Sleep Disorders Community
4.85k Members
Avatar universal

Upside down sleep patterns


I'm a 35 year old female that is having a very difficult time falling asleep. For the past 2 months my sleep patterns have changed drastically. I can't fall asleep at night at all even with the help of some sleep aides. I sometimes take over the counter medicines such as zzquil, a sleep aid pill, sleepy time teas, and even tried medication like Tramadol 100mg that is for pain n muscles spasms, but they do assist with drowiness n sleep. None of these things help me and I end up awake literally all night into the morning hours up to 9 or 10am.

I eventually do get tired or sleepy by this time and fall asleep. When I do finally sleep I am asleep all day long until early evening hours like around 5, 6 or 7pm. One time I actually slept til 10pm. When I woke up it was only go to the bathroom n get something to eat. Afterward I was still sleepy and wanted to go right back to bed, but at this time the problem started again and of course I was awake all night long until the morning hours again.

I'm not sure what is causing this problem, but I am unemployed and am home all day. I also recently have been through some emotional and physical strain, so I'm not sure if this is having an effect on my sleep habits since I have been feeling very sad and depressed lately. I know that being depressed can cause a change in ones' sleeping patterns- either not sleeping at all or sleeping too much. I feel I am suffering from both ends of that spectrum.

I guess my question now is to find out, is my problem with sleep caused by depression? And if that is the problem, should I seek the help of a doctor/psychologist to get a diagnosis and maybe prescribed medication to help me? Does it sound severe enough to even be diagnosed as depression and require medication? Any assistance anyone can give it would be most appreciated. Please help!

8 Responses
612551 tn?1450025775
Discussion with a primary care doctor would be a good start.  The doctor can give you a general check up, maybe do blood tests.

A key is to be awake during the day so you can sleep at night.  Being awake in the day needs to be accompanied by some bright light, best if the sun, artificial light also helps some people.  

No caffeine (coffee, tea, soda, chocolate, whatever), or other stimulates after noon time, physical exercise, enough to make you physically tired.. all these things help one deal with depression as well a sleep.  I see sleep problems and depression as related and think the depression is more a driver, still if one is very tired that can increase the depressed feeling.

All the above is right of the the "healthy life style" book, and it really works.
757137 tn?1347200053
It could be an adrenal problem. Normally cortisol is high in the morning, and drops during the day. As it drops you produce melatonin and get sleepy. If your cortisol pattern is reversed then you will be wide awake at night and sleepy in the morning. Try resetting your internal clock by taking over-the-counter melatonin. The usual dose is 5 mg. and you take it just before going to bed. Benadryl, an antihistamine, is a good sleep aid. I use both.
2094297 tn?1345392693
  First off Tramadol does not help you sleep, just the opposite, most people who take it find they get a burst of energy, second off you have got to get sunlight, and you need to stay awake during day to sleep well at night, third, if you have not done so see Dr. right away, perhaps have a sleep study done (if you have not already done so.) and last but not least If everything else fails, because I do not recommend medications unless no other choice talk to your Dr. about ambien CR but only as a last resort, for a more natural way  look into melatonin but watch doing too much as it is not always clear on the labels just google the proper dosage ..... good luck
P.S exercise and listen to what jerry (last post) is telling you he is correct . and always check with your Dr. before trying to take any type of new herb or medicine..even if it is labeled natural... not always true
2094297 tn?1345392693
  Oh yea, and just remember when life gives you lemons make lemonade, you will find that most people on the web site have been through hell and back so we can all relate to depression and pain, I always recommend a health care specialist, but I have also got a lot of help from the wonderful people of med help..Good Luck
Avatar universal

Thank u all for your comments. Most of the things you guys have said, I already know and have already tired. To Jerry, I actually don't drink coffee, soda or any carbonated drinks nor do I eat chocolate. I had the gastric bypass surgery a lil over a year ago and now my eating habits have completely changed. As far as exercise is concerned I am not very good with that and due to the sleep issues I've been in the house all day. It's only on rare occassions that ill leave to go out n run an errand. I am still losing weight and have lost 90lbs thus far so my energy levels is very up n down.

To allmymarbles and trolleater, I've had a sleep study done years ago and it was normal. I'm considering getting it done again, but not sure if it will really help. I know that Tramadol isn't exactly a sleep aid, as I stated its for pain n muscle spasms because I suffer from chronic neck and back pain due to a car accident years ago.  However, it does relax the nerves and muscles and does make u extremely drowsy.

I have used benadryl before which usually helps but I haven't used it in a long time. As for Melatonin I've read a few studies that actually contradict the fact that it helps with sleep and is in fact the opposite. I also seen and heard it on the Dr. Oz show, which is pretty reputable in my book. Now being exposed to sunlight or artificial light is done daily usually artificial bc I'm very tired n sleepy during the day. Even to the point where I have to nap and lay in the bed covered from head to toe in complete darkness.

I'm extremely stressed n sad all the time. I have crying spells. Emotionally I'm a lil all over the place. Take today for example, when I initially posted my comment I had not slept all night. I finally went to sleep this afternoon at 1pm. I then woke up around 7pm bc I was hungry. I'm still tired n my body feels weak. I am also experiencing headaches and I'm sure its due to this strange sleeping pattern I have. I'm laying in bed again wanting to sleep, but I can't now. And I know the cycle will begin again cuz I will not sleep all night long.  I am beginning to lose hope and feel so lost. I've scheduled an appt with my pcp for this Thursday so hopefully ill get some answers then.
You do know that when you are just lying there you are getting rest, right? So don't worry about worrying about not sleeping. As to the rest, it seems you have answered your own question:you have tried everything but exercise. Consider an adult trike.
2094297 tn?1345392693
  Dont let it get you down mentally, its obvious that something is not right and everyone is different, you need to force yourself to get some exercise, I just spent 8 months hiding in my cave feeling like crap, I did let Dr. put me on anti depressents and I think they are helping, although I did cry when dexter proposed to his wife ( and he is a serial killer, on dexter the tv show ), but I hung in their until I could get the issues resolved ( was treatment for hep c ), but as soon as I could I started to do something physical, walking to the mailbox, walking around the house, just moving instead of being stagnant, I think that is the real key.  You have got to take it slow but steady even though you do not want to, break that mental barrier and leave the house and interact with other humans, it will make you feel better, and as far as the medical issues, write out a list of things to ask your Dr. and dont feel bad about following up or calling to make sure they are following up on you, I am still having medical issues and trouble sleeping as I have had for years but the thing that helps with the depression and helps me to sleep is to do something outside of my cave, breath in a deep breath of fresh air, let the sun shine on me, even if just for a moment, stand outside and listen for birds or other animals, talk to someone (other then family)
I so hope you start to feel better I know how hard all these things you are dealing with can be, been there done that, if you just need someone else to lean on or chat with drop me a line, I try to check this site at least once a week, I am not a dr. just someone who has been there.....trolleater
Avatar universal
Thanks again for your kind words n encouragement. Yesterday I was actually happy bc I thought I was on the path to some real relief. I actually fell asleep at about 2am yesterday morning n slept all the way through til about 11am. I was so happy n felt great when I woke up. However, as soon as I take one step forward, I've taken 2 backwards. I am now posting this comment at 5:45am, which should let u know I haven't slept all night again. Plus now I'm feeling quite ill bc of my back pain, accompanied with nausea n stomach cramping. It's like I can't win for losing. Everytime I try something new and think I'm making progress; sadly enough the universe has a very sick, distorted way of letting me know "oh no you didn't!" All I can do right now is bare my burdens as best as I can. I also pray that the Good Lord have mercy and spare me the pain and heal me. I guess Ill keep u updated on my position should it get any better or worse. Still losing hope though.
2094297 tn?1345392693
  Once again, I dont like to take meds. unless you have to, so talk to your Dr. about ambien cr it has worked for me for several years, you can also view their webpage and get a coupon for free samples.   Good luck, and although this might help you to sleep you certainly want to get to the root of the problem as ambien can be addicting....
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Healing home remedies for common ailments
Dr. Steven Park reveals 5 reasons why breathing through your nose could change your life
Want to wake up rested and refreshed?
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.
How to lower your heart attack risk.
Trying to lose weight? Grab a snack that works with your diet, not against it. Check out these delicious, slimming foods.