Q. I cannot sleep, even if I am very tired. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Anil Kumar Kumawat
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 16, 2020 and last reviewed on: Sep 19, 2020
Hello. Have u ever heard of a type of insomnia where one is prevented from falling asleep even when very tired? For a week now I’ve been on Ativan to go to sleep every night, because for 2 whole nights prior I had no sleep at all. I try naturally every night and when I am just entering sleep my head goes fuzzy and I cannot go into sleep.
I’m now very scared that this is done neurological issue or disease. It all started very suddenly 6 days ago after stress.


I can understand and empathize about u. You said that this is started 6 days back because of stress. first you should know our basic instinct like hunger, thirst and sleep are natural. we feed when we r hungry. we drink when we r thirsty. means these are basic phenomena we cannot stimulate these. so when we think we should sleep and we continuously thinking about sleep and feeling why I am not sleepy that means our brain is active and for sleep brain activity started diminished. in stressful condition we started active thinking so that we r unable to sleep. I hope u understand. you are taking Ativan 1mg but what about stressor, is it still present?? Don't afraid Ativan is anxiolytic and it reduces your anxiety level and promote sleep. Do you feel sleepy in day times?? for anxiety you should try relaxation technique and breathing exercise also. and if you have a prominent stressor then u should start antidepressants as anxiolytics in day time also. on 1mg Ativan if sleep is proper, please continue it and as you feel better start tapering the ativan to stop. as u described these r not symptoms of any neurological disorder.

Thank you for responding.

My stress which preceded the insomnia is resolved. But now I have major stress about not being able to sleep without medication. Have u seen any other people who can’t even get any sleep at all without medication?

# yes, so many peoples are in stress because of insomnia. the typical complain is when we get to bed, we feel no sleep at all.

Do not concentrate on sleep, it's like when we r hungry and thinking about food and there is time to get food...what happen?? our appetite getting decrease and when our favorite food get ready we hardly take few bites. it's game of diversion.
I read something about fatal insomnia, because I had never heard of anyone else going through what I am. Is that disease not likely? How come I’ve had anxiety all my life but never had a problem with getting to sleep until 6 days ago, and every time I try to sleep since then
# May be you started over thinking this time and the stressor disturb you a lot in comparison of previous experiences. Because you read about fatal insomnia you are afraid and it is also become a stressor to you. when we r anxious we think more and more and getting more anxiety. these cycles goes on and we trapped in our own cycle that's why we try to sleep but cannot.
It’s very shocking though that after having those 2 days initially of no sleep, the body was still unable (and is still) Unable to sleep without medication. I will stop annoying u now, even though I’m desperate for my sleep to go back to normal
# I can understand ma'am u r in trouble that's why seeking help. don't be panic, as I said it happens and gradually with medicines u will feel better. sleep is natural we cannot call her forcefully. so being desperate u should leave it on medicines. ur sleep will be normal in few days. don't mind but you are using abnormal phenomenon (calling sleep) that's why it is abnormal. once medicine stable all the factors it will be normal.

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