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- November 24, 2019 at 3:59 pm #34091
That’s great, Mac! Sounds like you’re on the right track.November 26, 2019 at 4:55 am #34110
Mac- It is great to read about your progress, I hope you are feeling better day by day!
My update – after almost 3 weeks of very good sleep, I had a relapse! Four nights ago I had a nil sleep night. I felt a little bit worse than other times, made some mistakes at work, but was able to correct them. Anyway, was not that concerned because usually, I would sleep fairly well the next night after not sleeping. Well, the next night, I was exhausted but could not sleep, so at just before midnight, I called it a bad night and took my first Ambien in 9 weeks. I slept for about 5.5 hours and felt good the next day. However that night I also could not sleep and at 12:30 am took an Ambien for a 2nd night because I had a big event the following day. The last two nights I have fallen asleep on my own (no meds) but it took until 12:30am, and 12 am, but was able to sleep 6-7 hours. Today I had a day off and decided to get some acupuncture, it had helped somewhat in the past. I do not feel bad about taking the Ambien, occasional use is what it is for and it helped me do what I needed to do. Now, hopefully more mindfulness and a few acupuncture sessions will bring me back to more regular sleep again. I know it is normal to relapse, but I was hoping I’d be the exception!November 26, 2019 at 2:46 pm #34115
Yes, I haven’t felt bad about taking Ambien every now and then either. I’m taking it with me when I travel this week, just in case. I know it causes worry when you have a bad night, but sounds like you’re getting back on track. The last few weeks have shown you that you can sleep well, so you’ll do it again. I had my first relapse after 2 months. But when I saw how I was able to get back on track, my anxiety about a relapse went way down. I think yours will too.November 26, 2019 at 6:39 pm #34120
Deb – Hope you enjoy your trip this week! Just wanted to say thanks for your reassuring response. I felt so calm after reading your post.November 26, 2019 at 6:45 pm #34122
gsdmom – How long have you been getting acupuncture? I started last week and had my 2nd session yesterday. It’s too early to say if it’s helping yet. After both sessions, I had fitful sleep. It was almost as if half of my body was trying to sleep and the other half was trying to wake up. I hope it lessens some of the anxiety I know I still have.November 26, 2019 at 8:34 pm #34123
Gdsmom – yeah I sort of freaked out when I had my first relapse. First I went into denial thinking “Oh no! I can’t be relapsing. I’m over this!” I slipped into my old habit of my white Russians to force myself to sleep for a few nights. I got confused thinking that maybe my recovery was just a fluke and I hadn’t really recovered and it was just too good to be true. Then I took a couple trips and used Ambien because I was afraid I couldn’t sleep. Finally after about 3 weeks and the last trip, I started doing ACT again and lo and behold, I was back to normal in just a few days! Now I know that I don’t have to fear a relapse.November 27, 2019 at 12:52 pm #34135
Well Deb, I’m struggling. Two bad nights in a row again. Good news is I’m not panicking. Just tired. Can’t seem to get out of this every other night kind of funk after starting the great two weeks of ACT. I fall asleep perfectly fine, relaxed, doing some brief mindfulness, and the early awakenings happened and I just got some anxiety built up. The culprit perhaps? I looked at the clock both of these last couple of nights. Don’t ask me why, I just did.
That all being said, it still doesn’t change the fact that I had two very early awakenings (4am-ish), and those really shouldn’t be happening as much anymore. Also, I DID go to my bed relatively early the last couple of nights. 10pm! Didn’t end up crashing til around 10:30, but still, 10 is very early in grand scheme of things. But hey, I felt comfortable about it. I felt relaxed. Maybe I should push that back a bit? But then you know what that brings. The thought of a “schedule” and worrying about bedtimes, etc. We don’t want that. We just want to let go. To do nothing. Please help a bit, if you can….November 27, 2019 at 3:23 pm #34138
Glad you’re not panicking, Mac. Although I had quick results with ACT, most people here have not. It’s worked, but it’s just taken longer, which might be your case. You got quick results with SRT, but ACT can take longer because your whole system needs time to heal. You know that the anxiety has been with you for 3 years even though you had periods of good sleep. It was always there underneath the surface and would keep popping up. Now you’re finally learning to calm it. So it’s going to take some time to heal from 3 years of trauma. So just keep doing what you’re doing – not getting panicky, not trying to fiddle with your hours to try to fix things, and just accept whatever happens when you wake up.
It’s possible that these first few weeks of using ACT were a “honeymoon” period of feeling optimistic about trying something new, so you slept well. That was the case for me. Then I had to face the reality that I still had anxiety to deal with. That happened to me twice with CBT after about the 4th week. I had some bad nights and then worried that I wasn’t getting any better. But I just had to keep going and eventually I got back into a good cycle again.
Remember Carlos in the book, who took two weeks to learn to completely relax in bed, but two months to finally sleep better. It took time. Gdsmom here said that beginning this month, she finally had a turning point. She’s been at this for a few months. So just try to have a long term view that this might take awhile and try not get impatient. I guess that’s one advantage us older folks here on the forum have – we’re more patient because through lots of experience we’ve seen how some things just take time to get better. You will get better over time, the more and more you learn to relax and not worry about your sleep. Your brain will heal and your sleep will improve.November 27, 2019 at 3:29 pm #34140
I suppose you’re right Deb. It will just take more time. It is just interesting (and annoying) though, how something can work so well, like ACT did for me those first 2 weeks and I felt almost as if I was fully healed, and then boom, issues again. Just weird how the brain works. How a “honeymoon period” so to speak, can happen in a case like this, like you said. I’ll keep on staying calm, and in the meantime maybe I’ll go to bed just a tad later. Thanks.November 27, 2019 at 3:52 pm #34141
Hi Steve – Last Spring when my insomnia was really terrible because I had this long-acting medication in my system is when I tried acupuncture. Probably 9-10 sessions between the end of April and the end of June. I don’t know if anything at that time could have cured me from insomnia because the medication in my system was so powerful, however there were 3 nights after an acupuncture session where I fell asleep for 7 hours. That was so great, to have 7 hours of sleep one night a week when normally only sleeping for 2.5 hours. I felt it did lessen my anxiety in general which was helpful.
Starting acupuncture again this week, after this first session I felt normal and then had a fair night of sleep, light sleep for an hour, then woke for an hour, then 5 hours of deep sleep. Yesterday, the day after acupuncture I felt as if a cold virus was coming on, tired and achy. It might have been a cold or the after-effect from acupuncture. I read this can be common 2-4 days after a session. I listened to my body this time and did not push myself. Last night, I fell asleep so quickly I don’t even remember going to bed. The only thing that woke me was lights turning on (because our power went out and the lights were left on). But I slept for almost 8 hours. I will probably go again Saturday or Sunday. Most of the needles were placed in my ears, about 5, and then on other various points on my body. I went to acupuncture once for cervical spine issues and for that problem the needles were placed differently. FYI, if you itemized on Schedule A on your tax return, acupuncture is considered a legitimate medical expense.November 27, 2019 at 4:56 pm #34142
burn✘ Not a client
Hello everyone. I didn’t post here in a while.
Four weeks ago I noticed slight improvements in my sleep. On my bad nights, which used to be completely sleepless I started getting couple hours of sleep. I focused on these improvements, I was able to release frustration that followed me every day and become more positive and optimistic overall. And my sleep has improved further! Releasing sleep expectation became easier and as I result I sleep better now. It’s been now four weeks of acceptable sleep!
It’s still far from ideal. I had three bad nights and few not so great nights. But these problems are dwarfed by insomnia pattern of sleeping only every other night that I used to have. I started fall asleep faster, but I am waking up more frequently now and do not fall back to sleep right away as I used to. However, middle of the night wakings worry me less than terrible sleep onset I issue I used to have for the last half a year, and I usually fall back to sleep eventually. I think these wakings should disappear in time. Overall, I would describe my current transition as from a person with insomnia I turned now into a person with manageable sleep problems. And I hope to improve further in time.
I am not sure what happened few weeks ago. I guess repetitive calm response to insomnia started to calm down the mind just like Guy Meadows predicted. And focusing on even minor improvements has turned my entire mindset toward optimistic mode. Life feels pretty much normal, and I don’t feel like my life quality is limited by sleep problems anymore. It is something to be thankful for in this holiday season :).
I wouldn’t make it to here without Deb’s and Borgesbi’s advice. Thank you!!! I have still a long way to improve. I think it will take time to make ‘no sleep expectation/complete relaxation’ a habit and stop worrying about sleep completely. But I am happy with where I am now.November 27, 2019 at 5:15 pm #34143
Hi Burn – Great to hear from you! Glad you are getting better, even though it’s been slow going. You’re on the right track. Glad also that you can enjoy this holiday season!November 27, 2019 at 5:42 pm #34145
gsdmon – Thanks for getting back to me. It’s really strange the night right after the two acupuncture sessions I had. I am going to continue for a couple more sessions before I decide if I am going to continue. Of course, I might not make my decision to continue on the sleep issue alone but how it makes me feel in other areas of my body. Also, thanks for the tip on the income tax but my insurance does a good job of covering. I only have to pay a $25 co-pay, which is one of the reasons I am trying it. She doesn’t stick any needles in my ear. She uses a massage on the pressure points of the ears. The needles she sticks in the rest of my body.
Nice to see that everybody is getting better, even if slowly. I feel I am slowly improving. I am in a more positive mood and still doing the meditations from the book. I still wake an hour after initially falling asleep and then again at 2:00 in the morning. Sometimes I fall back to sleep or am in and out of sleep until 4:00 or 4:30 but then I usually can’t get back to sleep. This cold I had really set me back. It went into a sinus infection and I had to take antibiotics which had a side effect of causing insomnia in some people, so I made sure I took it in the morning. Then I developed a cough which woke me up at night. I take a codeine cough medicine so I can get some sleep but that has the effect of making me very tired the next day. As an example, I had a good sleep last night but because I took the cough syrup, I am very tired today. That’s why I take it only sporadically. I am going to the neurologist next week. I had to cancel the original appointment because my truck broke down. I can’t say yet that insomnia isn’t affecting my social life but I am certainly better than I was 4 or 5 months ago when I was doing CBT-i with SC. I just know now that this is going to take some time to overcome.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!November 27, 2019 at 7:53 pm #34149
Same to you, Steve!December 2, 2019 at 1:23 pm #34223
Good morning everyone, hope your Holiday was nice. Slowly starting to come out of my first ACT relapse here. Last night was a bad night but I’m not too frustrated about it as it was not related to Insomnia but I instead was suffering from a nagging cough that kept me up quite late. I got out of bed and took some medicine and was out about 20 minutes later. This week I hope to really get back to focusing on some mindfulness before bedtime again to get back on a good streak.
Deb I may have asked you this before but not sure if you answered… do you keep a bit of a “light” sleep window for yourself with ACT? Meaning do you kind of always make sure you don’t get into bed before a certain time and don’t sleep in past a certain time? Just curious. Also Jamie are you out there? I wonder if you’re recovered since we haven’t heard from you in a bit.