I have, for my entire life, suffered with severe insomnia. As a baby I slept one hour a night, and whilst a child and teenager I thought it normal to go to bed a 2am, toss and turn, and get up again at 5-6am. (I used to read books by torchlight under my duvet!) Yes I was diagnosable as bipolar from at least 5, and this no doubt plays a roll. When manic I don't sleep at all (but that is fine), and when depressed I struggle to get a couple of hours - nights are ENDLESS. When mixed I guess I get about an hour a night and am so ill... well, you know what it's like.
BUT, when euthymic (and some people who know me well know I am not currently euthymic, I am depressed), I STILL don't sleep.
Now I do all the sleep hygiene stuff - room the right temperature, nice clean sheets, a little lavender oil, not eating for a couple of hours before bed, restricted alcohol intake :cry: and all things along those lines. I've tried hot baths, drinking milk, drinking camomile tea. I guess I fail at the getting enough exercise, but there have been times when I cycled 50-75 miles a day and still didn't sleep...
On top of all that I am on 10mg Nitrazepam (max dose, don't think you have it in the USA, it is a long-acting benzo), 20mg diazepam (30g is max dose in a day, but it is meant to be split), and 5 x 707mg chloral hydrate tablets (usual dose is 2, maybe 3). I am on 600mg of seroquel/quetiapine also, but it doesn't make me drowsy. Lithium obviously doesn't make me drowsy. I am not withdrawing from any sort of drug or alcohol. AND still I DON'T SLEEP. Typically I sleep 1-2 hours a night AND I CANNOT GO ON LIKE THIS.
My psychotherapist Tony is a resourceful chap, and he suggested I ask all of you for any suggestions. Any of you have therapy/CBT for sleep? Literally any ideas are welcomed, indeed, desperately needed. This lack of sleep is worsening my control over manic, depressive, and mixed episodes. It is making me ill - hell, maybe it is why I became ill in the first place?
Katy Sara Culling x