Hello, and thank you for the request.
It sounds like going to bed, or the thought of going to bed, brings your anxiety back up. It could be due to your recent experiences. The mind becomes "trained" to think in patterns. And when you have experienced distress before about something, your mind reverts back to that incident and reminds you that you may experience these emotions again. For example, people who have accidents often are reminded of what they went through when they pass the place where the accident happened. The brain just naturally goes there because that is the memory attached to that place.
It may take a bit to undo the feelings you have attached to going to bed/sleep. You need to retrain yourself to think of it differently. It will help to have a successful night's sleep without medications but to get there, you may need to change something about your routine in order to sleep without medications.
You can try changing where you sleep. A new bed does not hold the same memories for you because you didn't experience the same things there that you did
in your bed.
Also, try distractions. Some people listen to talk radio in bed (on low) or they read. Something that will keep your thoughts focused. You may find yourself sleepy before you consciously acknowledge it.
Talk to your doctor about reducing the amount of mediation you might need each night. You want the minimum possible, just enough to make you sleepy so you can fall asleep on your own. Your doctor can help you find a balance.
And try not to worry. Each night you expect to sleep without drugs is another night you get upset and make the experience harder. Try allowing yourself permission to take something. Even encourage it, at least until you can begin to reduce the amount slowly. This is not an quick process. It will take time. But with some work, you can learn to go to sleep without medications. The most important thing is that you are sleeping
PS There is no doctor in front of my name. Just Kate is fine :)