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- April 23, 2021 at 11:04 am #40898
Caty✘ Not a client
I have had insomnia for 18 years, that’s just over a year longer than the age of my youngest son. How sad is that, that I’ve never been able to fully enjoy life for the whole time he has been in the world!
It has made me physically ill, but also caused me to struggle with my mental health as I became more and more anxious about my predicament. Life has simply felt nothing more than an endurance test at times.
I don’t tend to struggle with falling asleep but wake up every night at least once, and can lie awake for up to three hours before falling back to sleep. I feel tired a lot of the time as well as low in mood, and can have several panic attacks at night, which only add to my already anxious mind. Then I can spend most of the day worrying about the next night’s sleep.
I long for a normal life again, filled with nights of healthy, continuous, restorative sleep that help me remain free of illness. I know there is a beautiful life waiting for me on the other side of insomnia, and I want to live it.April 26, 2021 at 12:12 pm #40914
hiker✘ Not a client
I have had insomnia for over 40 years—but Stop, this does not mean you will. Nor does it mean every night. It also does not mean that all days of good sleep the night before were great; and it does not mean that all days of poor sleep the night before were miserable.
So what am I getting at? It is easy, sort of magnetic really, to fall into the trap of thinking that how I sleep dictates whether I can enjoy life. Because we want to sleep well so badly.
If I sound all-knowing and serene, no it’s not like that. I have been frantic for sleep, thought seriously about suicide, and I still have rocky times. Because lack of sleep can get the better of you. When I do sleep poorly, I try to remind myself that okay, today I might tend to get irritable, have lots of anxious thoughts, maybe even thoughts that I wish I were dead, thoughts that I cannot handle this anymore. And in my better moments, I acknowledge and remember that these are just thoughts.
1. “I’m having the thought that (I am miserable / I cannot live like this anymore).” As opposed to:
2. I am miserable. I cannot live like this anymore.
The difference between 1 and 2 is observing your thoughts rather than living inside them. I know that the concept of mindfulness is all trendy, but if you check it out enough, you can get beyond the fluff and see why it has been around for about 3,000 years. A couple of good, free websites (and even here, you’ll have to look around to see which parts resonate for you): mindfulnessnorthwest.com and palousemindfulness.com
And I would definitely check out Martin’s videos. He addresses really all the issues that pop up for us, including sleep anxiety, which is the biggest one for me–and I am guessing, for you.
While I don’t sleep great every night (who does?), I have generally gotten to the point where when I wake up in the middle of the night, I can say that I would definitely prefer to get more sleep but hey, if I don’t, I have gotten through this every time before. And actually mean this. And usually I can get back to sleep. When I do have a run of bad sleep, I try not to freak out about it because as you know, that doesn’t work too well, right?
Well, I have gone on quite a bit here. But know you are not alone. It has gotten better for me, and it will for you, too.May 1, 2021 at 1:11 am #40977
Cathyo✘ Not a client
I have only suffered from insomnia for the past 20 months but I am obsessed with trying to find a solution and have literally tried everything, but so far nothing has worked for me. Because of this I felt I had to find a way of living with it until (hopefully) I can get back into a normal sleep pattern.
I read somewhere that it’s the way you respond to a problem that affects you more than the problem itself. I started doing meditation 10 minutes a day through the Calm App (Headspace is also very good) and I really believe this has helped me keep positive during the day, no matter how tired I am. When I am having a bad night I do relaxation exercises to ease my anxiety. (There are various exercises for this on the Calm and Headspace apps, or you can find some on YouTube). It doesn’t necessarily get me off to sleep, but it does usually (not always) calm me down to at least allow sleep to happen if it’s going to. There are times after a bad night when I feel pretty low and in despair about it the next morning, but this mood usually lifts after an hour or two of getting up. I can only assume it’s down to meditation.
So, if you haven’t already tried it, I certainly think it’s worth doing. Good luck.