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- August 2, 2019 at 4:34 pm #31153
Yes, but Ron questioned the longer SW where you said I shouldn’t have any at all. That is the only thing you two conflicted on. I e-mailed Martin to tell him what I am doing (I am an extended client) so I’ll see what he says about it and go from there. Just one other comment that you don’t have to reply to. I don’t want to take up your time with a lot of questions. I just wanted to say that I remember those days before insomnia where I just used to let my mind wander or I would think of story lines and act them out or think of a TV show I watched and inject myself into the plot line and think of what I would have done. i hope to get back to those days soon. Thanks for all of your help.August 2, 2019 at 4:49 pm #31154
You’ll get there, Steve. Just do whatever helps you to relax the most. That’s why I encouraged giving up the strict sleep window. For myself, it helped me relax. Like I said earlier, in this program sleep comes about from learning how to relax again and not worry. Like Ron, I questioned the quality of my sleep a lot and whether it was related to doing SR correctly or something else I might be doing wrong. But once I began to relax, then the quality of my sleep took care of itself and went back to normal. I didn’t have to do anything about it. The hyper alert brain which was waking me up and making my sleep go all over the place, finally settled down.
Have a great day!August 3, 2019 at 1:51 pm #31165
One other thing, Steve. I did SR/SC for two months in Jan and Feb with Martin. Then I tried ACT for a month or more in March before giving up. I started SR/SC again later in April and contacted Martin for help again. He told me that SR/SC would probably come easier for me the second time around, since I already had all that previous experience. That turned out to be true. So this time when I tried ACT again, I told myself that I could always go back to SR/SC if ACT didn’t go well again. So I had a safety net this time, knowing that SR/SC was there for me if ACT didn’t work. That made it easier for me to go all out and give up SR & SC completely. Anyway, should you decide to jump into ACT at some point with both feet in, know that you can always go back to SR/SC and you won’t lose everything you gained from your hard work these last few months.August 3, 2019 at 2:58 pm #31167
Last night was the ultimate test of whether or not I’m back to sleeping normally. We went out for dinner and I had a glass of wine. Around 8:15 I was feeling sleepy from the wine and laid down in bed and dozed off and on for a while. At 10:30 my husband woke me up, telling me it was time to go to bed. I got up, brushed my teeth and went back to bed. There was a tiny bit of fear that I might not sleep because of the nap. But I fell back to sleep right away. Woke up today at 7:00 well rested.
It’s hard to believe how quickly ACT worked for me this time, once I decided to stick with it and not fall back onto sleeping pills. I figured it might take me a couple months, but today is my 13th day. I asked Dr. Kat how long it normally takes people to recover and she said there is a lot of variation. She said that the hardest thing for people is learning how to “accept.” Once they get that, then they start getting better. I got the hang of that back in March when I did ACT the first time, so I think that’s why it went so quickly this time.August 3, 2019 at 5:00 pm #31168
gsdmom✘ Not a client
Deb – Wow, you had a terrific night! Hope that is the first of many and getting back to normal. I just went back to reading some of your posts and it seems like your first week starting ACT was difficult as one might expect – little sleep, no sleep and light sleep. I’ve only tried this for two nights so far. First night, it took a while to get to sleep, but I must have got adequate sleep as I woke up feeling good, but last night I had no sleep – maybe I was trying to hard. But it still felt good just to go to bed and stay in bed without stressing about the time or getting out of bed to do SC. I’ve just started the Sleep book and hoping as I progress through that practice the exercises things will improve.August 3, 2019 at 6:23 pm #31169
I actually started ACT back in June. The first week was like a honeymoon period where I felt a lot of hope and had some really good nights. Then in the second week, reality hit and it got difficult again. So I think when we first start something, our hopes are up and we sleep well. Then the fears kick in after that and we go back to having some difficult nights.
Just a suggestion – don’t “try hard” but instead just accept whatever happens and relax. I told myself I was going to bed to “rest” instead of “sleep” so that I wouldn’t get my expectations up and could accept whatever happens more easily. This was especially helpful when I was very tired. I realized that “resting” felt good even if I didn’t sleep that night.
Also, when you’re tired during the day, try not to let it get to you because then it will feed the anxiety that night. In my first week (this time starting 13 days ago) the first night I didn’t sleep at all and the others I only slept a few hours (1-3) or slept lightly all night. I would wake up tired but “ok” and say to myself that my sleep wasn’t “too bad” and that I could deal with it.
Good luck!August 3, 2019 at 7:33 pm #31170
Well, three nights ago was my first night using ACT with the SR/SW. The first night I slept for 4 hours with a SW of 6.5. Two nights ago I slept for 5.0 hours with a SW of 6.5. Last night I figure I slept around 5.75 with an SW of 6.5. (Last night wasn’t a good test though as I usually sleep good on a Friday night since I am very tired from the work week.) I don’t really feel too tired the next day anymore, even when I was just using SR/SW/SC. It’s the dizzyness and inability to focus my eyes that gets to me the most. However, I have named all of my bad thoughts and demons and welcomed them into my self starting that first night. I do this both when they show up during the day and at night. After I welcome them, I have been doing mindfulness to stay in the moment, although I haven’t had to do it too much at night as I slept more. However, today those demons kept coming back during the day but I kept welcoming them and kept doing mindfulness. I have also accepted the dizzyness as something I can live with. I know this won’t be quick and I have to keep doing these exercises and it will probably take me a couple months but I can’t believe the amount of stress that disappeared once I made up my mind that I was no longer going to do SC unless I am really tossing and turning. SC always brought me a lot of stress because I never knew if I might fall asleep again or if I should get up and if I did get up, what I should do and for how long. After about the 4th week, I never got back to sleep after I did SC. I either never fell asleep in bed or I got up for the day. I admit it helped me get consolidated sleep in the beginning but after the 4 th week, it caused me more stress. I have also started living my life more. I met a woman on a first date this afternoon and am going to try to ride my motorcycle to a baseball game tonight. I also am soon going to have my first alcoholic drink in a long time. I just have to keep up the welcoming and the mindfulness and accepting whatever happens. And that means accepting the dizzyness as well. I don’t know if the dizzyness is insomnia related or something else but I am starting to accept that I can live with it no matter what. Now I just have to do these things enough so that my mind starts believing it.
Also Deb, I know I can go back to SR but I never got to the point where you were at where you got 5 out of 7 nights of good sleep. I was getting like two or three nights of bad sleep and then my body gave me two or three nights of good sleep to make up for it (although the good sleep was still only around 5 hours, give or take). And I don’t want to keep living my life where I have to be sleepy before I go to bed. I want to be a normal sleeper again which is why I am giving ACT a second chance.August 3, 2019 at 7:42 pm #31171
Deb – One other thing. Thank you for sharing the info you learned from Dr. Katz. It would be difficult for me to talk to her because I am hearing impaired and can’t use things like Skype or talk on the phone. Therefore, you are a main source of info for me about ACT if I have questions. (I don’t know if she would do e-mails or how much she would charge for that feature.) So thank you. You are a Saint and a Godsend.August 3, 2019 at 10:43 pm #31172
Sounds like you’re doing better, Steve. So when you say you slept 4 hours, then 5 hours and then 5.75 hours, is that one solid chunk of sleep starting at your sleep window? When does your sleep window begin again? Or do you fall asleep a few hours, wake up and then fall asleep again and it adds up to that number of hours?
Is the welcoming helping you? I hope so.
I’m very happy to share what I’ve learned from Dr. Kat. I know how miserable insomnia is so I have a heart to help others with it.
Glad you’re living your life and dating. Maybe your date would like to ride your motorcycle sometime too!August 4, 2019 at 2:40 am #31173
No, it wasn’t always in one chunk but rather adds up to those hours. I always woke up at least once. Twice at the most. But I think it was the second night I fell back asleep and slept to the alarm. It’s always nice sleeping to the alarm. My SW begins at 10:45 and I get up at 5:15. I think the welcoming helps me but also playing around with the thoughts and demons, changing their voices and giving then funny faces helps belittle them a lot. That’s what I wasn’t really doing the first time I tried ACT but I’m doing it now. I think it does help make a difference as it cuts the thoughts and demons down to size. As I said, it’s going to take awhile as I have to get my subconscious mind to believe what I am saying. Just got back from the ballgame on my motorcycle. That’s really the first time I rode it after dark. I figure why not? Time to really live my life! Thanks again!August 4, 2019 at 3:18 am #31175
RonA✘ Not a client
Hi Steve. A little off topic but what do you ride? I live in AZ and have a Harley Road king. One of my big problems with insomnia has been not being able to ride. I just don’t feel safe riding with less than 5 hours sleep over several nights. I have slept better this week so was able to ride this morning. It was great!!!August 4, 2019 at 10:56 am #31178
I Ron. I have 3 bikes. I have a Yamaha Zuma scooter 125cc, a Yamaha Vino 50cc and the big bike which is a Honda Shadow 725cc. (At least that’s big for me. lol) What size is your engine? I consider myself lucky as I didn’t have a problem riding this year. (My insomnia started at the end of last October so it didn’t effect me at all last year since the riding season was over.) I thought it would but when I tried it, I found I could ride it easy. I think that’s one of the things that kept me sane this year.August 4, 2019 at 11:05 am #31179
Deb and Ron – I know Deb said it and I think Ron said it too but you said you initially got light sleep when you tried ACT. Can you define what you mean by light sleep? Do you mean Stage I sleep? Drifting in and out of sleep? Easily woken up sleep?
I think I got somewhere in the 5 hour range of sleep last night. The first couple hours I would classify as light sleep. It was deeper than Stage I sleep and also deeper than drifting in and out but I had a lot of dreams and I felt I could just be woken up so easy. After I got up and went to the bathroom, I fell into a deeper sleep for the next three hours or so. I am not keeping a sleep diary anymore as that kind of added to my stress of trying to remember when I woke up and fell back asleep and all. But still, these last four nights have been good and definitely better than when I was stressing about doing SC. I think accepting and everything else is helping. Now I just need to start sleeping in longer stretches and deeper. I am still going to keep the SW of 6.5 for now. That’s a good length for me not to stress about having enough time to get sleep in.August 4, 2019 at 1:09 pm #31180
Quick question for Deb and Ron if I may.
Deb – Did Dr. Kat have any opinion on doing SR/SW and ACT at the same time?
Ron – Do you feel you are improving using both SR/SW and ACT or do you think you reached a plateau?August 4, 2019 at 2:27 pm #31181
How are you coming along with the Sleep Book gdsmom?