Set back Advice

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  • #78720
    ✘ Not a client

      Hi all, I am new to the forum, but have read and watched a lot of Martin’s content surrounding insomnia. I have been on the journey for 4-5 months now. A few bad nights of sleep while traveling threw me for a loop that I’m still in. It’s been an interesting journey and I’ve learned a lot about the sleep process and our minds. I’d never been too anxious and so I’m learning a lot of new skills.

      I firmly trust and believe in the ACT approach to insomnia. I feel I’ve reached a good understanding of the teachings and in no way think my case is any different. However, despite having that knowledge and belief, I still struggle practicing all of this and continue to be a work in progress. For the last couple months I’ve been in a yo-yo phase. I’d alternate between good nights and bad nights. My issue tends to be sleep onset trouble related to performance anxiety. Once I actually fall asleep, I tend to be ok.

      I think one of my main issues is still managing evening wakefulness. The reality is I just don’t like it, ha. I recognize that’s probably the biggest hurdle to befriend in all of this and I have struggled to find what works for me. I’m not a reader, watching TV or listening to a podcast would maybe be my best bet, but so far when attempted I find myself wishing I was sleeping.

      I’ve actually had pretty good success the last few weeks, sleeping almost regularly. I achieved that with a mindset of indifference and just trying to lay and rest. I found my performance anxiety start to subside and for a few weeks I slept really well.

      Out of the blue I had an all nighter recently, and that was really rare for me in all of this. I felt I remained calm that night, but sleep was just not happening. There’s no doubt a lot of anxiety and fear has returned. I’ve tried to treat it as a blip and move on. The 2 nights after were fine, likely due to sleep drive being up. But last night was another all nighter. There’s no doubt I’m falling victim to a setback. I know I probably shouldn’t even be here and should be doing my best to accept and move on and trust this is part of the process. But the reality is, I think I still need to better manage my wakefulness and thoughts in all of this. I was really able to distance myself from a lot of the negative thoughts, but these all nighters have brought a lot back. My confidence I have been building over many months has quickly been eroded with 2 nights of feeling like I have lost control of all this.

      I would appreciate any insight on managing setbacks. As well as any wakefulness input. I’ll be honest, I had not done Martin’s course, mainly as I felt I had a handle on much of this and really wanted to try and distance myself from more videos, reading, etc. But I’ve seen things here mentioned about the Awake exercise, etc, and wonder if I should check it out. Appreciate any help

      Packer Fan
      ✓ Client

        What am I missing? What is the ACT???

        Martin Reed
        ★ Admin

          Hello @Joemann and welcome to the forum!

          Yes, practice is the hard part — and when it comes to accepting the difficult stuff in life and doing what matters even in its presence, we are all a work in progress!

          Performance anxiety is quite common among those of us who struggle with insomnia — and it usually comes from trying to make a certain amount or type of sleep happen or believing that we should be getting a certain amount or type of sleep. In other words, we have an attachment to a certain outcome and we have resistance to anything other than the outcome we desire.

          It makes sense that you don’t like being awake — and I don’t think we can force ourselves to like something we don’t like! That would be a bit like trying to force ourselves to fall in love with someone we aren’t attracted to and don’t care much for!

          What can be helpful is to be aware of when we are struggling with being awake. And, when we notice that happening, changing our approach so that we are engaged in something that helps us experience being awake with less struggle.

          Sleep can happen regardless of what you think or how you feel. What tends to make it more difficult is trying to control your thoughts and feelings (or trying to control sleep itself) — and it sounds as though your experience is confirming that!

          Ups and downs are a normal part of the journey (and of life itself). You might find this video helpful, too: When insomnia comes back: how to deal with insomnia relapses when insomnia returns.

          I hope there’s something useful here!

          PS: @Packer Fan — ACT for insomnia is the philosophy shared in the online course 🙂

          If you are ready to stop struggling with insomnia you can enroll in the online insomnia coaching course right now! If you would prefer ongoing phone or video coaching calls as part of a powerful three month program that will help you reclaim your life from insomnia, consider applying for the Insomnia Clarity program.

          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.

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