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Need some advice-3 weeks into the program, but not going so well…..

Insomnia Forum Insomnia Help Need some advice-3 weeks into the program, but not going so well…..

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by scottctj 2 weeks, 2 days ago.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • #46757

    daveka
    ✘ Not a client

    After some pretty good experiences the first 1 1/2 weeks, things seem to have gone the other way the past week or so. My turn out the light time is around 11:30-11:45 pm and I set my alarm for 7 AM. I was initially getting 6+ hours straight through and had several nights of 85-92% efficiency, but this has recently changed for no particular reason.

    I seem unable to stay awake in front of the TV after 9 pm and usually doze off for 30-60 minutes most evenings, despite my wife elbowing me to stay awake. I guess this must count as napping, but I’m so sleepy once I sit down for the evening that I can’t help but fall asleep for a short time. It’s pretty tough to walk around or just stand up in the evening watching TV.

    I seem to now fall asleep pretty readily (Yea!!!) but I then awake after 4-5 hours or less. Then even after getting out of bed for 30-60 minutes, I seem unable to fall back to sleep, so I’m averaging 4-4.5 hours of sleep each night. Again, the first week or two, I was doing so much better, but it went away. I do have some other physical ache/pain issues that bother me but they had been overcome initially.

    I listen to Martin’s podcasts, success stories, Youtube talks, etc, and they certainly inspire me, but this is disheartening. I’m pretty much doing all the right things, but I keep waking up and don’t fall back to sleep, even after getting out of bed once or twice during the night. Once I am really fully awake with no likelihood of falling back to sleep, I sometimes even get out of bed earlier than my pre-set time to lengthen my awake time.

    So, is this normal for the first month of doing the program, and will things gradually improve, or should things have changed by now? I realize that every case is different, but this is becoming a downer. Prior to doing the program, I had been totaling 6- 7 hours, but my efficiency was not good as I’d stay in bed for much longer than my sleeping time.

    Should I change my sleep window earlier or later? Should I just stay the course?

    Does anyone have any advice for this situation three weeks into doing the program pretty faithfully?

    Thanks for any advice.

    #46877

    scottctj
    Mentor

    Hey @daveka!

    First and foremost, congratulations for exploring and making the effort to implement CBT-I techniques!

    Having setbacks like that are certainly discouraging and stressful but continuing to have patience and commitment in the process is critical for your long term success.

    If you’re having trouble staying awake until your sleep window begins, have you tried activities that are engaging but relaxing, such as coloring, crafting, standing while watching TV? When I experienced the same issue, I would stand while watching TV or pace the house during commercials until my window began. You can’t sleep standing up (at least, I can’t)! 😉 As innocent as those evening dozing’s are, they can significantly diminish your sleep drive and could cause you to have middle of the night awakenings.

    Hope that helps,
    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.
    #46929

    daveka
    ✘ Not a client

    Hi Scott,

    Thank you for your reply.

    Last night I had another zero sleep experience, which has really set off my other issues of anxiety and breathing problems, in addition to feeling generally worse after no sleep.

    Do you think that this program can still work if one has underlying anxiety, which seems to exacerbate some of the other issues like labored breathing (definitely anxiety-related, not functional), and aches and pains?

    I can certainly see how thinking about sleep worsens the ability to sleep, but can the CBT-I help in the case when sleep has worsened since I began the program on my own? I am almost a month into doing the program, and while I may not be doing everything perfectly, after an initial week and a half of improvement, things turned south, and haven’t recovered. I’ve had 6 nights now of worse or no sleep with no positive feedback yet to get me out of the recent funk about it. Will just sticking to the program and perhaps shortening the sleep window still get me back on track? Forcing myself to stay up even later and wake up earlier is so tough when the sleep has not yet recovered.

    Just wondering if you’ve encountered any others with this sort of issue and if their sleep still recovered?

    Many thanks for your help and advice.

    DK

    #47008

    scottctj
    Mentor

    DK,

    I know it seems troubling and you’ve had some recent setbacks, but the speed of recovery is different from person to person and it’s based on a variety of factors including having patience and being committed to the techniques. Setbacks can be a major blow to your confidence. This is a turning point in someone’s healing because they usually get frustrated and stray from the techniques, or worse, quit all together. Don’t give up though, you’re so close to the finish line. Starting CBT-I is sorta like beginning an exercise program – at first, you may find it difficult to remain committed, you’re tired, body is sore, you’re not sure you’ll see any results/benefits and you may even experience short-term regression.

    Most people who experience chronic insomnia have heightened arousal/anxiety about their sleep disruption. CBT-I techniques can be really helpful because they tackle the root cause of insomnia – your thoughts and behaviors that perpetuate sleep disruption.

    How are you managing the chatter you have about insomnia? What is your relationship with those negative thoughts about sleep? Do you feel that’s an area you could explore closer to better your relationship with those thoughts? The turning point for me in my insomnia was how I dealt with my ruminations, especially as bedtime approached. At first, I tried everything to tune them out but quickly realized it wasn’t a good strategy. Instead, I embraced/welcomed those thoughts when they arrived by saying, “Oh, hello thought about insomnia, come on in” or “Hello friend, good to see you again”. I’d also respond by saying, “So what if I don’t sleep well tonight, I’ll still be able to function tomorrow” and so on. This embrace and response freed me from the anxiety loop that I used to experience. You may not have an immediate positive response but practicing this technique every time you begin to ruminate can prevent some of the struggles you may be experiencing with insomnia related anxiety.

    Hope that helps,
    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.
    #47049

    daveka
    ✘ Not a client

    Thank you Scott for your helpful reply. It all makes so much sense. I just decided after a month of trying this on my own that I could use more guidance, so I signed up for the 8-week program with Martin.

    Thanks again.

    DK

    #47061

    scottctj
    Mentor

    Outstanding, DK! I think you’ll find tremendous benefit in the program and we’re here for support, if you need it. I can’t wait to hear your success story!

    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.
Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

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