- January 29, 2019 at 2:01 am #26557
Well this is a first for me. I’ve never been on any websites posting anything before. I never was one to sleep 8 hours a day and that was fine but always got adequate sleep before. I’ve had anxiety issues for years but they have gotten better lately. But sleep anxiety is something new within the last three years or so and it’s a hurdle I think I need some help with. I know some people have it worse than me but it’s still something that affects me too some degree. Most nights are okay but occasionally I get thrown a real whopper. I’m looking for help in this as sometimes you feel alone and that just sucks. I really appreciate anyone who’s going through this and any help or advice would be appreciated. ThanksJanuary 29, 2019 at 5:57 am #26565
Yes, it really sucks when you feel all alone. Thank goodness it only happens occasionally to you! Many of the people on this forum have chronic insomnia, suffering from it months or years. My insomnia started with not being able to sleep one night. But because I worried about it then I had insomnia the next night. Then because I worried some more I had it again a couple nights later. Pretty soon it became full blown insomnia with practically every night a nightmare of loneliness and struggling. My advice to you is this: When you have a bad night, just accept it and don’t get wound up about it like I did. You don’t want to end up in this rabbit hole like I did. So just accept it for that night and then let it go. Remind yourself that you’ll be fine the next night. Then you’ll be done with it and will go back to regular sleeping. So the worse thing to do is to worry about it. That feeds the monster called insomnia.January 29, 2019 at 2:15 pm #26574
you’re definitely not alone. i’ve never been one to sleep 8 hours, either, unless i’m sick – i generally get about 6-7 solid hours and feel well rested – but i had some anxiety issues a few months ago and they kept me awake for a few nights, which meant that i then started obsessing/worrying about sleeping (i created a new idea in my mind that if i didn’t get 8 hours then the night was a failure, and that’s given me a lot of unnecessary trouble). the initial anxiety is gone but the sleep anxiety shows up after i’ve had a tough night because i started to believe that the tough night meant that i was a defective sleeper or wasn’t trying hard enough.
however, i’m starting to remember how i was pre-anxiety – i’ve never been an 8-hour sleeper, i’ve always had tough nights and i’ve always gotten through the next day okay. it’s probably the same for you, right?January 29, 2019 at 3:53 pm #26589
Thanks for the comments, and yes you’re absolutely right we have a lot in common. I was actually hesitant to even get on here as I’m really trying not to think about sleep in my daily life but on the other hand it really helps me to talk about things and get it off my mind. And as the other post said if we can just let it go we’ll be miles ahead. For me not putting restrictions on my sleep helps also. We all have to believe we will find help/relief.January 29, 2019 at 4:22 pm #26591
i’m the same way – i’ve been afraid to talk about it, too, because i don’t want to think about it, but talking about it and seeing that i’m not alone is actually the most helpful thing for me. also, i’ve been telling myself for the past couple of nights that “whatever happens, happens.” even saying that to myself right now is incredibly relaxing, lol. i read somewhere that anxiety is the inability to trust in the natural flow and process of life, so i’m working on letting go of whatever is out of my control (including sleep). it’s hard but i feel minutely less anxious. have you ever heard of louise hay? she had a lot of good advice about letting go, and i like to listen to her affirmations on my more-anxious days.January 29, 2019 at 5:42 pm #26597
I haven’t heard of her but I’m sure it’s worth a listen. For me I’m trying to get to the point of not reassuring myself with self talk because to me if you’re actually living a “normal life” then you wouldn’t need to do that. But believe me I know it’s hard and I’m not trying to belittle anyone or anything. Positive self talk is beneficial I believe. Whatever it t takes then absolutely it’s fine. When we slept good in the past for me at least I don’t ever remember thinking about anything it just happened. Also for me and I’m no preacher but my beliefs have helped me tremendously but that’s another story and enough of that.January 29, 2019 at 6:22 pm #26598
i know what you mean about not wanting to reassure yourself with self-talk, and that’s not really for me, either. but sometimes i’ll find something that really challenges my way of thinking and opens my mind a little more so when undesirable thoughts come up i can deal with them and let them go. lately, when i’ve had anxious thoughts about sleep, my first reaction has always been to stuff them down in hopes that they’d go away. i’m learning that that doesn’t work, lol, so now i’m going to try saying, “i’m having anxious thoughts about sleep right now and that’s perfectly okay.” thoughts are just thoughts, just impulses; the trouble is when we get attached to them and give them meaning.January 29, 2019 at 7:53 pm #26603
So true, to me when you answer them you’re giving them power or acknowledgement and that’s not good, just let them be and I find they go away quickly. But it’s an ongoing process and I believe we can do it.January 29, 2019 at 7:55 pm #26604
i believe we can do it, too!February 1, 2019 at 5:31 am #26674
Martin Reed★ Admin
What a great, supportive discussion this is! Thank you to everyone who is contributing.
Sleep anxiety is a common problem that perpetuates insomnia — because as soon as we worry about sleep, we immediately begin to make sleep more difficult.
The good news for you, richiebjjprof, is that your bad nights are in the minority — so as long as you avoid putting pressure on yourself to sleep and don’t try to compensate for a bad night of sleep, these bad nights should remain relatively rare.February 1, 2019 at 12:57 pm #26691
i don’t know if this is true for you, richie, but i’m noticing that i’ve recently become very hard on myself when it comes to sleep. last night, i got 5 solid hours, which is actually pretty good by a lot of standards (and i feel okay); however, i believe that i “should” have slept longer since i didn’t have to get up early this morning and at this moment it’s tough for me to just let it go even though the night is over and gone. i think it’s this “should” mentality that has contributed the most to the recent sleep anxiety that i’ve been experiencing; i get so critical of myself now even though i’ve always had some nights that were a little shorter than others.February 1, 2019 at 3:27 pm #26700
Thanks for the kind words and support MartinFebruary 1, 2019 at 3:32 pm #26701
Thanks Aquarius for posting, the one thing I have been working on and of course it’s a process is being very grateful for what sleep I do get and trying not to question anything but like I said easier said than done. It’s a process and we shouldn’t put any time tables on anything.February 1, 2019 at 3:39 pm #26702
yes, that is wonderful advice! and i realized that i woke up early because i’d been thinking about someone who recently passed away, so that silenced the inner critic. have a good day!February 11, 2019 at 4:21 pm #27015
Does anyone ever have descent sleep for a few nights or even a week and all of a sudden I have a night I don’t sleep at all, just frustrating!