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- December 23, 2018 at 8:07 am #25705
Noted Debbie – thanks for that and for your help before.
PS Who have you hired to help you?December 23, 2018 at 11:16 pm #25709
Martin Reed, the one who created this website. I”ll keep you posted.December 30, 2018 at 9:15 pm #25763
I’ve worked with Martin now a little over a week. Based on my sleep diary and the number of hours I was sleeping, he told me to start implementing the sleep restriction therapy of 6 hours per night at the same time every night. I could choose the time, so it could be 11 to 5, 12 to 6, etc. I chose 12 to 6. At first when he said this, everything inside me wanted to rebel against it. I wanted to say, “You want me to get up at 6:00, even though a lot of nights I’m not even falling asleep until 4 or 5? That’s crazy! I can’t do that!” But the more I thought about it, the more it began to make sense. It’s like so many other things in life, where we need structure and consistency. Then the body and mind can begin to relax and settle into the new, dependable routine.
Like you, Daf, I was sleeping on the couch for awhile because I couldn’t sleep in bed. But then that stopped working. Anyway, last night was my first night of sleep restriction. I slept 5.75 out of the 6 hours. Also, it was the first time in a long time that I slept the whole night in bed. So off to a good start.
I’m liking working with Martin because he’s very responsive to my emails and questions. So I feel like I’m getting the help when I need it. I had tried to implement the stimulus control method by myself, but was having an awful time with it. So now if I have any problems with these techniques I can ask Martin instead of trying to figure out everything on my own (and wasting many nights of sleep over it.)December 30, 2018 at 9:40 pm #25764
You were just recently talking about how you followed the guidelines in the “Unlearn Your Pain” book and found yourself sleeping beautifully again, 7 1/2 hours a night. You went on to say you had strung together several great nights. Then suddenly, you had a bad night and let the fear right back into your bedtime. Now you are doing sleep restriction. I’m curious why you couldn’t see that you KNEW how to sleep again. You had it. I don’t think there was any reason to pay $500. How long have you been dealing with Insomnia just curious?
December 30, 2018 at 10:23 pm #25772
- This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by Mac0908.
Two months. Yes, I thought I had it, but obviously I didn’t. Last week also, I thought I had it – I was falling asleep easily on the couch. And then that stopped working. I think we can try a lot of different things and think that we’ve finally got it figured out…….until it stops working. About fear – I wish I could say that I could push it away on my own – yes that would be simpler and cheaper, but I couldn’t. It’s so intricately intertwined with the insomnia. So what comes first – get rid of the fear first and then you can sleep? Or start sleeping better which then reduces fear? Maybe it’s different for different people.
I see a lot of folks on this forum who seem to have been struggling with insomnia a lot longer than I have. Seems to me it’s worth it to pay $500 (for me, this is one week’s paycheck) then to keep struggling, keep trying different things over and over. The longer I struggle, the deeper it will become entrenched. I don’t want that. I want to get on with my life and put this behind me.December 30, 2018 at 10:57 pm #25776
I hear you @deb. For me it has been 2 YEARS on and off and just recently I have reached my breaking point.
It’s just interesting how some of us can start sleeping well again, showing ourselves that we remember and KNOW how to sleep. Then for whatever reason we can hold onto it. Then, even though we have slept through the night fine at times, we might have to end up trying more serious methods like Sleep Restriction Therapy. If Sleep Restriction Therapy could ultimately kill my anxiety I’d sign up in a heartbeat, but it just seems to brutal to try just yet.
How are you doing right now with it?December 31, 2018 at 1:47 am #25778
Then for whatever reason we CAN’T* hold onto it.December 31, 2018 at 2:49 am #25779
Two years – that’s a long time to be suffering from this. I think it’s time for you to get help, my friend. If you can’t come up with the $500, pay the $70 each week. When you start seeing progress, you’ll realize that it was well worth the expense. Martin will give you the support you need to do the sleep restriction. Yes, it may be difficult the first week or so, but what’s one or two weeks in comparison with the two years you’ve already suffered? I also dreaded the thought of trying these methods and when I tried it by myself, I just seemed to make things worse. Having someone to “hold my hand” through the process has really helped me.
I only had one night of sleep restriction so far, but I slept 5.75 of the restricted 6 hours, so that was great. But I don’t expect it to be this easy each time. I’ll let you know how it goes this week. There’s a link to another client of Martin’s who did it and she said (or he) that the first few days sucked and then it started getting better. She had been struggling with insomnia for 10 years.
https://insomniacoach.com/forums/topic/you-can-do-it (If this doesn’t work, go to the forum topic, “Sleep restriction” and scroll down to Martin’s comment.) It’s very hopeful and shows that these methods work.
I read the book by Sasha Stephens who had insomnia for 15 years. Her turning point came when was she went away for a retreat and was forced to go to bed late every night after a long exhausting day and get up early at the same time every morning for several days. So let the behavioral changes lead the way and then I think your emotions and everything else will start to fall into place.December 31, 2018 at 6:54 am #25788
Hi Mac and Deb,
I think sleep restriction therapy does make sense. In fact, it is maybe the only thing we can actually control (apart from trying to control our thoughts, over which we have some control, if we keep practising things like mindfulness and saying NO to negative thoughts etc., replacing them with positive thoughts).
I have to say though that for me, I’m not keen on the idea of getting out of bed after 15 minutes or so. It does just not work for me. (I don’t know what Martin says on that aspect of SRT, but it is the approach used by the NHS (health service) in England.)
I think better to just stay in bed and relax if you are OK doing that if you cannot sleep. After all, if you resolve to make sleep “no big deal” by making it less of a focus in your life (no more reading about it on tinternet / blogging!, ahem!), then why would you make it a big focus by getting out of bed if you can’t sleep right away? Unless you really want to get up and do the ironing instead.
DafDecember 31, 2018 at 12:45 pm #25793
Deb I find it very interesting how you’ve only signed up ONE week ago, paid $500, yet seem to talking about the program as if you’ve already gone through it and are somehow 100% convinced this is the way to go. You say Martin will give the support you need to do Sleep Restriction, yet you admit you’ve only been through ONE night of it so far. You even explain that if I can’t pay the $500, to do the $70 each week. And then you post this same response in my other thread just incase I didn’t see it here first. Again… Interesting.
December 31, 2018 at 1:42 pm #25796
- This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by Mac0908.
Yes, I’m just a beginner, so can’t claim that I know what I’m doing and what is best. But what I tried before for the last two months didn’t work, and now I’ve slept 2 full nights in a row using the sleep restriction. There were things that I tried in the past that I thought were going to work but then they lasted only a few days. So the real test is to see if this sleep restriction continues to work. Will keep you posted.December 31, 2018 at 2:06 pm #25797
Fair enough Deb. Also, I know that 2 years sounds insane, and believe me it is, and that’s why I finally reached my breaking point recently, but you should know that there have been many good phases throughout these 2 years. I feel like those phases have made me spoiled in the sense that whenever I re-enter a bad phase I just feel like eventually it will get better. It’s just so very hard to think ok I should now do this that and the other thing, SRT, etc, when just two weeks ago I had slept perfectly fine for 3-4 nights. I felt completely cured and like a had a new lease on life. So its like, WHY can’t I just stick to that? 🙁
I know why though. My brain has been conditioned to remember insomnia and be terrified of it anytime a bad night happens.
In any event, now, seeing as how after 2 years of this hell it never goes away completely, I have had enough. I think I will begin trying SRT to an extent beginning tonight. Nice way to start a New Year, right? I am going to do 11:30pm – 6am. I also read Sasha Stephens’ entire book. My first book on the subject. Seems like forever ago now when I read it. Yes she cracked her insomnia after 15 years by basically saying that she was forced to go to bed exhausted after a long day and wake up early, thus killing her sleep anxiety/worry in the process. The interesting part is that she never goes into what she did AFTER she got home from that trip to completely eliminate her insomnia for good.December 31, 2018 at 2:26 pm #25798
Yes, I wish she would have explained more of what she actually did to completely cure herself. I saw another book recommended called “End Insomnia Struggles” by Colleen Ehrnstrom that looks good. It’s written by two psychologists who specialize in treating insomnia. It looks like they go into detail about the different therapies like sleep restriction and stimulus control, including the pros and cons and what might work best for different people depending on their situation. It also focuses on how to deal with our thoughts and emotions which is really important.
Good luck with the sleep restriction.December 31, 2018 at 6:53 pm #25799
I agree, once you have had bad sleep, I think a part of you hates to have it come back again… and there is always that deep seated fear lingering. I have had long periods of “nil-no-sleep nights”, last one was from Mid Aug to end Sept this year…. so, 7 weeks of decent sleep. You think you’ve “cracked it” then it comes back… The key is not to fear it. Keep doing the SRT thing and keep remembering that sleep is natural and will come in the end….. this article will help you remember that…. and the author has a book I’ve read too…. but from reviews of Sacha Stephen’s book, hers sounds a lot like his…. except for the fact she is a sufferer and he isn’t!January 3, 2019 at 2:16 am #25853
4 nights of implementation so far. My sleep window is from 12 to 6. I go to bed no later than 12 and get up no later than 6 am. The first two nights were like a honeymoon – I felt optimistic and hopeful and I think because of this I fell asleep quickly both nights. Then the insomnia hit again the third night. When I couldn’t fall asleep I was so disappointed and hated the thought of dragging myself out of bed. But I did and finally fell asleep around 2:30, so got 3 & 1/2 hours of sleep. Last night was worse. I got up twice and didn’t fall asleep until maybe 4:00 or later. But still had to drag myself out of bed at 6:00. I was really tired yesterday and today. Oh well. Let’s see how it goes tonight. I’ll keep you posted.