Want some expert advice to improve your sleep? Get the free insomnia sleep training course!
- February 8, 2019 at 10:55 pm #26858
ok so far it has been about two strong weeks I gotta say. Im a person who has suffered from insomnia/anxiety years ago at one time. Its been so long ago that I kinda forgot the year.
So I think two weeks ago I suffered a small case of sleep jolts. The jolts made me remember my old insomnia feelings. And now I think I fully have the sickness again. The difference now is that I have a job and I need to be strong at my job. When it first started I was scared to DEATH. But after a few days I think I did get a small amount of rest from time to time. But for the past 4 or 5 days I have now formed this terrible energy in my body where I feel completely helpless. I cant find my sleep anymore. The feeling of relaxing is GONE!!! Also let me say that for years now I have been dealing with a stomach bacteria issue (hope to god its not cancer), and I’m still taking antibiotics for them. The stomach doctors went into my stomach and found nothing. But the bad bacteria is still there till this day. I’m not sure if this has anything to do with my insomnia. The doctor today at the emergency room said it doesn’t have anything to do with my sleep. I’m just so upset that my mind went crazy over two small sleep jolts. And I’m back again crying, tossing and lying in my bed.
The reason why I signed up tonight was that I went to the hospital tonight. And they gave me a small Xanax. The doctor didn’t kinda want me to take it. I also heard so many bad things about it. She wanted me to try regular sleeping aids. But she gave me some. While in the hospital I did feel at ease and I think I even slept for a bit (two hours). Ok cool I thought. But when I get home, feeling nice and tired, I lay down, and while laying down I once again I feel my body resisting. I felt this thick pressure in my head while lying down. I always feel and think all kind of things while lying down. All these weird things are going on in my body while I’m trying to relax. Is this anxiety??? Stress??? Depression?? Panic attack??……I guess the fear of my old enemy insomnia made this all happen. I was a huge fear in the back of my head that I thought was behind me. I’m doing so good at my job and when things were starting to get better this happens. I’m about to go outside in get a pack of cigarettes at6 4am in the morning. I don’t want my family to worry. Its been two weeks I think so far of up and down sleeping. The last four days I felt like I didn’t sleep at all.
Again I thought this could never happen to me again. But it did. And it seems like its real bad this time for some reason. Im kinda scared. The horrible thoughts are back. I always like to stay natural but I feel I might need to see someone this time.
I now have a doctors appointment Thursday. I have a pretty physical job, I hope today that I can make it there (called out a few times) and hopefully work this demon out of me. I truly believe that the physical work from this job has kept me free from this evil for these years.
Would love to hear from someone about this. Thanks so muchFebruary 10, 2019 at 5:51 pm #26988
is this a good start to sleeping???
yesterday I did a few breathing techniques that really calmed me down. I mean it almost brought me to tears how good it felt. So I lay down to see if something good could happen, something good like sleep lol. And it wasn’t truly sleep, but I laid there at comfort for the first time. I was in some kind of dream like state. I guess I was drifting. When I got up I felt a bit refreshed. The anxiety is still there, but not so much pain on the body. Could this be a small break threw to sleeping again??? My focus is to get my anxiety down so ive been trying to relax breath as much as possible. Seems to be helping so farFebruary 10, 2019 at 8:05 pm #26989
Hello, it’s me, the guy that brought up the subject of sleep jolts.
Before I developed insomnia, I used to experience sleep jolts/hypnic jerks whenever I stayed up way too late and was dead tired. Back then I didn’t make a big deal over them and quickly fell back to sleep.
This time is different, and I’ll tell you why, but it’s a long story.
In June 2017 I was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The surgery to remove part of the tumour was a success and my recovery was fantastic.
That’s the background context of how I developed insomnia.
Two months ago my sleep was all over the place because I was unemployed. I was sleeping in the afternoon, awake late at night, and I never really paid attention to strict bedtimes. I just slept whenever I wanted.
But because of this, I felt sleepy all the time. I read an article online about people who get good sleep feel “superhuman” and have limitless energy during the day. Well, I wanted to feel this way too, so I started following sleep “hygiene” rules, including setting strict bedtimes and no napping.
But instead of sleeping better, my sleep got worse and worse. It got so bad that I thought it was because my brain tumour was growing again, or that the brain cells in the sleep centres of my brain were dying. After I began to think that my sleep COLLAPSED. I associated my lack of sleep with my tumour/brain damage and started to be afraid. Also, I started to believe that being sleep deprived was doing further damage to my brain. It was a downward spiral. So now when I get sleep jolts, I’m worried that my brain isn’t working correctly and is “not allowing me” to sleep.
I realise now that it is FEAR which is not allowing myself to sleep. My insomnia is purely psychological NOT biological in origin.
I’ve been trying to reason and reassure myself over the past 2 days that my insomnia has been brought about by my associating my insomnia with my brain tumour, that my tumour is actually getting better (which is a fact: my last MR head scan 6 months ago showed that it was shrinking and it’s highly unlikely to just suddenly start regrowing again), and that it’s no coincidence that my insomnia happened when I tried to set strict bedtimes. My brain cells are NOT dying. Big mental hurdles to overcome, but I think I’m getting there.
Now when I get a sleep jolt, I try to ignore it and tell myself “it’s just a normal, ordinary sleep jolt, I always get those when I’m feeling really tired.”
I tell myself that I’m fine and the only thing that is preventing me from sleeping is my fear. I tell myself not to worry about sleep. And if I continue to worry, then just let it be and focus on deep breathing.February 10, 2019 at 8:12 pm #26990
I think that the “dream-like state” you were experiencing was stage 1 NREM sleep. The feeling of drifting is you being asleep, even though you don’t feel like you are.February 10, 2019 at 9:54 pm #26996
Thanks for responding. This moment in my life is one of the most horrifying ive had to face in years.
Yes I had the Jolts. I remember that night I was eating like a pig and I decided to eat while in the bed (don’t judge me). I was a eating and watching a movie like a slob. All of a sudden while falling asleep I get this jolt that wakes me up. I also suffered from a nasty case of insomnia way back in 2010 I think. And that jolt made me instantly remember what happened back then. I think now its much worst, maybe.
Also you said something about brain tumor. Is this something you think I should bring up to my doctor??? Because right now im also dealing with a bad overgrowth bacteria stomach issue for a year now. Im taking antibiotics for this right now. God I hope it doesn’t dev into stomach cancer.February 10, 2019 at 10:11 pm #26998
“I think that the “dream-like state” you were experiencing was stage 1 NREM sleep. The feeling of drifting is you being asleep, even though you don’t feel like you are”
I was hoping so bad that I would wake up later in the day. My anxiety is down a bit. And I think its because I had this small rest. Can this be a sign of healing? Breathing is what got me threw back then when I had the insomnia. I just forgot how. Seems now that I also forgot how to sleep. I also was at a sleep forum back then and had great help like your helping now. God how amazing is sleep. When your going threw something like this, and you see what’s really going on in the mind as you try to sleep, its trippy.
Whats your thoughts on store medications like zquil??? God I hope I can get threw this…..my family needs me
Thank youFebruary 11, 2019 at 7:51 pm #27006
Quick update. Today I got a little sleep. Weirdest sleep of my life, but I believe I got some type of sleep..laid down at around 6pm and got up around 11..are my fears completely gone, no. Is the anxiety still there yes, but better I hope. Going threw this is making me want to find out more of what our bodies go threw…..
The sleep was so weird, because I still think im thinking to much, but trying to limit it. I knew I had to try to sleep because out of no where I felt this tiredness that just came out of no where. I have this light headed feel right now, but no other pains thank god….
ThanksFebruary 12, 2019 at 10:00 am #27040
I’m glad you got some sleep.
Are you the sole provider for your family? If so, I can understand your fear because you are under a lot of stress to perform well in your job, and you also have the horrible experience of insomnia 10 years ago.
You need to think positive thoughts. Even if you don’t believe it right now, tell yourself confident things like, “I had severe insomnia 10 years ago, but I got over it and I can get over this too!”
I don’t mean to alarm you by bringing up my brain tumour. I wish I hadn’t mentioned it because it just added to your anxiety. Please don’t worry about cancer or anything like that. I believe that my insomnia has nothing to do with my brain tumour, it’s purely psychological.
Of course, saying “don’t worry” will probably have the opposite effect, and you might worry about the fact that you can’t stop worrying. This leaves you trapped in a vicious cycle. I think a good way to combat this is to just focus your attention on deep breathing and let your thoughts go. Don’t actively try to stop those thoughts. If they’re there, they’re there. Just leave them be and focus on your breathing. It’s not a magic bullet, it takes practice to make it work. But in the long term, I think it’s a good strategy.
I’m not familiar with zquil so I can’t say anything about that.February 12, 2019 at 7:59 pm #27042
Thanks for the post neuro. This has helped me in so many ways. I have question?
Ok I had a set back yesterday
Ok yesterday I believe I had anxiety/panic attack in the afternoon just before going to work. What happened was that I wanted to get just some type of rest, not sleep, just before going to work. The day before I felt like I was getting less anxiety by breathing techniques and I knew it was working because I was finally able to get into the bed and not be scared lol. Breathing correct is what gave me that confidence. As I kay in bed I’m having all these dreams but I felt this unpleasant headache while in dream land and it scared me up…..and BOOM were back at full blown anxiety!!!! I felt crazy leaving the house and was thinking I need to call out of work. I just felt weird. But I went and my job is physical. Started working and felt fine.
When I get home I lay down, and pass out again for roughly 3 hours. Si I got up and I get a email from your forum that said “THIS IS ANXIETY WHAT YOUR GOING THREW”…..everything your going threw is the anxiety. Anxiety is what is doing this to you. . So I thought to myself that “this is anxiety” and when I get into the bed later in the night and I was comfortable again. So what do I do, I try to sleep. And kept telling myself this is anxiety while lying down, and this time I believed it. My whole body felt calm. The pain in my head came and gone. So then I start to feel myself drifting again. Dreams dreams dreams…..Its like I get flashes of dreams or something going on in my head. But I’m never able to sleep. Something is still fighting. I think I got a hour of rest I feel, but sleep…..Something is pulling me back. I know its the anxiety.
I’m feeling comfortable. Still feel the anxiety a bit when I’m up…..but do I just keep trying and eventually fall asleep? Is this how sleep usually tries to happens?February 12, 2019 at 8:05 pm #27063
Martin Reed★ Admin
It can actually be reassuring to realize it’s the anxiety that perpetuates our sleep problems, rather than the loss of any ability to sleep. The key here is to try not to engage with these anxious thoughts — don’t try to fight them, block them, or even ignore them.
Instead, recognize them for what they are — thoughts. Thoughts cannot hurt us. Thoughts come and go. When an anxious thought enters your head, recognize the thought and eventually, it will pass.
One thing I will add, sleepytime, is that it’s usually best to reserve the bed for sleep and nothing else. This way, you work on creating and strengthening an association between the bed and sleep. If you want to rest, try doing so elsewhere — keep your bed exclusively for sleep.February 12, 2019 at 8:23 pm #27070
Yeah, that happens to me too. The anxiety is still there in the back of my mind, trying to pull me back. It’s really difficult to “fight” because our instinct is to resist and struggle when we should be doing the exact opposite, relaxing and accepting our thoughts and fears. That’s a very difficult thing to do, but if we keep practising, little by little we can learn the skill of relaxing into sleep.
Last night I woke up 3 times to go to the toilet, and each time it got harder and harder for me to get back to sleep because I could feel the anxiety at the back of my mind. It’s so difficult, but I am going to master it!
Tonight I’m going to be prepared by not drinking anything 4 hours before my bedtime. If I get thirsty, I’ll just take a few sips of water, not a whole cup.
By the way, I also suffer from headaches due to insomnia, and it’s extra frightening for me because I have a brain tumour. I have to keep telling myself to relax, that my headache has nothing to do with the tumour and it’s all because of my lack of sleep.February 15, 2019 at 3:29 am #27122
Due to me not sleeping at ALL lately. I now feel very dehydrated. So I drank a Gatorade today and got so tired immediately. I tried to go to sleep and it seems like the anxiety brings on this feeling of swollen glands. Good god I almost went to sleep…..I got melatonin. Im going to try it tonight….
this is insane