Can't sleep without waking up in the middle of the night, my brain just will not stop thinking!!!

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My mom has been in a nursing home since March, but she still has episodes (usually low blood sugar) where she is transferred to the hospital and back again, and I still visit her every other day or so to be sure she's being treated right, etc. so I am always worrying about her. My sister (who has never helped me care for our mom anyways) is going through a rough patch right now - she is out of a job and has recently been diagnosed with MS. I worry about her. I have been job searching and had my first interview last week (in yeeeeears!) so I am excited, yet nervous about that...so I worry about that. I've put on quite a bit of weight since caring for my mom that doesn't want to budge, and menopause has kicked in full force. It seems like I can keep things "at bay" during the day, but at night...different story. I feel as though I am reaching my breaking point - always worrying about others & not taking care of myself. I wake up in the middle of the night and all of the above just starts rolling around in my head - I literally lay there awake for hours telling my brain to shut the hell up so I can go back to sleep. Then scenarios start forming (what if mom dies...what will I do...how much money do i have to work with...what if my sister can't ever get a job & they lose their house....) just over and over again. I KNOW I can't control any of the above, and I KNOW that worrying about it isn't going to change anything, but my brain just won't STOP!!! I hate to think of taking sleeping pills, but I'm getting to the point of wanting to try something to help quiet down the brain at night. Anyone have similar issues?? What did you do???

25 Comments

my brain shifts from trikebuilding to stonework back to trikebuilding when i lie down. the federal govt keeps bitching about ambian but for me the drug is perfect. it wears off in about 5 hours so theres no morning hangover. i think just a bunch of non driving toads keep blaming ambian for their motor car mayhem. good luck with the potential employment and your family issues sushi..
Thanks Captain...I've heard of Ambian...I might check into it & talk to my doctor. Gotta do something. I've never been one to really have anxiety issues before - guess it's one of the lovely side effects of caregiving? :/
I have this really good plan that I almost never try, but I'll just throw it out, in case it helps.

What if, an hour or half hour before bed time, you make a list, actually on paper, of all the things you have to worry about. Spend a few minutes thinking about the next step, if there is one, on each problem. Then say, "OK, God, will You hold onto these overnight while I sleep?" Or tell yourself that they are written down, so you don't have to keep them in your mind. If you start worrying, remind yourself that it's on the list, and it will still be there tomorrow.

I think you have to give the worrying a chance to happen, but it's better to do it when you're awake, and can control it and maybe even get useful ideas.

I'm definitely going to ask for some Ambian. Five hours sounds perfect.
What a good description of what goes on in my brain when I don't take my alprazolam before I go to bed. I take 2 mg.--1 mg. at 7:30 and 1 at 8:30. Without it, my brain just won't shut up. I tried something like Ambian, but the first night I took it, someone took the ketchup out of the fridge and put it on the counter. I hate ketchup! Someone also slept in the guest bedroom, but when I woke up, I was in my own bed...doctor won't let me have Ambian or that med with the butterfly advertisement. Alprazolam works for me! Sweet dreams tonight, everyone!
You have a TON of stuff going on in your life, so don't beat yourself up that you're unable to turn it off at night. My recommendation would be to find a good, caring therapist who can help you put your fears/worries in perspective (particularly about your mom) and teach you tools to deal with them that will help you relax at night and get the sleep and rest that you deserve.

I also use something called an EmWave, a little gadget that helps me relax and reduce stress. Kind of like biofeedback. You can google it to find out what it is. I do that before I go to bed (and also in the morning) and it's been wonderful. It's kind of like meditation, which would also be useful. You could also try over-the-counter melatonin, but it never worked for me.
Hey Purple we could stay up and chat some night! LOL, I have had horrible and I mean really horrible insomnia for 7 years now. Since right before the big change. I am told it is meno related. I have tried everything from Ambien to herbs to exercise to plain old just staying up til I am ready to go to sleep for real. Nothing works for very long BUT as time has gone by it is getting better to the point where I do sleep at least nights 5 hours. To cope, I find taking a SHORT nap helps get me through the rest of the day. Try not to be so hard on yourself, you have an huge amount on your plate! I try to have one thing to think about that makes me happy that I try to turn my thoughts to when I am lying in the dark. For me it is meal planning as cooking is my passion or occasionally I buy a lotto ticket and plot what I would do if I won, lol! Best two bucks I ever spent. Good luck and this too shall pass...eventually!
Worries are actually the working of the mind, reacting to situations, trying to find solutions.But we forget that mere worrying about doesn't solve the problems.Especially at that particular time of night.Instead of lying down trying to sleep fighting the thoughts, get up and write down 2, 3 options or backup plans for the most important worries.Having a few alternatives will bring some calm to the mind eventually.You are able to manage daytime better, since you have some work for your mind for other things.Put it through some positive work and then see.Finally you have to realize that things out of our control don't deserve to be worried about.My two pence...!
Well, lots of good advice. You have tons going on right now including some exciting things like a job interview.

Try these tips:
Limit caffeine after lunch.
Have a routine and stick to it especially for next several weeks while you calm your mind.
Limit exercise after dinner.
Don't eat dinner to close to bedtime
Limit alcohol intake. It doesn't lend to a sound restful sleep although you think it does because you are relaxed...
Try an evening routine, warm bath, shower, read a book.
Leave your cell phone, computer, OFF and in another room no beeping at nighttime!!!
Keep room dark, turn thermostat down to 68...we sleep better in cold.
Write all your worries, to do list, thoughts in a journal before bedtime
Swig of ZZZ-Quil vs prescription sleep aid. My husband can't sleep and he just started taking this a few weeks ago and swears by it ( my niece recommended) and he can never sleep the whole night. He wakes up rested and not groggy.

Good luck.
Hi was in same place about two months ago I was literally cracking up my doc gave me stilnoct BUT there have been some negative reports about them BUT im sleeping i pop and drop next thing I know my cats tapping my face with his paw!!

I will say though take sunflos advice first! My doc wants me off these soon but not until a solution for my mum is sorted.

What ive HAD to learn is that you cannot fix everyone! You have to TRY to stop worrying about the what ifs you will go mad. I have stepped back a bit and basically surrender to and say this to yourself everyday "If something happens it happens I cannot control everything and everyone" my support group say that i could go to the shop and my mum may be dead when I get back we cannot live in fear all the time it nearly drove me to a breakdown. like you what if? now im preparing myself for the worst and will deal with it all when it happens. Your mum is safe. you have a job interview. your sister will be ok and get the help she needs. you need to think about you and try and get some sleep. I would try anything first as drugs to sleep was not what i wanted and can be addictive but I know I will be ok once mums sorted and I will stop worrying so much.
Its very hard what works for me may not work for you. But just dont go down the drug route unless absolutely nescessary i got into such a state after a breakin that I had no choice I think I would have coped had it not have been for this breakin just so much stress and worry my doc had to calm me down.
I hope you get some sleep tonight!!
PS i put on alot of weight too stress makes you fat! I am now on a diet and motivated for the first time in years WHY because on top of everything thats going on my weight was depressing me also I was comfort eating mainly crap and sweet stuff of course. I am taking chromium brilliant for sugar cravings and I got my bike out today and it felt great ok i couldnt breathe but hey its a start. Dont worry about your weight too much though we can take on so much thats its mental overload just take one day at a time. I was always a very laid back person I never thought I would be close to losing it but thats what caring for my mum with no support drove me to NOW its about me and my mental health. Hug!

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