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- November 19, 2019 at 11:54 am #33991
Dazzio✘ Not a client
Started SRT five weeks ago now. First week was the expected nightmare of nil sleep every second night. However second and third week settled into 5/5.5hrs sleep a night- however found myself taking 1/2xanax on occasion to deal with high anxiety levels. Last week i started to get on average 6hrs sleep. However last night i had a nil hour night! Feel a bit devastated today as i thought i was free of those nights! Think i became over confident and went to bed way to early last night and also ate too close to bedtime. Think i will just stick with 5.5hrs for time being and just be happy with that!November 19, 2019 at 2:55 pm #33993
Hi Jonathan – that’s how ACT was for me. I had a lot of light sleep and felt “ok” the next day. Over time the sleep lengthened and deepened. Now I sleep like a normal person for the most part. Sometimes I might have a little anxiety when I first lay down but I let it go and then sleep all night.
Dazzio – good luck with SRT!November 19, 2019 at 6:36 pm #33995
Hi Deb, just caught up after not being here the last few days and saw you asked how I’m doing. Well it’s been exactly 2 weeks now of ACT and I can say I have only had 2 bad nights out of those 2 weeks. I am not sleeping perfectly or 7+ hours a night, but I am seeing things happen that I have not seen happen in years right now. I have been able to have decent nights not going to bed exhausted, I have played on my phone (with warm light screen on) right up until bed time, and I’ve basically just completely “let go” for the most part. Now that doesn’t mean I’ll go to bed at a ridiculously early time or lie in on the weekends for 2 hours but for the most part, I’m trying to just relax. What got me here was beginning 2 weeks ago instead of letting the usual subtle anxiety build up a couple of hours before bedtime, I would do some serious mindfulness, giving thought to everything we have spoke about on here with regards to ACT. Basically there’s no way (at least right now in my life after suffering for SO long) I can just assume I’ll have an amazing night. I have to go to bed with more of a neutral mindset with the understanding that if it’s a bad night, then I can get by like I always have. Make no mistake I’ve realized that for me at least it may be a very long time before I’m totally out of the woods but the thing is that’s OK.November 20, 2019 at 12:49 am #33996
Sounds like you’re on the right track, Mac, towards getting better. Just keep relaxing and letting go and over time your brain will settle down and it will be easier to sleep.
Although I consider myself recovered because I’m sleeping well every night, I still have some anxiety when I go to bed which I let go of and then sleep fine. So I figure it takes a long time to totally heal. We were “sick” for so long that it’s hard to trust and be completely carefree about sleep like we were before the insomnia.November 20, 2019 at 3:00 am #33998
Correct. It is simply near impossible for a chronic insomniac, especially one who has suffered for years, to get better in a matter of weeks. Many months I’m sure, if this positive route keeps up, before I would ever be close to “healed” IMO.November 20, 2019 at 4:17 am #33999
gsdmom✘ Not a client
Jonathan – so glad you finished the Sleep Book. I took notes and reviewed a lot after reading it. Just remember getting over insomnia in general takes a while. The Sleep Book gives a 5 week course, but in reality, I’d say it might be more like a 5 month process. I hope you don’t have withdrawal from stopping the sleep-aids, you can stop them slowly as in a short amount of time I believe you’ll have better daytime energy by just relaxing and resting in bed and then you can get away with the nil night sleep now and then you’ll realize you won’t feel so bad and the meds aren’t needed so much. Staying in the light sleep stage for longer than normal seems to be the norm if you’ve had chronic insomnia. If you notice it, just tell yourself you are sleeping, in a light sleep stage but sleeping and hopefully you’ll gently drift off again.November 20, 2019 at 4:35 am #34000
gsdmom✘ Not a client
Mac0908 – I think just the fact that you have accepted healing from insomnia will take a long time is such a positive step in “letting go”. If you’ve only had two bad nights in two weeks, that is major progress, do you feel any better during the daytime? What do you think your average amount of sleep per night has been for the last 2 weeks?
I think I’ve reached a turning point in healing. Since Nov. 1st, I’ve had only 2 bad nights, however, I can see how my brain still needs further healing. Like last night, I worked later until 9:30pm, had a late dinner and went to bed at 11:30pm. Although I fell asleep almost right away (a miracle for me) I was waking every 2 hours, my brain was hyperaroused – dreaming and replaying all my work activities all night long. What I tried to do was acknowledge I was indeed sleeping, and that I can get up, get a cup of water, use the bathroom and go back to sleep, because “I was actually sleeping!” In the past, the anxiety of thinking I was awake was enough to make me wide awake. That light sleep is tricky to deal with.November 20, 2019 at 1:34 pm #34003
Yes I do feel better during the daytime even after mediocre nights as opposed to previously and I know for certain it’s bc my sleep is more “relaxed” now. This is something I’ve spoken about many times. How if we are all anxious before bed with worries up the wazoo, there’s just no way the brain and arousal system are going to be calm throughout the night. This is why I’ve said (and read about) that if you are THAT jumpy and crazed over your sleep, honestly, a pill or dose of Zzyquill for just a couple nights to get you a little more relaxed IS not the end of the world. To get you out of the funk only to give you a “head start” so to speak, so you can just BEGIN to try and start ACT or something similar.
My average the last 2 weeks has been around a solid 6 hours I’d say. I’ve had a good few 5.5’s and a good few 6.5’s. Ironically as we speak, I am just now coming out of my second bad night in a row. I’m trying my very best to remain calm and instead of panicking and venting like I used to. Trying to understand it’s going to be ok. It’s such an unbelievably tricky and difficult thing though, because it’s as if no matter what, subconsciously at least, we know as human beings that we don’t want anything to do with more than a couple of bad nights in a row. You really have to either be very mentally fit to combat chronic insomnia or in my case you have had to gone through hell and back and endless trial and error to finally get there. This is a work in progress for me, but at least now I finally feel there may be some method to my madness. I just hope I don’t spiral here again like I have several times over the last year. Deb/Steve, etc, any advice or encouragement helps!November 20, 2019 at 4:09 pm #34004
Hi Mac – it sounds like you’re doing well! From my own experience with doing ACT, I found that when I started to worry about my sleep, then it didn’t get better. That’s what happened in March when I first started ACT and was worried about the light sleep I was experiencing. I thought I needed to do something about it like SRT to try to “fix it” and then I would sleep deeper. But this only made things worse. Once I understood that light sleep was normal, then I relaxed and got better.
I know that your natural tendency also like me is to want to “do something about it.” But I suggest that you try to relax about it and accept that it’s just a normal part of the process to have some bad nights, just like I accepted that light sleep was normal. Then you won’t spiral downward, but will eventually get back into a good cycle. I know that this is easier said than done, but just remind yourself that panicking and worrying will not help, and accepting whatever happens will help. You’re trying to retrain your brain to associate sleep with relaxation and peace, not conflict.
If it helps, try using the “welcoming” technique of welcoming those worrisome and panicky thoughts, and befriend them and have sympathy for them. They’re only trying to protect you from more suffering. Be gentle with them and with yourself. It’s natural to have those feelings, but don’t let them dominate you. Befriend them and then they will naturally go away by themselves. I’ve done this and it works. Hope this helps.November 20, 2019 at 4:15 pm #34005
Thanks for that response, Deb. Trying the very best I can to just go about my day, though it is definitely a zombie day today. Very bad night last night. But hey, these will happen. I have to get over it. As long as I remain upbeat, welcome the worries and relax and accept, I know I’ll be ok. Just curious what time do you usually go to bed/Wake up these days? Do you still avoid crashing relatively early no matter what?November 20, 2019 at 4:20 pm #34006
I go to bed between 10:30 and 11:00 and get up between 7:00 and 7:30. Last night I wasn’t that tired so I wondered if I might not fall asleep and have to get up after a half hour to read until I was more tired. But I fell asleep within a half hour. This is how it was before the insomnia. I didn’t have to be really tired, but just the normal amount of tiredness.November 20, 2019 at 4:34 pm #34007
Gdsmom – that’s great that you have turned a corner this month! I hope your sleep gets better and better.
Karen – that’s great that you’re trusting yourself more and more to sleep, and that your trip helped in this way. I’ll be doing some traveling during Thanksgiving and Christmas, so this also will be a challenge for me. Last time I traveled, about a month ago, I reverted back to sleeping pills (I was also in the middle of my relapse at that time.) If I can sleep well, or least relatively well, this will give me more confidence in my ability to sleep in different situations.
Steve – how are you doing?
Burn – haven’t heard from you for awhile. How are you?November 22, 2019 at 3:17 pm #34024
Hi Deb just checking in. How are you? Sleep well this week?
I got back on track Weds night but last night had a horrible night but it had nothing to do with not using ACT. I had gone out for drinks with a friend rather late at night (super rare for me on a weeknight) and woke up early AM needing to use the bathroom. On top of that I accidentally left my window open and my room was quite chilly. Stupid mistakes!! Then the icing on the cake was me accidentally catching a glimpse of my clock as I came back from the bathroom. Not like me these days. Saw it was 4:15 and that was it. Though not extreme , enough anxiety came over me after seeing that to where I was up until my alarm 🙁November 22, 2019 at 9:00 pm #34027
Awww….too bad you didn’t sleep well. But it sounds like you had fun with friends! I’ve been sleeping good all week. Hopefully over time, doing something like this won’t throw you off completely as you get back to sleeping like a normal person. Was just wondering, since in general you’re going to bed earlier, are you getting more hours of sleep? Do you still wake up too early?November 23, 2019 at 9:06 pm #34080
I’m getting a bit more sleep yes, but not 7 or 8 hours on a consistent basis. Or if I do wake early, now I seem more relaxed to the point where I can fall back into GOOD sleep for the last 1-1.5 hours as opposed to BS/light sleep. For example if I go to bed at 10:30p, I’m pretty certain I’m still not making it to my 6am alarm without an early wakeup of sorts. However there was a night or two when I went to bed after 11 and slept until my alarm no problem. It’s progress compared to where I was that’s for sure.