The following is a visitor-submitted question or story. For more, you can submit your own sleep story here, or browse the collection of experiences and questions other visitors have shared here.

Anxiety-Induced Sleep Deprivation

I have anxiety. It's something I have to deal with. I have been on a small dose of a medicine to help me deal with it. It isn't bad, sometimes I can barely notice it. I just tend to worry about things a tad more than others. My mind always nagging me about something that I have to do, or haven't done, or something I have done that makes me feel anxious. I can usually control it. However, tonight I took 1 sleeping pill and 1 anxiety pill at around 4 pm to help me sleep as I have to get up for school at 5 am. It is now 12:25 AM. At first when I went to try to go to bed at around 8:30 I had no anxiety. I was tired. I thought I was ready to sleep. I wasn't.

Time passed and I couldn't resist the urge to look at the clock anymore. It was an hour later. Well, no big deal. The latest I could have gone to sleep was 10 pm while still getting 7 hours of sleep, still do-able. I commute to school and I have to drive to the train station for an early train, then ride the train for about an hour and a half. The drive is about 30-40 minutes. So I need my sleep because I have anxiety about being too tired to drive since it's not that short of a drive.

So time keeps passing, I've tried reading books, listening to relaxation music, watching tv, and just silence. Once I passed 10 pm the panic attacks ensued. Every few minutes my heart would race and I would get sweaty. I had to lie there and focus on my breathing. But it kept happening.

Finally I had to look at the clock, it was 12 am. How did I get from being ready for bed at 8:30 pm to not even tired anymore at 12 am? I'm thinking all of this has to do with my anxiety, but the anxiety came out of no where. Now that it's so late and I have to wake up so early I am feeling sick to my stomach anxiety. I am now extremely anxious and feeling sick about missing my first day of classes all because I couldn't sleep. Any ideas on what to do?

Comments for Anxiety-Induced Sleep Deprivation

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 16, 2012
Re: Anxiety - Induced Sleep Deprivation NEW
by: Scott

I think I can appreciate the difficulty you face here. I often struggle to sleep, due to my mind racing, especially when I'm worried about something. Could it have been brought on by the test you knew you were having? It sounds simple, but for me, the thing that works best is literally to breathe deeply & solely concentrate on that; it slows my mind after a few minutes and before I know it, i'm sleeping.

Other than that I wouldn't know what to suggest. My girlfriend often gets me to send her a 'night night text', just to give her piece of mind. She's a chronic worrier and finds this helps a lot. If anyone could do the same for you maybe that's an idea too? Hope that helps at least a little!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to The Effects of Sleep Deprivation.

Enjoy this page? Please help us pay it forward to others who would find it valuable by Liking, Sharing, Tweeting, Stumbling, and/or Voting below.

About This Site

Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

We made this site as a call to action for people all over the world to live healthier, happier, safer, and more productive lives by learning about their own sleep. We have faith that reading the information provided on this site will motivate you to be smart about your sleep deprivation and strategic about your alertness in order to live life to your fullest, most energetic potential.

In fact, we challenge you to do so! What do you say, are you up for the challenge?

A Note On Visitor-Submitted Questions:

Publishing sleep stories and questions from our visitors is meant to create a forum for open and proactive dialogue about an extremely important portion of our lives (one that occupies 1/3 of it and affects the other 2/3) that isn't talked about enough. It is not meant to substitute a trip to the doctor or the advice of a specialist. It's good to talk; it is not good to avoid consulting someone who's profession it is to help you with this kind of stuff.

If you are in any way concerned about your sleep health, don't wait for an answer on here, and don't necessarily rely on them. See a sleep specialist in your area as soon as possible.

More Questions:

Ask | Answer

The Stanford Sleep Book

Stanford Sleep Book Picture

Dr. Dement's pioneering textbook has been the core text for Sleep and Dreams since 1980, but it has just recently been made available to the wider public for the first time.

In it you'll find a more detailed account of the most important things you need to know about sleep, alertness, dreams, and sleep disorders. Studies, statistics, plus plenty of Dr. Dement's classic anecdotes painting the history of sleep medicine.

Preface | Intro | Contents | Get A Copy

More Sleep Resources

The Zeo

A revolution in personal sleep tracking, the Zeo is a wireless headband that transmits your brainwaves in realtime to a dock (pictured here) or your smartphone. The result? You can wake up and see exactly what stages of sleep you were in during the night! Unprecedented personalized sleep knowledge.

Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide

Sleep Paralysis Treatment Book

Ever woken up paralyzed? A surprising number of us have, believe it or not. But few know the actual causes of this phenomenon, and fewer still how to exert control over it. Dream researcher and sleep paralysis expert Ryan Hurd shares breakthrough insights into how to do just that.

Important Disclaimer

Please Note:

The information found on this page and throughout this site is intended for general information purposes only. While it may prove useful and empowering, it is NOT intended as a substitute for the expertise and judgments of healthcare practitioners.

For more info, see our
Terms of Use.