- April 12, 2019 at 4:17 pm #28452
A sleep aid can help through rough patches and sleeping even if it’s less restorative is better than consecutive nights of no/poor sleep which can result in more issues. You have a strong sleep knowledge and a plan to get on track. You’ll get back on track.
Hope the family matters has subsided and hope all is good there.April 12, 2019 at 7:23 pm #28456
How are some of you other guys doing like Dragon and Steve?April 17, 2019 at 7:16 pm #28560
Delv – I have a question for you. You seem to be doing better. For awhile there you seemed to be stuck, having 3 days a week or so with just a few hours of sleep. What do you think made the difference that now your sleep is improving? Have you done something different? Thanks, DebApril 17, 2019 at 8:02 pm #28561
I am hoping I don’t jinx myself and start spiraling down again but each night is what it is. Good news is the past week or week and a half I’ve been averaging 6.5 hours and hoping it stays and I am generally quite happy about it.
I haven’t been doing anything too different. What I can say is that I am doing CBT-i but not “intensively” and religiously. I do stick with a rough bed and a rise time that’s consistent and only implement SC if I know sleep won’t happen and too alert. I’ve been keeping somewhat busy in the evenings to take my mind off things but still make time to relax, watch a bit of TV and meditate. When I do have higher daytime anxiety I find it tends to translate into my sleep. What I’ve been doing is trying to address things during the day rather than in the bedroom. For example, if I have a worry thought even if it’s not a big deal but affects how I feel and gives me a little “worry shock”. A worry shock to me is a thought that pops into my head that makes me go “oh.. yeah that” and then I am alert and more tense for a brief moment. I pretend I am a board floating in the ocean and just ride with it rather than get too concerned about it. In other words try not to fight but rather just let it pass or even welcome it (like Guy Meadows says). But when it comes to passing and welcoming, not trying too hard. More like observe and know the feeling is just there and being aware of it or even try making that uneasy feeling last longer. “Oh here it is again, welcome back”. Having a good productive day with fun, stress reduction and laughter helps. Like all of us even good sleepers, we will have poor nights and I hate when it’s in a row (like a wave). I hate it and makes me worry even more the next day. I am hoping meditation and addressing things during the day will translate into my brain being more calm at night. Also, I listen to my body. If I am genuinely tired during the day and able to lie down for a bit, I will for 20-30 minutes. I often don’t know if I’ve fallen asleep but I get up and feel a bit better and less sleepy and I think sometimes that helps relieve some pressure.
Hope that all makes sense.April 17, 2019 at 10:48 pm #28563
Thanks, Delv. Yes it makes sense. By the way, I’ve given up on ACT. It was too hard to implement without any guidance. I actually met with their sleep doctor online last week. It was good, but then there was no other appointment available for 3 weeks. That’s way too long when you’re trying to learn something new and it’s confusing and tricky. You can get way off course in 3 weeks, which is what happened to me. They only have one sleep doctor and she meets with people only on Thursdays. That’s so inadequate when you got a bunch of people needing help. They said on their website that Guy is training therapists now, but there’s no link to any of them on the site. And when I emailed them about it, asking for a list of therapists, they completely ignored me.
Unfortunately, I reached a really low point and was despairing. I got an emergency prescription of Ambien because I was so desperate for sleep. My husband begged me to get on an antidepressant because my moods have been so severe when I couldn’t sleep. I started on one a few days ago, although it takes a few weeks to kick in. Then I remembered that I could always go back to CBT-I. So I contacted Martin yesterday and will start working with him to hopefully get back on track. My sleep is a mess. Sorry I can’t report more positively about ACT. It was a great idea that I really believed in, but just impossible to implement. Also, that Sleep Clinic is completely useless.April 18, 2019 at 4:36 pm #28568
When you mean sleep doctor I assume the sleep school? I agree that 3 weeks is long when we really need to get started sooner than later. It is also crazy that she meets only on Thursdays. You would think if the money was good and there was demand, she would be working mon-fri. I am sure you will get back on track. You’ve had some good sleep streaks in the past and know it will come again.
Speaking about lack of therapists, I am actually contemplating writing a book on this to help others. I don’t have a PhD but I do have experience. Thankfully *knock on wood* it’s not extreme as some I’ve heard.April 18, 2019 at 4:51 pm #28569
I meant the sleep school. I met with the doctor there, the only one there who is doing therapy and only on Thursdays, which is pretty pathetic.
Sounds like a good idea to write a book. I think there needs to be more discussion on how insomnia is a real mental health issue, just like depression, and you can’t just “chill out” or “relax” or just deal with your anxiety and it will go away. I’ve been frustrated talking to a couple counselors here who really don’t get it at all. One told me I need to take a bath and drink some warm milk before I go to bed. Another thinks I just need to deal with my anxiety through medication. I think only if you’ve experienced it or been close to someone and seen their misery up close (like my husband) you really can’t get it.April 18, 2019 at 6:34 pm #28570
It 100% is a mental health issue. Lack of sleep plays a huge part in how we feel and function. There is a bidirectional relationship with insomnia and depression. The good news is some practitioners and therapists are starting to see that if you address one, it can help with the other. If you can address sleep, anxiety and depression subside and vise versa.
Quite a bit of the frustration is that nothing seems to work consistently. That’s why the sleep book seem appealing because every pill, potion or routine kind of worked for a few days and then didn’t and then some days I would do nothing and sleep well. We have to trust in our ability to sleep. I just don’t know why there are “flare ups” other than just brain chemistry or moon phase? All I can seem to do is muddle through those and say to myself that there will be better nights. And there are much better nights.April 21, 2019 at 3:22 pm #28607
Mac0908✘ Not a client
Well said Delv. It’s tough. Very tough. But I honestly am still optimistic in that there is hope for a 100% recovery. It just make take a much, much longer time for certain people such as ourselves.
I am now over 4 1/2 months into my “stricter” routines of trying to get better and I can tell you that while I am better than I have ever been, I still struggle significantly sometimes. I had a day just under two weeks ago, where I swear it felt like one of those days where I belonged in a hospital bed I was so shot and exhausted. Then, in about the last week or so leading up to this weekend things were fine. Probably my greatest week in the last 4 1/2 months. Big part of the reason I’m posting right now. Then, beginning this past Thursday night, I’m not sure what happened, but I had a bad night and now both Friday and Saturday I have had poor nights. 3 sleepy days in a row and a weekend pretty much ruined. Very unusual for me on the weekends where I tend to do better but make no mistake have struggled in the past with many times.
I thought rough weekend sleeping was completely behind me, but apparently it isn’t. I still try and stay optimistic and still try and be happy knowing that my overall anxiety has gone from 95% to probably 5% with regards to bedtime fear, but I can’t shake that feeling knowing that I may have some sort of brick ceiling in all of this that I may never be able to truly breakthrough. It’s tough.
Happy Easter to all who celebrate.
April 22, 2019 at 12:22 pm #28617
- This reply was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by Mac0908.
Glad to hear that you are better than you have ever been at least for awhile. I am in the same boat. I have decent stretches and then a stretch of poor nights. Some of the poor nights aren’t as bad as they could be. All I try to do is accept it and know I’ve handled this before and not panic. No one is a perfect sleeper but when I see it comes easier and more natural to others like I used to be, it’s tough. What I hate is that on poor nights, my thoughts and worry ramp up. I am more tired and anxious and obviously makes the day harder to muddle through. On better sleep nights, I feel more normal and think about other matters that are non sleep related.
Happy belated EasterApril 22, 2019 at 12:31 pm #28618
Mac0908✘ Not a client
Thanks Delv but I have fallen into one hell of a stretch again. Fourth bad night in a row. As long as it took for my full week of good sleep, it’s taken just as long for a bad stretch like this to come back. Unreal. Circles under my eyes as dark as my black computer monitor.
I’m really not sure what it is anymore with regards to how this comes about. I guess when it rains it pours. It just seems like whenever I have a pair of back to back bad nights it’s a recipe for at least a small relapse. The thoughts creep back in a little harder during the day and before bed, the memories of just how brutal this all can be, etc. I know I have come a long way in not worrying as much, so I don’t know what it could really be. I didn’t go to bed when completely exhausted last night, I will admit that, but I’ve gotten so much better that I’ve actually progressed to going to bed when just “tired” and doing ok. Good, right? Well, not good today. Maybe I have to push it late tonight and get back into some sort of light SRT routine. Who knows.April 22, 2019 at 6:35 pm #28624
dragon✘ Not a client
I’m trying to do the sleep restriction now. Had put it off forever. It’s been a week. Having a rough go of it. I understand the logic of it, but the anxiety doesn’t seem to be dissipating. How long did it take before people saw some results?April 22, 2019 at 7:21 pm #28625
I’m starting all over again because I got totally off course and my sleep was a mess again. I started three nights ago. Yes, it’s not easy. I knew it would be difficult so I hired Martin again to help me. Make sure you implement SC as well as SR. My first night I didn’t sleep at all, getting up at least twice or more to do SC. The second night I got up twice and slept just 2 hours. So this weekend I was a complete zombie. Too bad, because the weather was beautiful. Last night was better, with 5 hours. I only got up once. Of course it helped that my sleep drive was high because I was super-exhausted. I imagine there will be ups and downs with a gradual curve upward. My guess is that by 2 weeks you’ll see some improvement if you’re doing things right. That’s another reason I hired Martin. I wanted to make sure I was doing things right. I tried to do SC on my own before and it was a mess. It’s worth it to me to pay for help if it will finally get me out of this nightmare.April 22, 2019 at 7:56 pm #28626
dragon✘ Not a client
Oh how could I be doing SC wrong? Aren’t I just getting out of bed if sleep doesn’t happen?April 22, 2019 at 8:13 pm #28627
No you’re fine. You didn’t mention doing SC so I thought you were leaving it out. Just follow the guidelines on this website for doing SC and SR and you should be fine.