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Help me, I can't wake up!

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So, my little hypomania over there seems to have ended. I literally crashed into my bed after 5 days with little sleep and slept 13 hours. It's back to business apparently. I still feel speedy but my sleep is back to "normal."


Anyway, my sleep is ridiculous. I am back to sleeping 15-18 hours at a time. This is getting insane. I have been continually late for work and I think I'm going to be written up for it tomorrow. I had to miss work one day cause I slept for 16 hours, right through my shift. 


I'm not tired during the day when I'm awake. I'm alert and functioning! I try to go to bed at 10 o'clock pm every night and try to wake up at 6 am, or 5 am on some days that I have to work early. I sleep right through my alarms, or I wake up and turn them off. I can't control what I'm doing when I'm half awake though!!  :wall:


My boyfriend has tried calling me at 5 am to wake me up, and keep me on the phone till I'm dressed. This doesn't always work cause he isn't always able to wake up himself, and also I don't want to rely on him and ruin his sleep. I've also tried going to bed earlier. In fact sometimes I'm so freakin' tired in the evening that I go to bed at 7 pm, how lame is that?


Help!! How can I wake up?? Has anyone ever had this problem before? Has anyone ever had this problem with Abilify before? I have a strong suspicion that it's Abilify doing this to me, cause the problem started right after we upped the dose to 15 mg. 


How do you wake up in the morning? Any tips or tricks for me? I'm thinking of putting my phone (which is my alarm clock) between my bed and the wall so I have to move the bed to get the phone and turn the alarm off. That should work, right?? 


I'm so scared I'm gonna get fired over this. 


PS: I am going to see my doctor (my pdoc is off for the summer), who works closely with my pdoc, and I'm going to ask him to either lower my Abilify or put me on a stimulant. Both options have basically been vetoed by my doctors, cause I flip so easily into psychosis. But, I don't know what else to do! Does anyone have any medication ideas I could try? My meds are in my signature. Should I change my antidepressant to a more activating one? Effexor isn't sedating or activating for me anymore. Should I add something like methylphenidate? I risk psychosis with that though. BUT if I'm on 30 mg of Abilify, would psychosis be likely? 


I know, I know, a lot of this is stuff I should ask my freakin' pdoc, but I can't see her till September if i'm lucky. All I got is my gdoc, and he can be pretty useless at times. 


I'm at my wits end!! 


Kay, I'll finally shut up!

Edited by Parapluie
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Parapluie, this sounds like a difficult problem, so I send you my sympathies. I have experienced similar, if it makes you feel any better (though I have no experience with Abilify and think it sounds more like a verb than a drug).


Koakua makes a good suggestion.


My suggestion is getting some alarm clock that means you have to get out of bed, as you say. If you like, there is a flying alarm clock that goes off until you get up and catch the flying part and put it back in the base. I mean, getting more than one cheap alarm clock to switch off each time could work as well.


Basically, you need to get out of bed straight away so you don't go back to sleep, since you otherwise cannot guarantee it. This means that as soon as you wake up, throw off your covers and get the hell out of bed. It's difficult, but it's much harder to go back to sleep, I hear, if you do this. After this, just do whatever you do in the mornings - shower, get dressed, have breakfast, etc, until you're 'safe' from going back to sleep and have the day on the road. Good luck!


I think you should mention this to the person who prescribed you Abilify. I mean, it's messing up your life quite a lot, which you should explain. I'm not saying to get off it necessarily, or any such thing (I am no doctor), but you need to make it clear what is happening, and be honest - the doctor should understand, since I guess it is a possible side effect, if that's what's causing it. If it turns out that's not the cause, then still they should help you find a solution if they can.

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I find getting up hard and it's awful that things like missing work have happened. It sounds likely that they won't budge on your meds but it is worth brining up. I set a lot of alarms, on my phone I set an alarm for 7:00, 7:01. 7:02:, all the way up to 8:00, then I leave my phone in the kitchen (near my bedroom). I get up because the incessant alarms going off is really irritating and once I've staggered over to the kitchen I normally stay up.


Theres this app called wakeapp for iphone / android. And it sense when you're in the lightest part of sleep and wakes you up then. So if you set your alarm for 6:00 it might wake you up at 5:40 because you are in a light sleep phase, you put it next to your pillow. I'm not sure if it actually works, or if I just think it does, either way.


I agree put alarms everywhere. If you use alarm clocks with pleasant songs / sounds stop doing that. Don't leave your alarms in a place where you could just roll over and turn them off, if you've got to stand up, look under the bed or open some drawers it's more likely that you'll get up since you had to move.

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My sleep has been all over the place since I was a kid. I feel for you.


This is not medical info just my own opinion - Abilify is pure evil.


Have you ever taken an rx's stimulation (whats the word?) pill before?I would test it first like on a day you don't work. I know thats a bummer. But at least you know how it will affect you and you wont be at work if something bad happens, BTDT and it was ugly. 


I hope your drs are able to come up with a plan for your sleep and waking up on time.




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I just tried putting my alarm on the other side of the room and ended up just laying in bed again and falling back asleep. UGH. 


I'm gonna try the creative alarm ideas, like the math puzzles or something. I have an appointment with my doc today to discuss this with him. I'll let you all know how that goes. I'm doubting he'll give me stimulant cause I was just hypomanic, but it's worth a shot asking. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Get an alarm clock that shakes your mattress or pillow. They make them - I have one. It is impossible to sleep through it. I do hit the snooze alarm, of course, but it always eventually wakes me. 


I have this one:



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@bookgirl.... when I saw the Sonic Bomb alarm clock I couldn't believe it!   This alarm clock really works well.   (Just adding another recommendation to yours).


I know - - - when my son was a  freshman in high school, this was the only thing that worked to get him out of bed. 


He'd sleep through the first three class periods otherwise.    Later found out that he was very depressed; that's a separate story. 

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UGH, I'm sorry you've got this kind of problem.  :(  it really is difficult, especially if you live alone.


I've had, and currently have, the same problem with alarms.  I used to have an old-fashioned jangly one with obnoxious actual metal bells that really jolted me out of bed.  I used to put it in the middle of the floor outside the doorway of the room I slept in.  So in addition to having to get out of bed and cross the room, I also had to turn on a light in the process of getting there.


Sigh.  I think I have to go back to drastic measures like that again.  The neighbors will love me.  :devlish:


It just occurred to me, could you try rotating through different alarm clocks in different places on different nights?  (different in both the sound it makes and the physical manipulation required to turn the damn thing off)  I guess I'm just thinking of ways to maybe prevent the all-too-familiar zombie-like autopilot semi-sleepwalking to the clock when even the most obnoxious alarm becomes routine. 


I also agree with EyeMindBeingGrim about literally throwing off the covers.  Coming back to a neat, still-warm bed is way too tempting and easy.  If the bed gets heinously messy and cold while you're dealing with the alarm, it can be harder to just tuck back in so quickly and easily.  My strategy was basically to get physically moving just long enough to set off an activity chain of events that would keep me stimulated long enough to get fully awake.  Most reliably, being semi-awake just long enough to realize I had to pee then actually spending that few minutes in the brightly lit bathroom.  

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5 nights worth of sleep deficit is like 40 hours. It takes a while to pay that back and you will be very sleepy on waking until you pay the deficit back. What you need is extra sleep. If you are depressed on top of this it is a double whammy on feeling sleepy. That is just my experience. One night of sleep missed takes me a full week to pay back, going to bed early each night. While you can't "bank" or store up extra sleep you do have to pay back with extra sleep if you miss some.

Edited by notfred
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