ACT for Insomnia

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This topic contains 479 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by Borgesbi 3 hours, 18 minutes ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 406 through 420 (of 480 total)
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  • #32219

    Deb
    ✓ Client

    In one of Borgesbi’s posts she explains how she used the tools to calm down her anxiety before going to bed. The first time it took her 2 hours, the next night I think a half hour and then only a few minutes after that. Since you’re experiencing anxiety even before going to bed, you may want to practice beforehand like she did.

    #32221

    delv-x
    ✘ Not a client

    Hi Deb,

    I found some of Borgesbi’s posts. One was her latest update which was positive. I really stopped doing mindfulness and meditation for weeks because I figured I didn’t need to do it before and things are good now (was). But for me I do prefer to do it in the early evening as opposed to right before bed because I am thinking too much about it as a tool to sleep when sleep should be nothing.

    I think one technique is to stop struggling and give up. Just let it all go. It’s hard when you are worked up. But if I am too worked up or been in bed way too long I do need to get up and take a chill out period. Most of the time I do stay and let go and fall asleep.

    One thing she mentioned that I found interesting and had a hunch but never made a strong correlation was strength training and sleep. I do work out at the gym around 7-8:30PMish and I do feel great but it could be making it worse. I know it’s not all the time but it seems like it does impact sleep. I don’t do crazy amounts but enough that my muscles feel that burn.

    #32216

    Daf
    ✘ Not a client

    …and may I suggest you listen to the Granddaddy of mindfulness, Jon Kabat Zinn’s video available if you google “seven attitudes of mindfulness”. I think it sums up what mindfulness and its close relation, Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) is, in a 28 minute video.
    Good for when you are awake, plus sometimes if you cannot sleep to listen too.

    I am over 12 weeks since I had a nil sleep night.

    #32223

    Deb
    ✓ Client

    Yes, stop struggling and give up. That’s the essence of it. If you can get to that point, then you will fall asleep eventually. I did ACT the first time in March but then gave up when I got confused and discouraged. But at least during that time I learned how to use the tools. This time when I did it in July, I didn’t really need to use any of the tools except acceptance of whatever happened on a nightly basis. That’s what cured me. If I ever got overwhelmed with anxiety, I would get up, write in my journal and then I would recognize that I was struggling. I “caught myself in the act” of struggling, would smile, and then relax and give up the struggle, accepting whatever happens. You’ve come a long way, Delv, in your recovery. I’m sure you’ll be able to do this with no problem.

    Lately I’ve been realizing how powerful is the physical instinct to sleep. I don’t go to bed sleepy all the time, but at my usual bedtime when I’m tired enough. In bed I may think about something for a little while but then before I know it, I’m fast asleep. The problem is when the mind gets in the way of this physical response through worrying and any kind of mental effort. That’s why acceptance is so important. When you stop thinking and worrying and do nothing, then the body takes over and you fall asleep.

    Don’t know about the exercise. Lots of people do it in the evening and sleep fine, like my brother and sister-in-law. I don’t know what kind of exercise they do though.

    #32224

    Deb
    ✓ Client

    Delv – Don’t be surprised if you get some nights of light sleep when you first start practicing this. That’s what happened to me. It’s just part of the process and they will go away.

    #32225

    Deb
    ✓ Client

    Then again, since you’ve got 2 months of solid sleep behind you, maybe this won’t happen to you. (Don’t want to put any expectations/worries/fears in your mind of what might happen.) Most importantly, just accept whatever happens.

    #32226

    delv-x
    ✘ Not a client

    Thank you Daf and Deb. Ill check out Jon Kabat Zinn. I think I should be just doing what I’ve been doing. Relapses are bound to happen. I recall having bad nights as a child, teenager and young adult and I didn’t really think too much about it and muddled along. I really shouldn’t overreact and start changing things like get the blue light blocking glasses, warm bath, journal, stop my morning coffee, bust out the sleepy time tea and only go to the bedroom to change, sleep and sex. All that just made things worse because I would think too much about it.

    Many things do help. One thing for example that helped gently paved the way with ACT vs CBT was napping. Sometimes I would feel exhausted and the thought of napping and failure to fall asleep would make things feel awful, however, accepting that I may not nap is ok. I would just lay down and say to myself “lay down for 30 and relax”. Sometimes I would lay there and drifting off would not happen but often it would because there was no pressure. If I do, I do, if I don’t, I don’t. With nightly sleep, I try to do the same. My thought is I’ve allotted a reasonable amount of time to rest. Lay down and relax. With a reasonable sleep drive built up, it happens naturally and quickly.

    #32227

    Deb
    ✓ Client

    I think you’ll do just fine, Delv, since you’re already practicing accepting whatever happens.

    #32229

    Faithlessinsomnia
    ✘ Not a client

    Hi Guy’s
    Sorry to seem stupid, but what is ACT? Is it like CBT-I?
    Would I be able to try it?
    Once again, sorry to sound like a dunce….lol!

    Emma W

    #32235

    burn
    ✘ Not a client

    Faithlessinsomnia,

    In this thread we discuss ACT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for insomnia, based on Guy Meadows books: Sleep Book, How to Sleep Well Every Night (available on Amazon). It differs from CBTI.

    CBTI aims to show you that you can sleep, for instance by restricting your time in bed and increasing night time sleepiness. This should restore your confidence in your ability to sleep and hence allow you to be more relaxed in bed and hence improving your sleep etc. CBTI works for many people, but its strict rules cause anxiety in some people, making the approach less efficient for them. For this reason we discuss alternative approach, ACT, in this thread.

    ACT teaches you to abandon desire for sleep and to be relaxed about being awake in your bed, which should eventually restore normal sleep.

    If you want to try ACT, get Guy Meadows book and read this thread, which addresses some questions that you may get while reading the book. And you are welcome to post new questions here, people here are willing to help each other with sleep issues.

    #32238

    Faithlessinsomnia
    ✘ Not a client

    Hi burn. It’s nice to meet you!
    Thanks for explaining to me what it all means.
    I will definitely try Guy Meadows book on ACT. I’d like to see whether it will help me. Deb suggested the same thing.
    I’ll check out the website.
    Thanks again
    Emma

    #32239

    Faithlessinsomnia
    ✘ Not a client

    Hi burn. It’s nice to meet you!
    Thanks for explaining to me what it all means.
    I will definitely try Guy Meadows book on ACT. I’d like to see whether it will help me. Deb suggested the same thing.
    Thanks again
    Emma

    #32289

    delv-x
    ✘ Not a client

    Hi Deb,

    I thought I would run this by you. Last night I went to bed at 11:30 and although I was relaxed, I was not sleepy. When a thought about sleep, not sleeping, what time is it etc. I would acknowledge it, not associate any emotion to it and just move on. After 2 hours I still was not feeling sleepy at all, I had the thought that I may be doing it much longer and I do need to work so I ended up taking half a pill at 1:45. Eventually I was out and woke up at about 5:15 am. From 5:15 to 7:00am I just laid there trying to relax. I felt more anxiety in the morning though. I don’t really have issues with onset but lately it’s been onset and maintenance.

    I knew there would be ups and downs. I look back to just a few weeks ago when I would feel a little tired and just lay on the carpet with my dog at 9:30 or 10, then accidentally fall asleep for a few minutes and waking up and marching up to bed and fall asleep right away and stay asleep. Or sleeping on a cruise ship while the boat rocks in heavy waves. Waking up and noticing the boat is rocking a lot and just laying there and waking up to the cruise director saying we are docked at port and it’s 9am. Or on a Sunday afternoon lay on the couch and nod off for 20-40 minutes and feel refreshed.

    It feels like these waves are genetic/biological and I just have to ride them out and use what I’ve learned to mitigate it as much as possible. This all started about a year ago for me. I mean that it became a problem that it would interfere enough to cause concern.

    Since you have more experience with sleep onset, any tips other than do nothing? I used to do nothing and voila! but I guess when my body is more tense and ramped up and not sleepy, it’s just not happening. I started to re-read the sleep book and it’s comforting for sure.

    #32291

    Deb
    ✓ Client

    Delv – I started and stopped ACT several times in June and July, reverting back to sleeping pills (Ambien) when I stopped. I would start, have a bad night of no sleep, then maybe a couple hours of sleep the next night, then maybe light sleep the next. Then by the third or fourth night I would get frustrated and take an Ambien. I was afraid that it was going to be so hard and that I would have a bunch of sleepless or little sleep nights so I kept going back to the pills. As a result, the pattern kept repeating itself and I continued to have a bunch of bad nights between the Ambien nights (they weren’t so great either.)

    Finally I decided to stick with it and made a pledge to myself that I wouldn’t take a pill for two weeks. I knew that by taking a sleeping pill I was training myself to be dependent on pills instead of learning to sleep naturally. When I finally stuck with it, I had the same pattern for the first week or so of not so great sleep (but not too bad and could function fine the next day.) Then it started improving. I was falling asleep more quickly and over time the sleep became deeper as well. So you have to have patience with this method and not rely on pills, because it will only sabotage your healing.

    #32292

    delv-x
    ✘ Not a client

    I hear ya about the pills. I was able to and can do it again. I was able to slowly wean down and then when I stopped completely I didn’t notice. Right now my brain won’t shut off, feels alert and the lack of sleep makes my day feel more anxious. It was only a few days ago that I was sleeping without any sleep aids and slept in until 9:30. I am not worried that sleeping in one day threw me off.

    Ill get over this hump. I will get back into mindfulness through the day. Observe the moment, how I feel and not judge.

Viewing 15 posts - 406 through 420 (of 480 total)

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