Ever been so tired and overstressed you can’t sleep?

I’ve been exhausted for days now – I feel like I can’t keep my eyes open. It’s accumulated lack of sleep and stress from this project I’m on – I’ve put in over 55 hours a week for about 2 months now.

Last night I went to bed early to try and get some rest. But I found myself lying in bed awake in the middle of the night, worrying that if I didn’t get back to sleep soon I’d been even more tired and wouldn’t be able to finish the work I promised to get finished by Monday.

Believe me, that’s not conducive to getting back to sleep. It’s a great cycle of stress leading to lack of sleep leading to stress.

I want my weekends back. Although the first weekend I get off after this project is done will probably be spent comatose.

9 thoughts on “Ever been so tired and overstressed you can’t sleep?”

  1. Things were starting to get like that for me before I switched jobs at Stats a few months ago. It’s not healthy. At the peak of it, I was wondering whether I would have a heart attack from it and I later learned that other people were wondering the same thing. That month (August 2006), I put in in excess of 115 hours of overtime. I wasn’t the only one putting in excessive overtime then and it ultimately resulted in a major meltdown in my section which is when I started reaching for the eject button. I pushed the button in December, worked January, took off most of February, spent 8 days in Hawaii and started my new job in March.

    I’m much happier now and I’ve had people come up to me at work and comment on the fact.

    I read somewhere that if you can’t get to sleep, you might as well get up and do something because you’re not doing yourself any good at all just lying in bed staring at the ceiling at 2am.

    Good luck getting this under control.

  2. I used to get up and do stuff, but now unless what’s keeping me up is a worry that I just thought of something that I need to remember for tomorrow, I prefer to tough it out and try to get back to sleep. If it’s the “will I remember tomorrow” problem, I get up and email it to myself (or do it from bed if my Treo is handy).

    Years ago, when I was a cross country ski racer, I read a book that said that if you’re too anxious or keyed up about a race to sleep the night before, try to stay very still and rest your muscles so at least they’ll be ready for the race. I’m not sure if that is a trick or not, but I found that when I did that I ended up falling asleep.

  3. Before you turn in take a couple of Benedryl. It works for me. A little melatonin can’t go wrong either.

    Seriously, Dude, I can hook you up.

  4. You have my heartfelt sympathies. My insomnia very frequently takes this form, particularly when what is stressing me out is anything like the work you’re doing (not that the similar work I do is anywhere near as complex as what you do)—if it’s anything that involves patterns that my brain can latch on to, forget about sleep. I’ll lie there with potential problems and solutions running through my head all night.

    Good luck, and I sincerely hope it lets up soon and you can get good quality rest.

  5. I guess bragging about the fact that I’m on vacation this week would be inappropriate?

    Seriously though, I used to suffer from the exact same thing in previous incarnations of my job – I’d be exhausted and really need to sleep, but so paranoid about a schedule or the fact that someone, somewhere was expecting me that I’d have trouble actually getting to sleep, and when I did sleep it was frequently not restfull.

    I simply had to reprogram myself to toss my worries out the window when it came time to sleep, but even that can only go so far when the stress becomes overwhelming.

  6. Story of my life… not so much the overworked part, but the exhausted+can’t stop thinking=no sleep and more frustration part.

    Oddly, sometimes sleeping somewhere other than my bed helps. I usually sleep on the couch in the basement when I need to do this.

  7. I simply had to reprogram myself to toss my worries out the window when it came time to sleep, but even that can only go so far when the stress becomes overwhelming.

    Yeah… I learned a long time ago in highschool that worrying about something wasn’t productive and taught myself not to do it. But, that’s not the same as stress, which is what I was suffering before I changed jobs.

    Stress like Paul’s describing is only going to lead to getting physically sick because one’s immune system is depressed, which just feeds the viscious cycle. 🙁

  8. God how I so relate to all of your comments. I logged on because I thought that having read the health communities directives, I thougt that I would like to hear if I was the only one out there suffering. Perhaps…there is some relief in finding others in the same boat.

    I am travelling in the Pacific Rim right now and apart from anxiety jet lag is further fuelling my inability to sleep. Just like you, I get to bed, perhaps sleep an hour and then lie there stressing about business and then lying there wired before getting up and then feeling like crap through most of the day. Wish I could unplug my brain. I have no solutions for you, but wanted to let you know that you are in good company and I wish for both of us that you sleep better. I relate to someone’s comments about feeling as though I am going to have a heart attack and how long can this go on for 🙁

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