Doctor suggesting remedies on how to combat insomnia the patient looks tired and defeated from hearing the same thing

Insomnia: My Doctor's Suggestions

Last updated: September 2022

I almost broke down in the doctor’s office this afternoon. Holding it together took every last bit of energy I could muster. Sleep and I have been strangers for a long time now, but the last few weeks have been drastically different. The closer I get to bedtime, the more wide awake I feel. I am working backward, and it is driving me insane. When I headed out to see my PCP (primary care physician) today, I had high hopes for some sound advice. While I am sure the advice I received was great, it wasn’t anything I haven’t tried already. Thus, the near breakdown, when my doctor's suggestions don't help my insomnia.

When doctor's suggestion don't help my insomnia

Exercise

  • “You should exercise more.”

Struggling with anxiety, I have found it incredibly difficult to get up and move around. Anxiety is keeping me tied to the couch these days. I understand that exercise could and should help me, but in the past, I haven’t found that to be the case.

When I started experiencing insomnia several years ago, I tried walking for exercise each evening. Some days it worked and others not so much.

I forced myself to change things a couple of weeks ago and worked up to spending an hour or more a day on the stationary bike. I know that’s not much, but I really wanted it to help. Between that and making myself do weekly yard work, I am not seeing any improvements in the sleep department.

I need to add more… I know.

Routines

  • “Try getting into a regular routine each day.”

Sigh… I have a routine. It consists of worrying, fretting, and stressing – not necessarily in that order. The doctor advised me to make a bedtime routine, (or sleep habits) and not vary from it.

Maybe things will be better with school starting in the fall and work requires a regular start to each day. Right now, not much is motivating me to move from bed in the morning. His advice was to make a routine for the day and stick with it. This is supposed to help the anxiety as well as the insomnia.

Get up!

  • “If you are still awake after about 30 minutes, try getting up and reading.”

This 1 blew me away. I have tried so hard to stay in bed and force myself to sleep that it never occurred to me to get up after getting into bed.

To me, getting back out of bed was the kiss of death when it comes to settling for the night. I am 1 of those people who fights getting up to go to the bathroom because I am terrified of not falling back to sleep.

Leaving my bed and trying to jumpstart sleep with a book or any other activity is not a notion that I feel would help. However, I won’t rule it out when things are at their worst though.

My doctor's suggestions

All in all, it wasn’t a terrible visit, I think I just wanted and needed – well, more.

It’s been a long time since I had a peaceful day followed by a restful night. This appointment, I had hoped, was going to hold the answers. I was hoping my doctor's suggestions would be different from the ones I had already tried.

Whether I try upping the exercise, instituting a new sleep routine, or allowing myself to get up when sleep refuses to come, I have to do something. Insomnia just can’t win.

Have you seen a doctor for your insomnia? Did their suggestions work?

What do you do when the doctor's suggestions don't help insomnia? Tell us in the comments.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Insomnia.Sleep-Disorders.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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