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- September 8, 2019 at 1:47 pm #32316
Cognitive behaviour therapy and act both helped plus self realisation about over controlling parts of my nature…… I bet you ten quid each of you folks who post on here are successful people but maybe a tad overdrive and hard on yourselves, wanting to control everything!
Google Jon Kabat Zinn 7 attitudes of mindfulness for the full 28 min video.
Best wishes to you all from London on a glorious sunny September day.September 8, 2019 at 1:48 pm #32317
Meant to write… OverdrivenSeptember 8, 2019 at 2:32 pm #32318
Yes, going to sleep is the very opposite of controlling! You have to let go. That was another thing that made me not too crazy about CBT. You had to control everything like how sleepy you are when you go to bed, when you get up and go to bed, what you can and cannot do in bed, etc. So when you don’t do everything perfectly, you worry about it – just another thing to be anxious about. I felt very liberated when I let go of all of these rules.September 8, 2019 at 2:54 pm #32319
I would add that sleep restriction is very key too.
When I had some nil sleep nights, I built up by keeping sleep at 4.5hrs to 5hrs initially. This ensured that the following night I was dog tired and ready for sleep. From there I built up v slowly to what I now enjoy – about 6 hours of sleep most nights.September 9, 2019 at 7:13 pm #32327
Would love some encouragement…. feeling a bit weary today .. was on such a high from sleeping relatively good for a couple weeks , to the last 4-5 days of nil sleep 🙁
I did watch Jon Kabats 28 min video last night and was very impressed with how well he explained things . ( last night was my worst haha)
I really feel as tho I’m not super anxious on my many ‘wakes’ throughout the night…but idk it’s also been tougher falling back to sleep …
I realize this takes time, and maybe that’s all I need to hear from those that are feeling ‘cured’ ( or close to it)
Anyway I SOO appreciate this thread! Youve all been very helpful and encouraging !!September 9, 2019 at 9:20 pm #32332
Pam – I think for most people, recovery is not a straight line up. Instead it’s ups and downs with gradual improvement over time. I remember how when I was doing CBT, I had 4 good weeks and then around the 5th week I had a bad week. I felt discouraged but was encouraged by Martin to keep going. Things improved again.September 9, 2019 at 10:25 pm #32333
Mac0908✘ Not a client
Well said Deb. Definitely not a straight line for most, especially those trying to heal from chronic insomnia.September 9, 2019 at 11:57 pm #32334
gsdmom✘ Not a client
Pam – I think it just takes time. The few stories I’ve read about recovery seemed to take about 4 months. Back in July, just using Stimulus Control suggested by my doctor I was able to start getting some good nights of sleep, 5-7 hours each night for about 5 nights a week for 2 weeks. Then the 3rd week, I started losing much sleep again. I struggled for 2 weeks then decided to try ACT. I’m in the middle of my 6th week of ACT, definitely improvement compared to last July, but not close to normal. I still feel very sensitive, even though not really anxious, from what I’ve read I’m one of those HSP’s (highly sensitive people) and the littlest thing can affect my sleep. Two nights ago I only slept for 2 hours, and last night although I was in bed for 8 hours, I have no idea the actual time I slept because I still have lots of light sleep, and woke up about 3x, but went back to sleep, telling myself I was in light sleep so just keep sleeping.
Still I tell myself that many normal sleepers wake up to use the bathroom, I don’t have to do that, but still it is normal to wake up, so that helps my thought process and from what I’ve read about the amygdala and healing, with mindfulness daily practice it will take 8 weeks for the amygdala (fear and anxiety part of brain) to heal. So knowing I have at least another 3 weeks to go, decreases stress and helps with patience.
I just keep on trying to keep my physical body healthy too as being physically healthy helps with keeping a positive attitude. Exercise daily, vitamin supplements, eat well, and try to address other health issues right away now. Went to doc right away when a cervical spine issue came back, as it causes headaches which interferes with sleep and also had my HRT adjusted as I was getting too hot and sweaty at night, affecting my sleep, independent of insomnia. So hang in there and be good to yourself and hope you will get some deep rest tonight!September 10, 2019 at 12:53 pm #32335
Pam – Yes, it will take a while for those of us not “cured” yet to be “cured”. gsdmom is correct. It can take some months to achieve and there will be some bad nights in there while you are achieving it. Just keep using the tools to work on welcoming and getting to know your unwelcome thoughts and urges. I have had some bad nights as well. Strangely, for me, the fatigue and tiredness doesn’t bother me anymore. It’s the headaches that come with lack of sleep that are very bothersome for me. I am using the tools to get to know the headaches and successfully live with them like I have done with all of my other symptoms. I know I am sleeping more again after that rough patch of last week but I just don’t know how deep the sleep is. I know that has an effect. Anyway, hang in there and keep posting. I’ll be glad to give you support when you need it!September 10, 2019 at 2:36 pm #32336
Pam – one thing that has been really helping me whenever I have a difficult night is a deep realization that struggling against it (with frustration, fear, or anger for example) really won’t help in any way. It sounds cliché but it’s so true. Insomnia in itself is already hard, so I tell myself – why add my own negativity towards it? My brain isn’t knowing exactly how to sleep and being frustrated about it won’t help. It’s like being mad or frustrated with my stomach for not digesting food properly, I’m sure that would only make things worse. Sleep is a biological function we can’t control (we can only help promote sleep) and being frustrated or fearful of it is counterproductive. Our bodies aren’t against us, they’re just a little out of whack and having patience and compassion towards its functions is important, even or specially if that function is a little off. Maybe remember to have compassion with your body if it’s not knowing how to sleep properly here and there and tell yourself you can still REST, that’s a big one that helps me too, knowing that I can at least rest if I can’t sleep.
Also, if fear and struggle arises, that’s more than OK! Don’t beat yourself up if these arise, just notice them 🙂September 11, 2019 at 2:46 am #32341
Thanks to you all!!!! Deb, Steve, gsdmom, Borgesbi , Daf and Mac… just needed those reminders, and really appreciate the care and ‘pick me up!’
it IS a process for sure! Also to remind me how far I/we’ve all come … hoping for a great zzzzz night for us all!!September 11, 2019 at 7:17 am #32343
I always find it weird the way a nil sleep night can come seemingly out of the blue, like last night, even when there’s no particular stressor going on for me. Guess one has to accept the randomness of this too.September 11, 2019 at 12:06 pm #32346
Maybe it’s time for an update from everyone. Since my rough patch last week, I seem to have settled into a sleep pattern. I am in bed by about 9:10 and it takes me about 15 minutes to fall asleep. I then wake up about an hour later and I get up to go to the bathroom. I come back to bed and fall asleep relatively quickly. I then usually sleep till about 2:30 with maybe one wake-up in that 10:30 to 2:30 period. But again, that wake-up doesn’t always happen but when it does, it is short and I can usually get back to sleep pretty quickly. I then go back to sleep rather quickly around 2:30 and sleep till around 3:30 but from that point, I am fully awake and I just rest comfortably until the alarm goes off at 5:15. I do have some unwanted thoughts and anxiety feelings after 3:30 but I can usually welcome them and they don’t bother me after that so I’m not sure why I can’t get back to sleep after 3:30. So over that 8 hour time span, I have about 4 wake-ups with that final wake-up at 3:30. All of this means that the thing that is killing my sleep is that last hour and 45 minute to 2 hour sleep period that I can’t sleep in. And since I’m not full of anxiety or unwanted thoughts, I’m not sure why I can’t sleep during this time. I guess I still need to retrain my brain.
I’m sorry about the length of this post but I had one other observation. I do have sleep apnea and I wear an oral appliance for it. However, I noticed it’s not working as well as it once did and I can only sleep in two positions before I feel the soft tissues in the back of my throat closing up. This would be on my back with my head turned to the extreme left or on my left side. I wake up sore from only sleeping in these two positions and since we with insomnia are light sleepers, I am wondering if the soreness and apnea are causing me to wake up more or get a less deeper sleep. So, I had my doctor write me a prescription for a CPAP machine and I should get it in the next day or two. After I get used to sleeping with it, I am wondering if it will help me sleep better. Does anyone here use a CPAP machine? What kind of mask are you using?September 11, 2019 at 1:15 pm #32347
I’m glad you’re having ‘some better’nights of Sleep/rest… and I truly hope you find what works best for you with your sleep apnea!
You’ve shared your ‘times’ of wake ups …. is this a guesstimate or do you ‘see’ what the time is? Just wondering ….
I know for me , that was ‘one’thing that was the hardest to let go, Not ever looking at the time…
I just felt I had to know , did I sleep? How long? When can I get up? Ect…
Anyway, letting that go (although sleeps been a bit rough of late)
Was Huge for me! Knowing my alarm was set, ‘if’ I had to get up at a certain time, finally became enough for me and I was able to let that ‘piece of anxiety’ go!September 11, 2019 at 1:41 pm #32348
Hi Pam. Those are reasonably accurate times although I say “around” because they don’t happen at the same time every night. Some times I see the clock when I get back from the bathroom but other times I will look at it. With ACT, it’s okay to look at the clock. It’s how you react to it that matters as described in the book. I am okay with whatever time it is. In fact, in that regard, I am like a normal sleeper in that when I see it is 3:30, I say “Oh good! I still have an hour and 45 minutes to sleep” instead of “Oh no, I only have an hour and 45 minutes left, how will I cope?”. Frankly, it never bothered me to look at the clock especially when I was doing a sleep diary as I was always a poor estimator with time so if I wanted an accurate diary, I had to look at the clock.
How are you doing with your sleep? Did it improve last night any? I hope so.