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Sleeping again and looking forward to it

Insomnia Forum Insomnia Success Stories Sleeping again and looking forward to it

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by dbaldino 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • #37897

    SkibearCO
    ✓ Client

    After going through the CBT-I program with Martin from June to August, I can report that my natural sleep has returned. It feels great, getting about 6 hours on average every night.
    For me that is close enough to the 6.5 hours I found my body needs to feel fully rested the next day. But as Martin and CBT-I has taught me, is to tackle my anxiety and anxious thoughts first. Because once anxiety comes under control with CBT-I (and also used some ACT techniques) your natural sleep will return. You basically cannot stay awake if your are not anxious anymore.

    As many said before. The main goal for me also was to tackle the anxiety using CBT-I techniques first. Since I was struggling with exactly two pesky anxiety inducing thoughts during my active Insomnia phase, it helped me to add on the Acceptance and Thought&emotion Welcoming techniques of the Sleep School of Dr Guy Meadows. I am still using his app a few times a week to especially practice the Night Welcoming (which is relaxation) as well as the Thought Welcoming techniques.

    To close I would like to share with you my affirmations. I read those every day. They helped me stay on track, reminding me of what I am trying to achieve with sleep, how to avoid anxiety, how to stop controlling it, and let go so that natural sleep can emerge.
    I assume I will need more time practicing to develop my sleep abilities. But reading a few paragraphs is not a lot of effort now to keep reminding my anxious brain to I am safe and will be able to rest every night. Hope it will help you reframe how you think of sleep as well.
    Here we go:

    For night time:
    Allow myself to be awake in bed w/o any pressure to sleep, making a mental effort to stay awake/even with eyes open at times (imagine being in front of the TV)
    In bed, I will rest awake, not sleep, if necessary the whole night
    (Everything about sleep is reversed.)
    Enjoy being able to rest, even if sleep will come later.

    Be in your quiet awake but restful space (not doing mindfulness) where you do not think of anything per se – Trust the body. It knows how to fall asleep. Enjoy!
    That is what normal sleepers do.
    Some ideas what to do when resting in bed:
    1) Start counting back from 1000
    2) Senses – feel the sheets, breathe, listen to what sounds I hear
    3) Thinking of fruits and vegetables with a certain letter,
    4) Focus on the details of a particular object, such as its color, shape, size and what it’s used for.
    If you do not fall asleep, then you succeeded as the goal was to stay awake.
    When you were a normal sleeper, it also happened that you tried to sleep but could not.

    Accept any thoughts&emotion that my mind serves up, experience them, they cannot hurt you, are just words, note them (“SLEEP” if Monitoring and Coping show up) and move back to the body (breath, touch…) SILVER PLACE with mindfulness /acceptance and welcoming exercises while resting in bed like Night noticing (Sleep school app or other relaxation exercise).
    Goal is to relax, rest but not sleep.

    THOUGHT WELCOMING – be the thought narrator
    Label your anxiety-inducing thoughts as a group thought “SLEEP”
    “Oh you again, my mind is showing me the Sleep thought again”
    Then move back to noticing senses or the body/breathing.
    When doing it over and over, your mind will serve up the thought less and less.

    I am willing to have a shorter night, as it builds sleep pressure and I am one night closer to good sleep.
    You have no control over your sleep anyway.
    Do not judge yourself or your sleep. Be compassionate with yourself. This is how you sleep at the moment. LET GO!

    Every night is a new night. It does not matter what happens tonight.
    After a short night, i am going to reward myself.

    Your activities are for long-term improvement.
    MAIN GOAL: LESSEN ANXIETY, not to improve tonight’s sleep.

    #37899

    scottctj
    Mentor

    Hey SkiBearCO! What a wonderful success story, great points – thank you for taking the time to share with others! For most, understanding how to reduce sleep deprived arousal and building daily sleep drive is so vital in experiencing sound sleep again and you’ve proven that the techniques found in cognitive and behavioral theory are beneficial.

    Regards,
    Scott

    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.
    #38432

    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    I love how you completely changed your relationship with all the thoughts that can easily interfere with sleep through a process of acceptance and curiosity since our default response is usually far more adversarial, and that’s not helpful when it comes to creating the right conditions for sleep!

    I think your experience also shows that when it comes to improving sleep, we don’t have to choose between CBT-I and ACT — they can each complement one another!

    Being able to recognize that sleep will happen when sleep drive is strong enough and arousal is low enough is a clear sign of your ever-increasing sleep confidence. Thanks for sharing your transformation and for offering so many helpful tips!

    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.
    #44410

    SkibearCO
    ✓ Client

    One year update. My sleep has stabilized further and is not a concern for me anymore throughout the day. i don;t care much anymore how many hours I sleep. 6.5 hours is sufficient for me and my brain will take care of me getting the sleep I need depending on how tired my body really is. No need for me to control consciously.

    One affirmation I still tell myself though every night before going to bed:
    I tell myself: “You do not have to sleep”
    If I don’t fall asleep, I succeeded. And then I am going to sleep well the next night as sleep pressure will have increased.

    I remember Martin telling me that we have to take sleep off the pedestal I initially put it on. Once I started making inroads into the belief that sleep is the most important thing, I improved gradually.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by SkibearCO.
    #44589

    Trish
    ✘ Not a client

    Thank you so much SkibearCo, this information is so valuable to me as I also suffer from anxiety around sleep. I am very grateful that you posted it.

    Trish

    #45044

    dbaldino
    ✘ Not a client

    Thank you for sharing. That was really helpful. I am still trying to wrap my brain around not using sleep aids. Every time I stop, I relapse. I am going to try and use these techniques to get past that. For me getting past the “rebound” insomnia after tapering off sleeping aids is the biggest hurdle. I’m sure it’s mostly the “placebo effect.” I guess I just need to convince myself of that.

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

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