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I have been taking a benzo nightly with my psychiatists blessing for many years for sleep anxiety.  What I find is something I have never heard from anyone else.   If I do not get enough sleep, or if I get broken sleep, ie not enough of the stage 3&4 restorative sleep, the next day I have significant anxiety and depression.  I rarely take benzo other than bed time, but on these days I take a little chunk of a tab to quell the anxiety. If I have slept well, I have no day time anxiety, nor depression and can enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning. If not, I wake up with anxiety and cannot tolerate coffee, and have to struggle to get through the day.  Has anyone else ever experienced this.  I am thinking of SSRI again, have tried in past but could not tolerate due to increased anxiety, but I need to do something here, I can't be dysfunctional and in anguish just because I did not sleep well! 

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Hi Kjader,

What you are experiencing with sleep anxiety is actually very common. Not getting a restful night's sleep can cause a horrendous amount of problems for people, thus everyone likes it when they are able to get their deep restful REM sleep. I don't know your past medical record but if it was night time anxiety that was causing your lack of sleep then yes this would attribute to your day time anxiety. Now a possible reason for why you are unable to get restful sleep or not enough sleep might be because of your benzo dosage. Have you increased your dosage at all since you have been taking it? If you have continued at the same dosage for a continued period of time then I'm afraid that your body has probably built up a tolerance to it, in which case you would need a stronger dose or a new benzo. The SSRI route along with the benzo is indeed a good one because the SSRI is something longterm, while the Benzo is something short term. Benzo's are great at relieving anxiety when its at peak levels or when its time to sleep and all we are doing is worrying. However Benzo's are not good at treating general anxiety that is faced daily. In a case like that an SSRI is most beneficiary. If you don't mind going on an SSRI then I would recommend starting one soon and sticking with a benzo (maybe up the dose or change brand). That is just a personal opinion of my own though.

Hopefully this helps, if you have any questions or concerns just let me know

Sincerely.

Theupper

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