Avatar universal

Debilitating insomnia... no sleeping pills work..causing rapid aging....literally about to lose everything... help please!

A sleep study showed I never get any deep sleep (havent for almost two years). I wake up every few minutes (spontaneous arousals), dont have sleep apnea, only 6 hypopneas over 6 hours, VERY reduced rem-almost non-existant-2%, and very abnormal sleep structure, and all this totaling less than four hours of broken up sleep a night for two years.  

Does anyone have similar insomnia? Could a hormonal imbalance/perimenopause or hyperthyroidism or uars cause this type of insomnia/crazy sleep?  And why wouldn't sleeping pills work?!

It started with two nights of sleeplessness around my menstrual cycle. Then I started having trouble getting to sleep, waking early, and being unable to nap anymore. Then after a month of that, a night of sleeplessness again which continued into like 8 nights of no sleep!!!! Didn't try sleeping pills which was very stupid. At that point, just tried 1 mg ativan and alternating xanax which got me that crazy broken light sleep. After a few weeks of that, literally went 9 days without sleep again. At that point, my feet got very wrinkled. I started to get blotchy skin with age spots. Wrinkles under my eyes, etc.

Has anyone ever experienced rapid aging from very severe sleep deprivation/insomnia? It also affected/lowered my iq drastically, took away all my imagination, gave me mood swings that seriously felt like what bipolar would be, racing thoughts, I no longer had any empathy (has anyone experienced this from sleep loss?? very scary and awful!!! will it go away once I get normal sleep?), a million other things. Has anyone else experienced such bad insomnia that eventually your thoughts are all over the place (like its hard to tell a story).

10 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
Sierrah, my heart goes out to you. I just found this post as well because I'm going through another major bout of insomnia (been dealing with it for 5years now pretty consistently). I've tried just about everything I can think of including many types of prescription meds. I found that although some of them work, they cause such terrible side effects that I'm not sure which is worse anymore--being sleep deprived or feeling like crap the next day from the meds. Anyway, we should talk sometime--venting to someone who understands might be refreshing for both of us! Also, what hasn't worked for me might work for you and vice-versa. I believe that someday this dreadful disorder/disease/whatever you want to call it will be a thing of the past for me, but in the meantime it is absolutely life-sucking. I just want to sleep like everyone else I know!!
Helpful - 1
Sierra and Lyn I feel so connected to you I am literally crying while typing this it's awful and no one gets it..am so tired of this now I want to get out of it
same here... I have been dealing with this for a month and am sure I have this for the long term. It is the worst thing in the world and I curse the luck that branded me with it.
Hello Lyn. I'd really like that. I just got through another sleepless night and decided to come back here and am so happy that I did. My email address is ***@****. Please feel free to email me (this extends to all of you.) Perhaps some support could help us in a small way. ❤️
Well darn. It won't let me post my email address.
Avatar universal
Had this since I was a kid. Now, without medicine, I'd wake up all night. Get a sleep study.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I think hormone imbalance has messed with my sleep. So did deficiency in Iron and Vitamin D. I took a magnesium test, but those are fairly useless.

Raising my Vitamin D level really improved sleep. I still take Vitamin D3 because once I raised my levels, I stopped taking it daily or took too low of a dose and my levels dropped almost in half within 4 months.

Magnesium has helped a lot too. Taking it a few times a day (orally and transdermally). Never more than 100-200mg per dose because the body won't be able to absorb more at each sitting. If you start to have loose bowels then your body is saying it's reached its magnesium tolerance. Then you take a bit less till things are good again.

Vitamin B12 has also helped me.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
My 54-year-old daughter has been diagnosed bipolar.  She has had trouble sleeping at night since childhood.  She learned to live with it by sleeping after school, knowing she would lie wakeful all night.  After school she took jobs on the night shift, sleeping during daylight hours.

Now she sleeps no more than 10 mins at a time.  Lately, she has developed a debilitating stutter.  She's also experiencing seizures and is afraid to drive, naturally.  One of her doctors has requested all of her medical records so he can refer her to a neurologist.

On a hunch, I researched "sleep deprivation" and learned that, if the body cannot get 4,5 or 6 hours of continuous sleep, it cannot properly restore itself and will be vulnerable to such conditions as high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke - and even weight gain.

Has anyone tried remedies such as chamomile tea or an herb called valerian which has been used for centuries as a sleep aid and to ward off anxiety?

I'm urging my daughter to start with chamomile tea at bed time and report to me on the results.  I hope to have something helpful to share with this site shortly.
Helpful - 0
I'm sorry to hear about your daughter. I sometimes think depression, anxiety and an inability to process thoughts properly and focus are a side effect of the insomnia. It's hard sitting up alone while you feel like the rest of the world is sound asleep. My fiancé closes his eyes and is asleep in 2 minutes and it almost makes me nuts.

I have tried everything I can think of. I can sometimes calm my mind and doze off for a couple hours but honestly, just the anxiety having to go to bed knowing what I'll be facing has created a vicious cycle I can't seem to break free from. It's like I'm in this hamster wheel. I'm logical and realize the sleeplessness has caused depression and anxiety, and the depression and anxiety lead to more sleeplessness but I'm just completely stuck. I really thought I was the only person who suffered from this on this kind of a level, and it's nice to know that there are people who understand this torture.

I hope your daughter finds her sleep. ❤️
I've been going through the same thing for nearly a year. Am 36 years old. Have had several blood tests for thyroid problems. Nothing explains it. I also developed high blood pressure since the beginning.

I totally changed my life-style, started eating healthy again, going to bed at a normal time, etc. At first it seemed to be working. I felt a bit strange, but could still fall asleep normally. Then one night in early February 2016, I woke at 4am and couldn't sleep again. For the next 48 hours, I couldn't sleep no matter what. I finally got some zopiclone pills from a friend.

This led to being unable to sleep without them, and even then only short broken sleeps....any pills used to knock me out for hours when I was younger. In fact I used to be able to sleep for as long as I wanted without pills.

Now I'm sometimes bedridden feeling as if I'm about to die. Can no longer work or do much of anything. I've seen an Endocrinologist, Neurologist, Cardiologist, and a Psychiatrist. The Endocrinologist messed me up even more by getting me addicted to Klonopin and Ambien.

It seemed to actually be working for a few months. I would take them twice a night(in ever increasing doses), but at least I was getting 6-8 hours of sleep every night. Then suddenly my body started becoming toxic, and I felt totally unrelated. The Psychiatrist switched me to a Valium taper, and gave me Seroquel 25-50mg as needed to sleep.

It usually let me fall asleep, though sleep is broken ever 1-3 hours. I never slept over 5 hours straight, nor more than 6 total. These past two weeks, Im again fatigued to the point of being bedridden. I was back to working part-time.

My blood pressure has skyrocketed even on a beta blocker. I literally feel like my body is shutting down due to lack of proper sleep. Am broke and at my wits end about what to do.

My family is no help at all, and the only thing keeping me going is my gf. She's doing her best to support us both and help me heal. The mounting debt and struggle surely aren't helping. Life is strange sometimes.
Totally unrested*
Avatar universal
I realize this is an old thread, but I'm also a sufferer of sleep deprivation and extreme insomnia. I've been dealing with insomnia nearly nightly since I can remember. I can't remember what it feels like to go to bed and fall asleep like a normal person.

I've been taking sleep aids under Doctor supervison for years, and recently decided to stop due to strange occurrences with no recollection. It's been 8 months now since not using prescription sleep aids, and my health has deteriorated enormously. I feel sick and I've gained weight from boredom at night and eating rather than doing something productive. My friendships have suffered. I've begun drinking to fall asleep. I'm a mess and crying typing this. I just don't know what to do. I'm so tired... tiiiiired of this curse I've been born with. I can't sleep unless I'm drunk or drugged and it's taking a toll on me.

I've spent a couple of nights being tested throughout the years. I don't have sleep apnea and when I sleep, I hit REM. I've tried breathing techniques to not using electronics before bed, to Melatonin. I'm simply at a loss...

I wouldn't wish this upon my worst enemy.
Helpful - 0
180749 tn?1443595232
This pranayam will gradually allow you to sleep better.
Build up your timing gradually.If you feel tired or dizzy, stop and resume after one minute.
Anulom Vilom –
Close your right nostril with thumb and deep breath-in through left nostril  
then – close left nostril with two middle fingers and breath-out through right nostril  
then -keeping the left nostril closed  deep breath-in through right nostril
then - close your right nostril with thumb and breath-out through left nostril.
This is one cycle of anulom vilom.
Repeat this cycle for 15 to 30  minutes twice a day.
Children under 15 years – do 5 to 10 minutes twice a day.
You can do this before breakfast/lunch/dinner or before bedtime or in bed. Remember to take deep long breaths into the lungs.You can do this while sitting on floor or chair or lying in bed.
While doing anulom vilom, keep your eyes closed, concentrate on the third eye (point in between the eyebrows).

After you can do anulom vilom for 15 minutes or more, you will start to relax and get better sleep.Continue for rest of life, to keep the body in balance.Your feedback will help others.
Helpful - 0
1271743 tn?1320892461
I have the same kind of sleep problems.  While I was working part time I was sleeping good, now that I have gone back to full time I wake up about every hour or so. It *****. I am scared if I take the Xanax I am prescribed that I won't get up in the morning for work and I will accidently turn off the alarm clock... so I know how you feel!
Helpful - 0
1355118 tn?1298564879
Hi, welcome to the forum, you seem to have insomnia. In young to middle aged individuals, sleep maintainance problems tend to be associated with stress, anxiety, or circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

They may also be associated with sleep disorders (eg, sleep apnea, periodic limb movements), medical conditions that cause pain, psychiatric diseases (eg, anxiety, depression), or the use or withdrawal of alcohol, nicotine, or other substances.

The investigations which will help to diagnose the type and cause for insomnia are Polysomnography, Multiple sleep latency test and Actigraphy .

The therapy for this condition includes retaining of normal circadian rhythm by non-pharmacological therapy which includes; Photo therapy, maintenance of sleep hygiene. You need to go for morning exercises and work out which will make you fresh and active all day and tiredness at the end of day will help you to induce sleep naturally.

As for type of drug therapy suitable for you, you need consult sleep specialist for appropriate prescription. I suggest you to consult physician. Take car and regards.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Your insomnia far exceeds the insomnia I now experience. I too spent two nights in a sleep clinic at a major medical center. I am an old man now, and I just accept that my sleeping habits are not going to change. I have GERD, and I am afraid if I took sleep medication, and I had an acid- reflux during sleep, my stomach acid could aspirate into my lungs, and I might suffocate to death.

As a man, I understand how women's hormone levels can affect your sleeping habits and rob you of needed sleep. I wonder whether your Gynecologist has offered any advice to you that might help you break the insomnia. I have
awaken every night two hours after I fell asleep, and I get up and sit in a chair with the lights off hoping to get sleepy and return to bed. There are TV channels I turn to to pass the time. Sometimes, I get a little sleepy at 4 AM, and I fall asleep never expecting to and sleep to maybe 8 AM. This is a typical night for me.

You probably know that it is the pineal gland in our brain that secretes the sleep hormone, melatonin, but the secretion is only activated in a darken room. I have a sleeping mask, but I have not yet tried to use it. This is not a sales pitch for the next comment:  a company was created by three scientists, two Ph.Ds and one MS in physics. The chief scientist here worked forever for the General Electric Lamp Division, and deduced that the blue wavelength of the Electromagnetic Spectrum reduces the melatonin level produced by the pineal gland. If you took physics in school,  the rainbow we see after a rain exhibits 7 colors: ROY G BIV( red, orange yellow, green, blue,indigo, violet). The blue wavelength is emitted from lamps, TV, computers. If you block the blue wavelength from these objects, your pineal gland restarts its work to produce melatonin. I wear special glasses sold by the company that initially took about 5 days to rechange my circadian rhythms so I could become sleepy. I wear the glasses three hours before I go to bed. The glasses help me fall asleep faster, but two hours later, I awake as normal.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
You should get your endocrine system checked (thyroid, adrenals, etc.)  As well as your electrolytes (Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, and Sodium.)

"Sleep disorders caused by magnesium deficiency are usually agitated with frequent nocturnal awakenings. Nocturnal instrument monitoring reveals major organization of sleep disorders. The deficiency may be severe enough to be diagnosed on the basis of clearly low blood magnesium levels."
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Sleep Disorders Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Healing home remedies for common ailments
Dr. Steven Park reveals 5 reasons why breathing through your nose could change your life
Want to wake up rested and refreshed?
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.
STIs are the most common cause of genital sores.