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- January 7, 2019 at 12:23 pm #25929
Well for me, no matter what the case, if its under 5.5 hours, forget about it, I’m toast.
So I have had two very poor nights. I personally feel that if I can just continue to float very consistently around the 5.75-6 hour range for the next few weeks I will be happy and then my ultimate goal will be to get to 7 hours one day.January 7, 2019 at 12:28 pm #25930
madmax✘ Not a client
Yes it’s amazing how relative it is, when my insomnia started I was in panic after sleeping “only” 5 hours, now I would be so happy if I slept 5 hours 3 days in a row. Deb, I’m curious, what was your average for getting a 6 hour sleep window? Was 6 hours your average? Because if that’s the case I think you don’t have a problem at all and you should live your life and forget you ever knew the word ‘insomnia’ 🙂 Although the good habits you’re learning will always be useful.January 7, 2019 at 1:19 pm #25931
You know back to the clock watching stuff, even though I don’t think it would make much of a difference, I wonder how my mind would be affected if I removed a clock from the room once and for all. As in, literally no more clock in my bedroom. Unfortunately though I have to be up early for work and could never take the chance of no alarm.January 7, 2019 at 2:22 pm #25932
Last week my average was 4.9 hours because one night I slept 3.5 hours and the next only 2 hours. The other days when I slept all night it took me between 15 to 30 minutes to fall asleep, which is no big deal. Because my sleep was so crazy before starting SR, many times sleeping only a few hours or none at all, I’m not ready to say I’m cured. During one 9 day stretch, 4 of the days I was up all night, and the other nights I only slept a few hours. I was miserable. It’s only been 9 days that I’ve been on this plan and the last 5 I’ve slept through the night. So I’m getting better. But I am cautiously optimistic and will make changes slowly. I don’t want to jinx things, thinking I’m cured and fall back into the craziness again. If I continue to sleep this way all week I will increase it by 15 minutes the next week.
Regarding the length of sleep for normal people, I never heard of older people needing only 5 hours. I’m older and so are my friends and family and none of us regularly get by on just 5 hours of sleep. As I gradually increase my sleep time, if I find I only need 7 or 7 & 1/2 hours, then fine, I’ll stick with that. My goal is not necessarily 8 hours, but just to feel well rested when I wake up. I’m not there yet with 6 hours.
Mac, you sound like you’re doing well. I think if you just keep on being consistent, you’ll be fine.January 7, 2019 at 2:28 pm #25933
Thanks for the encouragement, Deb. I agree 100% to not think you’re cured after just one week of averaging 5 hours of sleep. It’s great you have that mindset. Took me 2 years to have that mindset.
During previous phases, I’d have 3-4 nights of good sleep and think that was it, I’m better. Bad sleep is behind me. At one point I think I even went a good 2 weeks. Before I knew it I had a bad night or two and boom, anxiety city. The goal in my opinion is to sleep well enough for long enough, however long that may be, that it becomes extremely difficult for the anxiety to take back over. For example if you are dealing with over 2 years of Insomnia like I have and you have a few good nights and then one bad night, what do you think a person in that situation will feel? They will likely feel scared that they’re about to go back to the bad old days. Why wouldn’t they? It’s been the norm of their life for the last 2 years or however long it may have been. A normal sleeper isn’t phased by a bad night. Sure it sucks but they push through and they get back to sleep the next night without thinking much of it at all.
Bottom line is stay the course, and try everything in your power not to let a bad night, or even two, affect you. Because we can do this, as proven already in 75-80% of the SRT nights.January 8, 2019 at 1:59 pm #25944
Had a bad night. Dang it! I’m certainly not cured. The anxious thoughts started creeping in after I went to bed. Time passed and I just didn’t want to get up. I was feeling disappointed and discouraged because I thought I would continue to sleep through the night like I did for the last 5 days. Finally I dragged myself out of bed and it was already almost 2:00. Went back to bed after a half hour and again didn’t fall asleep. Just lay there not wanting to get up again. Before I knew it, it was 4:30. Then at that point I felt there was no point in getting up because if I went back to bed at 5:00, I would just be thinking that I have to get up in just an hour, and then would not be able to sleep.
I knew I should have gotten up instead of lying there all those times because it increases the association of bed with wakefulness. But I just didn’t care. I was feeling frustrated.
Anyway, got to get back on the wagon again tonight and get up if I’m not sleeping. But I’m apprehensive about SC because I didn’t have a good experience with it when I tried it before on my own before I started the program with Martin. But maybe it will work better within the SR program I’m doing. I hope so.
Thankfully I don’t feel like a zombie this morning since I’ve had 5 decent nights of sleep up till now. Going to pull out my book, “End the Insomnia Struggle” by Colleen Ehrnstrom. There’s a whole section in it on attitude and thinking. I could use some help with that to make sure I don’t fall back into the hole.January 8, 2019 at 2:09 pm #25945
Sorry to hear you had a bad night, Deb. But don’t forget, it means NOTHING. Does not mean you can’t sleep. Of course you weren’t fully cured. I hope you weren’t thinking that way. Not saying you were, but take it from 2 years experience. Cockiness will not lead to anything good.
So continuing on, ok, you had a bad night. This is your test. This is your big moment. This is the foundation of what got you into this mess. Just take the entire day today to not only think about the previous 5 nights of very good sleep, but how about the past 5 YEARS before you began this problem. You were sleeping fine. You CAN sleep fine. One bad night, ok, yes it sucks, no doubt about it, but is it the end of the world? No way. Can you sleep perfectly? Yes you can. Hell, even if tonight if another off night, it DOESN’T matter. You can sleep, and you WILL sleep, fine. It might take some time, but you must understand that eventually you’re going to get there. I know it. Just stay the course.
On a side note with regards to all I’ve learned, I’ve realized that if you’re laying in bed trying to fall asleep and anxious thoughts are all over the place, it’s basically a 90% chance you will have an off night. Whether that means an arousal or waking up too early, it just sets the tone in your brain. So I can’t urge you enough to get out of bed if you’ve laid there for long enough to the point where you know, ok, I’m not falling asleep right now. Get up, even sit on the couch and think of something nice/peaceful before you feel sleepy again. Then, return to the bed and relax. Don’t “TRY AGAIN”. Just relax.January 8, 2019 at 7:22 pm #25949
Thanks. I have to remind myself that within the last 10 nights, 7 nights I slept all night! So I am getting better. Yes, it’s a test, especially to see if I can do SC and not get discouraged. I’m taking the long-haul view. I remember looking at the account of the guy who had insomnia for 10 years. https://insomniacoach.com/forums/topic/you-can-do-it He said it took 4 weeks before he was averaging 6 hours a night.
Yes, I will get up. It’s hard, but I have to do it.January 10, 2019 at 1:25 pm #25985
I listened to my body and went to sleep. I know that <u>REAL</u> SRT requires you to force yourself to not go to bed until the set time, but I am going for a light version SRT as of right now and it has been working alright for me. Out of my 9 nights before last night, I’ve only had 2 bad nights.
Anyway, back to last night, I crash almost immediately around 10:45pm, and then I’m up at 4:00am. I eventually fell back asleep around what I’d say was 5, but it was anxious/REM type sleep. I’m shot today. I view it as only 5.25 hours of sleep.
What happened here exactly? I went to bed when I was shot/tired/eyelids drooping seriously. Not much anxiety at ALL once I got into bed.
So why did I wake at 4am which was around only 5 hours sleep as opposed to lets say 5am which would have pushed my total to around the 6 hours I need? Do I really have to torture myself into always staying up until 11:30-11:45?January 10, 2019 at 2:39 pm #25987
Maybe it’s best to stick to your regular schedule until you’re consistently sleeping through it. At least for me, I don’t want to mess with something that’s working.
Well I had the bad night a few nights ago where I was up all night. So because of that then the next night I was feeling anxious when I went to bed. Sure enough, I couldn’t fall asleep. After I got up I managed to calm myself down and when I went to bed I fell right asleep, getting 4 & 1/2 hours of sleep. Yesterday I was tired all day and when I was finished with my work by 5:00, I was exhausted. I know you’re not supposed to take a nap, and especially this late, but I had zero energy to make it through the evening until my bedtime at 12:00. So I took my “power nap” of 20 minutes, was refreshed and had a good evening. By 12:00 I was very tired again and ready for bed. This time I fell asleep right away and woke up at 6:30 instead of 6:00 because I accidentally didn’t set my alarm correctly. This was the best sleep I’ve had for awhile.
My faith in the SR system is growing so now I’m working on my anxiety, so that I can actually sleep as much as possible through my sleep window. Two nights ago when I got up and fell back asleep was a breakthrough for me. In the past, once I realized that I couldn’t sleep and got up out of bed, the anxiety was so high that it was difficult to fall back asleep even though I may try many times. But this time when I got up I managed to calm myself down, so I fell asleep right away when I went back to bed. What helped me was reading some stuff from Sasha Stephen’s book on dealing with fear. She also referenced the Sedona method, which I looked up online and watched a short video on. Yesterday also I talked to Martin about how to deal with fear and this helped.
So last night I decided I would try to meditate before going to sleep, hoping this would calm any fears. I did it between 11:30 and 12:00. Actually, that was not a good time because I kept falling asleep while meditating! Anyway, I plan to start some kind of meditation or mindfulness practice to learn how to calm myself.January 10, 2019 at 2:47 pm #25988
You did what you had to do in order to get over that bad night. I’m glad you’re back on track. If you happen to have another bad night, just repeat what works. Just know that overall you’re doing well.January 10, 2019 at 2:54 pm #25989
Daf✘ Not a client
Ironically, the mindfulness approach (used as part of the “Acceptance Commitment Therapy” to psychological problems) to dealing with insomnia, as promoted by the likes of Guy Meadows at the Sleep School and others, is in favour of not getting out of bed and instead, mindfully meditating, following the breath/ feel of the duvet, noises that are around….. and just accepting things as they are in a calm and open way….
The key words in mindfulness and the main attitudes being Acceptance, Letting Go, Being In the Moment, Not Judging Yourself, Non-Striving, Patience (things will come right in time), Trust (trusting your mind and body know what do, in their own time) and Gratitude.
See Jon Kabat Zinn video of the seven attitudes of mindfulness. It’s very peaceful.
I have to say, I like the idea of SRT but I’ve never felt the getting out of bed after 15 mins or whatever is right for me. I’m far more in favour of accepting things and letting them be. After all, by doing that, you are making less of a BIG DEAL of insomnia. And I’ve always thought, if one gets out of bed and does something else, that does not equate to calming oneself down. Though, if you must, a bit of positive self-talk will help.
Hope that helps
DafJanuary 10, 2019 at 3:05 pm #25990
In my opinion it’s a tough spot. On one hand you could say jumping out of bed after 20-30 mins would only help feed insomnia and what not. On the other hand, one of the most if not the most important things in recovering from this is building such a strong connection between the bed and sleep that it gets ingretared into your brain like it once was.January 10, 2019 at 3:10 pm #25991
Daf✘ Not a client
,,,,,,Just checked Sedona Method online and it seems much like mindfulness to me.
I attended a mindfulness course here in UK. And look at a lot of stuff online – which is all free. Plenty of books too. It does require practice though and that can be hard if you are naturally driven person as I am.
If you ever get a chance to read The Sleep Solution book, there is a funny section where he kind of says….”Well if you suffer from insomnia, I get you are like this, this and this…..” It was me all over!
It seems there are characteristics of insomnia people…. very driven people who care and think too much…
So, the best answer is to LET GO more….. Stop giving a s**t about stuff in life, including insomnia and trust to your mind and body to heal itself of this thing.January 10, 2019 at 3:16 pm #25992
It’s not that simple once your brain has learned a habit. You need to implement certain things in order to calm and eventually get rid of the anxiety. Getting out of bed if you can’t fall asleep is part of that. I’m not saying jump out after 15 mins. But if a good amount of time has gone by, it’s probably better off to get out.