Want some expert advice to improve your sleep? Get the free insomnia sleep training course!
- May 13, 2019 at 7:11 pm #29234
dragon✘ Not a client
Like are you needing to get up at all for SC?May 13, 2019 at 7:22 pm #29235
For myself recently, a good night is when I fall asleep right away or within a few minutes and stay asleep the whole night. I sleep through the whole sleep window or most of it and don’t have to get up and do SC. Having said this, I really hope eventually to get to the point of being able to take 10, 20 or 30 minutes to fall asleep and to be confident that I will actually fall asleep eventually even if I’m awake for little awhile (instead of staying awake for hours and having to do SC). But lately, I’m so tired when I go to bed that I fall asleep right away. I want to get to the point where I don’t have to be quite as exhausted, like the way it was before the insomnia. My husband would usually fall asleep in about 5 or 10 minutes and then I would fall asleep 10 to 20 minutes after that.
In comparison to the nights where I was up for hours, these nights are very good. So I’m thankful for the sleep I’m getting, even though I’m not back to normal yet.May 15, 2019 at 12:03 pm #29311
First entire week of SRT went well for me as some of you may know. The first 2 days I felt ok but not great, then this was followed by FIVE solid nights of what I’m assuming just ended up being better quality 6 hour nights of sleep. My window is 11:30p-6a and I would nod off around midnight after getting into bed. Then Monday night as I approached bedtime I did my usual winddown routine at 10:30 or so. Electronics cut off and lights turned down. Suddenly by 10:45pm I was so droopy eyed and sleepy that I knew there was no way on Earth I was making it to 11:30pm. The full week of 6 hour nights had finally caught up to me and increased my sleep pressure. This was a good thing I figured. A sign that it was time to push up my bedtime! I couldn’t even make it to 11. At 10:45pm I went in bed and out cold by what must have been 11. Slept til my alarm at 6am. 7 hours! Tuesday(yesterday) I felt great.
Then it happened. Last night by 10:30 I began feeling the same feeling. Maybe not as strong as the night before, but I was very tired and mostly droopy eyed. I thought about pushing it to at least 11pm but then remembered my great night the previous night. Thought thins would be ok if I kept up this 10:45ish bedtime. I entered my bed at that time. Was out probably by a little after 11 or so. And guess what? Horrible night. First a brief middle of the night awakening, and then an early awakening at 5:30am or so. Broken/poor quality sleep that has left me a zombie today. I honestly am not 100% sure what I did so wrong. Obviously I jumped the gun by moving up my bedtime a little too much, sure, but for it to result in such a horrible night last night is really crazy to me. Oh well, back to trying to push to 11:30p tonight.May 15, 2019 at 12:13 pm #29312
Hang in there Mac. Don’t try to push it. Remember why you are on SR again. Try to stick to the rules and don’t increase your SW so much. But at least you got some good sleep in.
As for me, I had an “okay” sleep last night but I honestly don’t know how long I slept. I was exhausted yesterday but I still had trouble falling asleep last night. My sleepiness seems to come in spurts and if I miss the spurt, I have to wait for the next one. Then I was in and out of it all night. Every time I woke up I thought I had to leave the bed but remembered that I woke up from a dream so I had to have been asleep. I did end up getting up twice. Once for a half hour and once for 15 minutes, but I really don’t think I had to. It was one of those nights where I don’t know what to put for my sleep diary as I’m not sure what I slept. I feel better than yesterday but still extremely tired. I am still sticking to the SW tonight. This is obviously going to take awhile.May 15, 2019 at 1:59 pm #29313
Try not worry about the bad night, Mac, and then over time they’ll become less and less. Sometimes there’s nothing we do wrong and still have a bad night. It’s just the nature of the beast. Having said that, it’s probably best to stick with a consistent bed time as much as possible. Our bodies like consistency and get used to certain sleep patterns. Maybe juggling things around stirred up your sleep. Since you really seem to need more sleep maybe just increase your sleep window by 15 minutes, but then really stick with it for at least a week to make sure your body is adjusting to it and you’re sleeping through the night. I know it’s not easy to keep ourselves awake when we’re very tired. I’ve had many a night where it was so hard to get through that last half hour of total exhaustion. Just remind yourself that it’s worth staying awake for another HALF HOUR in order to not spend the next ENTIRE DAY like a zombie.
I’m still doing well but haven’t been able to completely switch over to the 11:30 bedtime. I haven’t been sleepy enough. It’s my own fault though because I’m not good at jumping out of bed when the alarm goes off and have the tendency to stay in bed for 15 minutes or even more. I have to work on that. Also I can blame my husband for being out of town. When he’s gone I tend to get out of my usual routine and do things in the later evening like watch movies that get me too stimulated. So I’ve got to get back into a better routine. Fortunately, I’m still getting the sleep I need, sleeping through the night for the most part.May 15, 2019 at 2:12 pm #29314
I guess I’m not so worried about the bad night as much as I am mad at myself for causing it. I pushed up my bedtime way too much and it affected things. It worked for the first night but then the second night I learned it wasn’t going to be a long term success. I need to go back to 11:30 and really stick with it for at least 2 weeks or so. The next time the insane exhaustion occurs I will just turn my living room lights back on or go sit in an uncomfortable chair instead of my couch.May 15, 2019 at 2:15 pm #29315
Sounds like a good idea.May 15, 2019 at 2:54 pm #29316
Thanks Deb. As long of a road ahead that I may still have, (and this is good for you or anyone else to read) its good to always keep looking back and seeing just how far I’ve/we’ve come. I remember when I started SRT on January 1st and the fiRey two nights it worked. I thought wow! Ok this is great. I’m basically going to be fine for here on out. Then on night 3 I had a very early awakening and felt awful all day. I let it bother me so much. I figured well, even 11:30pm bedtimes /6 hours windows aren’t going to work now either???? I basically lost it. Now after last night, I know better. I know that its almost impossible to snap your fingers and begin sleeping through the night every single night from the start. Especially when you’ve been a chronic insomniac like myself for well over 2 years.May 15, 2019 at 3:02 pm #29317
Yes, we’ve come a long way, Mac. I can’t believe that just a little over 3 weeks ago I was a basket case with anxiety sky high, depression and panic attacks. Now the anxiety feels as though it’s completely gone and I basically go to bed assuming I’m going to fall asleep. Or if I don’t, it’s not big deal because I’ll just get up, read and bit and then I’ll fall asleep. I know that this is coming on the foundation of the last 3 weeks, but also the 2 months of the first go around. We know this works, so we just stick with the program knowing we’ll get better.May 15, 2019 at 5:01 pm #29320
I am at the end of night 6 of SR and SC and I see no changes yet. I know it takes awhile but already I am concerned this isn’t going to work for me. Especially when I read several people coming on here recently in the last two days asking how much longer it’s going to take because it isn’t working for them. I always come into something with overblown expectations and I’m just trying to remember that it can take awhile for the SR to kick in. But when I wake up feeling like I do today after a poor night of sleep, I get discouraged. I am going to keep trying though as I have no other choice.May 15, 2019 at 6:05 pm #29321
Yes, please keep at it Steve. Six days is way to short to make any judgement about whether or not this will work for you. I think it can take a lot longer for some people depending on their level of anxiety and other factors. Remind yourself that you know how to sleep and you have slept well for many, many years, so your body knows how to do this. In fact, the instinct to sleep naturally is so much stronger than insomnia. It will win out eventually. But you need to keep giving yourself the structure of SR and SC and then eventually your sleep will begin to fall into place within those parameters. Just keep pushing your body like a robot to do what it needs to do right now and eventually your mind (the anxiety) will get out of the way.
If after a few weeks you see absolutely no improvement at all (which I doubt will happen), I would strongly recommend that you hire Martin. Then you can explain to him in detail what you’re doing it and he can help you fine tune what you’re doing to ensure your success.May 16, 2019 at 12:11 pm #29387
Well, I did the last night of my first week of SR and it did not go well. All in all, I got between 1 3/4 hours and 2.0 hours of sleep. It took me a long time to get to sleep. I had to do SC and get out of bed three times before I initially fell asleep. The only good thing is that I was so exhausted, I slept in the 3:00 to 5:00 time slot which normally I wake up in and can’t get back to sleep. I don’t fear a bad night of sleep as it relates to work the next day as I have had plenty of bad nights and survived the next day. I just hope my sleep improves soon. Obviously, I still have anxiety about the bed and sleep but it is getting into my brain that either I sleep or it’s out of bed I go. Hopefully, that will be conditioned in me soon. Not sure about the more sleep part. I think I have to solve the anxiety about bed/sleep in order to relax enough to get to sleep. Or, I get so exhausted with SR that I just pass out. But that doesn’t seem to be going to happen for awhile. I read somewhere where it took a woman 6 weeks for her sleep to improve using CBT-i. She said it was the longest six weeks of her life. I am only at the end of week 6.May 16, 2019 at 12:30 pm #29388
6 weeks?? That’s a small price to pay if it means turning a serious corner on chronic insomnia
you’ve been dealing with this for 6+ months, right? Then that is considered chronic insomnia and its not going to resolve overnight, not in one week, and probably not even in a month. Take it from someone who was dealing with this for over TWO YEARS before I finally cracked down this past January and took real action, this will probably take some real time. But great news is you are in the right place. You have some great minds around you here. Seems like you are very much in the full blown anxiety phase still, even if it has subsided a small amount. Not saying this will be the case with you, but it took me some serious trial and error and a good amount of work to finally get to the point of where going to bed didn’t make me nervous anymore. You will get there too. You just have to stay the course and be disciplined.
MacMay 16, 2019 at 1:08 pm #29389
Thanks Mac. I know. I guess I am just looking for the support. I’m not trying to be a whiner or complainer. I was thinking of taking a melatonin tablet before bedtime to cut down on the time it takes me to go to sleep. I know Martin says I shouldn’t take them on an “as needed” basis. Besides, a 3mg melatonin tablet has been known to give me severe “maelatonin hangovers’. But I was wondering if I cut it up into quarters so that it is only .75mg. Maybe in another week I’ll try that if I continue to have 2 hour sleeps.May 16, 2019 at 4:53 pm #29395
You said you’re at end of 6 weeks, but I’m assuming it’s 6 days, Steve. That’s great that you slept through 3-5 which you said you usually don’t, so that’s an improvement! Concentrate on the good.
Since you seem to get by ok with less sleep than a lot of us (it doesn’t totally ruin your day), I wonder if there ever any exceptions where Martin recommends someone cut their sleep window to less to than 5 & 1/2 hours. You could email him and ask him. It just seems that maybe you would do better to match your sleep window closer to how long you’re actually sleeping and then maybe your sleep would become more concentrated within that period.
If the melatonin helps you I would take it, at least during this really rough period. Just my opinion.