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After 13 years of Insomnia I finally feel like a normal person

Insomnia Forum Insomnia Success Stories After 13 years of Insomnia I finally feel like a normal person

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by DenVanZZZ 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #42755

    caitlin johnston
    ✓ Client

    Before I took the 8 week CBT course for insomnia I was a mess, I had been on medication since I was 15years old for sleep, by the time I was 27 years old I had never missed a night in 12 years that I hadnt taken some form of prescription sedative medication.
    I had no sleep confidence and I always obsessed about my sleep. I had very bad anxiety also which was fed by my insomnia but also fed the insomnia. It was a vicious cycle.
    After coming off my medication, things got even worse. This is when I enrolled in this course.
    At first I really struggled, my anxiety and sleep got worse, but I remember Martin said this is a short term pain for a long term gain. I almost gave up twice but Im so glad I didnt!
    The course helped me confront my fears about sleep, which now do not bother me. Im not afraid of sleep, I dont dwell on it, I dont put too much effort into sleep. And now Im sleeping better than I have in years, and better than I had on any medication.
    I have built a sleep confidence that I never had! It really helped me to face my fears with a fear, for example if I was anxious about not sleeping that night and considered taking a sleeping pill.. I would face that fear with another fear.. like ”what if I take that pill and then ruin any chance I have to get the sleep I deserve on my own and ruin any chance I have to build sleep confidence” …thinking like this really helped me in multiple areas to do with my sleep.
    My quality of life is soooo much better, I dont let insomnia control my life anymore. I learnt that alot of how we feel through the day is not based on how much sleep I got the night before, but how I react and how I go about the day that has the greatest impact.
    I also learnt that everybody is different and I may not as much sleep as somebody else, it took the pressure off alot! I now sleep really well and feel like a normal person through the day.
    I now havnt had to get out of bed in about 1 month because I am falling asleep so quickly, I have more energy in the day and Im not anxious.
    I also have the tools to help me when I do or if I do have a bad patch of Insomnia again.
    Im very very glad I invested in doing this course and that I didnt give up, my husband and family say I am a new person 🙂
    Caitlin

    #42774

    Manfred
    ✓ Client

    Fantastic, congratulations. Your story relates very much to me. I too take meds in order to calm me down. But the anxiety is always lingering, so I need to face it.

    May I ask you a couple of questions:
    1. Did u too suffer from daytime (anticipatory) anxiety? And as u said, u too obsessed a lot about sleep?
    2. As to the CBT-I regimen: How long was ur starting sleep window?
    3. So u weren’t on meds when starting CBT-I?
    4. Did u have to go out of bed often? What kind of activity did u do?
    5. Most important: what about ur anxiety when u got out of bed? Could u really enjoy doing something when out of bed and did the anxiety leave then? What happened to the anxiety?

    Thanks in advance, all the best

    Manfred

    #42874

    caitlin johnston
    ✓ Client

    Hi, I have read some of your other replies and it sounds like like me, I was getting terrible anxiety as the day went on and as soon as the sun went down it got so much worse.
    night time should be the time to relax and feel safe, but instead it filled me with dread and anxiety. It was really hard to deal with.
    But I had to face my fears, I thought to myself, ohwell what if I dont sleep? Thats fine. and sleep will eventually win, also I journalled my fears. I bought a CBT book for anxiety that helped you write down all your thoughts, see how they made you feel and then analyze. One thing that really helped was talking to a friend or family member and getting their thoughts/reactions to my thoughts/worries that I had written down. This helped me to see that my concerns and worries were irrational and not really that scary at all.
    Remembering everybody has bad nights, and this bad patch of anxiety and bad sleep will pass.
    Being grateful helped also.

    My sleep window was about 6 hours, and some nights I did not go to sleep at all, I would be in and out of bed 6 or 7 times. It was so hard! But getting out of bed really helped me, it calmed my anxiety.
    I would read a book, or listen to an audio book, also affirmations about anxiety/sleep really helped that I found on you tube
    I tried to view that time when I got out of bed as my special time, where I had no distractions or people to please, this helped me enjoy this time more. I would make sure I was warm, have a nice dim light, put some ocean music on and read or something. It helped and when I was out of bed, the more I became tired, the less the anxiety would be.

    If I got into bed and immediately became anxious I would tell myself, I DONT CARE anymore, not caring was the biggest thing for me, just letting whatever happened to me happen. Its ok, life will go on and you will have some good moments the next day, shift your attention to the present like how your sheets feel on your skin or something like that, and tell yourself its ok, and you dont care anymore.

    Hope this helps, I know Ill still have bad nights and everyone does, the important thing is to not care about those nights. Ive found now that if I dont care and Im not anxious, after a bad night my sleep drive is stronger and its usually followed with a good night 🙂

    #42876

    caitlin johnston
    ✓ Client

    Oh.. One thing that helped and may help you as your anxiety sound similar??
    Is that I found a strict sleep window giving me increased anxiety.
    So one hour before my sleep window I stopped checking the clock and would go based in emotion, if I got very sleepy and my head started dropping etc I would just go to bed. So I didnt know the time I just relaxed and went to bed when sleepy.
    Also I actually had to lengthen my sleep window because it was making me anxious, so if I was awake before my alarm and starting to feel alert, I would just get out of bed to start my day. It helped knowing the time frame wasnt so strict. Just going off emotion/when you feel sleepy and then when your alert really helped.
    Going a bit easier on myself helped me not to worry so much

    #42928

    Manfred
    ✓ Client

    Thanks a lot for your reply, which is very valuable to me.

    May I ask you a few more questions:
    1. Can u provide the title/link of the “CBT book on anxiety” and the Youtube video about the affirmations?
    2. So u told urself, when anxious, “I don’t care” – did u “fake it until u made it” or did u really believed that u don’t care. And how did u get to this point??
    3. What was ur exact strategy with getting out of bed? When u were anxious or did u estimate the 30 minutes regardless how u felt? Did u stay in bed longer if u were not anxious?
    4. Could u really enjoy being out of bed? What about ur anxious thoughts during that time and/or when u returned to bed?
    5. How long did it take until u saw progress, until the anxiety lessened?

    Thanks A LOT

    Manfred

    #43012

    caitlin johnston
    ✓ Client

    your welcome,

    1. affirmations:

    2. yes I did have to fake it I guess, but more or less it was to reassure myself. when anxiety overwhelmed me my mind would get caught in a trap. so I had to remind myself that it doesn’t matter. I also got so fed up and exhausted from being anxious I got to the point where I didnt want to go on, so eventually the only way out was to not care. I guess I had to reach a real low to get here but I never gave up! Now not caring comes very easily and I have such a better quality of life 🙂

    3. yes I got out of bed whenever I was anxious. I didnt clock watch, and only went back to bed when I wasnt anxious anymore and I was starting to get very very sleepy. sometimes it would be only after 15 minutes, sometimes it would take 1 hour or so.

    4. It was hard to really enjoy being out of bed, but I found ways to enjoy it. also it was better than lying in bed frustrated! I found a good book and put on some relaxing music which I quite enjoyed. I made sure I was warm and comfortable

    5. I had a good week at week 4 of the sleep course but then fell back to even worse anxiety, I almost gave up on week 7 but Im so glad I didnt! By the end of week 7 and 8 I had finally conquered not caring, and I did this by really facing my fears and journaling. I continue to face my fears, confront them, not care too much about sleep and try to make the most of everyday.

    #43047

    Manfred
    ✓ Client

    Fantastic – thanks a lot!

    Can u pls give me the title of the CBT book for anxiety?
    All the best!!

    #43080

    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    Thank you so much for sharing, Caitlin!

    I think a lot of people will find your story really helpful and really motivating since it brings a human side to the experience — you emphasize that change isn’t always easy and that it can be so very easy to give up!

    I appreciate you sharing that you are now sleeping better than you have in years thanks to your improved sleep confidence, and that insomnia no longer controls your life!

    Recognizing that more goes into how we feel during the day than sleep alone is a big insight — as is understanding that everyone is different so, just as we don’t usually put effort into trying to increase or reduce our height because we want to be a certain height, we probably don’t need to put effort into getting the same amount of sleep as someone else does.

    Your transformation is entirely down to your own tenacity, your own willingness to explore your sleep-related thoughts and behaviors, and your own natural ability to sleep!

    The content of this post is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, disorder, or medical condition. It should never replace any advice given to you by your physician or any other licensed healthcare provider. Insomnia Coach LLC offers coaching services only and does not provide therapy, counseling, medical advice, or medical treatment. All content is provided “as is” and without warranties, either express or implied.
    #43131

    Manfred
    ✓ Client

    And one more question 🙂 : When did u listen to these affirmations? Before bed (out of bed or in bed)? Did u listen to them every day? Did u also listen to it while being out of bed during the night? Thanks!

    #43243

    Trish
    ✘ Not a client

    Really appreciate you sharing this Caitlin.
    Thanks
    Trish

    #43614

    Hdronett75
    ✘ Not a client

    Hello ,
    What medications were you on? And how do you manage to get off of them before the program?

    #43926

    Manfred
    ✓ Client

    @caitlin johnston – since I too need to face my sleep anxiety, I would like to learn more from ur experience.

    Would you allow Martin to give me your e-mail-address so I could contact u directly? Would be great!

    Thanks in advance

    Manfred

    #43933

    DenVanZZZ
    ✘ Not a client

    Thanks Caitlin for sharing your experiences. I re-started SRT with CBTI last night and slept 0 hrs. It was my first night trying SRT e/o sleep aides. The sleep video is perfect for tonight. Thanks Manford for your follow up ?s. Perfect timing for me. Caitlin I’d like the name of the book you read as well.
    It must be awesome having Martin throughout the 8 weeks.
    I am facing my fear/ anxiety and will continue with brain hacks like “feel the sheets on your skin” and’ I don’t care’. Your use of not pressuring the timelines of sleep is so helpful: I also get very anxious around the mandated sleep window: how much time did you add to lessen anxiety?

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

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