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- July 7, 2019 at 7:50 pm #30606
I’m new to this forum. Thank youth everyone involved for sharing your tips and advice on insomnia, and to Martin for setting this up. I have already read quite a few of the posts on sleep restriction which I found very helpful. I have problems (recently developed) with sleep onset insomnia. I guess my sleep has not been that great for a fair while anyway, but in August last year after a particularly bad night of sleep away from home I admitted myself to the ED in a hospital with what felt like a heart attack (and was incorrectly diagnosed as that), bit which turned out to be a bad anxiety attack. Since that time I have been on a long journey to recover from the anxiety, but in February this year I started to really struggle with sleep onset. Since then about once a week I have a night where my head hits the pillow, and I get very anxious about sleeping, and can’t fall asleep. These nights I get maybe 1 hour of sleep. On one occasion I had two of these nights back to back and the next day was one of the worst I can remember.
So I went to a sleep clinic two weeks ago, and did the sleep study thing. Which told me I don’t have sleep apnea and not much else. How you are meant to sleep at these places with a billion wires and tubes hooked up to your head I do not know. Anyway the sleep doctor prescribed CBT and Gabapentin (Neurontin in the US). So as part of the sleep log I now need to do the sleep restriction thing, which I have started about 11 days ago. It has been very difficult to do. Anyway, I have set my sleep window to 6.5 hours, and near the end of week 2 I am averaging about 5.25 hours average sleep time with about 77% sleep efficiency. I am still having a lot of variability in this. Some nights I sleep almost the whole sleep window. Other nights maybe 2-3 hours.
It would be great to get some stability back into my sleep again.July 8, 2019 at 3:52 am #30609
gsdmom✘ Not a client
I’m curious about the gabapentin, it is effective at all?July 8, 2019 at 6:03 am #30610
I think it helps a bit. I take 300 mg about 1-2 hours before bed, which is a fairly low dose. I am no expert in finding solutions to insomnia, so I am trying quite a few things in parallel at the moment, and it is a little difficult to say which things are working and which are not. I have only taken benzodiazepines in desperation about 4 times in my life (I am 57), and they definitely put me to sleep. Once on those things I slept for 12.5 hours straight, but they are not a viable long term solution because of all the problems associated with them.July 9, 2019 at 8:37 pm #30631
Martin Reed★ Admin
Hello wsh and welcome to the forum. The way your insomnia developed is not unusual so I see no reason why CBT-I techniques will not be helpful for you. You might find this short video helpful:
Are you working on CBT-I with a therapist? Your sleep window sounds a bit too long compared to your current average nightly sleep duration. If you are currently getting around five-and-a-quarter hours of sleep each night, I’d suggest starting with a sleep window of around five hours and 45 minutes.
I hope this helps!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.July 9, 2019 at 10:10 pm #30645
Many thanks for your reply, and the video link was really helpful. I am not currently working on CBT-i with a therapist, but if you are offering I am keen so let me know whether this is something you can offer. Send me a private email on this please. Actually the sleep clinic I went to in Australia was not as helpful as I would have liked. After a rather expensive sleep study (with a very poor sleep as a result of having a large number of wires and tubes hooked up to me) they told me I didn’t have sleep apnea (which I already knew). They just gave me a prescription for Gavipentin (leaving the dosage up to me), told me to do any online course on CBT-i for insomnia and pretty much left it at that.
Anyway, I am currently just about to finish week 2 of sleep restriction. I am using a 6.5 hour sleep window. So far in week 1 my total sleep time averaged 5.0 hours, and sleep efficiency was 73%. In week 2, total sleep time improved to 5.6 hours, and sleep efficiency has been averaging 86%.
On the basis of these numbers, do you still think it is a good idea to reduce my sleep window from 6.5 hours to 5.75 hours ?
Bill Hunter.July 9, 2019 at 10:28 pm #30646
Martin Reed★ Admin
I’ll send you an email, Bill. With those sleep efficiency numbers, I’d suggest waiting until Week 2 is over before adjusting your sleep window further.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.