How I coped with sleep problems
"Even on the nights when I did get off to sleep, I would find myself feeling restless, low and frustrated the next day, and I knew that the quality of my work had started to suffer."
I was working for a firm in Manchester and had forged a good career there, spanning 20 years, since I’d first qualified. I started to feel exhausted all the time, mainly because I wasn’t sleeping very well. I couldn’t work out why: I loved my job, I had a good home life, my parents and siblings lived nearby and were all in good health, and yet I had started waking up during the small hours and being unable to get back to sleep.
I went to see the doctor, who prescribed sleeping tablets. The sleeping tablets did help me to get to sleep, but I didn’t really like taking them, so I didn’t take them every night. However, even on the nights when I did get off to sleep, I would find myself feeling restless, low and frustrated the next day, and I knew that the quality of my work had started to suffer.
I decided to seek some more support, so I contacted the LawCare helpline. The person I spoke to suggested that I look honestly at what might be causing my poor sleeping patterns. She asked me questions such as ‘did I bring work home and work on it late at night?’; ‘was I feeling stressed and going over things in my mind?’; and ‘did I have a proper, relaxing night-time routine?’. I was unable to pinpoint anything specific, and I did admit that although I had a happy life, I didn’t feel happy.
After more discussion, LawCare suggested that I go back to my GP as some of my symptoms could be indicators of depression, and that my poor sleeping pattern could be a symptom, rather than the cause of, my listlessness. I realised from talking with LawCare that my poor concentration and irritability, that I had put down to lack of sleep, could be symptoms of depression.
"Although I could not pinpoint anything specific - I had not suffered bereavement or been under any long-term stress – I was very relieved to have a possible explanation for my issues. I saw my GP and was subsequently able to resolve my sleeplessness and other issues."
* Not contributor's real name
If you are having problems sleeping and feel that it’s time to get help, make an appointment to see your GP or contact our support service on 0800 279 6888.
Real stories of people in the legal community who have experienced stress, depression, anxiety and more.