Sleep Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Waking Up Too Early and Other Sleep Issues

I have always been someone who needs to get about 7-8 hours of sleep a night to avoid feeling tired and not 100%. I have had issues with waking up too early or in the night, but could always fall asleep after a few minutes.  About 1.5 months ago, out of the blue I stated waking up about an hour or so early. This was a bit of a bummer, but I could function and just ignored the issue thinking that it would go away. Well over the next several weeks, this issue became a stress of mine and I stated waking during the night 2-3 times a night which would leave me with about 4-5 hours of sleep. It was like clockwork, I would wake up every 3 hours 2.5 hours on the dot. After about a month of these issues I saw a doctor and after talking with him, we decided to try a short-term sleep aide (Ambien) to reset my sleep schedule. At first, he prescriber regular Ambien … Which was not effective on keeping me asleep since its effective usage is only for 2 hours. However, I switched to the extended release and I stopped waking during the night.

But another issue has come up, now I wake after 6.5 hours of sleep on the dot every morning. So, it’s better, but still leaves me very tired during the day. When I wake, my body is so tired, but my mind is running like it is awake. I start day dreaming about things (not actual dreaming since I am very much still awake) and then after not falling back to sleep, I get slightly frustrated which doesn’t help. I usually lay there for 2 hours and then get out of bed having only slept for 6 or 6.5 hours. I am still taking the sleep aid, but I am frustrated that I am still tired and at a loss on what to do. Has anyone experienced this, what should I do? What options do I have?

(side note) I am very aware of the issues that come with using a sleep aid for the long term and have spoken extensively with the doc about ending the use within weeks after everything gets back to normal.
1 Responses
Avatar universal
I agree about ending use of the sleeping pills, which in no way treat the true underlying reason for your insomnia. That's key -- find out what is disrupting your sleep in the first place, and treat that.  Not mask it with drugs.  Often insomnia is caused by some nonmedical combination of bad sleep habits and excessive worry about the idea of sleep.  Both of those can be successfully treated without drugs by using CBT sleep training methods.  Ask your doc about that, or if you're the self-help type you'll find much good info online.
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