Get out of bed, feel sleepy. Go back to bed, can't sleep!

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Martin Reed 1 week, 5 days ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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  • #54577

    stevetheadi
    ✘ Not a client

    Hi

    I have had maintenance insomnia for many years. I am using CBTi to adjust the way I think about sleep and sleep restriction to try to associate my bed with sleep and not being awake. I usually get 4 hours or so sleep every night so I go to bed roughly 10pm and set my alarm for 3.30am.

    I usually wake up after 2 or 3 hours. I get up when I realise I’m not going back to sleep straightaway and go downstairs. I sit in a chair, too groggy and tired to read or do anything much but it’s not long before I start to nod off. When I go back to bed, I can’t sleep. The bed feels uncomfortable and I toss and turn for a while, maybe dozing off a bit but not really sleeping. By this time, it’s nearly time to get up anyway. So I get up feeling exhausted and sad.

    Any tips anyone could offer that would help me break this cycle would be greatly appreciated.

    • This topic was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by stevetheadi.
    • This topic was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by stevetheadi.
    #54698

    cat_ncsu
    ✘ Not a client

    I can relate! 5:30 is about the minimum time you want to give yourself to sleep, so try not to restrict that even shorter.
    A couple of questions: have you been restricting your sleep for very long? Painful as it is, it was several weeks for me before I saw much change in my sleep patterns.
    Second, is your bed uncomfortable when you first go to bed, or only in the night? Maybe you’re so sleep at first that you don’t notice the discomfort. Time to investigate getting a new mattress or pillows?
    Finally, you might be sleeping more than you realize when you go back to bed.

    Good luck!

    #54707

    stevetheadi
    ✘ Not a client

    Hi cat_ncsu

    Thanks for the reply.

    I have been trying sleep restriction for quite a while but not consistently. I do it for a day or two then find myself lying in bed for too long while I’m awake – sometimes just can’t make myself get out of bed at 2.30am, even though I can’t sleep!

    So I need to start it again and stick to it.

    My bed has a decent mattress and pillows. When I get into bed it’s very comfortable. It’s only when I’ve been lying in bed for a while, tossing and turning, it gets uncomfortable. Another reason to get up when I can’t sleep!

    You may be right when you say I could about be sleeping longer than I think I am. Sometimes I think I’m awake but when I see the time, an hour or two has gone by but it feel like a minute or two. Paradoxical insomnia, I think it’s called.

    #54767

    cat_ncsu
    ✘ Not a client

    Hi Steve,
    Yes, sticking to the schedule should make the biggest difference. And it might seem worse before it seems better at first. When I tried it, the very first night was great, then I had a string of bad to horrible nights, but I just had to trust the process. I even ended up napping a couple times because of sub-4 hour nights and just not “feeling” like I could function.
    Then I made the decision to, as Martin suggests, live my life as if I don’t have insomnia. After a few more weeks of trying to live normally during the day, not napping, sticking to my sleep window, getting out of bed when I got “annoyed” with it, and “thanking” the sleep thoughts but then putting them aside (even if they seemed constant!!), I FINALLY saw some results, but it was a real roller coaster even then. It still is, a month later, but for the past week or so it has been more ups than downs.
    Good luck!

    #54769

    stevetheadi
    ✘ Not a client

    I try to not let insomnia affect what I do. I find I can function ok with very little sleep during the day, it’s only in the evening that I struggle to stay awake. I used to like reading (still do) but I can’t read for more than a few minutes in the evening without nodding off.
    It’s strange that it’s so easy to fall asleep when I don’t want to but so hard to sleep when I think I should do.
    Also, I try not to think of myself as ‘suffering’ from insomnia. Rather, if anyone asks, I say that I don’t sleep very much. I don’t tell them I have insomnia. That might seem a bit odd (probably is!) but labelling myself helps me carry on normally.
    Thanks for your replies, it’s good to know I’m not alone in this!

    #54775

    cat_ncsu
    ✘ Not a client

    Likewise, it is good to know I’m not alone! I love this forum for that.
    And I have the same experience of being very sleepy before bed, nodding off, etc. Last night and some other times I actually stood up while reading because i was so sleepy!
    I love that reminder about not seeing ourselves as “suffering!” I don’t think that is odd at all. I have stopped talking about it with my friends, and have asked a few folks, including my husband, to stop asking me how I sleep. I know they do it because they care, but I just say it helps me more to ignore it unless I really need to vent.

    #54839

    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    I love the support and the discussion going on here!

    Steve — have you thought about allowing yourself to remain in bed? So, instead of getting out of bed and sitting in a chair, you might sit up in bed and read (or do anything more pleasant when lying awake doesn’t feel pleasant) instead?

    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.

    If you would like to say thank you by making a financial donation to Insomnia Coach, here’s the tip jar!

    #54854

    stevetheadi
    ✘ Not a client

    I’ll try that, thank you. Maybe listen to an audio book.

    #54911

    tdr
    ✘ Not a client

    Audiobooks help me take my mind off the fact that I can’t sleep. I recently found a podcast called “bedtime stories” that I find restful.

    #54928

    stevetheadi
    ✘ Not a client

    I like audio books. Especially at 3am when I’m starting to get a bit stressed. I don’t mind if they’re a bit boring, it helps me relax.

    #55046

    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    Just remember that our goal is never to make sleep happen (this is where stealthy sleep efforts can try to work their way in!) — the only goal is to make unpleasant wakefulness more pleasant!

    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.

    If you would like to say thank you by making a financial donation to Insomnia Coach, here’s the tip jar!

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

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