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- November 13, 2019 at 4:19 pm #33878
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for me. After getting over the cold I had about a week and a half ago, I started having weird sleeping spells. I would get a decent 6 to 7 hours of sleep one night and then maybe 2 or 3 hours the next night. And then it would repeat itself. I think a couple people on here said they had that happen of good sleep then bad sleep then good sleep then bad. I had a good 6.5 to 7 Monday night and then last night, I got only one hour of sleep which came after my initial falling to sleep. So then I lied awake in bed for 7 hours just letting my mind wander but I never fell asleep, although a little of it was probably Phase 1 sleep. The funny thing about it was when I woke up after that hour, I felt no anxiety or anything. In fact, I was nice and calm and felt really comfortable in bed. That leaves me to believe that anxiety is no longer causing my sleep problem but rather that my arousal system is in bad shape. Are the ACT exercises supposed to help with arousal issues? Has anybody here had the good sleep bad sleep cycle?
BTW, my truck broke down today so I had to cancel the neurology visit and reschedule to early December. But while I waited a long time for that appointment, it doesn’t bother me that much because if the problem is my arousal system, then it isn’t a neurological issue or anything that happened during the surgery.November 13, 2019 at 4:31 pm #33879
That’s probably a good question for the sleep doctor, Steve. But I would think that anything that helps with anxiety would be good for you. That’s great that you could lie in bed all those hours and stay relaxed. I think over time your sleep will get more consistently good because of this. You’re on the right path by staying calm and relaxed in bed. You’re teaching your brain that the bed is a safe place to be.November 13, 2019 at 5:58 pm #33883
Re Good sleep – bad /nil sleep pattern.
Think we discussed this before.
I cured that aspect of it by crashing down my target sleep amount to around 4.5hrs… that ensured I was tired the next night and would sleep. Gradually increased it from there to the normal 6 hours I used to get and now get.
I would try to stay up till pretty tired, but personally I saw no point in really fighting it, so if I was really tired at 930 and unable to keep eyes open I would go for sleep. Then would set a wake up for 2am (well I don’t have to my bladder/sleep pattern wakes me up every 2 hours or so anyway).
There’s stuff to watch on the box at 2am!
Then gradually increase the sleep time.
All the while, I worked on improving my attitude to sleep using mindful acceptance (lots of resources online) and see the podcast I did in the success stories.November 13, 2019 at 7:55 pm #33873
Pam1129✘ Not a client
Wish I liked cheese☺️
Does it work on nachos!?😂
Anyway, I believe you are right, I’ve noticed the pattern I’m in currently i cannot keep my eyes open from 6-7 , for this is when I’m finally able to relax and read or watch tv , however instead of trying to stay up till 10 ( As to make the nights and time in bed shorter ) I’m going to bed around 8 I fall asleep very quickly and deeply for 21/2-3 hours,
It feels as though ive slept 5 hours , so I check the clock and it’s only 11 haha ( we were in Israel for two weeks so I’m hoping to get my timing better soon on when to crash)
One night I did force myself to stay awake until 10 ( which Between10-11 is my normal) and again 3 solid hours! Which when I can get three in a row feels pretty good! I will then lay in bed ‘resting’ for another 1-2 hours and get up and go read…
Question?? Should I just work on staying up until
10-11 …. 😳
I feel as tho 5-6 hours would be enough…sleep for me , it’s been a very long dry spell for that amount…
however I AM HOPEFUL!! I truly am, I know this is a process, I’ve been doing this insomnia dance for two decades, and this has BY FAR been the ‘best treatment’ plan I can live with….and no drugs!!!
so I am determined to continue on this path of Acceptance!!
Ijust need a little guidance from time to time from those ‘who have gone before me’ ☺️
So stay up till 10-11??
Stay in bed longer 4-5 amNovember 14, 2019 at 2:01 am #33888
Mac0908✘ Not a client
Hi Jamie things are going pretty well here over the last week. I decided once and for all to dedicate my time fully to ACT instead of another round of SRT. Not that SRT hasn’t helped me in the past, it absolutely has, but I’m such a chronic case that the underlying anxiety had to be dealt with once and for all and I think that’s what I’m doing. I’m not sleeping perfectly, but I’m also not having to rely on an SRT window situation to get 6 hours of sleep which for me is honestly quite amazing. I detailed some stuff in one of my recent posts a few days ago if you’d like to find it. I really am glad to hear things are going well for you and I hope this is a trend that continues for you. Remember, the absolute key thing IMO is to not get affected by a bad night, or even two, and to understand thats all part of the “plan” so to speak. Stay positive, but don’t fight with yourself.November 14, 2019 at 12:30 pm #33897
I think “go with the flow”.
To get better I did initially restrict sleep to 4 or 4.5hrs ish but never held with the ultra strict belief that it had to be between certain times, though I would avoid day time naps (which I think reduce sleep drive, especially if they are over 20 mins).
For me, it meant I was always tired and sleepy the next night and sleep came quite fast.
As time went on I increased the amount up to 6hrs.
As I said before, I try to practice mindful acceptance too.November 14, 2019 at 1:12 pm #33899
Pam – So you were staying in bed as much as 10 hours? Of course you were sleeping and not just laying there in quiet wakefulness, right? Even if that goes against the rules in Dr. Meadows book, I suppose as long as you were sleeping and not just laying there it’s okay.November 14, 2019 at 3:27 pm #33905
Mac – so are you actually getting 6 hours of sleep these days?
Pam – have you committed to SRT before to see if it works for you and consolidates your sleep? It seems to me that you have to commit to either doing SRT or ACT. With SRT you would do what Daf recommends and shorten your window until your sleep begins to consolidate. Then you gradually increase it every week or two. With ACT, like I suggested earlier, go to bed at 8 or 9 and learn to complete relax and accept whatever happens. As you relax about sleep, your sleep will begin consolidate because your brain will settle down and begin trusting that the bed is safe. But the point is to really focus on one or the other, because if there is any confusion or going back and forth between the two, then this will only cause anxiety which will result in poor sleep. So commit to one or other for a few weeks and see what happens. My two cents.November 17, 2019 at 4:27 pm #33960
Thanks Deb for checking in on me!
I just returned from a 10 day pilgrimage to Italy. It was scheduled before the onset of my insomnia 11 months ago, and I have been very nervous about going on it. I have been averaging 6 to 7 hours a night for the last 3 months, with 6 bad nights. ( I know, I count. I’m OCD) Every bad night can be explained by things such as traveling, too much stimulation before bedtime, health scare etc. I was so worried about jet lag and having a relapse. The first 3 nights in Italy I slept poorly, maybe 2 hours a night. I started to panic. I was working on acceptance etc., but finally slept well the rest of the trip. I think my body was finally acclimating to my new time zone, (and I was exhausted!). On the plane coming home, I think I was the only one awake, save the pilot! 😜. I was afraid of lowering my sleep drive, and relapsing again. So far so good though!
I’m starting to trust in my body’s ability to sleep, and taking this trip on the road has reassured me even more. I try to do mindfulness meditation every day for at least 15 minutes. I really attribute this to helping with my recovery and lowering my anxiety. This forum has been a lifeline for sure. I do try to never go to bed unless I’m sleepy, usually 10 pm. I do tend to wake up during the night every couple of hours, and I cannot sleep any later than 6 am for the most part. I’m relaxing other things, like watching tv in bed from time to time as well. Thank you all again for sharing your journeys with me.November 17, 2019 at 4:40 pm #33961
Sounds like you know the truth…. that you’ve not lost your ability to sleep! It’s not possible, sleep will get you in the end, no matter how tired you getNovember 17, 2019 at 5:09 pm #33963
gsdmom✘ Not a client
Hi Steve – hope you are over your cold and your truck is repairable. I just wanted to say I had your recent sleep pattern of good sleep 7-8 hrs one night, the next 2-3 hours for what felt like the last three weeks of October. It was if the one good night sleep made me feel so good and had so much energy that I couldn’t sleep the following night.
Since Nov 1st, I’ve been getting mostly normal sleep, 6.5 hrs to sometimes 9 hours. (9 hrs is too much, but maybe my body is trying to catch up). Since 11/1, I’ve had two poor nights sleep, one night almost nil sleep and two nights ago 2-3 hrs sleep. Both nights I feel my events during the day brought on hyperarousal at night and also both nights my husband was up for several hours too. He has kidney dialysis 3x week and often gets muscle cramps at night or just feels anxiety after the treatment.November 17, 2019 at 7:59 pm #33962
…and no matter how anxious you might get or how jetlagged…. Sleep will come in the end!!!November 17, 2019 at 7:59 pm #33964
Pam1129✘ Not a client
Daf, Deb and Steve
Thank you! I do believe; because I haven’t been able to get a good stretch of sleep that going back to SRT for a bit would be a good idea .. I’m not gonna lie, at times that was brutal, however when I did reach a 4 hour stretch it did feel like heaven!! Then ACT was introduced on this forum, so I switched over . I like Deb felt a rather quick turn around; and was getting some nights of 6-7 hours!! I didn’t feel the anxiousness about sleep anymore, I felt I just truly was able to accept anything the night had to offer. That lasted about two weeks😭
I then started to worry, that it wasn’t the ACT it was my norm for me..my cycle that I’ve repeated since this all began …
since I’ve had insomnia for as long as I have, about every 3 months or so I have a WONDERFUL two week period that I go to bed at 10-11 and wake at 5 ( still many wakes😳) BUT I would always go back to sleep quickly … I felt great, remembered how amazing it felt to actually sleep, felt rejuvenated , refreshed, restored, healed 😛I would tell my husband every time ! ‘Tom I’m sleeping,this is awesome and I feel great!’
(I would often tell him, that when I do sleep I’d let him know, so he wouldn’t ask)
I strongly believe in ACT , I know it helped so much with the ‘letting go ‘ of any fear I had that insomnia will be my demise… and that getting 8 hours of sleep is required in order to be ‘healthy’ like we’ve all read about haha
ACT and all of you ,has been such a lifeline …realizing that I’m just ‘Fine’ and I have ALOT of friends in this insomnia circle, that truly ‘Get It’
I have a little trouble sleeping, Big deal… it’ll eventually come!
And I am looking so forward to having many nights or normal😉
Sorry this is so long; I really appreciate all of you!
Steve, no I was not in bed for 10 hours, I’m sure, the ‘why’ I was struggling to stay awake from 6-8 pm ( on the couch attempting to read) was our trip to Israel and the 10 hour time difference , ( I was really struggling the whole two weeks we were there)
We’ve been back for two weeks now ;
The last 3 nights have been pretty good:( august was when I had my last two week good sleep cycle) : but DANGIT I want to believe it’s my ACCEPTANCE❤️November 17, 2019 at 10:19 pm #33967
Yes travel can throw things off as well as other things (and “beings”). Last night I realized that I still have some sleep anxiety, but nothing like before. I had slept REALLY well the night before (probably too much.) So when I went to bed I wasn’t very tired. I got up after a half hour. Usually if I’m not tired and stay up till 12 or even 1:00 I don’t get anxious because I know can sleep in until 7:30 or even later, which allows me plenty of sleep. But I had grandkids over and I knew they would wake me up at 6:30. Well the clock was approaching 12:30 and I started to worry, so I took an Ambien. That’s the first I’ve taken in 3 weeks. I’m sure I’ll get back on track tonight though.
Pam – glad the last 3 nights have been good for you. It could well be because of your acceptance. One thing I’ve realized, especially since my relapse, is that ACT has taught me how to “let go” like normal sleepers and fall asleep. People used to tell me to “just let go” when I was struggling with insomnia. I got annoyed hearing that because I knew that it was true but I just couldn’t seem to do it. It was like telling a severely depressed person to “cheer up.” Nice thing to aim for, but not so easy to do. Anyway, ACT gave me a method to re-learn how to “let go.” The first step towards letting go was acceptance. Now I can let go easily again for the most part.
Mac – how is ACT going for you?November 18, 2019 at 7:04 pm #33971
Jonathan618✘ Not a client
I finally completed the “The Sleep Book”. I stopped all sleep aids and just gave it a try. I got some light sleep and felt ok in the morning. I would call the 1st day a success since before I was 5 days with zero sleep. Hopefully it will only get better as I practice acceptance and therefore taking away the worry and the vicious cycle. “I have insomnia, no need to look at the clock”