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- August 12, 2019 at 11:29 pm #31399
gsdmom✘ Not a client
Steve, Deb and burn – thanks for your thoughts and support. I was looking at my sleep journal from back in May and June and I was feeling much worse, sleeping a bit less and definitely using more Ambien. I have improved greatly as far as medication usage and energy level. Going 5-7 days between pills is so much better than before, but there is certainly room for improvement, like taking zero! The people who know me would say I’m a very patient person, but today I felt like I really lost it so thanks again for responding back! Got to trust the process.August 13, 2019 at 11:50 am #31402
Okay, I don’t know if it was because I had a poor sleep the previous night or what but I had two deep sleep periods last night totaling around 3 hours each. I don’t remember waking up at all during them, just in between them. I don’t even think I woke up shortly after I initially went to sleep like I have been doing, either. The last hour I just laid in bed trying to practice mindfulness and the tools in the book. In retrospect, I probably should have just got up and went to the bathroom and then go back to bed. But, I will just continue with the ACT. I just need to remember to learn to use the tools when I wake up as I am starting to get nervous again and clock watch. As soon as I remember to learn to use the tools, I start to calm down quickly.August 13, 2019 at 3:25 pm #31403
gsdmom✘ Not a client
Steve – glad you are feeling better today, I had a similar night myself. Like you I sometimes I feel that just getting up, going to the bathroom and getting a cup of water is helpful. It kind of resets things, and if I sit on the side of the bed for a moment, I might start yawning and realize I am still pretty sleepy. In the book it says “normal” sleepers do get up for this. I had that weird light sleep going on between 10pm and 11:30pm, didn’t feel like I was sleeping, but as I was feeling like I was waking more, there came a memory from the back of my mind from this forum saying “you are having light sleep” so I relaxed a bit. Then I had that “pill thought” and again I remembered Deb saying your mind needs to learn how to sleep naturally (and if it doesn’t tonight then just accept what comes). So then I must have slept very soundly from 12:30am-6am, didn’t even hear my husband’s alarm at 5am. I am so happy I slept well last night as it is my twins’ birthday today and I feel rested and can enjoy the day with them!August 13, 2019 at 4:52 pm #31406
Glad you slept well gdsmom! And I am glad you feel good today. You are getting better! I still don’t feel all that great today though. Maybe it wasn’t as deep a sleep as I thought I had but I still have an insomnia headache, have trouble with my eyes and am fatigued. Still, if I can keep getting that 6 hours of sleep, I hope I can start to rejuvenate my body. I do feel way better than when I get only 3 hours of sleep. Keep it up!August 13, 2019 at 5:00 pm #31405
Pam1129✘ Not a client
Wow!!! So many of you appear to have improved greatly!!!
I have not been reading any posts of late, so just sat down and read the last couple weeks worth..and It was great to see the change for many of you!
I also wanted to report my ‘sleep’ pattern of late..
although I still wake often, I am doing waaay better… I bought the book, but just briefly started, ( I’m able to glean a lot from this blog) I am amazed at how much more relaxed I am and how ‘great’ my sleep is becoming!! The biggest changes for me have been;
1.I never look at the clock
(knowing my alarm is set has been enough) took me awhile, im not gonna lie, I was used to checking every time I’d wake, but realize now that ,that was a big stressor for me that caused Anxiety, mind wandering, worry about am I getting enough sleep ect…
2. Accepting whatever happens
3. Being positive
( even if it’s not the truth if someone asks how the sleeps been)
It has been incredible!!!
And THAT is THE TRUTH!! Haha
This has been a part of my world … the insomnia for 18 Years
I’ve read all your posts and KNOW and have felt exactly what you’re all sharing about.. and it was ‘hell’ 0- 4 hours a night of sleep for years ..all the meds I’ve taken, and for sooo long, feelings of; zombie,dazed,dizzy,angry, depressed, alone… all while trying to raise four kids
But for me … to FINALLY just ACCEPT whatever happens, has put me in a much better place!!!
THANKYOU all for sharing your stories , it’s been a comfort only insomniacs could truly ‘get’ and
Understand 😊August 13, 2019 at 5:32 pm #31408
Wow! You guys are doing so well!
Steve – that’s great you got 6 hours of sleep, that your sleep is getting deeper, that maybe that first wake-up is starting to disappear, and that the tools are working well for you. You just keep going forward continuing to make admirable progress!
Gdsmom – I’m so happy that you feel good today after a good night’s sleep and you’re able to enjoy your family. You’ve got a lot of courage to not give in to the pills and discipline yourself to do what you know you need to do.
Pam – good to hear from you, glad you’re reading the book and feeling hopeful after so many years. I can’t imagine struggling that long with this. My 9 months was nothing compared to what you’ve been through.
Last night was a little bit of a test for me. I wrote a new song, and whenever I do, it goes through my brain all day and into the night as well. I laid in bed a long time (an hour or two) but the melody just wouldn’t turn off! So finally I got up, read for awhile and went back to bed. Fell asleep right away and got up rested. At this point the anxiety is really minuscule, so I’m finding that I can deal with all different circumstances with confidence that my sleep won’t be a problem. Hurrah!August 15, 2019 at 4:13 pm #31424
burn✘ Not a client
Inspired by Deb’s success, on August 6th I decided to go with ACT with full commitment and no sleep restriction. Thanks to Deb and Borgesbi I got better understanding what acceptance is. I realized that previously I struggled with sleeplessness and didn’t have enough acceptance. I realized that while using mindfulness tools I still expected that unpleasant arrivals will stop coming eventually instead of truly making peace with them. With better understanding of the approach, I dropped all struggles and started going into my bedroom with simple intention of just rest and teach my mind night time tranquility.
Nights were different, on couple nights I fell asleep quite fast and slept all night, on some nights I spent half night awake (or maybe light sleep) and then eventually going into deep sleep for the second half of the night. And last two nights were nights of mostly deep sleep for almost entire night. What was helping me to stay calm when awake is the idea that while staying calm and at peace I teach my mind to relax and rest at night time. So instead of using night time wakefulness to get to know my insomnia (I know it pretty well already) I always view this wake time as an opportunity to teach my mind tranquility. Although nights were different, as I said above, there was no single night with no sleep at all or light sleep only. While it is too early to celebrate, this feels like a tectonic shift for me! My insomnia is sleep onset insomnia, and I had experience of going up to three nights in a row with no and very little of light sleep. Having no sleepless nights for entire week right from the start does feel like like half of victory already. I am now firm ACT believer. I know it does work the best for me and I will proceed with it. While sleep restriction was giving some immediate relief in terms of sleep hours, it did not give me daytime ease of mind. With ACT only, I was much more relaxed during daytime even after only half night sleep.
Acceptance is the key. Thanks Deb and Borgesbi for explaining it better to me. I think it is especially critical to maintain it now, when I partially departed from state of insomnia. Who knows, maybe I won’t sleep tonight. In this case I will use night time as an opportunity to teach my mind further to relax and be at ease.
I will give updates to report my ACT experience. My Skype talk with Sleep School doctor is still scheduled on August 29th, but right now I don’t know what to talk to her about.August 15, 2019 at 4:23 pm #31425
Featherly✘ Not a client
Hi everyone! Nice to meet everyone through their posts here. Steve, who I met in a CBT-i program, told me about ACT. What a find! I’ve struggled with sleep for 5+ years. But it has gotten much worse the last couple of years with the loss of a parent/severe family relationship damage, and then retirement. I worked very hard at CBT for 6 long and painful months. My sleep got worse than ever. I’m now starting Chapter 4 reading The Sleep Book. I am putting it into practice as I read it. I’m over the moon with this approach. I’ve let go of nearly all the long list of things I was doing to control and bring on sleep. I’m moving full steam ahead with applying the concepts. Being a mediator of several years helps, but it never occurred to me to use them for insomnia. I’m fortunate to be retired with time to practice. I’m a type A (anxiety, and worry come easy :/) What a difference this has made. I have hope. I no longer clock watch and I am able to deal with the anxious feelings. I find myself applying the tools to unwanted thoughts outside of sleep too. It’s only been a couple of nights but it has all ready had impact. I’ve had 2 acceptable nights in a row. I’ll keep reading. I’m still not sure about a few things, like if a bed/rise time need to be consistent. Mine’s been wavering with this new approach shaking everything up. So glad to have you all to talk to 🙂August 15, 2019 at 4:36 pm #31426
Yay Nik! You’re doing great and you might recover more quickly than you think, just like it was for me. You can always cancel your appointment, but I think it has to be done within 14 days of scheduling it. You could make another appointment if you needed it.
I love the way you said “this feels like a tectonic shift for me!” For myself on about the 9th night I also felt a huge shift. I felt like I was falling through a vortex where on the other side I would be fully healed. It felt so comforting and wonderful – and I knew at that moment that I was on the way to recovery.
Welcome Featherly – Glad to have you here. I think in the 4th chapter Dr. Guy talks about a client who stayed in bed for 12 hours. He had him “restrict” it to 8 hours. So there’s a lot more flexibility with sleep times with ACT. What helps us to sleep in this program is not so much sleep drive, but learning to relax. I’m semi-retired so I can sleep in if needed. I went to bed every night around 11:00, and if I was tired in the morning because of light sleep all night, I dozed until 8 or 8:30. My light sleep deepened quickly however and soon I started waking up at my usual time between 7 and 7:30.August 15, 2019 at 6:57 pm #31429
burn✘ Not a client
Interestingly it is the opposite for me with waking up. During bad insomnia period, I used to be wide awake by 6am, even after no sleep night. Now I am waking little later, around 6.30 (and allow myself to lie in there for another 20 minutes) even after good night. I interpret it as being able to be relaxed in bed and enjoy being there, so the body does not have urges to be out of bed early.August 15, 2019 at 11:19 pm #31431
Glad to hear everybody is doing fine on ACT. And nice to see you made it here featherly. I’ll give a little update on myself. Last night was an okay night for me and it was my 8th night on ACT since starting to practice it diligently. I fell asleep rather quickly and did not wake up within 15 to 20 minutes after initially falling asleep. This is the 2nd time out of 3 nights that that happened so I am pleased with that. I slept deeply about 4 and a half hours and after I woke up, I was probably in Stage 1 sleep for about a half hour. After that, I was wide awake so I practiced my tools and then just lied there in bed and rested and let my mind wander. I did not get to sleep again but it was a good rest and much easier than practicing SC. My problem is when I get up, I am still dizzy and find it hard to concentrate and really hard to focus my eyes. One of my demons is thinking surgery still caused all of this but I am welcoming that thought like you are supposed to. After all, I had a couple CAT scans since the surgery along with other tests and they all show I am fine. I just have to remember that 4.5 hours is still not a lot of sleep so there will be repercussions until my sleep really gets better. I am in bed for 7 hours now and while I was in bed for 8 hours before insomnia, I still hate to increase it by that much in case my sleep gets fragmented. After all, I am still not sleeping anywhere near that 7 hours yet. So I will keep using the ACT tools and going to bed to “rest” instead of sleep. I feel I am on the verge of breaking this. I just need to relax my brain more so it can go to sleep. Good luck to you all.August 16, 2019 at 9:12 am #31435
Hi I recently bought the insomnia coach program. I have been sleeping a hellish 2 hours a night average for 7 straight months. I was told you should start on minimum of 5.5 hours, but am getting nowhere near 85% of that. Do I reduce window to 3 hours instead. Also when I try to get up and do something else out of bed not only do I not feel sleepier, but it causes more anxiety as I realise I am shortening my sleep window even further by being out of bed. How do I deal with this?
AndyAugust 16, 2019 at 11:46 am #31436
Hi Andy. When you say you bought the Insomnia Coach Program, do you mean Martin’s paid course? You are really not supposed to have less than a 5.5 hour SW as that is the core amount of sleep that you need. I know you aren’t getting that at first but try to relax as you will build up to that. It can take time. At the least, when you are up doing SC, you will be building your sleep drive for the next night so you can sleep longer. How long have you been doing SR?August 16, 2019 at 11:50 am #31437
Mac0908✘ Not a client
Good morning everyone. Steve, Deb, delv etc. Just wanted to report back after perhaps my longest hiatus as I promised to never disappear before a success story. While I don’t have a full blown success story I can tell you all that I have been sleeping much better over the last month or so, better than I have in a long, long time. I have even gotten to a point on several nights of going to bed earlier than normal and still not waking until my alarm. That’s huge for me.
With the more and more success, the underlying anxiety has eased and its been great a lot of days. That doesn’t mean I haven’t had some semi-rough nights but overall, plenty more good than bad. ONE area however that I continue to still struggle in, and its an area that Sasha Stephens said was her last to truly conquer, is the getting a good night before a special event. Simply put – if I have something of significance going on the next day after work (i.e. a date, a hang out with a friend, etc) the anxiety seems to creep back up more, and I’ve found myself having a bad night. This has been very upsetting to me bc of course THESE are the nights I need good sleep the most! It’s just amazing how it happens, too. Recently for example I was on a kick of what seemed like a solid week STRAIGHT of good sleep. Then came a night where I had plans the next day. I felt I would still be ok with sleep but wouldn’t you know it, an early awakening occurred. Not sure what time exactly as I didn’t look at the clock and stayed calm, but the point is, my sleep was disrupted, and I didn’t exactly fall back into a deep sleep. I ended up feeling pretty bad the next day.
Then next thing I know, the following night wasn’t the greatest either. A domino effect so to speak, like we all know about, was happening. I don’t even think there is any great advice, or any special tools to use to tackle “special event insomnia” either. I think I just have to roll with the punches and continue going with the flow. Hope for more and more good nights that ultimately one day lead me to the promise land of absolutely close to zero underlying anxiety.August 16, 2019 at 11:55 am #31440
Well, another somewhat tough night for me. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t get to sleep soon after I went to bed. I know I finally went to sleep as I remember the dreams but I really don’t know how long I slept for. I don’t feel too bad this morning. I do accept whatever sleep I get but there is a small part of me during the day that worries I will start getting fragmented sleep again. At night, I am mostly comfortable and relaxed. I don’t toss and turn but do look at the clock every now and then. I mostly just lay there and use some of the tools when I wake up and can’t get back to sleep. And if I still can’t get back to sleep after say 10 minutes, then I just lay there and let my mind wander. I do notice that when I started ACT, I wasn’t worried about the alarm going off in the morning but now I do somewhat. Not a lot but a little. For those of you doing ACT, how long are you staying in bed? I am in bed now 7 hours but really wish I could go to bed an hour earlier and make it 8 hours while still getting up with the alarm at 5:15. I am just so tired at night from staying up until 10:15. Unfortunately, that tiredness isn’t translating into more sleep. Not yet anyway. Hopefully soon.