- July 5, 2019 at 2:47 pm #30575
Alison✘ Not a client
I apologize in advance that this post is so long! I am new here but unfortunately not new to insomnia! I’m 38 and since childhood have suffered here and there with insomnia and worrying about sleep. I can remember being pretty uptight about not falling to sleep quickly enough the night before the first day of school. Throughout my adulthood I’ve had bouts here and there, but nothing ever became chronic. Then, in 2015, I decided to take my kids out of public school, and homeschool them. While I was very excited about it, it was a LOT of work and stress. I was schooling 6 of my 8 children. I don’t think my insomnia started right away when we began homeschooling, but it started to pop up here and there, and I noticed how difficult it was to try teach my kids the following morning after a rough night! I usually fell asleep fine, but my problem was with waking in the middle of the night and not falling back to sleep or waking too early in the morning. My brain felt like mush the next day! Try teaching kids academics with a brain of mush, it was awful and I felt so bad because I wanted to do a good job with them and felt a lot of responsibility on my shoulders. It was so stressful because I knew I wasn’t being a great teacher when I was so tired and my kids education depended on me sleeping well! I really felt a lot of pressure. The problem came and went but over time it increased. I worried more and more about my sleep. I had a child that was having difficulty learning to read and that was stressing me. Also, my husband was in the middle of an 11 year bout of major depression and I was his only caregiver. I thought here and there about putting the kids back in school and I eventually did in March 2018. (Also at this time my husband went away to a mental health clinic to treat his depression and he improved greatly there.) I thought to myself “now it doesn’t matters if I sleep, because I don’t have to wake up and teach the kids.” I did sleep better for about half a year until I got a cleaning job in September 2018 at my child’s private school. Though I didn’t care for the job, it gave free tuition so I needed to do it to keep my child there. We also moved across town at this time. My insomnia started growing again. I worried if I didn’t sleep well, the cleaning job would be even more miserable. For the most part since last fall, I’ve been suffering. It did disappear for awhile when we went on vacation this April. I didn’t worry about it and slept deeply. It came back after vacation when I was cleaning the school. Now, school is off for the summer, but my insomnia won’t go away. I’ve been stressed about keeping the cleaning job next year while being tired and I’ve had this dread over me and more insomnia because of it. I’ve thought that maybe I should quit the job, so I could skew better, but then my child would have to go back to public school. It has felt like my sleep has been controlling so many aspects of life.
I’ve done a lot of research and tried many things to try help myself over the years. Natural doctor and supplements, medical doctor and sleeping pills, online hypnosis, hypnosis with a therapist, some restrictive sleep therapy (but not consistently until now), eye masks, weighted blankets, meditation, ear plugs, no screens before bedtime, and most recently counseling for anxiety and insomnia… I’m probably forgetting all I’ve done. I’ve cried and have felt so frustrated and stressed because of this problem! I don’t talk to others about it except my husband. I worry it may exacerbate the problem if I’m always talking about it, and it seems like others wouldn’t understand, and I feel like I’ve failed somehow by having this problem- so I keep it quiet. I worry about how I look because I get very dark under my eyes with lack of sleep and I’m not one to wear a lot of makeup.
In my research last week, I came across Martin Reed’s YouTube videos. I listened to some and then checked out his website and did more research on SRT and SC. Since I’ve done some SRT in the past I was doubtful but I figured I’d give it another try and be CONSISTENT this time. So, I started Saturday night. My SW is 1220 to 620. The first several nights weren’t that great but the last two have been good. I know this will be a long road but I hope that CBTi is the answer! I actually love having a wake up time. Before I started SRT I would get up by 7 on school days but compensate for all my bad sleep on the weekend by sleeping in. Now my day consistently begins at a nice early time, before my kids are up. And I try to make my late nights enjoyable (in a quiet way) too. I’m feeling a bit more relaxed about my sleep, knowing that I don’t (can’t) stay in bed if I’m up in the night, or too early in the morning- I don’t have to lay there trying to sleep. I feel like I have more control over the situation. I feel this is an answer to many prayers. It’s been rough! I am SO happy to have found this forum!! I’ve been reading many posts and have to exclaim to my husband how I can’t believe what I’m reading! It’s like I’m reading about myself! There actually are others who know how I feel! Just reading the posts really encourages me, especially of other’s successes, even if they’re small baby steps forward. Thanks to all who contribute here and a HUGE thanks to Martin Reed! What you’re doing is helping so many who suffer. I signed up for the free course. Thank you again.July 9, 2019 at 9:38 pm #30640
Martin Reed★ Admin
It sounds as though you might be someone who is just a little bit more predisposed to sleep issues. So, when a precipitating factor occurs your sleep is perhaps more likely to be disrupted — and then, when the original trigger is no longer an issue, your sleep-related worry and anxiety perpetuates the problem and means your sleep doesn’t always recover by itself.
So, the good news is, there is nothing unusual about your insomnia so I would expect you to respond well to cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) techniques — and it sounds as though you are already noticing improvements as you implement them! As you correctly pointed out, consistency is key!
Stick to the techniques and I think you will continue to improve — and the real beauty of CBT-I is that you are learning skills that will be with you for life. So, should insomnia ever return in the future you will know exactly what to do to get your sleep back on track!