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I Can't Fall Asleep And I Feel Bad When I Go To Bed

by Zeynep Ceylan
(Istanbul, Turkey)

Hi, I'm a 17 year old girl. My troubles began after the semester break was over; I went to sleep at 4 am willingly then I would wake up at 11 am or somewhat later. However, when the second semester started, I couldn't sleep properly for more than two weeks--I slept maybe two or three hours each day and I felt more and more agitated and scared.

I went to a local hospital to see if there is a physical cause and do a regular check-up but nothing came out. I managed to sleep relatively well at the following week--maybe 6 hours per school day and 7 hours at the weekends--I thought it was over. Then it started all over again, the sleeptime gets farther and farther away from reach. Now I'm getting paranoid about everything, especially when I can't back away from the temptation of Googling. I'm seriously getting scared about living with insomnia my whole life. When I lie down, I try to identify the thing that's keeping me awake and then I try diverting my thoughts-all to no avail. When I do manage to sleep, I wake up within maximum of 3 hours and this is getting particularly frightening.

I know that many of you will say "oh, your biological clock is all messed up" but I would have the same shift of circadian rhythms after each summer or semester break and it would all go back to normal within one day, not friggin TWO MONTHS. Also, I must add that I don't drink coffee at all and I recently began taking a melatonin supplement. I'm afraid that it will stay this way forever and I need advice or consolation ASAP. Please help me. Appreciated!

Kevin: Hey Zeynep, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You mention your biological clock, so I imagine you are at least a bit familiar with circadian rhythms. Do you know about delayed sleep phase syndrome? If not, check it out and read up on it a bit--maybe there will be some information in there that will prove helpful.

Good luck! Feel free to update this page with any progress or setbacks you've experienced using the comments section below.


(Please keep in mind that I am a student of sleep science and not a medical doctor. Please take any thoughts I give with my background in mind.)

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