stuff over.
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello  @Moaning   Please can I suggest of your having some problems how can we help as a Community.

    I am one of the team of Community Champions life is short but it is how you make and do and make some thing to achieve .

    Not only about using drugs or drinks or anything else addictive could be a number of aspects of lifestyle.

    It is how and what you do to make peace, solace be good to your self.

    I used to be an angry man and the alcohol, drugs to blame.

    It is not good to rely on medication that may cause you harm to help you to sleep or cope with your problems.

    What happens long term to the body is now the end result. I am one of these people since being born with a disability.

    Eighteen months old to mid twenties having numerous operations years and years some times a break again other ailments and issues arise.

    I do believe the residues of all those medications in my system have build up a tolerance to any other medication.

    This is something I am aware of. Going to hospital and stating now.

    Most antibiotics allergic to. Most medicines I take have to administered early.

    Understand this am resistant to most procedures in operations and theatres given to you.

    Only one thing I can add there will be a time you will need to think about your mental health.

    Your decision please consider talking to me , happy to give you organisations and support.

    There is a life lots to do things to attain, why not.

    I am in my middle Fifties spent thirty of those being in addiction.

    I had enough of crying time this is the best time, yes have bad days good days depression, anxiety never goes away.

    It is how you cope with it.

    Proud and be uplifting heal and inspire and move on your journey.

    This my favourite story told to me by support worker.

    Those days said no to everything tossed out of mental health charity.

    Last phone call poignant memory .

    If you put stones in your path find them causing problems. Do you go over or around or stop still.

    Something to consider.

    Please take of your self your a valued member of our community.

    I am here to offer ideas, solutions and much more. You can do great things achieve so much.

    Understand I have and continue to do so.


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • dolfrog
    dolfrog Member Posts: 441 Pioneering
    edited January 2020
    66Mustang said:
    I have trouble sleeping due to anxiety.

    At the moment I have to have a drink or two before I go to sleep. This relaxes my anxiety and also helps me sleep.

    It would be nice to be able to sleep without needing to have a drink.
    I have problems with my sleep pattern can sometiems go 30 - 40 hours without sleep. The problem is due to stress and anxiety which is caused by UK medical professionals, specifically audiologists, and psychologists, who do not want to begin to be trained and qualified to provide the support all of my family (our 3 sons my wife and me) all of whom have a clinical diagnosis of one or more types of Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) which is about the brain having problems processing the meaning of what the ears hear. 
    So if you can prevent the corruption of these frauds claiming to be medical professionals, then i may be able to get some real sleep, as may family will hopefully be getting the life long support they need. 
  • Moaning
    Moaning Member Posts: 12 Connected
    thank you @thespiceman and @EmmaB for your kind advice, but I’m happy and proud, and achieved nearly all I wanted to in life. Just trying to make it to 58, and I will need sleep for that I’m afraid.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,478 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2020
    Hi @Tammyjane33 @EmmaB @66Mustang & @Moaning - Would like to say I've just watched the Michael Mosley documentary on opiods; someone whom I always appreciate, & the video link that EmmaB also provided. Please Tammy & others in this thread do watch them both.
    EmmaB & I have different professional backgrounds, but I couldn't agree with her more. I qualified as a physio, so exercise has always been my mainstay in coping with chronic pain.
    On a personal note, my last GP kept increasing my Fentanyl patches, which I was then on for about 7 years! I decided to very slowly wean myself off them nearly 5 years ago, & my pain didn't increase. My current GP was pleased, as he (correctly) said they were finding such medication was only helpful for short term use.
    I'd decided that I wanted to live the rest of my life the best I could; which is what I'm doing now. As I've said, I use exercise, & also relaxation exercises, including diaphragmatic breathing, which helps reduce stress (see:, together with visualisations, & mindfulness. As everyone is different, you just have to find out what works for you, & sometimes, as I found, it's a combination of things. I'm still in daily pain, but as Louise in the second link says, I'm managing it.
    Thank you EmmaB, & also my friend @thespiceman. I only hope that your advice & helpful insights are taken onboard.

  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2020
    Hello @Moaning   Thank you for reply that is good to hear.

    I forget to add as we age older we do need less sleep sorry to tell you that.

    Something to be aware of very common.

    I am aware of this myself am 55 .

    These are the facts.  Looked in my extensive library of information on sleep a lot of this gained from mental health charities.

    1.  Eat Carbohydrates  whole grain Pasta, Rice, Bread. Potatoes with your meal.

    2.  Do not go to bed with out eating anything a heavy meal or spicy food or alcohol or caffeine.  Avoid all those . Digestion keeps you awake.

    3. Keep a sleep diary in it put the notes reasons why can not sleep any underlying issues.

    4.  Think of a routine if the brain is wired watching late night TV or stimulated doing crosswords or puzzles.

    Will not sleep.

    5. Late night work outs conversations do not work as well.

    6. Drink warm milk microwave drop of honey.

    7. Music on Classic FM or any light pleasant music helps you relax.

    8.  All devices off computer not in bedroom or TV.

    9.  In your mind do meditation, close your eyes and just sit do nothing will eventually be tired.

    10.  Mental Charities do self hypnosis and meditation.

    This is something good to use. 

    11. If you anxious before going to bed never works, I used to be like this.

    Live on my own lonely home, used the following stated.

    Please can I add other points there is no amount of time to sleep. Varies person to person as we age can be five hours or less.

    If you lie in bed can not sleep do some light duties, dishes or have some toast or milk.

    Or if thinking about your problems write them down.

    Leave them in your lounge not the bedroom.

    My simple meals do help you these are used to help sleep.

    In many foods tryptophan a chemical aids sleep.

    Nuts, Dairy, Lean Meat , Tuna.

    Bananas have serotine chemical aids sleep.

    Pulses, Beans, Lentils the same.

    Snacks meals I use have done   Lettuce sandwich contains chemicals to induce sleep old remedy.

    With Turkey slices.

    Horlicks used that with warm milk honey and microwave a cup. 

    Turkey Chicken, please useful with vegetables and Pasta or Rice.

    Bake Beans whole meal toast

    Oats milk, yoghurt Banana .  Microwave a half cup of Oats milk to cover three minutes depends on microwave.

    Use a bowl or Pyrex dish .

    Stir in yoghurt and Bananas,

    Done this with Walnuts very much the super food of sleep.

    Melatonin regulates sleep patterns.  With Apple diced in or used Cornflakes.

    The old adage eat Cornflakes before bed a small portion can help.

    Snacks like Crisp breads or Crackers with honey butter help.

    Please have had sleeping problems a long time.

    Also have qualifications in diet, nutrition, foods science and more.  Used this to advise members if and when  I can.

    Please consider this organisation,

    I hope this helps you will take a while .  To do this any of the suggestions.

    Please take care.


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Member Posts: 7,416 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for the posts. 

    I agree in part and feel it is important to tackle the underlying reasons why you can’t sleep (if you can, I know some people have issues that are not “curable”) and I am waiting for the medical professionals to be able to do something about that.

    Similar to antidepressants, I have always thought it is more important to do something about the reason you are depressed, than to simply take antidepressants.
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @66Mustang   That is good to hear to look at alternatives.

    Hence my username.

    I did ask my GP if taking meds long term do you build up a resistance to taking anything.

    Know can happen, reason why on increased dosage of another drug.

    There are ways and means to cope with any mental health.

    The charities I always add. Many times .

    The first mental health charity uses a lot of in house training.

    Attending any monthly support meetings. Sleep, meds and health issues are discussed.

    Other aspects of attending so bring in organisations who deal in specific problems health and well being.

    Had a lady attend on addiction works for CAS . Community Alcohol Service talks about the effects of addiction.

    Chance to ask questions and anything you need to know.

    Organisation does a lot to help advise, consult and has in house advisors on many things and aspects you might need to know to cope with.

    Including alternative, herbal and any thing like self hypnosis  or meditation.

    Looking at lifestyle choices wellbeing services visit a lot.

    Worth contacting.

    Under Community Health one to one support about anything they can advise on.

    Hope that helps you more.

    Please take care.

    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,545 Disability Gamechanger
    This looks like a really helpful thread, thank you for everyone's tips!

    How have people been sleeping recently?

    I had a bit of a rough night last night, so I hope to get more rest tonight! 

  • Laborador
    Laborador Member Posts: 20 Connected
    Hi Tammyjane, I see you've had loads of responses, and I hope you are able to pick and choose which ones will help.Some will work for you, some not, but they might work at different times for you. 
    I'm in pain and get really anxious, and regularly have to wake up just to turn over or alter my position. When my sleep hits a rough patch and the usual hints aren't working, I treat myself to new toiletries. They don't have to be dear but they do have to be a different scent from the usual.This is important as it creates distance between your regular memories of showering and the notion of something new. I have a little tidy round the bathroom (tricky) but then spray my bed with something (again anything different). I then make a fuss of enjoying the shower, turning down the temperature as I go, so that I'm a bit chilly when I get out, having chosen cosy pyjamas, reminding myself that self care is legitimate care, and make a deliberate effort to think only about the shower and bed, all with low lights. Then I read my book until dozy and then switch off.
    It sounds mad, but it's about creating the time and space for self care (assisted or otherwise) and acknowledging by your actions that you are changing things. It's a slow process, but when it works, it works really well for me. Sometimes, the anxiety is overwhelming and I can't compartmentalise, but changing your sleep routine can help. Sometimes, sleeping tablets aren't the answer, sometimes they are, but in moderation as for me, they caused more problems than they solved. 
    Good Luck


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