Can anxiety make sleeping this bad?

Posted by mkqq @mkqq, Sat, Apr 11 10:54am

Hi all,

So I became sick 6 weeks ago, had a fever that lasted 2-3 days. A few nights after that is when the problem started. I had a totally sleepless night and then a few more sleepless or almost sleep nights in the next weeks or so, which made me feel terrible and fatigued.

For the past 5-6 weeks or so sleeping has been absolutely terrible. I am using some melatonin and valerian which helps a little but not much. On average I’m only getting 5-6 hours of interrupted sleep a night.

I would wake up frequently every hour or every 2 hours. For example if I fall asleep at at 2200, I would wake up at 2300, then wake up again at 0000 or 0100. Very often between the hours of 0200-0400 I can’t sleep at all.

So my anxiety grew and in the last 3-4 weeks or so I’ve having trouble finding a comfortable breathing rythm in bed. I would very often wake up breathing faster and heavier than usual.

This scares me because I’m still fighting an infection and I’m wondering if there’s anything wrong with my lungs.

Doctor says it’s anxiety. But I’m worried there is a medical condition.

My temperature is normal. I had a wet cough for a few weeks but that seems to have disappeared. My blood oxygen saturation is 98%.

So I’m wondering can anxiety make your sleeping this bad? All this in the last few weeks has made me rather depressed and extremely fatigued.

Thanks for any input.

Hello I suffer from anxiety do u get a constant urge to take a deep breath

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@rab

Hello I suffer from anxiety do u get a constant urge to take a deep breath

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Sometimes, not always.

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Whats the main symptoms u get that makes u worry

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The fatigue and especially waking up every hour or two breathing fast.

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Do u find breathing easier when your relaxed

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@rab

Hello I suffer from anxiety do u get a constant urge to take a deep breath

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When I am anxious I try to remember to breathe..slowly. It works! I say “Breathe”.
“In and out.” It works for me.

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I hope u get better im suffering to i understand ur feeling I will pray for u enjoy the rest of u day God bless u with the best of health

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Hi @mkqq, Anxiety and stress can make sleeping bad. The Sleep Foundation website has some tips that might help with the anxiety here:
https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-does-anxiety-affect-sleep
Do you have a night time routine before going to bed to help you try and relax? The American Institute of Stress also has some suggestions and information that may be helpful here: https://www.stress.org/get-rid-of-sleep-anxiety-and-insomnia-your-guide-to-a-better-nights-rest

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@helenfrances

When I am anxious I try to remember to breathe..slowly. It works! I say “Breathe”.
“In and out.” It works for me.

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@helenfrances, Hi there, I just wanted to add emphasis to your comment about coming back to the breath when you need support. There are guided meditations focusing on the breath. The purpose is to clear your mind of things that shouldn't be there and give your brain a break. Just breathe. Here's another mindfulness message. Breathing in, I am aware that I am breathing in. Breathing out, I am aware I am breathing out. Breathing in, I feel the cool air going in my nostrils. Breathing out, I feel the warm air coming out my nostrils. These always help me especially when I start with 10 breaths counting IN 2,3,4 and then Out 2, 3, 4. Hope these suggestions work for you.
May you be safe and protected.
Chris

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@artscaping

@helenfrances, Hi there, I just wanted to add emphasis to your comment about coming back to the breath when you need support. There are guided meditations focusing on the breath. The purpose is to clear your mind of things that shouldn't be there and give your brain a break. Just breathe. Here's another mindfulness message. Breathing in, I am aware that I am breathing in. Breathing out, I am aware I am breathing out. Breathing in, I feel the cool air going in my nostrils. Breathing out, I feel the warm air coming out my nostrils. These always help me especially when I start with 10 breaths counting IN 2,3,4 and then Out 2, 3, 4. Hope these suggestions work for you.
May you be safe and protected.
Chris

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Many thanks. I tried your suggestions… relaxing.. even while watching the Corona news!

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@artscaping

@helenfrances, Hi there, I just wanted to add emphasis to your comment about coming back to the breath when you need support. There are guided meditations focusing on the breath. The purpose is to clear your mind of things that shouldn't be there and give your brain a break. Just breathe. Here's another mindfulness message. Breathing in, I am aware that I am breathing in. Breathing out, I am aware I am breathing out. Breathing in, I feel the cool air going in my nostrils. Breathing out, I feel the warm air coming out my nostrils. These always help me especially when I start with 10 breaths counting IN 2,3,4 and then Out 2, 3, 4. Hope these suggestions work for you.
May you be safe and protected.
Chris

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Many thanks!

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Welcome to Connect, @mkqq
Anxiety definitely makes sleeping difficult. When I am anxious about things I can lie awake for hours before falling asleep and then when I wake up it will again take me a very long to get back to sleep. I do have a very small prescription of lorazepam, an anti-anxiety pill, from my PCP. He will give me as much as 10 .5mg pills a month, so not much. I use them very judiciously so I generally use fewer than he allows me. I don't like being dependent on pills to sleep but I have also used Benedryl and melatonin.
Right now I am doing better than usual. As others have mentioned, I prefer to fall asleep naturally and counting as I inhale and exhale helps. There are numerous "formulas" for how many seconds you should allow for inhaling and exhaling, and some include holding it in the middle for a certain number of seconds also. I find that's just too complex for me, I just count to four as I inhale and then to four as I exhale, similar to @artscaping.
The more anxious you get from not being able to fall asleep, the longer it will take to fall asleep.
I hope you are able to find something that will help you. I know too well how tired a person can get when deprived of sleep for many nights in a row. My PCP did mention that if I went a number of nights without sleeping that is the time to take something to try to break the cycle so that is what I try to do.
JK

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