I’ve been an insomniac for years - I don’t have trouble falling asleep, I have trouble staying asleep. It comes and goes in spurts - when I’m in a bad spurt, I wake up after 4 hours or so and can’t get back to sleep. (Tonight, for example, I went to bed at about 10:30, woke up around 2, and haven’t been able to get back to sleep. Boy, tomorrow - I mean today - is going to be fun. The Fitbit thinks I slept 2 hours and 8 minutes, and it may actually be right.)
It tends to flare up when I’m stressed (usually, but not always). This week someone I know from childhood (younger sister of a close HS friend) died after a brief but intense struggle with breast cancer, less than 6 months from diagnosis. It’s peak crazy period at work, and I have multiple bosses, most of whom are completely disorganized and one of whom has ADD (for real, actually diagnosed), and none of whom bother coordinating with each other to see what workloads actually are, they just throw stuff at me. But they don’t want me to work overtime when I’m swamped, because then they would have to pay me, but that’s a much longer rant. I’m trying to clear my desk off because I’m supposed to have my first 2 consecutive week vacation since 1994 right after the end of the busy season, but they just keep piling work on me. There is a huge pile of files that have been sitting next to my desk for months waiting to be closed, but I haven’t had the time to do it, I have no help doing it (although management keeps telling me they want me to minimize the amount of admin time I spend, but do not provide alternatives), and there’s nowhere else to put them. The clutter makes me bonkers.
Both my parents are also insomniacs. I know I grind my teeth in my sleep, because my dentist tells me so (and made me a mouth guard, which has some pretty deep grooves in it now). I have some respiratory issues (nasal polyps I never did anything about 20+ years ago, mild intermittent asthma). I’ve tried various meds to sleep (Rozerem, which did squat, and a brief round of Ambien XR, which knocked me on my ass, because it was right before they reduced the recommended dosage for women by half). I’m not fond of taking drugs to deal with basic bodily functions, but what else can I do?
My doc doesn’t like prescribing things like Ambien because they are habit-forming, and advises Benadryl, which is handy for my allergies anyway, which also tend to flare up when I’m stressed. Melatonin helps sometimes, but apparently not tonight - I’m tired to the point of dizziness, but can’t turn my brain off. I follow all the standard sleep hygiene advice - only 1 cup of coffee a day, no caffeine after noon, don’t read or watch TV in bed, etc. It doesn’t work reliably. Exercise levels seem to have little to no effect. The Fitbit thinks I’ve been averaging around 6 hours of sleep, even when I am in bed with the lights out and am not conscious of being conscious for 8 - 9 hours, which makes me think I don’t sleep very well.
So I need to sort all this crap out before it makes me insane. Am I missing anything? Any other professional I should consult?