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- February 11, 2020 at 7:00 am #35500
2.5, that’s rough. What’s been your story lately, Delv?February 11, 2020 at 8:09 am #35501
Delv – Sorry you’re having some rough nights. Hope you get better soon.
Mac – Yes, I’m fully recovered. It took about two weeks again. So I’ve been sleeping like a normal person for about one week now. I go to bed at the usual time around 11:00 and even if I’m not really tired, I fall asleep within about 20 minutes, which is normal for me. I’m back to waking around 7 to 7:30. That’s great that you were able to fall back asleep after you woke up last night. I wonder if the light you saw outside was the full moon. It jinxed you! Nah! That’s also really great you could go to sleep like a normal person when you were already tired at 9:30. Just keep doing ACT if you wake up. I think that is where your focus needs to be. If you wake up, just accept it. If your sleep is light, accept it. If you feel any frustration or anxiety creep in, let it go and then accept. Do this consistently. Consistency is really, really important! Just like you learned to be consistent with SRT, you’ve got to practice ACT consistently for it to work. If you do this your sleep should get better. And don’t worry about it during the day because that will feed any insomnia at night. Tell yourself when you get up, “I’m not too bad today” or “My sleep was decent (or even half-way decent). I can deal with this day.” That’s what I did. And then my sleep got better.February 11, 2020 at 8:28 am #35502
Thanks Deb, that was a great post. Must have been the full moon that threw me off , yes. I won’t be fooled again.February 11, 2020 at 8:29 am #35503
Story is I wish I knew. Things have been pretty good for months! which I really enjoyed!. Sleep confidence was pretty strong as well. If I need to commit to an early morning meeting or presentation?, no sweat. Last Thursday night out of the blue I had a rough night. Friday night I was with my wife in a hotel for the night and was fine. Saturday night at home was fine so I was hoping the bout was just that one night. Then Sunday and Monday nights were rough. No reason could be found other than just feeling more daytime nervousness. No reason why because there are no pressing issues.
I am saying it’s just chronic insomnia and have to muddle through this wave. I am not doing CBT-i (no logs, diary, bed for sleep only etc) but I am adhering to a reasonable sleep window, no naps or under 20 minutes if I feel I just need to close my eyes.
What keeps me positive is that I was able to not care about what time I went to bed, didn’t need any pill or routine and feel like I was normal. It’s happened many times. The mystery is if I am on cruise control, how do I get derailed like this?February 11, 2020 at 8:50 am #35504
By “cruise control” do you mean just riding a good/normal wave of sleeping? I think what happened to you is pretty normal for someone in recovery or “remission” from chronic insomnia. You have one bad night, and then you just cannot help but have a couple of negative thoughts, maybe even subconsciously, which in turn affect you the next few nights. Lord knows we’ve all been there. Almost impossible not to, at least in my case where I’ve been dealing with this for years. But as I’ve learned and hopefully you as well, there really isn’t anything to get worked up over or wonder about. You are simply not fully healed. You might have been 95%, but the reality is things were still fresh and what happened to you was very possible. How long did you deal with chronic insomnia for before you started to get better?February 11, 2020 at 9:02 am #35505
Cruise control as in good wave of sleeping and also normal how it was before it started. Out a bit later on weekends if I feel like it, sleeping in another 30-60 minutes if I naturally wake up then, not caring if I’ve watched TV before bed. Basically being more relaxed and realizing that I don’t need blue light blocking glasses, hot bath, tea or pills to sleep because I would just go upstairs and close my eyes and don’t really struggle and know it is possible. Also waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and falling right back to sleep. That is normal and “cruise control” to me.
It started Sept 2018 around the same time as Deb. It took a few months to start to nip it in the bud. Honestly, overall this have improved tremendously since a year ago. Even bad nights these days I cope better but still have flashbacks of how awful things were.February 11, 2020 at 9:08 am #35506
Delv – That’s great that you’ve made a lot of progress on not worrying about a lot of sleep related things. But there must still be some underlying anxiety to have these bad nights come out of nowhere. It sounds like it’s time for you to practice ACT. The great thing about ACT is that it really settles down your nervous system because it’s all about learning to relax completely about sleep.
I have to admit that during my first recovery of two months, there was still some underlying anxiety. I wondered if my recovery was “real” because it just seemed too easy, especially in comparison to other folks here. But now since my recent recovery, I feel 100% confidence that ACT works and that I can practice this again easily if needed. If don’t sleep well one night, I’ll just not worry about it because worry will only feed any insomnia. I’ll relax and expect to get back into sync again soon, just like a normal person thinks after one bad night. Also, I don’t worry about coming to this forum like some people do, who think that just being reminded about insomnia will trigger theirs to come back.February 12, 2020 at 6:32 am #35530
I’ve been doing ACT for well over half a year. I’ve read through the book a few times. It definitely helped me understand the struggles we face and how the more you try to solve it, the harder things become. Also by being gentler on yourself, it allows you to feel less anxious and so on. CBT-i I was being too strict to a T and it was making things worse. Having a good sleep window and not worrying much helps a lot.
My issue feels like nervousness during the day and hyperarousal. It comes and goes but it’s a viscous cycle or poor sleep making the nervousness and tenseness worse that perpetuates insomnia until this start to go in a positive trajectory. I have problems falling asleep now as well. It can take me awhile to drift off and when I do I may be out for just a short period. Things just feel messed and derailed so quickly.
One thing I haven’t been doing is mindfulness through the day. I put that on the back burner and should incorporate that into my routine.
Last night another rough night.February 13, 2020 at 5:10 am #35536
And Deb I must commend you for continuing to be on this forum giving advice and tips to us even through your recovery’s. Not everyone can do that but you have, so I thank you for that. I’m still trying to find what “works” for me at this stage of ACT. I never really ended up pushing my bedtime back like I said I was going to, and instead am just staying the course and going to bed around that 10-10:30 timeframe. Like I always used to pre insomnia days. I’ve typically been having awakenings when going to sleep at this time, but for the first time in probably ever, the awakenings really do not bother me at all. When they happen I remain calm, remain relaxed, and I assume I will fall back asleep. Typically I have most of the time, too, at least into some form of sleep until my alarm goes off. Last night in particular however was a rough night. I had my awakening, estimated by me to be around 4am I’d say, and I really just never fully dozed back off. Maybe some very very light sleep. I am exhausted today. I guess at this point I’m just wondering just how long, if ever it will take for these awakenings to finally subside and go away. Because as much as I don’t let them bother me anymore, it still doesn’t change the fact that they’re not exactly normal and they do affect me, sometimes badly (if I don’t fall back into a good sleep)February 13, 2020 at 5:55 am #35542
I would also like to commend Deb for helping especially with support and what’s worked and what’s not through her struggles.
Sorry you had a rough night Mac. Mine wasn’t much better. When I find something that works, it’s almost often how I was sleeping before all this. 11-12 am and 7am wake up. Just go to bed and not worry (easier said than done).
I went to bed around 11:15 and I know I fell asleep around 11:40 but was up an hour later which is unusual. I was relaxed but couldn’t dose off. I was up again around 4am and don’t remember a thing until 6:30 and was up at 7. So it was a fragmented night.
I do find that during the wave of poor nights, I am more alert. A pin drop can wake me up and make my body freeze and make adrenaline rush though me. I think chemical imbalance but I must say it’s psychological and I can tune my thoughts away from it.February 13, 2020 at 9:23 am #35544
I know how miserable insomnia is, so I’m happy to help if I can. Sorry you guys had bad nights. That’s great though that you’re so much more relaxed about the awakenings, Mac. Hopefully this will get better over time. It seems my healing and practice of ACT was concentrated into several whole nights in a row, while yours is for 1 or 2 hours each night stretched out over a longer period of time.February 14, 2020 at 5:57 am #35558
Deb – Yes, I add my commendations to you for helping us out on here. It’s nice to get advice from someone who has beat this. I continue to have wake-up problems but when I do, I am really relaxed and not bothered by anxiety at all. At least not that I know of. I also don’t have anxiety at bedtime anymore. In fact, when I am really tired, I look forward to it. I go there with the attitude that no matter what happens, I will survive the next day.February 14, 2020 at 6:11 am #35559
I hear ya, Steve. Glad you’re at least doing ok right now. I too have that “no matter what I’ll survive” attitude, but how do you handle when you have a special event the next day? Something that you really need to be fresh and good for? That’s my biggest battle right now. I no longer worry about regular days, but it’s the ones when I have something noteworthy going on that I tend to think, geez, I need to be well rested for this and not have that sick/tired look. Sasha Stephens said this was her last hurdle and the toughest thing to get over as far as her insomnia. “Special event” insomnia as she called it. I’ve talked about this being a problem of mine for quite some time.February 14, 2020 at 6:32 am #35560
I noticed Sasha Stephens has her own site now (sleepforlife). Her journey sounds like it was rougher than mine and is seems to be doing well herself. I am curious to read her book and her approach and if it’s much different. It shouldn’t be because we all know sleeping doesn’t take effort.
I am still in this rut and it’s feeling a bit rough. It’s hard not to think about it all and my chest feels a little tight. I slept from 11:30-11:45 to about 3-3:30. From then on even though I was relaxed and calm, my body just doesn’t want to drop off. I muddled through without anything.
Mac, I know about the next day feeling. I get a little worked up about it but if I am in a good phase, it usually keeps up and the next day is smooth.
I think it’s the unpredictability that sucks. Having a string of good nights and then a bad or string of bad nights with no reason or trigger. This leads me to believe it’s not 100% psychological but also some predisposition to it.February 14, 2020 at 6:39 am #35561
I hear ya Delv, I’m all too familiar with the sudden awful night after a string of several good. But it IS in fact all psychological/anxiety imo. Take it from someone who’s been through over 3 years of this now, it is. The reality is you don’t just go through chronic insomnia and suddenly go for months without a single bad night. They are going to happen. They will keep happening too, if you don’t keep up some ACT and other basic sleep hygiene rules to help guide you through your long term recovery. Your brain formed a serious habit over all this time and bad nights will just pop up sometimes even if you feel 100% fine the night before or even for a week before. It’s how you react to these sudden bad nights that determine just how far you still have to go or will go in your ultimate recovery.