4 months of CBT-I and it's been a yo-yo

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by delv-x 7 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #25951

    ✘ Not a client

    I have been doing CBT-I for 4 months now and so far it’s been a yo-yo. I get a few days in a row or 2 weeks of decent sleep where I get 85-95% efficiency, then all of a sudden it drops to 30-65%. I almost always wake up in the middle of the night but on good nights I just turn around or go to the bathroom for 2 minutes and head back to bed and drop off. Bad nights I am up a few hours later (usually between 2AM and 5AM) and toss and turn.

    My sleep window is from 12:00-7:00. I have followed SRT and SC but after a few months, I feel tired of it but know this is the only option. With regards to SRT I adhere 95% of the time. I did bump it to 7:30 over the holidays and oddly enough I slept better. With SC, I find that after 20+ minutes and know sleep is not approaching soon I am 50% likely to get up. The other 50% is to stay in bed all cozy and just relax even if I don’t fall asleep especially if it’s after 5AM. When I do get up I am up for a few minutes just staring blankly or reading for a few minutes and head back to bed. The first few months I was more aggressive with SC but lately been slacking.

    I just feel frustrated at times and was hoping to see a trending improvement. Insomnia for me started roughly last September so it’s not that long ago and hoping that I can nip it in the bud which I’ve been trying to do.

    Any thoughts, comments, positive thoughts would be appreciated.


    ✓ Client

    You may want to ask Martin. I’ve had my insomnia since late October and just started CBT-I 10 days ago.  Things are better but I don’t know what the big picture will be like in a few months. Hopefully a lot better. So far I’ve slept through the night 7 out of 10 nights. Martin told me to make my sleep window just 6 hours. He based this on the average number of hours I was actually sleeping in a week and then added a half hour. Before the insomnia I normally slept 8 hours. So this isn’t quite enough sleep for me and I’m tired a lot. But I think the point IS to be tired so that you’re really, really tired when you go to bed and therefore are more likely to sleep through the night. Then when you’re sleeping consistently at that particular number of hours, you increase the window by 15 minutes. So you might want to try reducing your sleep window and see how that goes.


    ✘ Not a client

    Thanks Deb. I may reduce it a little more. Last night I reduced it by 30 minutes and still slept like crap and got maybe 3-4 hours if that. My body just doesn’t like sleeping long or restful as it once did. In your case going from 8 to 6 would be a big change so I would assume it would work well for you. Take one day at a time! We can do this!


    ✓ Client

    Yes! Sorry to have to advise you to make yourself more tired, but if it works it’s worth it! You may have to try it a couple weeks to see if it’s making a difference.


    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    Welcome to the forum. Are you currently going through an online course of CBT-I, or are you seeing a therapist face-to-face? After four months, you should be seeing progress.

    I don’t want to offer too much in the way of advice here because it’s not typically constructive for you to receive advice from someone other than who you are currently working with since some may be conflicting or slightly different — and this can lead to confusion and poorer outcomes.

    With that being said, it’s worth being reminded that bad nights of sleep happen to everyone and they will always occur every now and then. So, make sure that you are looking at the bigger picture when evaluating your progress. At this point, you should be noticing that nights of good sleep are becoming for more frequent compared to nights of poor sleep. If you aren’t, I suggest talking to whomever you are currently working with to seek additional advice and support.


    ✘ Not a client

    Hi Martin,

    As for progress, it is hard to say. I’ve been tracking my sleep logs and Ill get a streak of good progress and then out of nowhere a streak of bad nights. I just feel crappy when I have a bad night. It feels like there is a band/pressure around my head. I’ve been trying to determine the root cause on why this all started and that just leads me down the path of “chemical imbalance”, genetics, anxiety, I am doomed etc.

    The big picture in averaging it all out is there is a general slow trend upwards. Like I said, some weeks are pretty good, others not so much and it’s frustrating.

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