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Sleep Disorders Message Board

Sleep Disorders Board Index


I have insomnia but it's the type where I have a real hard time falling. Once asleep, I'm fine (I wake up in the middle of the night all once in a great while but it's not significant). I suffer from anxiety disorders, and my level of anxiety at sleeptime is about 13-14. (9-12 is moderate, 13-16 is severe, 17-20 is near-to-full blown panic). So I'm in the "severe" range, or high-anxiety state. I often feel restless, toss and turn, feel my mind race. W/out sleeping aids, I don't know exactly how long it takes for me to fall asleep but I'd say at least 1.5 hours. I timed myself once at 1 hour 48 minutes, and frequently I stay awake past 2 hours. About once a month, particularly during a stressful event, I don't fall asleep until dawn. With sleep aids, either anti-anxiety such as ativan or sleeping pills, it takes 50 minutes to an hour to fall asleep once they take effect. That's still too long...Ambien should put me asleep in 30 minutes, ativan should make me sleepy enough too...I understand the "normal" limit for falling asleep is 30 minutes. I'm interested in severity of my insomnia. I'd use 1.5 hours as an averege..that's considerably longer than averege..but as far as insomnia suffer's are concerned that may be just mild..but I don't know the standard. How bad do you think this is? Also, I'm 99% sure this is due to anxiety, but may there be other reasons for this delayed sleep?

You know I had a lot of problems taking vitamins and sleeping pills, but I just caved in. Anyhow, hope your're resting well. It's 4:30 AM still awake, but yawning, so I'm going to bed. I'll take an Ambien :) Bev. I can't actually feel my heart beating fast because I'm so tense that I actually have to reduce my anxiety to feel my heart beating fast! I have chest constriction (not really pressure like a heart attack) rather like you are holding your breath and you sense constricting but it doesn't really bother me. If you feel your heart beating quickly you could have moderate anxiety. If you have high anxiety, you'll feel nuts (I feel like I'm out of my mind 1/2 the time), have poor self-esteem, feel your thoughts speed up, have increased emotional sensitivity, sense you are out of control..but if you ask someone if they think you're out of it they'll probably say no. If you have a Panic attack you'll be hysterical...
Moderate anxiety, you'll still feel like everyone else, being a bit more edgy. Physically, your heart will beat faster, you might get some stomach discomfort (slight butterflies), might sweat a little bit. A good way to test if you have moderate or severe anxiety, is your speech. Has anyone told you you speak loud, or quickly at times w/out intent of course. If they have, it's leaning more towards severe but that's not 100% sure. How old are you? If you are around my age, I'm 22 so 18-24 group about 4% of women have generalized anxiety. In the 35-44 it's closer to 6%. The older you get the higher the risk. If you do have anxiety, try magnesium (it's safe..if you take too much you'll get diarrhea) or st. john's wort (that has more side effects) so look up on it and take only recommended dosage. There are meds. that are effective for anxiety (Xanax, ativan, klonopin) and anti-depressants work too like Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro. I take Lexapro and feel great on it, but some people react badly to it. I get the impression you don't really need medication and advise against it UNLESS you need it. Chamomile (spelling??) tea works too. Well good far as the test goes score 18-24 is mild-moderate, 25-30 is moderate-severe 31+ is severe. 20 is sufficient for an anxiety disorder. If you score in the 18-24 group try the tea/magnesium/st. john's wort in that order (unless you have algeries to tea)'ll have no reaction to magnesium. if you are in the 25-29 group still try the supplements, and you might want to see a therapist. If you have above 30 you'll probably need medication, but even then, still try the supplements first.

Take Care

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