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- June 6, 2019 at 10:32 pm #29974
I am one month out of completing Martin’s course. My insomnia isn’t completely eradicated, but I have more good nights now than bad. Before Martin’s course I felt totally powerless and frustrated when insomnia hit. It became a self fulfilling prophecy, and I dreaded sleeping at night. I’m back in my own bed with my husband for the first time since January. I never thought that that would happen! The biggest things I learned from the course were sleep restriction and stimulus control. I started off going to bed at 1:00 am to 7:00. My window is now 11:00 pm to 6:00am. This was hard for me to stay up to go to sleep, but it really helped me consolidate my sleep. Getting out of bed, instead of staying in bed and fretting about it really paid off dividends as well. After the course, if insomnia strikes , I normally only have to get out of bed 1 time for 30 minutes. When I started the course, I was often up and down multiple times during the night. This was a huge improvement for me.
I learned so much through this course that gave me the confidence to persevere. You are not alone. Hang in there and follow the program. It works.June 7, 2019 at 1:17 am #29975
goldenbayboy✘ Not a client
Thanks for sharing that and what worked!June 8, 2019 at 2:09 pm #29985
Karen, thank you so much for sharing your experience! It does help knowing that the improvements we’re supposed to see are gradual, slow, and not perfect. The way I was introduced to CBTI gave me the idea that in just 6-8 weeks my sleep would go back to normal completely, to its original version, but now I understand that it’s more about creating a new sleeping pattern that is (way) better than insomnia, not so much about going back to sleeping the way I used to (which was awesome). Maybe one day I’ll get there, but for now I’m happy with the improvements I’m seeing and I’ll take that over insomnia any day!
It’s also good to understand that for a lot of us this is quite a process – it’s like the brain is learning how to sleep all over again, and any major learning process takes a lot of time and does involves setbacks. When I first started SR and SC I was also zig-zagging between the bed and the couch several times through the night, and that no longer happens! These days I’ll either just wake up for a few mins and go back to sleep really fast or I’ll get out of bed only once for not even 30 minutes as I’ll get sleepy soon enough. It’s really cool to see these small changes and they make me hopeful that changes will continue to happen even if I have setbacks. One thing that still bothers me is when I stay in light sleep for several hours (that state between awake and asleep) – this usually happens in the 2nd half of the night and I hope with time this will go away as well.
My experience with CBTI:
First 5 weeks: Really rough! Averaged 3-4 hours of sleep every night
6th week: First good week. Averaged 5-6 hours of sleep
7th week: Rough again. Averaged not even 4 hours of sleep
8th week: Good again – Averaged of 5 to 6 hours of sleep
One thing I’ve loved experiencing since I started CBTI is the sensation of being sleepy! I love that feeling of being sleepy and I hadn’t felt it at all for the 2.5 years of having insomnia. I would feel severely tired and extreme mental fatigue, but never sleepy. This in particular helped me stick with CBTI through those first 5 rough weeks – I could tell something really new and different was going on with my body (feeling sleepy for the first time in 2.5 years is no small thing!). I think especially if you’re not seeing great improvements right away, it’s helpful to try to find just one or two things about CBTI that show you something new is going on in your body; a small clue that something is changing.
Stay strong everyone! Even if it takes you several weeks to see improvement, keep following to protocol, you’ll start seeing improvements at some point!June 8, 2019 at 2:20 pm #29986
Great postBorgesbi. You are so right about noticing the small differences. I had a 3 hour sleep last night, and woke up kind of down. When I filled out my sleep diary, which I continue to do, I realized that I had a glass of wine with dinner which I haven’t been doing. My husband took me out to cheer me up after giving my horse away yesterday that I had had for 13 years. A lot of tears shed yesterday, so an off night is understandable. My recovery is so fragile, it can be affected by little things. Prayers for all.June 8, 2019 at 4:00 pm #29988
Thanks for sharing, both Karen and Borgesbi. Borgesbi – you may want to copy your post and put it on the other thread “Support Group for those doing SR” because it will help others there. It’s very encouraging to see how you persevered during those first very difficult 5 weeks and as a result, now you are getting better. I agree with you that’s so important to cling to any small improvement to help keep ourselves going. About the light sleep – I’ve also experienced that at times and it should go away.
Karen – I’m sure you’ll get to the point where a glass at wine at dinner will make no difference to your sleep. But as you said, your recovery is fragile right now. But over time you’ll be able to relax more and more. I’m finding that out for myself where I can take more liberties than I could in the early weeks.June 10, 2019 at 10:28 pm #30050