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- November 6, 2019 at 2:42 am #33677
Don’t worry about venting. Say whatever you need to say and what helps you. We all do, including myself who goes into long rants about things like above!
The thing to do is commit to something, either CBT-I or ACT. Otherwise, chances are that you won’t get any better. But I know it’s easier said than done. There’s other people here who also took awhile before they could finally commit. Sometimes you have to suffer awhile until you get completely sick of it and then start to make changes. Because of my life experience, I don’t waste time anymore as much as possible. When I decide to do something, I do it fully and don’t look back. I’ve found that when I commit to something, then things get clearer and the support I need comes to me.
Just curious, what do you mean by the “existential threat”?November 6, 2019 at 3:24 pm #33681
Question about letting the mind wandering. I’m not sure that the book discusses it but when letting your mind just wander, do you still notice and welcome those thoughts?November 6, 2019 at 4:14 pm #33682
No, just let them wander like they did before you had insomnia. Only if the thoughts are troublesome would you need to do something about them.November 6, 2019 at 4:44 pm #33683
Daf✘ Not a client
Good advice Deb.
Re a previous post you made on this thread, if one looks up ACT, the C is for Commitment, as you say.
But I thought it is not about “committing to the acceptance” but rather “commitment to your (life) values”, which is something I always found harder to understand and frankly a bit vague.
The original concept of ACT was put forward by Stephen Hayes et al, way back.
But “Dr” Guy Meadows was the one it seems who took it forward in his sleep school in the UK, using ACT/ Mindfulness to “accept” situations – and applying this approach to insomnia treatment.
Interestingly, Guy Meadows is not a medical doctor, though he has a PHD, so is a doctor in that sense. But here in the UK, outside of academic staff in universities, few people would use the “Doctor” label on their business cards or to promote themselves. Most people here would regard that as a little “silly”.
That is not to criticise Mr. Meadows, but it’s just an observation. I will say though I found his one day course v poor indeed – just someone going through his book – with some very cheap hand outs. Not impressed. His book is good though and does bear re-reading.
Having said that there is some research that ACT does work to combat insomnia. However, our NHS (health service) does not use it all in – well they didn’t for me. They simply use CBTi and SRT approaches.
I employ both Mindfulness / ACT and CBTi / SRT in my improvements. I can see how some, like you, may see that they counter each other. But my view (hear the podcast in the success stories) is that they can compliment.
My approach to SRT is to just keep my sleep amounts to under 6 hours (though my average sleep is about 5.5hrs) in order to ensure I am actually tired by 1030pmish each night. But I don’t stress about when exactly I got to bed or get up. The target is just 6 hours – like SRT lite if you like.
I also enjoy practicing ACT / mindfulness and will use acceptance and the like to help myself be chilled and rested if ever I cannot sleep.
Hope this helps
David in that, there LondonNovember 6, 2019 at 9:54 pm #33688
Thanks, David. Yeah, even though I loved Guy’s book, I wasn’t very happy with his office because it seemed very disorganized.
I can see how the anxiety-reducing tools of ACT like mindfulness, and the acceptance & welcoming of negative thoughts or emotions, can compliment SRT. But the overall approach of ACT to give up all control of your sleep and to just learn to relax is very different from SRT, with it’s rules.
I’m glad that what you’re doing is working for you. For myself, I wanted to get back to how I was sleeping before the insomnia and for most of my life. I’m as old as you (or older), but I’ve always slept around 8 hours, give or take a half hour. I would go to bed between 10:30 and 11:00 (lights out and eyes closed) and it would take me 10 to 20 minutes to fall asleep. I woke up in the morning between 7:00 and 7:30. So the shortest amount of sleep I got was 7.5 hours minus one trip to the bathroom. I wanted to get back to sleeping like that again and now I am because of ACT. With ACT you don’t need to build up sleep drive. As long as you have a reasonable bedtime and wake up time, you will sleep fine.November 7, 2019 at 12:27 am #33690
JTthemillenial✘ Not a client
I guess by “existential threat” I’m referring to the threat to my sense of self. Maybe I used it incorrectly… it wasn’t intended to be as morose as I may have made it sound.November 7, 2019 at 12:32 am #33691
JTthemillenial✘ Not a client
Daf, I think that’s how I think about the approaches too. Not as single-line treatments necessarily, but a sets of tools that can be used in conjunction to accommodate an individual’s needs. Although I do agree with Deb on the principle that if you want to see if something works, commit to it until you know how it goes.
November 8, 2019 at 3:27 pm #33759
- This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by JTthemillenial.
How is everyone else doing? Haven’t heard from some of you folks in awhile.
Yesterday, this website seemed to be compromised and I was getting redirected to other websites that wanted me to download a bunch of junk. Did you guys experience this too? Even today, it’s still a little funny. As I’m typing, my print is very small and hard to read.
I’m realizing more and more that ACT is about learning to “let go.” The night before last I couldn’t fall asleep right away. It was my own fault though because I had played the piano right before bed so all these musical ideas were passing through my head. But then I realized that I wasn’t falling asleep and started to worry. The thought to get up and have a white russian even crossed my mind. But I didn’t want to get back into that. Also, I knew that I was tired so I should be able to fall asleep. So I just let go of the worry, relaxed and then I did fall asleep. I’m remembering what it feels like to “let go” to fall asleep just like normal sleepers do all the time.November 8, 2019 at 3:47 pm #33760
delv-x✘ Not a client
Update. Yes yesterday the site appeared hijacked. From last Friday to today (a week), i’ve been sleeping well. Lights out anywhere between 11:00 and 11:45ish and up at 7:00. Been doing pretty much nothing other than going to bed and closing my eyes. I know Ill have more poor night sleeps but I try not to dwell on them (unless it’s been bad or a string of them). For me, the best advice and comfort is that my body knows how to sleep and doing what I did before AND realizing I can sleep fine as before on most nights helps.
What really didn’t work for me is hardcore CBT-i with hardcore sleep rules and following them religiously. If I had a sleep window of < 6 hours and only using my bed for sleep was fueling my anxiety more. I would definitely recommend CBT-i to anyone who lays in bed for 10 hours and is sleeping 4-5 of broken frustrating sleep but if it’s more psychological, ACT or any form of not giving a s%it probably helps more.November 8, 2019 at 4:29 pm #33761
Glad you’re sleeping well for the most part, Delv. Just try to relax when you don’t sleep, and then you will sleep.
Is your typing really small too? This is irritating because I can hardly see what I’m typing. Maybe I’ll email Martin about this.November 10, 2019 at 3:38 pm #33781
How’s everyone doing that we haven’t heard from in awhile? Steve, Gdsmom, Burn, Suren, Pam, Featherly, Padron, TiredDad, Karen, Jazzcat, Borgesbi?November 10, 2019 at 8:44 pm #33786
Mac0908✘ Not a client
Hi Deb I’m doing well, how are you doing? How’d you sleep last night? Bit of an interesting turn of events for me in the last few days. So Tuesday night was to be the first night I got back into another round of SRT. As I sat there on my couch at 10:30 or so with another hour to go before I could crash, I began thinking a lot about what we’ve been talking about in the last week. I began thinking about what this has all come to. Here I am about to go through this all again, and maybe it would help long term, maybe it wouldn’t. That day specifically I was using ACT techniques throughout the day in my head maybe more than ever before. I felt good about them and I don’t know what it was but I had some sort of lightbulb click in my head on my couch this past Tuesday night.
I said F it, went into my bed at 10:30pm, and began going over some ACT techniques in my head. That night, while I didn’t sleep perfect, I slept ok. I woke up and went to work and felt ok. As the day went on I had some sort of epiphany, that this was how it was going to go about things now, and that SRT was not going to be my plan. So Tuesday night came and went. Wednesday night came and went, Thursday night, Friday night, and guess what? All decent nights. That’s FOUR nights in a row of pretty good sleep. In my world, that is something special and most certainly means I’m onto something. I may not have slept like a baby, but I didn’t feel awful at work on any of these days and yesterday (Saturday), I felt great as I didn’t even have an alarm to worry me at all. Something was happening and I felt as though I was having a breakthrough of sorts with ACT. Last night was the first night things were a little “off”, though I didn’t sleep terribly.
What I’ve been doing is setting aside a good 20 minutes or so before bed (while still watching tv), to do some mindfulness. To keep reminding myself of all the obvious things we’ve spoke about. How it’s OK if I don’t sleep too great, and how no matter what, it’s going to be ok, how I’ve slept well before, and I’ll do it again, and how the worst days of my Insomnia have been behind me for a long time now. So I guess, thanks Deb, for kinda pushing ACT on me these last few weeks. Hopefully whatever is going on with me will keep up.
November 10, 2019 at 9:40 pm #33789
- This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Mac0908.
That’s great, Mac! Glad you’re feeling “decent” the last 4 nights and days. That’s how it was for me too. Try not to worry about whether or not it will work because it WILL work if you stick with it. Through ACT you’re training yourself to have no expectations and most of all to completely relax in bed, which will lead to sleep. Over time, more and more your brain will associate bed with relaxation and sleep, and I think you’ll stop having the sudden relapses that seem to come out of nowhere like you’ve had with SRT. The anxiety that was beneath the surface will have calmed down.
Glad you felt great yesterday because of not having to use the alarm. That’s how it was for me. I don’t have to get up early so if I felt I needed more rest, I just stayed in bed, sometimes until 8 or 8:30 instead of my usual 7 or 7:30. It didn’t impact my sleep the next night.
My sleep has been great since I recovered from my relapse. I’m actually glad that I had a relapse because I’ve learned important things from it. I remember when I first recovered in August, Nik Burn suggested that I have a sleepless night so that I wouldn’t fear it. Well I didn’t know exactly how to do that, but the relapse gave me the wonderful opportunity! For one thing, I learned that recovering from a relapse is really short with ACT. One of the reasons I put off implementing ACT again after my relapse was that I was afraid it might not work as well as it did the first time. But it only took a couple nights really and I was on my way back to sleeping normally. I also learned that if I start worrying at all about my sleep, then all I have to do it let go of that thought and relax, and so far, I always go to sleep. I’ve learned how to “let go” and fall back asleep like a regular sleeper. I think I actually had my relapse because I started worrying about having a relapse! Now I don’t fear it anymore, which feels great.November 10, 2019 at 10:07 pm #33788
Hi Deb (and everyone), thanks for asking. It sounds like you are doing so well.
I feel that my sleep isn’t much improved. It’s my attitude that’s improved. Because of this, I feel better. I did have an improvement that I haven’t had a zero sleep night for the past couple of months. I no longer have anxiety going to bed or staying in bed. But I usually just get about five hours sleep. Occasionally six and very rarely seven. I actually now see that I can function well on only five hours as long as I don’t expend energy on being upset about it.
Regardless of whatever time I go to bed I wake naturally around 6 every morning. And while I don’t observe a sleep window formally it happens by default. My big problem is that I just don’t get sleepy, except for about 30 to 60 minutes daily from 2 to 3 pm (which happened even before the insomnia, like lots of people) and watching TV from about 8:30 to 9:30 (microsleeps, 5 to 10 minutes). I seldom experience any signs of sleepiness even at 12 and 1 am! I am now back to reading in bed to be with my husband and normalize things after 18 months of not doing so. When he turns off the light at 11, I do as well and try to sleep. I can lay there for 30 to 45 minutes without anxiety or frustration….but boredom sets in so then it’s a treat to move into the sunroom and read, play games on the iPad, or listen to a podcast. I go back to the bedroom every 30 to 60 minutes and try again…and repeat as needed until I fall asleep and then I stay asleep, averaging 5 hours.
I am absolutely positive that it’s no longer hyperarousal that diminishes my sleep drive. I’ve never been a long sleeper. All my life I did just six to seven hours. So maybe now at 65 there really is a lessening of some of the biochemicals and I just have to accept this. I can live my life as I want and have lots of energy (I live a very healthy lifestyle except for the limited sleep). It’s just that those hours between 11 and 1 and sometimes 2 aren’t always fun. I’m awake. I’m not fighting sleep. But I don’t feel quite as energetic mentally or physically then, so I’m not at my best reading or listening to a podcast. It feels more just like killing time until I can try again in bed even though I’m not experiencing sleepiness.
I do lots of meditation and like the ACT approach, but I don’t see how some of you can lie in bed for hours just observing and accepting. I run out of things to think about and watching my breath loses its fascination after doing it for 20 minutes (being honest, more like 10!).November 10, 2019 at 11:09 pm #33795
Pam1129✘ Not a client
Thanks for checking on us☺️
After doing so well, so quickly with ACT back in August, I had a really rough couple Months in Sept/October,I felt old habits come back, whilst in bed, I was finding myself getting ‘angry’ …. that I couldnt sleep ,angry that my husband was, then felt as tho maybe it wasn’t the ACT , but just my two week period of sleeping after so many weeks of ‘not!’ …
I found myself in a ‘sad place’ and that’s just not me , I’m most often , in a pretty positive place… so it was tough…
I’ve still been following this blog, because I do find it gives me hope , when reading how everyone’s doing!
I’m re-reading Guys book.. to try and really understand fully ‘what ACT is all about… for me, I would do most of my mindfulness when in bed , but I wasn’t taking the time to practice it , during the day …. so I’m going To be more proactive with implementing these tools…
did you, or do you still practice during the day?
Or just when you go to bed ?
Mac, it was such a joy to read your last post!!!! It truly sounds as though, you have def turned a corner, and relaxing into this ‘acceptance’ with whatever happens! I’m so happy for you!
And Deb again, sure appreciate your Care! It means a lot!