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Insomnia - Adult Forum
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534800 tn?1217170959

The Revoling Door of Drugs Versus No Sleep

Since 2003 I have been, related to perimenopause and relocating to an urban environment, living and dealing with various stages of insomnia. I have literally tried just about every product on the market, both OTC and prescribed, and they all work at first (a few days) then - nothing. Anti-anxiety meds help a bit with the racing heart and white noise in my head every night because I can't fall asleep, but I've become rattled with the idea that over time, I'll actually be decreasing my life span from not getting enough sleep, aging faster than I want to and stressing my heart (all downsides to poor sleep for years).

After changing doctors numerous times I'm convinced the traditional medical community isn't interested in finding ways to aid patients with sleep disorders other than doling out medication after medication (that's what they're schooled to do) but I desperately want to 1) be off any anxiety medication unless for an emergency and 2) WANT TO SLEEP.

I also exercise at least an hour 1/2 day, vigorously, eat no meat, no dairy, no coffee, don't drink or smoke. Trust me, I've been doing whatever I can to better my nighttime circumstance for a long, long time.

Thoughts?
5 Responses
707647 tn?1251492147
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Please review my comments and blogs on cognitive behavioral therapy CBT); and, the eight hour sleep myth.

There is little scientific evidence that insomnia reduces life span, speeds up aging, or stresses your heart. In fact, longer sleep is associated with greater risk of shorter life span and morbidity  than shorter sleep. Furthermore, the long-term effects of sleeping pills, which lose efficacy in the long run as you noted, include a mortality risk greater than sleep loss. CBT includes all of this data to help you reduce worry about not sleeping (worry only serves to exacerbate insomnia). Finally, CBT is very effective in 80% of patients. See my website for more information on  online CBT.

Dr. Jacobs
www.cbtforinsomnia.com
534800 tn?1217170959
Thank you Dr. Jacobs for your reply, and I'll be sure to visit your website, but as I wrote previously, I have been treated for over a year now at MGH in Boston with CBT to virtually zero positive results.

I am on my own, weening off the Xanax and will search for other solutions to chronic anxiety and my insomnia - PCH suggests HRT which I'm strongly against.

Thanks again.
707647 tn?1251492147
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Your initial post did not mention CBT and I must confess that, despite being in the Boston area, I do not know anyone at MGH that does CBT for insomnia.

Dr. Jacobs
534800 tn?1217170959
I'm treated by a wonderful Ph.D therapist, Dr. Christina Baker-Woods and she is a CBT specialist at MGH.

I'll share your name and website with Dr. Baker.

Thanks again.
707647 tn?1251492147
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
I don’t believe she is a sleep specialist who has trained in a sleep center on CBT for insomnia. If not, ask her for a referral to a sleep center that has a CBT for insomnia specialist such as Dr. Cynthia Dorsey at Brigham Sleep Center since challenging cases of insomnia require a person who has specific training in CBT for insomnia .

Dr. Jacobs
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