- January 11, 2019 at 2:54 pm #26030
I used to be able to watch 30 minutes of TV in bed and just turn it off and go to bed. One thing I’ve stopped is moderate drinking. I would have 2-5 units on most nights in the evening to wind down and one night I woke up with a tight chest and said to myself “Let’s stop this for a bit”. I think it was helping me dose off. I would take week long breaks from alcohol in the past and would actually sleep better!. Not the case at the moment and staying clear of alcohol just to rule that out.
I think you are right with developing sleep anxiety. Sure I would have a bad night here or there and by the next night be tired enough to make it back up or just nap the next afternoon. It’s when it runs for days in a row that I think it manifests. I also have had some family stresses that don’t help either on top but it’s not like I am thinking about that at night. I am more just feeling anxious about sleep.
Looking at my sleep logs to answer your question, it doesn’t seem 100% that things derail after sleeping in. It does look like it’s a factor or work. For example, the times I slept in (and was able to for some magical reason), the following night where I would have to be up for 7 for work, that night is usually the worst.
The bad nights don’t really begin after developing anxiety the night before. 2 nights ago I slept 5 hours in one block and slept another hour later and felt ok about it. So last night I was in a good mindset but was a rough night.
Everyone is different but I think what helps me generally is to occupy my evenings with fun stuff. Rather than watching a movie or shows and then winding down for 2 hours meditating, progressive relaxation, hot baths etc Going out with friends until say 11 or whatever, coming home and winding down quickly seems to work better because although I may feel more anxious about how much time I have to relax, it gives me less time to worry about sleep. Also because of the fun/social factor if my mind wanders, it wanders to the positive day and drift off easier. If I am looking at the time counting down until I go to bed, it sets up for a harder night than one where I come home, it’s late and I just want to go to bed.January 11, 2019 at 2:58 pm #26031
Sorry you guys had bad nights. Mine wasn’t great, but I did sleep 4 & 1/2 hours, getting up just once around 1:00 when I couldn’t fall asleep at my bedtime of 12. But I am tired again today. Probably will take my power nap later.
Mac, maybe this is a test for you now. You want so badly to sleep on the couch, but you know if you do this you won’t break the negative association between your bed and sleep. I hear you saying you want to give up, but are you really, really sure? I figure the exhaustion in you is speaking right now. Let me ask you something. If you look over the past 11 nights, is there any improvement at all? If you can find even just a little progress, I would hang in there. On the other hand, if you see absolutely no progress at all and you’re sure you can’t continue like this, maybe it’s time to get some help from a professional. You say you live in NY. I would think that there you could find someone who has experience in CBT-I, unlike myself, who lives in a smaller town you probably never even heard of.
I have found that since I started this program, my anxiety has gone way, way down overall. For me the SR has been like an anchor. Also the coaching from Martin and knowing that I have someone to turn to if I get stuck. So I work within the anchor of my sleep window of 12 to 6. I’ve seen that I’m sleeping more regularly using it, so I’m building trust in it. And trust reduces fear and anxiety. Now I’m finally beginning to feel less anxiety about SC as well. Before when I tried SC on my own, my sleep was all over the place. I’d have nights where I couldn’t sleep at all and others where I didn’t fall asleep until 4, 5 or 6 and then would sleep until 9 or 10 (if I didn’t have to work those days.) Also, my sleep was literally all over the place, sometimes sleeping on the couch, in the guest bedroom and maybe, just maybe in bed. Since I started SR my sleep has been stabilizing and I’m only sleeping in my bed.
So my trust has been slowly building one step at a time, first in SR and now in SC. The SC without the SR was a disaster for me as I just mentioned. But it’s working within the SR. Last night again, I only got up once which is another small victory for me. I really did not want to get up, knowing that I wouldn’t be getting my 6 hours of sleep and would be tired again in the morning. Yesterday I felt so good after having over 6 hours of sleep and I wanted that again. But I knew I would have to get up and go with less sleep if I wanted to achieve my overall goal of breaking free of this insomnia.
Mac, if you see any progress at all, please focus on that as Sasha Stephens says. Don’t let this bad night take away all of your hard work and accomplishments of these last 11 days. You’ve made the determination that two years of insomnia is enough. You can do this.January 11, 2019 at 4:25 pm #26032
Look, I know its anxiety. Its no longer a question. I too have experienced the same things such as having a better night sleep if I’m busy in the evening as opposed to laying around watching tv and subtly peaking at the clock as bedtime approaches. Many other examples, almost endless now, to prove that its anxiety. My main obstacle is work as well. I have a 6:15am wake-up call and start work at 7:30. It’s always been rather early for me but it has been what has held my Insomnia in place. Sure I’ve had bad weekend nights as well but the majority of my issues have always been on work nights. Even on Christmas and New years eve when I had no work the next day, guess what? Good nights. Now I can’t quit or change my job right now obviously, so this is something I just have to face and defeat. I honestly just don’t know what its been THIS hard.January 11, 2019 at 4:45 pm #26033
Anxiety is definitely the biggest factor at play. Back in the day when I was stressed I could just lay down and it would actually help relieve stress and could sleep. Now it has done the opposite. The more anxious I am for whatever reason, the worse I sleep. I do find that days off knowing I don’t have a full day ahead of me I do generally sleep better. As with you, I had time off during the holidays and slept better.
Are you doing CBT-I alone, with a therapist, online?January 12, 2019 at 3:50 pm #26037
I’m doing CBT-I with Martin. Don’t know about the others.
Slept 5.5 hours last night. I’m grateful that I slept all night minus the half hour to fall asleep. But I’m tired again today. Yesterday I was so tired all day and got depressed too. I was tired of being tired. There’s no chance to catch up with sleep with this system either. I’m hoping to be able to increase my sleep window soon since I’m starting to get more consistent. I’m grateful to be getting more consistent. Since the all nighter on Monday, something seems to be beginning to settle down inside of me. The all nighter was triggered by the discouragement of not being able to fall asleep again after 5 good nights in a row of sleeping all night. I think I kept the fear at bay those nights and then when it came back the discouragement hit me hard. But since then I’m finding ways to deal with the fear/anxiety like using mindfulness. So even if I didn’t go to sleep the first time I laid down in bed, I was able to fall asleep after getting up just once.
Last night I was so exhausted and tempted to increase my sleep time until 7:00, just so I could sleep in a little and try to catch up on sleep. Maybe that would have been ok and not done any harm. I don’t know. Anyway, I didn’t give in and decided to stick with the program and not jinx things. So I’m tired again today but ok. I did so something yesterday though that I did regret and that was to drink two cups of coffee instead of my usual one cup, because I was so tired. I’m sensitive to caffeine and should have known better. When I tried to take my power nap later I couldn’t fall asleep. That would have refreshed me so much more than another cup of coffee, which just put more toxins in my body. I dragged through the rest of the day.
So I think in these early stages of recovery it’s best to avoid those things we know that might make things worse like drinking too much caffeine, being on the cell phone or computer too long, messing with the sleep window, etc. Down the road when we’re well on the way to recovery I think it won’t be as much a big deal. Yes I miss those days too when I could take my sleep for granted, indulging myself by sleeping in until 8 or 9 on the weekends and knowing that I would have no problem falling asleep that evening.January 12, 2019 at 4:45 pm #26038
Especially the first few months you will need to stay consistent. Not perfect but consistent. If your wake up time is 6:30 and you get up at 6:40, no big deal. When it’s 6:30 and then for 2 mornings you get up at 8:00 then it seems to fall apart.
Surprisingly, I had a decent sleep. Went to bed shortly after midnight and fell asleep quickly. I managed to sleep through until 7am. I was relaxed but awake and knew that if I stayed in bed I would toss and turn for 30 minutes and then sleep for another hour or so and screw things up. At 10am I was really tired and laid down for 30 minutes for a power nap. Better then than in the afternoon.
I do receive emails from Martin and today’s was about watching soccer and how he was to watch the games at 4am. The long story short is not to treat yourself with sleep ins or odd hours until you are treated. I guess what that means is once your sleep gets back to normal and stays normal for awhile then you can deviate. From my experience staying normal means being able to comfortably fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up on time consistently for a few months.January 12, 2019 at 4:50 pm #26039
Just curious, how long have you been doing the program?January 12, 2019 at 5:01 pm #26040
@delv-x you are correct. You simply cannot tamper much with the rules when you are in a very fragile state. You must heal first, get over your insomnia and rid yourself of sleep anxiety before you can ever have some occasional late lie ins or “erratic” bed times. But even then, in general, it’s no good for someone to be laying around in their bed for extra hours all the time. So Deb I would just keep sticking to what you’re doing. SRT can work quick, but to fully heal IMO, it could take months. I also don’t think an extra cup of coffee means much. Any kind of worrying about coffee or anything like that I realized only reinforces insomnia. I had coffee most of my adult like and never had sleep issues. Then suddenly I thought that was affecting me. So when this all began guess what? I started cutting out coffee like it was poison. Little did I realize it was just a ‘crutch’ in my brain only fueling the fire. I went back to having my one cup a day.January 12, 2019 at 5:05 pm #26041
I really did not worry about the 2 cups affecting my sleep that night. But it did affect my power nap, which helps me get through the day.
How’d you sleep last night?January 12, 2019 at 5:09 pm #26042
I went in bed at 10:45 when my sleep drive came on. Was out by 11-11:10. Woke at 5.
So, not bad, but still just shocking how my body just can’t seem to go past 6 hours on a regular night, even coming off of a BAD night like Thursday was. My alarm was set for 6:15 of course, as my goal is to never get past that. Obviously that didn’t happen today.
I can deal with a crummy night here and there throughout this process no doubt. But I just don’t want anything to do with what Thursday was like, pretty much ever again.January 12, 2019 at 5:13 pm #26043
I started locally with a therapist who does specialize in CBT-I and been doing it since October. Are things better since I’ve started? hard to say but it does keep me consistent with what has been proven to work best. In other words, if I just went to bed at 9PM, watched TV in bed, tossed and turned and had no outlet to speak my mind on how I feel, I think I would feel crappier than I am now. A lot has happened around my life this past year and may or may not have been a contributing factor in my sleep. So a lot of the CBT-I component we’ve been working on but a lot of the focus now is the CBT portion for anxiety and just overall support. Things like my beliefs that my insomnia is different than everyone elses. Other issues in my life that are causing stress etc.
As for my week to week progress. What happens is Ill get a good streak where I am getting a solid 6:00-6:30 hours of sleep and then get a bad streak and those bad streaks fluctuate. Some nights are 2 hours, some are 5. Regardless, my thought is there isn’t another better option. I have tried going to bed early in the past before CBT-I and it simply doesn’t work. For me getting out of bed in the morning on weekends are harder than staying up until my go to bed time.January 12, 2019 at 5:19 pm #26044
Days where I feel jittery and anxious from bad sleep, Ill tent to lay off the caffeine completely due to mild paranoia although I doubt it’s really bad. I drink one cup if that. As long as you don’t drink in excess and shorter than 6-8 hours before bed you are fine. A few weeks ago when I was in a rough jittery state I was at a McDonalds and a guy ordered an extra large coffee and it was 10pm. I was thinking he’s crazy! lolJanuary 12, 2019 at 9:48 pm #26046
It doesn’t sound right that you’re still having spells of 2-3 hours of sleep after 3 months of this. I wonder if your therapist should have started you out with a shorter sleep window like Martin did with me. The idea is to start out with a less sleep than we’re used to (in my case, 8 hours) so that we’re tired, and then get to the point of sleeping consistently within that amount of time. So for instance, I hope to soon get to the point of sleeping consistently 5.5 to 6 hours within my sleep window of 6 hours. Then when that’s achieved, you increase your window by 15 minutes. Then when you’re sleeping consistently within the new time frame for a week or so, you raise it again and so on until you reach your ideal sleep window.
I’m not surprised that you’re still experiencing a lot of anxiety about sleep. I would too, knowing that I was still having nights of 2-3 hours of sleep on a regular basis. My anxiety has really gone down a lot because I’m starting to see things stabilizing.January 13, 2019 at 3:57 pm #26057
Thought I was getting more stable. The last four nights I had gotten up only once or none at all, sleeping either 4.5 or 5.5 hours. But then last night was a mess. Tried 3 times to go to sleep. Didn’t bother to get up again after the third time. It was after 3:00 when I went to bed. I have been so tired all week and was really tired yesterday. Just couldn’t face the idea of getting up at 6:00. Woke up at 7:30. So I got 4.5 hours and feeling not too bad physically, but discouraged.
The thing is, I was calm when I went to bed and was not aware of any anxiety. Have started practicing meditation and mindfulness. Why couldn’t I fall asleep? Hate this.January 13, 2019 at 4:44 pm #26058
I know it’s frustrating. I have gone to bed relaxed and calm and had issues falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night not to be able to fall back asleep. I wish I knew the answer and hope someone with experience could enlighten us.
Last night I went to bed fairly tired and woke up an hour before I should have. You’d think if my body was tired it would just doze back off. Sometimes it does though!, just not all the time.