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Question 4

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Question 4 - How do deal with thoughts that keep you awake?

From: N. G.

My wife had sleeping disorder in the past one year. She had worked night shift till 1AM for 5 months and she was forcing herself into sleep from 2 am till 6 - 8 am. This had developed into anxiety and depression. She had taken medication and counseling and she had overcome well. During this time she was pregnant and could not cope and she had to terminate the pregnancy.

She had overcome most of the past and is sleeping ok in the nights. She gets disturbed whenever before the sleep she thinks whether she will get sleep today and she gets disturbed, tears come, and some times she thinks ok at least I have the sleeping tablets if any issues then little later she gets a sleep. But the next day she is upset.

The issues, Sleeping well but once gets disturbed then her past thoughts come to her and affect sleep. Whenever she gets negative thoughts about sleep she is unable to dismiss that thought and go into sleep.

She wanted the sleeping issue to go out completely from her mind and would love to live peacefully and when goes to bed wanted to enjoy sleep only and not disturbing thoughts. After overcome sleeping thoughts she wants to have a baby (second one, first one is a boy) Please help to overcome her issue.

Thanks N. G.

Answer Provided by Sandman
August 10, 2007

First I agree with Dr. Li, the most important thing your wife can do is to find a sleep doctor who is a specialist in insomnia. My first thought is CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) would be very helpful.

Everyone experiences the crazy thoughts that will not quit so we can fall asleep from time to time. It becomes a very difficult problem when it happens almost every night. Not being able to get the sleep you need can cause emotional and physical problems.

When it becomes a problem, seeing an expert is the best option. I have come across this problem from time to time and one tool I use to deal with it is listening to a CD, in bed with headphones, I received from a good hypnotherapist. The CD is a guided meditation that takes away the thoughts by focusing on the instructions and visualization. Nothing special about the CD, nice background music, and a really nice guided journey which brings relaxation and stops the thinking.

Other techniques to stop thinking include meditation, focus on breathing, staring at an object, and repeating mantras to name a few. You will find more methods with a google search.

Best wishes and Sweet dreams,


Disclaimer, I am not an MD and my opinions should not be taken as medical advice. If you feel that you need assistance with medications and/or diagnosis, you should seek medical advice from a qualified physician.

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