i have trouble sleeping

dear heather,
Recently, I have been having trouble sleeping. I’ve only been getting like 4 hours of sleep a night, if I’m lucky, and the reason is I’ve been thinking a lot about death and it terrifies me. During the day, when I’m around people, I’m fine, but at night, when I’m all alone in my room, it becomes too much of a reality for me and I freak out and don’t get any sleep. PLEASE help me. I really need to get some sleep.

Being a person who treasures her winks, I know how frustrating it can be not to be able to sleep. Adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Frederyka Shabry says, that “Sometimes recognizing a trigger may alone be effective in alleviating the problem,” so my first question would be whether something has happened recently to cause your insomnia. Have you experienced a troubling or traumatic event? Is it a particularly stressful time for you right now?

It sounds like your problem may go beyond anxiety, though. Your thoughts of death and dying might be a clue that you are suffering from depression. It wasn’t clear whether your thoughts reflect a fear of dying or whether you are feeling like you’d be better off dead. Either way, a preoccupation with death is of concern. I would recommend talking with a parent, or a trusted adult such as a school counselor, clergy or relative, someone who can help you sort this out.

Meanwhile, there are certain things Dr. Shabry suggests that may make it easier for you to sleep in the short-run:

  • Do not have heavy meals at night.
  • Do not exercise right before bed–exercise can be initially energizing and it takes 1-2 hours for the effect to taper off.
  • Try going to bed at a certain time every night to get your body used to a rhythm.
  • Limit your intake of caffeine. Check the labels on sodas. Some–even non-colas–may contain caffeine.
  • Avoid alcohol. Though it acts as a depressant at first, alcohol can be disruptive to your sleep later on, causing you to awake prematurely.

    Hope this helps.

    take care,

  • Posted in: Help Me Heather, Sucky Emotions, Sucky Emotions
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    • aelx :)

      this is happening to me to but i don’t think about a fear of death or weather id be better off dead. i think about those other gurlz who have committed suicide. it is kinda starting to bother me. could i be fighting depression?