Addressing Sleep Disturbance
anonymous Asks ...
Dear Shannon Rice,
For the last few months I have been waking up at 3 or 4 in the morning most nights and I have a lot of trouble falling back asleep. I can usually manage to get back asleep just about as my alarm clock starts beeping, so that is stressful as well.
The sleeping troubles are causing me to feel very fatigued during the day but I am also very worried because when I wake up in the night I always feel very down and hopeless and my mind races over all the things that I am doing that aren't good enough or how I am failing my children.
Once I get up and start my day and get busy these types of thoughts generally disappear, but they always come back again late at night. From what I have read I see that this is a sign of depression but since I do not feel down during the day I do not think that this is what I am dealing with.
I am tired of feeling like this in my bed every night but I do not know what I can do to make things better. I am 42 and in good general physical health. I work as a TV producer and I like my job and it is not overly stressful. I am happily married and have 2 elementary school aged children.
Do you have any suggestions for me? Thank you.
Shannon Rice Says ...
What you are experiencing is typical for people experiencing either a mild depression or anxiety that is often situational. Part of the issue is likely that you have not addressed the thoughts you have racing around and need strategies to do so. During the day, you are distracted from those thoughts. So, they come back at night when things have calmed down. Some brief cognitive therapy could help you to develop strategies to address the thoughts that keep you awake. I would suggest you contact a cognitive therapist in your area and schedule an initial evaluation. The therapist can assess to be sure there is nothing else going on, and then teach you some helpful ways to feel better. Additionally, there are some things you can do to try to improve sleep. See this article that I have written for some suggestions http://ezinearticles.com/?Oh-No!-I-Cant-Fall-Asleep!&id=6831504