I wasn't entirely sure where to post this as it covers some different subjects. The problem that is really getting to me is that I seem to put off going to sleep despite being tired at night until it is daylight outside - then I seem to relax and go to sleep - I will then sleep until 5pm/6pm.
I have been taking over the counter sleeping medication every night for a good 10 years now, originally I took the recommended dose (50mg of diphenhydramine hydrochloride) but now take 250mg a night. They do make me tired enough to go to sleep within an hour of taking them but I seem to fight against it and stay awake even when I know I have to be up early for something.
I have been diagnosed with depression and Obsessive compulsive disorder. Obviously these two things do have a habit of being worse at night and tend to keep me awake but when it's daylight all those thoughts seem to not go away but become quieter if you know what I mean and i'm able to sleep.
I managed to get up today at lunch time, but after an hour I was so tired I went back to bed and didn't get up again until 7pm.
The thing that really puzzles me is this:
When I was about 7 or 8, i had this thing that I called "the thing in the nights". It was a fear of not falling asleep before my parents went to bed. If I heard them coming upstairs to go to bed I would get panicy and very scared. I tried a number of things to cope with this including leaving my bedroom light on, leaving my bedroom door open with the light on in the hallway and even leaving the tv in my bedroom on in the background so it felt like people were still awake. I never understood exactly what it was I was scared of - what it was I was worried was going to happen.
My father was an abusive drunk - he wasn't physically abusive to me but he was to my mother and I always felt very protective over her (which is the root cause of my OCD). He would only ever be abusive at night time when he had been drinking. So, logically it would make sense if i was nervous when my parents were still awake incase he would kick off and then relax when they had gone to bed but it was the other way around????
My father committed suicide when I was 12 and i was perscribed sleeping tablets which i took for about a year when my GP stopped perscribing them i then started taking over the counter medication.
I still get a pang of fear when my mum goes to bed. But once she has I now seem to enjoy being up at night. I used to think it might be to do with being able to do my own thing etc but I have the house to myself during the day too while she works so that doesn't make any sense.
When it comes time to wake up I am always very very tired. Obviously, part of that is the medication but it's got to the point where I am almost unable to get up - I just fall back to sleep. No self control over it what so ever. It's actually frightening me a bit. And now I dread being tired - but then surely wouldn't I want to go to bed earlier to prevent that? it's all so contradictory!
There is a suspicion from my therapist that I may have delayed sleep phase disorder. I have noticed in the past few years when i've been forced to get up early i'm tired for the first few hours and then the later it gets the more awake I get. I remember travelling back from New York and I was up for a total of 48 hours and that's after travelling, shopping, walking and drinking - all things that might make you tired and I didn't feel it at all until the end of that 48 hours. I slept pretty normally before I was 7, about 6-8 hours a night naturally waking at about 8am and going to sleep quite easily in the evening.
Does anyone have any idea what is going on here? It's really getting me down, obviously the sleeping all day isn't helping my depression as i don't do anything and don't want to do anything when i'm awake and in turn that's making the OCD worse which makes the sleeping worse and it's just going round and round like that. I know nobody can give me a diagnosis here and I fully intend to find a professional to see but I'm stumped and just don't know what to do in the meantime. I feel like i'm going backwards, any help or advice would be appriciated, thanks.