5am and I can’t sleep

Once again it is the early morning and I have been jolted out of bed by nightmares (or at least negative or stressful dreams).

I am due to begin returning to work in a few weeks after a 4-month absence but at the moment am really questioning that. The reality is that I have no real desire to go back to work at present, but I need to earn money.

If it’s not being wide awake with a head full of worry in the morning, it is being unable to get to sleep the night before and being awake until 2am.

If it’s not, not being able to sleep, it is getting emotional the moment I am forced to recount the events of four months ago. I burst into tears writing a text message the other day.

For me this is a vicious circle, with poor sleep, my headaches return and my eyesight gets worse. Cue my anxiety levels increasing.

Not feeling terribly positive about making a full recovery at the moment and feeling mentally drained.


I feel this. I’m so anxious and had my first “another stroke happening” this morning when I breifly nodded off this morning but I’m sure you’ll be fine. Are you phased returning?


Hi @Rufus

You might like to look about these symptoms of the physical effects of anxiety. when you get them you can purposely think about controlling the breathing etc in that way knowing what they are can be a little easily rationalised

Lots of techniques for sleep management - none of them will work immediately but if you build the routine then you can rely on them after a while and investment of effort that has reward.

You’re right too question returning to work - if you don’t feel ready then it is something you should seek conversation with your manager about. And maybe try a few trial days? You have both of fatigue to benchmark but also the motivational and cognitive challenges and if you have them physical adaptations


I can understand what you are on about must be fearful I’m only at the beginning of this journey a scared
What would help a new person to this life changing events is how you all have been financially supported as I’m self employed with little savings and no extra backing so if I don’t work I don’t earn and live in a rented property I’m really scared as I presume you have been and are still experiencing
I do hope you are ok


Hi was just about to start a new thread about sleep deprivation Rufus when I came across this already about, I had my first nightmare about a week ago and finished up in a&e for 12 hours and got somewhat told off by stroke doctor, did not need to go to hospital but in serious panic mode. Sleep is hard to come by can nod off in my chair but am wide awake and panicking soon as I get into bed, Realise this is a vicious circle problem in my brain which needs breaking but how? Any advice anyone. spent last two nights wide awake and dreading tonight. Maybe its because i am not really tired mentally and or physically not been doing a lot so possibly need to really tire myself out a lot more mentally and physically, will give that a try and see what happens, meanwhile now know i’m certainly not alone with this, so cordially invite one and all to bung in their experiences and see if we help each other out.
hope things get better Rufus, and everyone else with the problem

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Nightmares & vivid dreams are common post stroke. Initially I had awful Nightmares but these have now settled into weird dreams. I think they took a few months to settle but can’t say for sure.

Returning to work is a difficult one but as someone who has returned my advice would be to make sure you are ready. I was off 18 months & did a phased return but it was harder than i imagined & it still is. Everyone is different of course & the job you do can make a big difference to a full return. I woukd advise asking for an occupational health referral as they can recommend appropriate adjustments for your individual circumstances. Financially consider whether it is better to take a little longer now so you are more likely to have a successful return versus going back for financial reasons & then having to go off again. Have a look at Access to Work too as they will fund adjustments if necessary.

Speak to Citizen’s Advice about any financial help you might be entitled to e.g. PIP, universal credit, esa etc. Everyone’s entitlements are different so it’s difficult to advise.

Being tired will affect your mood & make yoy less positive. It’s important to try & sort your sleep out. A good nighttime routine is essential but if you’re really struggling then i’d advise speaking to your GP to work through your options.

Best wishes to you all.


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I am sorry to hear you are having problems with sleep and anxiety. All understandable and I think alot of us on here are or have similar experiences.
I have read that having a stroke can trigger problems with sleep, I have the same problem. Regarding work, if you dont feel ready I would go back to your doctor and get a fit note to delay your return. I have tried to start work twice in the last six months and have ended up back in A&E 4 times with stroke symptoms. My advice is dont rush things, you can set yourself back ( this is what I have done). There is a wealth of advice on here, Wishing you all the best.