Support Group for People Who Are Doing SR

This topic contains 384 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by Mac0908 1 day, 4 hours ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 271 through 285 (of 385 total)
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  • #30110

    Steve
    ✓ Client

    Well, I wish you luck. You seem to be doing okay with it now. My biggest problem now is that I fall asleep unintentionally when I sit down in a chair in the evening and I’m sure that is killing my sleep drive. Last night I fell asleep twice. Once for around twenty minutes and another time during my wind down time for a half an hour. When I woke up, my SW was starting. I’m sure that’s why I only slept 4 and a half hours last night. I probably could have logged more. However, I am slowly improving. In the last six days, I have had three 5 hour sleeps and two 4.5 hour sleeps. I have had only one 3.5 hour sleep which I consider a bad night now. (When I first started SR, a 3.5 hour sleep would have been considered good for me.) So my SE for the last 6 days has been 89% and if you take away the bad night, it’s 85%. Martin said since I am unintentionally napping, that if I feel sleepy during my wind down time, I can go to bed and see what happens. Based on my SE for the last 6 nights, I am going to increase my SW 15 minutes and go to bed and see what happens. I need to get over 5 hours of sleep as under that doesn’t help me at all. I am now getting migraines and some vertigo from the lack of sleep, and my dry eye syndrome is worsening as I am still getting less sleep than before I started SR. I know that can be normal so I’m not worried yet but I would like to try for more than five hours. Hopefully, the extra 15 minutes and not napping will give me more sleep in the beginning of my SW. I never feel sleepy but I am falling asleep before my SW so I must be sleepy. And when I do go to bed at beginning of my SW, I am falling asleep within 15 minutes. This is a much slower process than I thought it would be but I am sticking with it. Any encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

    #30107

    Daf
    ✘ Not a client

    Hi Mac,

    NP – Happy to help.

    Basically I just try to use stimulus control and a little bit of SRT. I actually watch TV and fall asleep on couch. Only try to sleep when tired.

    Re SRT I’m lucky? because I wake up 3 or 4 times in night to use the toilet, so its easy to keep sleep restricted. Even so, once I have had 5 or 6 hours, I simply cannot sleep anymore, even if the night before was a nil sleep night.

    On caveat… I’m not over-sold on the idea on getting out of bed after 15 mins if one cannot sleep, though I would probably after say an hour. I think this must be up to you. I try to accept and be “OK” with being awake.

    Like Deb, I also use an accepting approach to things (ACT / Mindfulness) it’s the bleeding same thing really. I recommend to google “7 Attitudes of Mindfulness” by Jon Kabat Zinn video on youtube plus get the book, “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. That is as good as anything I have read or seen.

    I do think that insomnia sufferers tend to be rather controlling, probably usually successful people. I don’t mean to upset people but that is how we often come over. It was certainly true of the folks I met on the courses for insomnia I have been on. (I found my insomnia was worse than others, so would avoid in future).

    But it’s our over emphasis on CONTROL – and our frustration that our control over sleep is limited – that sets us out from other folks.

    Example – If my wife had some affliction that meant she had to do some things at certain times and record the outcomes, she just WOULD NOT do it…or not do it well…… and yet, all us sufferers from not sleeping seems to know how many hours we took to fall asleep, what our ratios are etc. We are actually a little bit nuts, a little bit hypochondriac, maybe. There is nothing wrong with that – it makes us the people we are.

    My controlling nature comes from in part my childhood. But it is there and real.

    My wife loves me for who I am and admires my drive to get things done, my control and at times, my party spirit.

    But all this controlling can be an impediment, when things are to some extent out of your control – like sleep.

    But self -recognition helps one get by.

    #30119

    Steve
    ✓ Client

    So how is everyone doing this morning? Time for a check-in I guess. I had a relatively good night last night. I could barely keep my eyes open while watching TV last night so I switched to a book and that helped. As I said yesterday, I was going to increase my SW by 15 minutes last night but since I was so tired, I ended up increasing it by 30. So instead of a 5.5 hour SW, I planned on a 6.0 hour SW. There was good news and bad news with that. The bad news was that I awoke at 4:30 in the morning and while I tried to get back to sleep, I couldn’t after a half hour so I just got up for the day 15 minutes early. So instead of increasing my SW by 30 minutes, I effectively only increased it by 15 minutes to 5.75 hours. But I am going to stick to that 6.0 hour SW tonight. The good news is that while I didn’t increase my sleep any, I did get another 5.0 hour sleep last night. And better yet, it was all in one block as I don’t remember waking up at during the night last night. That means while I still have trouble focusing my eyes this morning, I am not exhausted either. So, my SE for the week is 85.5%. If you discount the one bad night I had, it’s 88.5%. I also got 4 nights of 5 hours of sleep, two of 4.5 hours and one bad night of 3.5 hours. This is the end of my 5th week of SR. I am hoping to maintain the gains I made but also to increase on the 5.0 hours of sleep that I have been getting. I really would like to get up to 6 hours soon but I know that’s going to take awhile. And I also know there will be setbacks along the way. But I am committed to keep working on this.

    #30120

    Deb
    ✓ Client

    Sounds like you’re making good progress, Steve, especially after that rough start!

    #30157

    Deb
    ✓ Client

    Reporting on how I’m doing with ACT this time around. It’s been 6 nights so far.

    1. Was awake most of the night with maybe 1 to 1.5 hours of sleep in the early morning.

    2. Fell asleep within 1 hour. Was in and out of sleep all night. Woke up not refreshed but decent.

    3. Fell asleep within 20 minutes. Slept 8 hours and woke up refreshed.

    4. Was awake a couple hours. Woke up not refreshed, but decent.

    5. Fell asleep within a few minutes and slept in on Saturday. Slept 9 hours. Very refreshed.

    6. No problem falling asleep but sleep was light. Woke up tired.

    So far, so good. The irregular quality of my sleep is what I experienced the first time around, although it was worse before. I had many nights like the 6th night above of waking up tired. I figure this time it’s better because I’m so much more calm this time. I haven’t even had to use any of the tools like “mindfulness” or “welcoming” because I’m relaxed and expecting to fall asleep eventually, which I always do.

    Overall I prefer this method because it’s a lot easier and feels more natural. I was getting so tired of having to push myself to stay up late until I just can’t stand being awake any longer. Now I just go to bed with my husband like the old days. Also, I don’t worry if I did anything to mess up my night like having a piece of cake or glass of wine or sleeping in late. In addition, I don’t have to push myself to get up out of bed. Best of all, I’ve remembered what it feels like to “surrender” to sleep when I hit the sack instead of worrying or struggling with it. Sort of like what one of you said (Slarus?) about how wonderful it was to feel “sleepy” again after months of not having that sensation.

    So for now, I’m sticking with this. Hopefully over time the quality of my sleep will become better on a more consistent basis. I figure this is just another by-product of the months of insomnia and that it will eventually settle down. I’ll continue to give updates on how it’s going but won’t give you a blow by blow account with all the gory details like I did before. I will post just once a week.

     

    #30158

    Deb
    ✓ Client

    Just had a funny thought. We can pretty much count on each other to give good, thorough updates to each other because most of us are OCD! We obsess about details and things, want things to be certain ways and like control (we’re also sort of “needy”). Our OCD personality is what made us vulnerable to this darn insomnia to begin with. It’s funny (well not really) but recently I had lunch with my 31 year old son and shared what I’ve been going through. He told me that he’s been struggling with his sleep for years! Pool guy! Well thinking about it afterwards, I wasn’t completely surprised. When he was a child I remembered being amused by how he would line up all his lego airplanes and ninja turtles just perfectly. And when he took over his doing his own laundry he organized it to excess, even hanging up his white undershirt in the closet, all lined up perfectly – OCD to excess. Anyway, I’ve been impressed by the detail of all your reports and now I know why!

    #30159

    Deb
    ✓ Client

    How’s everyone else doing? Mac, Slarus, Delv, Borgesbi, Jazzcat and anyone else here?

    #30160

    Borgesbi
    ✓ Client

    Hey everyone!

    Nice to read how you’re all doing  – seems like many of us are up and down a bit. Deb, what is ACT? Btw, I noticed a few people referring to me as “he” and just wanted to clear that up and let you all know I’m a woman (33) Ha! 🙂

    So, my sleep hasn’t been that great for a few consecutive days now. My SE fell back again from 83% on week 8 to 71% on week 9. I even had 2 nights of only 2.5 hours of sleep, which hadn’t happened in quite a while.  I freaked out about it a bit and asked Martin if it’s normal to be on 9 weeks of CBT-I and to have never reached 85% of SE.  I’m focusing mostly on staying neutral about it: no frustration, no complaining, no talking about it with people except here, no negativity. There’s definitely some of all that internally but I work on not letting it take over and I think it also helps that I haven’t been feeling tired and fatigued during the day – I have no idea how.

    Last night I wanted to enjoy my evening without having to freaking worry much about a sleep routine so after a full day of activities around 8 pm I decided to indulge in a big bowl of  salty popcorn and some white chocolate – hmmm. Haha! I did all that feeling totally relaxed and told myself I’d just go to sleep later since I thought I wouldn’t get sleepy around the start of my SW. To my surprise, my internal clock was on it – by 10:00 pm I started getting sleepy (I usually go to bed around 10:40pm and have been falling asleep within 5-10 mins pretty consistently) . So by 10:40pm I go to bed feeling very sleepy and relaxed thinking I was going to fall asleep fast since my internal clock kicked in so well and all the cues for sleep were present. I think I  did fall asleep for a quick 5-10 mins and came back to alertness. When I came back, what do ya know – conditioned arousal, bam! Although mentally I wasn’t reacting, my body responded on its own with a racing heart and butterflies in my stomach. Result: I zig-zagged between bed and couch about 2 or 3 times from 11pm until 1 am and I think I ended up falling asleep around 1 am and woke up at 5am which is when my SW ends. I mean, I felt like throwing something out the window as I was going through this (I even pictured it) but remembered to relax into it. And that’s it for me. No idea what will be coming this week, but have to say this has been quite a journey and I’m not sure why my body/mind isn’t learning this faster. Having patience is all I can do now because I don’t see myself giving up on CBT-I at all…

    #30161

    Deb
    ✓ Client

    ACT stands for acceptance commitment therapy. Several years ago a sleep doctor in England called Guy Meadows  developed an insomnia program based on ACT. The basic focus is on ending the struggle to fall asleep. There are some major differences between it and CBT-I. With ACT you stay in bed instead of doing SC. Also there is not the emphasis on a strict sleep window, but something more moderate. The main idea is to learn to relax in bed instead of struggling. Then eventually sleep takes over you naturally. You learn to relax by accepting whatever happens in the night (and day) including all the negative thoughts, emotions and sensations that come to you. He uses tools such as mindfulness to deal with them by creating some space between ourselves and the thoughts, feelings and sensations and then letting them go instead of buying into them and being dominated by them.  It’s all explained in a book he wrote called, The Sleep Book.

    #30162

    Deb
    ✓ Client

    BTW, Borgesbi – I figured you were a girl! To tell you the truth at first I usually assumed I was talking to a woman here until it became obvious that it was a guy. But it seems like there’s been more guys here than women.

    #30163

    Mac0908
    ✘ Not a client

    Hi Deb. I’m doing ok, thanks for asking. After my bad night last Weds and horrific zombie day Thursday I recovered with three beautiful nights on Thursday Friday and Saturday. Of course I always tend to do better on the weekends since I can sleep in just a tad more, but there was a time when even weekends were an issue for me as you might know.

    I can say with certainty now at this point here some 5.5 months since I first got here and first began my journey to truly trying to recover, that I know how to sleep again. I know how to get back into a groove. I have the tools, I have the mentality, I have the extremely lowered anxiety, etc. The problem of course and the one final issue that I cannot seem to tackle is sticking with this long term. When will that time come where I can just lay in bed at 10:30pm semi tired and still have that great 7 hour night (if not more). It’s nice to know I’m nowhere near how bad I was back in January, but if this past Wednesday night into Thursday was any indication, I still might be a long way from home.

    #30170

    Steve
    ✓ Client

    Hi everyone. Well, I was having a great week with four nights of 5.o hours of sleep and two with 4.5 hours. I was going to increase my SW by 30 minutes but Martin advised me not to so I only increased it by 15 minutes since my SE did reach 86%. However, my sleep still took a turn for the worse and over the last three nights I got 4.5 (and not a very good 4.5), a 3.5 and 4.0 last night. I need at least 5 to feel decent.

    Borgebi – We seem to be in the same boat. I am in my 6th week of SR and I cannot seem to get beyond 5,0 hours of sleep. Did Martin ever answer you? I have several questions into him myself. Almost every night I seem to be going to bed and thinking that my insomnia is kicked and then I continue to wake up early. Yesterday I was so tired but dragged myself out to the circus that was performing in a neighboring town. When I got home, I sat in a chair and again, napped for 10 minutes. I try not to nap but as soon as I sit in that chair, I fall asleep. At any rate, the 10 minutes probably destroyed my sleep drive as when I awoke, I was nowhere near as tired. I did get to bed at 11:30 and promptly fell asleep in 15 minutes but awoke after about 4 hours. I might have been in and out of Stage 1 sleep for awhile but ended up getting out of bed 15 minutes early to start the day because I couldn’t get back to sleep and started tossing and turning. If I don’t have anxiety while laying there, I sometimes stay in bed hoping to pick up some light sleep rather than do SC, but once I start tossing and turning, I get up for the day or get up to do SC.

    I joined a dating service again because I want to meet someone but when I experience bad weekends like this last one, I wonder how I am going to have the energy to date. Anyway, that’s my tale of woe for the weekend. I hope to get back to 5 hour or more sleeps this week. Good luck to the rest of you.

    #30171

    Steve
    ✓ Client

    Mac – I know what you mean. I am starting to think I will be on SR for the rest of my life but at least you can say that it works most of the time for you. I haven’t seen that many results from it yet although I know it is still early. I’m just disappointed I haven’t taken to it more quickly. I can’t imagine going through the rest of my life like this.

     

    Deb – Glad things are working out for you. Hope it continues and you see more improvement.

    #30172

    delv-x
    ✘ Not a client

    I’ve been ok. Definitely better than a few weeks ago with 3-4 hours of sleep and about 50-60% sleep efficiency. I am back at 85-92% and averaging about 6 hours. Another 30-45 minutes of sleep would be nice but one night at a time.

    One thing I will recommend to anyone who’s been struggling more than a few months.
    – Even if your sleep efficiency is 85%+ for a week or two, don’t add another 15 minutes just yet until you can consistently get 85% for a few more weeks. If you decide to add, do it in 15 minute blocks and not 30.
    – Going to bed before your sleep window here and there is probably ok if you are tired and confident you will fall asleep in reasonable time. More importantly is your wake up time.
    – Wake up at the same time. Some will say +- 30 minutes but best to aim for the same time every day or as close as you can. If your circadian rhythm is doing its thing, you can usually wake up naturally at the same time every morning.
    – If you’ve been sleeping relatively well with say 6 hours, I find if you can push an 8-9 hour sleep once or a few nights in a row may risk relapse. I think the worst thing you can do is have a few days of 1-4 hours sleep and then if you can, sleep 9+ hours to make up. Consistency is key. Your body may push/pull for more/less sleep but what is better is find a compromise in the middle. Say a 7 hour sleep window.

    #30173

    Mac0908
    ✘ Not a client

    So last night I got around 6 hours of sleep with a quick early awakening thrown in there. Not a good thing for me. This is the problem many of us can have on Sundays and it’s what happened to me on many occasions. I have these two great nights Friday and Saturday, but that is only because I can sleep in a bit and not have to worry about a 6am alarm. For example I’ll admit I slept until 7:15ish on both weekend days.

    So when 11pm came around last night and I wasn’t nodding off, I knew I was in a bit of trouble. A half hour later I went to bed when I was finally feeling tired but not completely exhausted like I should have felt. But I just wanted to get going and get into bed. Not a great mentality to have when it comes to all of this SRT type stuff. I ended up passing out probably around midnight. Woke briefly at 5:20, then fell back asleep until my 6am alarm. Because of this lousy night though, I know tonight I’ll almost definitely be having that strong sleep drive around 1030-11p and I’ll be able to reset. It’s not the end of the world I suppose. One semi bad night is a small price to pay if I can get 6 decent nights the rest of the week, but, point of the story is, even when it comes to weekends, you should probably keep the sleep in extensions to only a half hour max if you want a good chance of having a refreshed morning come Monday.

    Mac

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Mac0908.
Viewing 15 posts - 271 through 285 (of 385 total)

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