Sleep Restriction and wakefulness help

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  • #75986
    ✘ Not a client

      I have had insomnia for about 6 months. I found cbti about a month ago and immediately implemented sleep restriction and getting put of bed when i cant sleep(usually at 3am). My question is how do you stay awake until 1230 at night??? I start to feel physically ill and fall asleep doing puzzles. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I have started getting a solid 6 hours sleep which is great but the flip side is I am miserable and dread the late nights just as much as being awake on/off all night with a “normal ” bed time. Any advice? Ive never had a problem falling asleep but waking after 4-5 hours without going back to sleep. When I wake, my body is in fight mode. My mind is somewhat calm. Im not sure how to get my body to calm down(Ive tried breathing exercises). Help!

      ✘ Not a client

        Did you get anywhere with this? I have struggled with poor sleep for a number of years and started sleep compression/restriction as well. I’m about 2.5 weeks in and am experiencing something similar. I am able to keep myself awake (barely) until 11:15, I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, but then I pop awake at about 4:30, a full hour before I’m “supposed to get up”. It has been infuriating, I figured by now my brain would have given up and just let me sleep through my full restriction at least.

        I play solitaire, or listen to a podcast. I don’t restrict light exposure until about 15-20 minutes before bed (rather then an hour). I feel like that helps a bit.

        ✘ Not a client

          I can’t really speak to the sleep restriction process. I did try it, and I remember only that it did not translate into no more insomnia. The same goes for a lot of the standard sleep hygiene techniques, e.g. don’t read disturbing news accounts or drink coffee late at night.

          I am not saying these techniques don’t have value, and I practice quite a few of them. But for me, what has been more important has been my attitude toward insomnia. Over time, I have been (generally) able to see it as one of life’s difficulties which pop up here and there, rather than as a monster which is going to spiral me into despair. Even though it feels that way after several rough nights.

          Take care, you are not alone in this.

          ✘ Not a client

            I did not get anywhere really. I did see some improvement with my waking feeling anxious. I had a solid month of going to bed and waking at 3am but not feeling anxious. I just laid there and dozed in and out. After a few stressful days, I am back to waking at 3am axious. So frustrating. I felt like I was in a good spot mentally with not giving insomnia a hold over my thoughts. I think having a more relaxed outlook on insomnia is better but doesn’t resolve the issue.

            ✘ Not a client

              Thanks for your advice to let it come and go. I do think it is a mental game and having a calmer perspective on insomnia is healthier than forcing things that don’t seem to be working.

              ✘ Not a client

                I will say, I have been at this for about 5 weeks and IT IS A GRIND. That said I am realizing sleep compression/restriction and hygiene is only one piece of the puzzle, it’s the behavioral part of CBT, the cognitive part is the other arguably bigger (and more difficult) part. I have tried this on my own in the past and it did not work, but thankfully I found a practitioner that can help me that is also covered by my health care program.

                It is very nuanced…I tried one of the sleep apps (Sleep Reset) and the idea and framework was there but I could tell they were following a very set program and schedule with very little grey area IE after two weeks do this after three weeks do this. Well my body and mind (like many others I am sure) didn’t want to follow that script. Finding an actual professional has been the lynch pin for me. To be able to hear simple things like “this part is normal” or “you are in the worse before better stage” and “lots of other experience this” helped me stick with it where I would have given up otherwise. Then of course she has given me tools to address specific things, like my early morning waking.

                Honestly I feel like basic sleep hygiene is kind of low hanging fruit that probably works well for folks who already sleep “ok” and it can improve on that. For me it was a bit of a frustration to try all of those somewhat easy things and not get results, I then realized that simply going to bed and waking up at the same time every day and avoiding blue light etc wasn’t going to un layer 10 years of insomnia.

                Anyway, I am by no means out of the woods yet but have been doing better in the last 3-4 days, and that’s after 4 weeks of sleep restrictions and 4 one on one appointments with my sleep therapist. I liken it to physiotherapy or an exercise routine, the results are slow and take work, but it will be worth it in the end.

                Good luck

              Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

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