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It Is Hard for Me to Fall Asleep with Schizoaffective Anxiety

April 30, 2020 Elizabeth Caudy

My schizoaffective anxiety is one of a host of factors that make it hard to fall asleep at night. That wasn’t always the case. One of my friends once said that falling asleep on a dime was my superpower. But it isn’t anymore, and this is very frustrating.

Schizoaffective Anxiety Didn’t Always Make It Hard to Fall to Sleep

When I first got diagnosed with schizophrenia (and was later diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type), I moved back in with my parents from college at the Rhode Island School of Design. It was the late 1990s and the TV show Ally McBeal starring Calista Flockhart was very popular. I remember Monday nights, after my ballet class, my dad and I would watch the show together and then came my most favorite part of the day: going to bed. I slept so effortlessly, even after staring at a TV screen for an hour. I think what made going to bed so delicious was doing something so relaxing, cozy, and heartwarming with someone I love right beforehand.

Part of it was that my antipsychotic medication knocked me out at night. I’ve been on the same antipsychotic pretty much ever since I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, over 20 years ago. Until recently it made me very sleepy, even during the day. While I’m so grateful I’m no longer sleepy during the day, I wish I didn’t have trouble falling to sleep at night.

Schizoaffective Anxiety and Lying in Bed Waiting to Fall Asleep

I get anxious around dinnertime just knowing that, in a few hours, I’ll have to lie in bed, waiting for sleep to come. I might get the late-night munchies, so I’ll have to fix myself something to eat because it’s impossible for me to fall asleep hungry. My restless leg syndrome might act up, which will mean I’ll have to pace around my apartment until it gets under control. Restless leg syndrome for me means I move my legs around a lot--spasms of movement at times--and that keeps me up.

One thing that helps is reading. I’ve had trouble with reading in the past because my schizoaffective anxiety made it hard for me to focus. But lately, I’ve been forcing myself to read and concentrate and it’s been paying off. How does this help me sleep? I read at night instead of watching TV or going on social media. Right now, I’m blessed in that I have a very engaging biography to read that was a birthday present from my dad.

I know it’s important to keep a regular sleep schedule. I go to bed at 11:00 every night. It used to be 10:00, but I was just lying there trying to go to sleep until 11:00 at least. Last night I hopped into bed at 11 and fell asleep at about 11:30. I’m trying hard to get to bed at a reasonable hour because I’ve worked too hard to get my sleep cycle on track so that I’m sleeping at night and awake during the day.

I miss the feeling of being cozy under the covers and wanting to lie in bed. Going to sleep is so easy when you feel like that. But, for now, I just lie there, waiting, turning on the nightstand light and picking up a book or a magazine until I feel tired--and hoping that when I switch off the light this time it will be the last time for the night.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2020, April 30). It Is Hard for Me to Fall Asleep with Schizoaffective Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, September 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2020/4/it-is-hard-for-me-to-fall-asleep-with-schizoaffective-anxiety



Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

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