- March 27, 2019 at 7:24 pm #28109
Shouldn’t be that way. You deserve good sleep EVERY night!March 27, 2019 at 7:25 pm #28110
Martin Reed★ Admin
It’s so hard for me to read this discussion thread (and that’s why I haven’t contributed much) because I just can’t see how staying in bed with anxious thoughts about sleep is constructive.
I know the goal of ACT is to ‘let go’ — and this can certainly be effective, but if you have high levels of anxiety I just can’t see it being helpful compared to getting out of bed.
Getting out of bed when unable to sleep has so many benefits:
1. It reduces the amount of time you spend in bed awake and frustrated (so you don’t associate the bed with wakefulness and anxiety)
2. It removes you from the bed when you can’t sleep (so you only associate the bed with sleep, not wakefulness and anxiety)
3. It prevents you from staying in bed ‘trying’ to sleep (trying to sleep immediately makes sleep more difficult)
4. It empowers you — when you can’t sleep, you know exactly what to do (get out of bed until you feel sleepy again)
If you have amazing mind control and can simply ‘let go’ and accept sleeplessness then I can see ACT being helpful. However, if you have high levels of anxiety about being awake during the night, I just cannot see how staying in bed, tossing and turning, worrying about sleep, is helpful in any way whatsoever.March 27, 2019 at 11:03 pm #28114
I agree, Martin, that when you have high amounts of anxiety it’s better to get up. Since I’ve started ACT there’s been a few times when my anxiety was too high to stay in bed. I had to get up and calm myself down, and then I could go back to bed.
In Guy Meadow’s book he recommends that if your anxiety is too high, it’s better to gradually get used to staying in bed. He also emphasizes the importance of practicing mindfulness and letting go during the daytime when it’s easier to do. This then will give you more confidence and skill to practice it at night, when it can be a lot harder.April 1, 2019 at 1:48 pm #28236
Been a few days. How are you making out? Hope you’ve had some good nights.April 1, 2019 at 6:12 pm #28245
Hi Delv – nothing much to report – ups & downs still. Thanks for asking. How about yourself?April 1, 2019 at 6:56 pm #28247
The past 2-3 weeks were fairly stable. My average was 6.5 hours and daytime feelings were pretty normal. Not perfect by any means but not worrying about the day or sleep too much. The last few days I’ve been feeling anxious/tense during the day which lead to crappier sleep. Last night it took a bit longer to fall asleep. Once asleep I got 4-5 hours straight through. At 5-5:30ish I was up and just laid there relaxing but feeling alert. I was out of bed at 7. Tired but not super tired, feeling tense and anxious which of course doesn’t help.April 1, 2019 at 8:58 pm #28253
Stable is good. 6.5 is pretty good, too. I do well when I get 6.5 hours of sleep.April 2, 2019 at 1:02 pm #28259
6.5 I am usually good for. Unfortunately I got maybe 3-4 hours last night. I woke up in the middle of the night and didn’t look at the time but laid in bed and relaxed. After awhile I just had to get up and move to another room. My brain wouldn’t shut off and when I got closer to falling asleep, I would wake up. Frustrating 🙁 Zombie day ahead.April 2, 2019 at 2:17 pm #28260
Sorry you had a rough night Delv. Did you only go to bed when totally exhausted/unable to keep your eyes open? What would you say your issues were? Its been a while of this for you now I feel. Not sure what level you’re at anxiety wise but if you’re not at least at a 70% removed from sleep fear point then getting out of bed is a total necessity IMO.
For me personally, I’m what I’d call “stable” at this point, though still struggling of course, sometimes very much. I’m trying to kind of move away from posting all the time here about my sleep, especially the bad stuff. I had another solid phase of 4 good nights going back through last week into the weekend. Then once the work week started things got rough again. Been tired yesterday and today. Though not zombie days, they’ve still been very rough days that make me upset and disgusted. Trying to remain calm though knowing in the back of my mind just how far I’ve come from the insane days of rearranging my bedroom in hopes to try and cure my sleep anxiety.
3 months now for me in this stricter recovery process. Better than I was at month one but as I said, still not great. Here’s to hoping that at 6 months I’m much better offApril 2, 2019 at 2:36 pm #28261
I would say I am definitely better than 4-6 months ago. The percentage of good days (waves of good days) are better than bad days (waves of bad days). I had a good stretch of what I would call stable days where I would feel pretty normal. Not too tired during the day, not too irritable or fuzzy and in the evenings be able to enjoy my evenings without really worrying.
As for going to bed totally exhausted. No. I was tired but not wiped. The more tired I am, the faster I fall asleep. As for staying asleep, I am not sure but that is always random. Some nights I wake up and just turn around or go to the bathroom and then fall back asleep. Other times I wake up and just feel awake and going back to sleep is next to impossible. That’s where I do ACT to a point and relax and see if sleep will come. If not after 20-30 minutes I really should resort back to stimulus control as much as I hate it. I just feel like once I am up even for 20 minutes, I am adjusting to being up for good especially if it’s 5-6am.
What seems to be common is daytime/nighttime anxiety and sleep. Chicken or the egg. They seem to feed off each other. If I am doing well and start to feel anxious during the day, it may lead to poor sleep. If I have poor sleep then I feel anxious during the day.
When I am feeling good I meditate less and try to go to my old self (minus the booze) and things are good but then when things turn south I am back to meditating, trying to relax and calm my nerves.April 2, 2019 at 2:47 pm #28263
My problem at this point is, like I’m sure is yours too is, just bc I’m “better than I once was” doesn’t mean I’m at all happy or thrilled. Still being a zombie here and there or having my bad nights (like my last two) is anything but ok to me. Bc I’m not talking about feeling a TAD tired once or twice a week. That I could live with for the time being. I’m talking feeling legitimately tired like I have today and yesterday. Flat out bad nights that still occur at the very least once a week.April 3, 2019 at 4:03 pm #28317
Yes I am like you. Better does happen but not amazing. I would say satisfactory. I got about 3.5-4 hrs last night and couldn’t get back to sleep after 4am. Today I feel zoned out. I wish I had answers to why I am dealing with this in the first place, what is the best way to treat it long term, how to avoid relapsing etc.
I see my dog and cat sleeping without issues mind you it looks like light sleep but they don’t “seem” to be struggling lolApril 11, 2019 at 1:19 pm #28439
How are we all doing?? I figured it can’t be too detrimental to give each other updates every couple of weeks, can it? I’ve been doing “well” lately. Averaging about 2 bad nights a week. Staying positive. Trying to keep moving forward so to speak. It is what it is for me at the moment. Deb? Delv?April 11, 2019 at 2:54 pm #28441
Moving forward as well. I’ve been in a pattern of week(s) of stable sleep (5.5-7 hours) and then a streak of poor nights. For example, from April 1st to the 7th I was anywhere between 2-5 hours and average of about 3.8 hours. Then since then, not only were the hours asleep were higher, my sleep efficiency is a lot better as well. So I’ve been in a better pattern the last few days. What I’ve been doing is trying to be consistent as possible within reason. Go to bed roughly at the same time, wake up roughly at the same time. During the day I try to be positive despite poor sleep days. I can say poor sleep days heighten anxiety and my worry about sleep which I think we all face here. On good days, I feel normal and think about it way less which is wonderful.
As for this topic SR vs ACT, I’ve not thought too much about it and go with my body flow. If I wake up in the middle of the night and still feel sleepy, Ill just turn over, close my eyes and go back to sleep. It’s wonderful! If I wake up and feel tense, anxious, Ill do my best to extinguish those feelings and relax. If it’s been 20 or so minutes and I am quite confident sleep is not possible because I am too aroused/alert/wired then I get out of bed. I am not a fan of getting out of bed especially often to avoid making my body think it’s a new habit but I will if I know sleep is not possible.
When it comes to mindfulness, relaxation, meditation, breathing, I think it’s more useful to apply during the day to relax and become more familiar with it. I think it is futile to never apply it and only apply it at in bed when trying to fall asleep. It’s like being a firefighter that never practiced and then when a real fire happens you are overwhelmed.
As for these rebounds I get, I have no idea why they happen. We all have stress and such but it’s not like there was a specific incident that happened that day to re-trigger it. All I can really do is try to mitigate it, take it easy on myself for those days and say to myself that better and more restorative sleep will come.April 12, 2019 at 1:30 pm #28446
Sounds like you guys are doing better. I’ve had a setback the last couple of weeks. Had to deal with family matters regarding elderly parents who live in another state. Couldn’t deal with sleep issues at the same time so got a prescription of Ambien. It knocked me out but did not give me restful sleep. Trying to get off of that now and get back on track. So ups and downs for me.