Anxiety Worsening

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Bruno 4 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #49602

    Bruno
    ✘ Not a client

    I have this feeling of hyper-awake-ness when I get into bed, and it has gotten worse since I started the free email course (I’m on Day 7). I’m not saying the sleep course caused my insomnia; I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t have insomnia to start with. But I have never tried to go to bed at a certain hour, and I very seldom worry about whether my day will be “ruined” by insomnia. I have never worried about getting X number of hours of sleep. I mean, part of the course seems directed at worries I don’t have and never have had. Those aren’t thoughts that keep me awake; I have a sensation of awakeness, not thoughts about sleep.

    Before bed, I feel sleepy; it’s the second I get in bed that I’m wide awake.

    I also feel stressed now when I get in bed because I’m thinking about whether I’ll be able to fall asleep within 20 minutes, because if I can’t, I know I should get out of bed. I didn’t used to try to control my sleep before this course; now I’m trying to. I didn’t used to worry about how much time was elapsing before I fell asleep; now I do.

    • This topic was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Bruno.
    • This topic was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Bruno.
    #49617

    Scott
    Mentor

    Bruno – welcome! The primary role of CBT-I is to address the root causes (and most common causes) of insomnia – our thoughts and behavior towards our sleep. If you’re not experiencing any anxiety about your sleep, especially at bedtime, what do you think is causing your sleep disruption? Have you experienced any major life events that could be causing you stress and poor sleep recently? If you feel sleepy or are falling to sleep while watching TV and then become wide awake when you get into bed, it’s typically due to an association your mind has created between your bed and sleep (or anxiety about sleep). If you don’t believe that to be the case for you, why do you think you become wide awake when you go to bed?

    Scott J

    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.
    #49645

    Bruno
    ✘ Not a client

    Thanks for your answer, Scott. I’ve had unhelpful sleep habits for years. I used to read in bed in dim light before drifting off to sleep unawares, just so I could avoid that feeling of lying in bed with nothing to do but wonder when sleep will come. Would that be a bad habit to bring back, reading in bed?

    At some point I replaced that with TV-watching in bed, and that wreaked havoc. It works great up until it doesn’t, and then eventually sleeping and waking and TV-watching and dozing become hard to distinguish, so it’s more like being a zombie than getting rest.

    I haven’t watched TV in bed for 9 nights now. I’ve been putting a crackling fireplace video on at low volume and draping the laptop screen with a black cloth. The sound helps me not focus on unpleasant sounds like traffic.

    The proximate causes for this recent sleep anxiety–I will answer in a second post. I think I’ve run into a word limit on the forum before.

    #49647

    Bruno
    ✘ Not a client

    I have a lot of causes for my sleep anxiety. I have general anxiety disorder and health anxiety. (I have a therapist; I know this forum isn’t therapy.) Recently, my stressors are family, the pandemic, the vulnerability of myself and my family to Covid.

    Also, in the first year of the pandemic, I had traumatic nighttime experiences. My income had dropped by two thirds, putting me at risk of homelessness, and I lived in a violent neighborhood. I used to just hear things at night in the streets–yelling, fights–but in the pandemic it got worse, and I witnessed violence and gun violence outside my window in the daytime. I had a hostile neighbor across the hall. He used to just glare at me, but in the last months of 2020 he started actively harassing me at night: bouncing a ball of my apartment wall in the hallway, running his dog in the hall at night (1 a.m., 3 a.m.) There’s a reason they use sleep deprivation for torture: it works. When I wasn’t being woken up by him, I was often huddled in bed, vigilant and frightened.

    I was able to move in December 2020 and I’m safe now.

    Short answer, I have PTSD. Again, I do have therapy and I know this course and this forum aren’t therapy. My income is going back up, and I recently got a business grant. But it’s taking time to get over that year, and with Omicron I again don’t always feel safe even in my building, since people are cavalier about masking.

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