Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
143 Doctors are Online

Why am I getting thoughts like sleep is not necessary and why do we sleep?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

Psychiatrist
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 2190 Questions
Question
Hi..Recently I had sleep disorders. So every day before sleeping, I used to get nervous, if I will get proper sleep. And now. I have this weird thought saying "Sleep is not necessary". I know the scientific reason for sleeping. But now I have a feeling "Why do we sleep". This thought comes in my mind, even if I know sleeping is important and even after I get sufficient sleep now-a-days. I want to know why I am getting this thought. Is my brain trying to fight the fear against Insomnia?
Posted Thu, 15 Nov 2012 in Sleep Disorders
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 6 hours later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

I order to understand your problem better, I need a few clarifications...

- How long are you having such thoughts?
- Was the onset of these thoughts sudden or gradual?
- Can you describe a little more about your recent sleep disorder? Did you take any treatment for the same?
- What is your sleep pattern now?
- Do you experience any other symptoms of anxiety during the daytime?
- Have you been under any psycho-social stress recently?
- Are you in the habit of using alcohol or any other substances?

Please get back to me with these details, so that I will be able to guide you better.

Best wishes,

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Why am I getting thoughts like sleep is not necessary and why do we sleep? 12 hours later
- How long are you having such thoughts?
Not more than 3 weeks.

- Was the onset of these thoughts sudden or gradual?
It was sudden. But for 1st 2-3 days it did not disturb me. I just ignored it. Now it irritates me.

- Can you describe a little more about your recent sleep disorder? Did you take any treatment for the same?
Because I am doing night-shifts, I started getting disturbed sleep. My sleep has become very light, and small sounds irritate me.
Sleep disorder come and go and I am having this problem for more than 6 months. I feel that this is mostly due to night shifts and I am quitting my job in a couple of months

- What is your sleep pattern now?
Because my roommate is out of town since last 1 week I am sleeping without any disturbance this week.
Else for last one month, I hardly get 6 hours continuous sleep. I sleep from 4.30 to 8 in the morning. In the afternoon I sleep from 2.30 to 5.00 as I have to be at work at 6pm.

- Do you experience any other symptoms of anxiety during the daytime?
Yes. Mostly while going back home, when I think of sleeping. Even during my office time, when I am in too much of stress

- Have you been under any psycho-social stress recently?
I am not sure what that means. But I had a fight with my roommate because of my disturbed sleep and I get nervous when I go home every day.

- Are you in the habit of using alcohol or any other substances?
I do have alcohol often. This month I had it almost every weekend. 2-3 days before getting the thought I had an ipill.
I do not smoke and I am not on any medication.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 22 hours later
Hi again and thanks for your reply.

You seem to be having a circadian ryth sleep disorder. The problem here is in an altered 'sleep-wake cycle', where your body's bilogical clock is out of synchronization with the natural rythms. Unfortunately, your work pattern seems to be the major reason for this. Secondly, though you may be getting a total of about 7 hours of sleep, yet it is not a continuous sleep. Normal sleep has to go through different stages - such as REM (light sleep) and NREM (deep sleep) - which should be in the right sequence and right proportion. If this is not maintained (due to the broken sleep), then though you may be sleeping for 7 hours, still your body will not be getting the complete benefits of a proper sleep.

You should also be aware that the neuro-biological basis of anxiety and that of sleep are closely related. In other words, imbalance of the same neuro-chemical (called Serotonin) is responsible for mediating sleep disorders and anxiety-related problems. So, there is no wonder that your anxiety is related to your erratic and insufficient sleep. Soon this becomes a viscious cycle - your sleep problems lead on to anxiety and the anxiety itself then leads on to insomnia.

Now, coming to your specific question about why you are getting these specific thoughts that sleep is not necessary and that you don't need to sleep. The mind always tries to handle stress and underlying anxiety with subconscious 'defence mechanisms'. In your case, XXXXXXX down you seem to be distressed and frustrated by not being able to get proper sleep. You also seem to have developed an anxiety regarding your sleep (getting nervous whether you will have insomnia, whether your environment will be conducive to sleep, etc.) But you also know that atleast as of now, your current work pattern is leaving you with no choice and making you helpless. So in order to handle this conflict, the mind subconsciously develops 'defensive' thoughts that you don't actually need sleep or that sleep is not really necessary. This particular psychological defense mechanism is called "Reaction formation".

I agree with you that if this job is causing you a lot of stress and health problems, then it would be a good idea to find another job which is less stressful. The best way to handle these thoughts is to handle your underlying anxiety regaring sleep. The more you get anxious and nervous about your sleep problem, the more you may have such thoughts. You can try relaxation therapies like XXXXXXX breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, listening to relaxing music, yoga, etc. to handle your underlying anxiety.

Wish you all the best.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Why am I getting thoughts like sleep is not necessary and why do we sleep? 6 hours later
This was very helpful.

I already listen to soothing music, music for insomnia while sleeping. I also practice XXXXXXX breathing. That helps a little.

Will these thoughts stay forever? Will they go away gradually? Can I do something more for this do go away and avoid similar thoughts coming in my mind?

I just hope this is not anything serious and I will not lead to any major diseaseā€¦
I just become very negative about everthing for a long time when I get these thought..I hope this not chronic depression or any major disease..

Thank you :)
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 12 hours later
Hello again and thanks for writing in.

These thoughts are just reflections of your underlying anxiety. So, they should go away gradually as you become more relaxed. If you are finding it difficult to handle these thoughts, anxiety and negative thinking, then I would strongly advise you to consult a psychiatrist for further help. Effective therapy is available in the form of medication or counselling / psychotherapy. There is a specific form of psychotherapy which may be benificial in your case - Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). This therapy has to be administered by a psychiatrist or a well-trained psychologist and can particularly help you change your negative pattern of thinking and cultivate positive thoughts.

I don't think you have to worry too much that you are having a major mental illness. Your symptoms seem to be as a result of stress and a dysfunctional, negative thinking pattern. With appropriate therapy, you will soon be able to overcome your problems. So, stay positive, avoid stress as much as possible, eat healthy, exercise regularly and if at any time you find things too difficult to handle, please don't hesitate to seek professional help.

Wish you all the best.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
Treatment/Therapy

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask a Neurologist

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor