Want some expert advice to improve your sleep? Get the free insomnia sleep training course!
- February 14, 2020 at 6:58 am #35562
You’re right about that. How you react makes a difference. If you panic then it spirals, if you just shrug and move forward, chances are it’s mitigated substantially.February 14, 2020 at 7:06 am #35563
That was me. I’d panic. I’d freak out. I’d google looking for ways to ‘fix’ things. I’d come on here and vent hard. And then I’d subsequently spiral into lord knows how long of a bad phase. Now, things are much more controlled. I might not be back to good nights the following night, but I can tell you that typically two bad nights in a row is a very rare thing for me these days. I might have another ‘semi bad’ or uneasy night, but definitely not a flat out bad night. Still, it’s just tough. Very tough.
I don’t even want to talk about it because I know it might trigger something in my head, but the truth is tomorrow I do have a rather big day ahead of me with plans from 2pm all the way til very late in the day (11pm). I’ve accepted the fact that it’s still at a point where it’s nearly impossible to go to bed like I would on a regular random night tonight. So instead I have to just relax and understand that whatever happens happens. I suppose I should understand that tomorrow isn’t my wedding day. I’m not running a marathon. They’re really just basic plans. Life WOULD be ok tomorrow if tonight isn’t a great night.February 14, 2020 at 7:23 am #35564
And that’s what accepting is all about. Try not to dwell on the poor nights. Even if you have a great day, you are more likely to have better sleep but understand that you may not. When the night isn’t that great, to be able to just let it be. You may end up falling back asleep, maybe not.
My “fixing” is less regimented as before. I would do thermonuclear and try everything in the cabinet which would not only not work, I would get a major hang over which was worse than a poor nights sleep without. Now, I just try to make minor adjustments. Do I need to go to the bathroom? A little too hot/cold? cat meowing? put her downstairs and go back to bed.
What gives me comfort is that since this all started, I’ve had good nights. Been on several vacations and often times I would sleep in just because I am actually sleepy and keep sleeping a bit longer just because.
But those bad nights, it can be tough and my arousal level is high.February 14, 2020 at 8:10 am #35565
Mac – since you’ve not recovered yet, why don’t you just take something on the nights before special events? I think in Sasha’s case, she was sleeping well every night and the special events were the last hurdle to get over. You’re not there yet though. If I were you I would take something like Ambien to guarantee that I sleep through the night. Then when you’re regularly sleeping well, take on the challenge of the special nights without anything.
Delv – all of here have some predisposition to insomnia. Our personalities just tend to be more anxious or “high strung.” That’s what I’ve read in Dr. Guy’s book and in others. But actually getting the insomnia is psychological and so the solution is psychological. I know you’ve said you’ve read Dr. Guy’s book many times, but something tells me you’re not practicing ACT correctly. Then you wouldn’t keep having these strings of bad nights. My sense about ACT is that when you do it correctly, over time the whole nervous system calms down concerning sleep – on both the conscious and unconscious levels. That’s how it’s been for me. I feel very calm about sleep now that I know how to practice ACT correctly. If I ever have a relapse, I’ll just relax and accept it and probably get over it very quickly. But it seems in your case, even though you’ve had successful runs, there is still some underlying anxiety which catches up with you from time to time and then you don’t have the experience of using the tools effectively to recover quickly.February 14, 2020 at 8:20 am #35566
I appreciate the thought Deb and I definitely see your point. I would pop ZZZquil on occasion last year to get me through some rough nights/times. As far as Ambien goes though I don’t even have any. Would have to go to the doc and get a prescription. Not sure I want to bother with that right now. I suppose I could do ZZZquil tonight, though I’ll be honest, about 50% of the time it would be a drowsy hangover for the first half of the day like you wouldn’t believe.February 14, 2020 at 11:53 am #35569
I know what you mean Mac. A lot of the sleep aids I took left me feeling very groggy the next morning. Probably a combination of the sleep aid and the lack of sleep.February 14, 2020 at 12:33 pm #35570
As grueling as it is, I would rather just lay down and tough it than take on OTC sleep aid. I would rather have a glass of wine and try my luck with that vs OTC. OTC’s just make you drowsy and more “tired” but if you aren’t “sleepy”, it just makes it worse. The hang over is rough and lasts into the late morning. Melatonin does the same thing and especially with a higher dose.February 15, 2020 at 7:38 am #35572
If you can use something over the counter, that’s better. My insomnia was so bad that the only thing that worked for me was Ambien, which you need a prescription for. My regular doctor wouldn’t give it to me so I ended up going to the emergency room to finally get some. Then I found a nurse practitioner who would prescribe it for me. But like you guys said, there was a hangover from it.February 15, 2020 at 7:48 am #35573
So I guess the hangover was a better option than a totally sleepless night?
I didn’t do too great last night, Deb. I kinda saw it coming yesterday as I’m sure you sensed in my posts. I was in fact probably better off taking your suggestion and taking something on this rare instance when I have all day plans. I had an early awakening and then pretty much never fell back into a real sleep. Tired today. Not a zombie, but tired. It just kinda comforts me knowing that Sasha Stephens mentions several times how this is one of the hardest things to get over and was the last hurdle for her to get over, “special event insomnia”.
Next time i’ll pop a ZZZquil. The 5-6 hour AM hangover would be better than feeling like this all day today.February 15, 2020 at 2:50 pm #35574
Ohhhh…..sorry you had a bad night, Mac.February 17, 2020 at 10:17 am #35599
How are you guys doing – Mac, Delv, Steve?
Delv – I noticed in one of your posts that you said that the bad nights are tough and your arousal is high. This makes me think that you are still struggling with your sleep and not accepting whatever happens in the night. This is a great opportunity for you to learn how to practice ACT correctly and gets results, instead of having to wait until the next string of good nights comes around. When I finally understood how to practice it correctly, just laying in bed doing nothing but resting, then I recovered in less than two weeks. It was not easy at first, and the first night I was awake most of the night. But the next night I was awake fewer hours, so this gave me hope. You might be surprised by how quickly it works when you do it correctly and diligently.February 17, 2020 at 11:56 am #35601
Deb – Thanks for asking. Last night was the usual. I went to bed really kind of tired and I fell asleep rather quickly. But as usual, I woke up within 45 to 60 minutes after I first fell asleep. That is something that has been happening a long time now and I don’t know why. I usually can fall back to sleep relatively quickly and then I will sleep until around 2:00, when I start to have a fitful sleep. Sometimes there is a wake-up before 2:00 as well, though again, I can usually get back to sleep relatively quickly. Then around 3:00, I usually wake up again. Sometimes I can get back to sleep until around 4:00 but I mostly am awake after 3:00 until the alarm rings at 5:15. I can’t say it’s the stress of having to get up for work because this happens on nights where I don’t have to get up for work as well. Sometimes I get frustrated when I wake up at this time but I quickly calm down and lay there peacefully in quiet wakefulness. I just can’t seem to get back to sleep after 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. Hard to say why as I believe I am completely calm and relaxed after I accept the frustration, if I have any, after waking up so early again. So, I am getting 5 to 5.5 hours of sleep most nights. That allows me to go to work but I am still really too tired to do anything after work. I’ll just have to keep working on accepting things as they are. I am starting meditation classes this Wednesday to improve on my meditation skills. Just a couple classes to get some tips to see if I can do it better than I am now. I keep having this feeling that I am going to get better soon but I know with ACT, I can’t think like that. I just accept that that’s the way things are now and to accept them. I still do wonder if the surgery I had caused the insomnia but I just try to acknowledge that thought and go back to what I was doing. I have to say though that although I do lay in bed in quiet wakefulness, it’s tough to lay there for 2 to 2.5 hours. I get sore after awhile. I think I might get a new mattress.February 18, 2020 at 5:49 am #35604
Hi Deb, I’m doing ok, thanks for asking. Really just felt down about that rough night Friday. My plans Saturday ended up being quite a struggle due to my fatigue. I put myself together the best I could but I just couldn’t help but feel upset knowing that I wasn’t fresh. I just keep thinking about Sasha Stephens though, and how even she said “special event” insomnia was the last hurdle she tackled and how it was the toughest. Sat, Sun and last night were all decent nights. The next time I have a special event I’m going to take your advice Deb and take a little something (i.e. Zquil). It’s obvious I’m just not out of the woods yet with this and still need a little help and I think that’s ok.February 18, 2020 at 9:19 am #35605
Hi Steve – I’m glad you’re going to be taking meditation classes. Hopefully, this will help calm down some of your anxiety. I actually asked Dr. Kat about people like you, who have a lot of anxiety and seem to be taking longer to recover than it took me. I was wondering if there was anything that could help you. She said that the sleep anxiety gets mixed up with the other anxieties, making things more complicated. She said that folks like you really need help with your other anxiety as well and should consider going to a therapist for this. For myself, my only anxiety was the sleep anxiety. My life is relatively anxiety-free these days, fortunately. It wasn’t always this way, but thank goodness it is now. So it was easier just to cure my sleep anxiety.
Mac – Yes please give yourself a break and be easy on yourself. There’s nothing wrong with taking something occasionally. Much better than to get down about it which could possibly contribute to more negative thoughts about sleep.
How are you ladies doing – Gdsmom, Lori, Karen, Pam, others?February 18, 2020 at 10:37 am #35606
Deb – Thanks for asking for me. I actually am in counseling now and it does help although to be honest I think a lot of the anxiety that caused the insomnia are out of my system now. It’s pretty much all insomnia anxiety now. I just have to start stringing the good nights together so I have confidence in my ability to sleep again.
I wonder whatever happened to Burn (Nik)? I hope he is doing okay although the last time he put a message on here, he was really having problems. He was the only person I know from here who contact Dr. Kat besides Deb.