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Well, I feel more hopeful about ACT again after last night. I’m finally accepting the insomnia I have right now instead of comparing it with how it was before. I laid in bed again calmly for hours. Eventually when I realized it had been hours, I started to get a little agitated and frustrated again. But this time I let it go. I fell asleep right after that. I woke up after 8:00 so got at least few hours of sleep and feel halfway decent today. I can deal with this.
Whitelori – just a comment regarding one of your posts on a different thread. You said that when you’re laying there in bed for hours, you never notice yourself getting sleepy. This shows me that you’re monitoring yourself which will never lead to sleep. Before I fall asleep, I don’t notice myself getting sleepy – the sleep just takes over me. So if you can, just let go and allow your mind to relax and wander, just like before the insomnia.
Hi Natalya – this sounds like what Mac has experienced. We’re another thread “Act for Insomnia.” You can ask him about it there. He was stuck and switched to ACT. He relaxed his sleep window and now goes to bed at his old time. When he wakes up too early, he practices ACT and lets go of his worry and then is able to fall back asleep more often. For more info about ACT, read “The Sleep Book” by Dr. Guy Meadows.
That sounds like a good idea, Whitelori. I’m trying to accept too and it’s hard. If I just can’t do it, I’ll go back to CBT-I too.
Yes it is hard after a bad night like I had again last night. But trying to find a way to stay positive today and not focus on how I feel physically, and then bring that to bed with me tonight. Glad you don’t have any nil nights anymore, David. That’s great and you have certainly come a long way!
P.S. If I find that this is just too hard and I can’t seem to completely relax and accept things, and it’s not getting any better, I might go back to CBT too.
When I did ACT back in July, I told myself that I would give myself two weeks and if it was just too hard, I could always go back to CBT. That was like a safety net for me and it helped motivate me to try it. But that time it turned out to be relatively easy. Not this time.
Karen – sorry you’re having a hard time too. To make an appointment with Dr. Kat, go to the sleep school website, click on the middle box that says Insomnia (not Professional or Baby), then click on Private Clinics. Go down the page on the left side where it says Book Video Clinic. Make sure you read everything on their cancellation policy if there’s any chance you might change your mind. If the cancellation doesn’t fall within a certain period, you won’t get your money back.
Dr. Kat is only seeing clients two Thursdays a month now. I would think there would be a high demand for this but I guess a lot of people never heard of ACT. During your first session you can ask her about half hour sessions if that would work better for you. Take care.
I had a good session with Dr. Kat today. Yes, Steve, I did have some time left over from August, so I was able to use that last week. This week is part of a paid session. I split the hour in half so saw her 30 minutes today and will see her again next week for 30 minutes. This seems to be plenty enough time to talk.
She helped me realize that I’m probably trying too hard and as a result are tense deep down, even though I think I feel calm. Back in July when I recovered so quickly I really didn’t have to use much mindfulness. But now I’m realizing that I need to start practicing it and hopefully it will help me be more calm overall and deal better with the fears and frustrations that come up (and any zombie days.)
Mac – Sorry you had a bad night. You always seem to get back on track though. I wonder if you could use more mindfulness too.
Yes, Dr. Kat said that I need to accept the sleep issues that I’m having now and don’t compare it with my previous experience. I’m not doing anything different. I’m tired every night I go to bed, so that’s not the problem. Especially lately I’ve been exhausted and still can’t fall asleep. Like the night before last I only had one hour of sleep and was a zombie all day yesterday. Yet last night I still couldn’t go to sleep and hours passed.
I didn’t get any of these posts after my last one. Guess I need to unsubscribe again and then subscribe.
Mac – it’s not really a lot of anxiety that I’m experiencing. What’s happening is that I’m going to bed, practicing ACT and just letting my mind wander like I did before insomnia. But I’ll lay there for hours, just not falling asleep. Finally at some point I’ll realize that I’ve been awake for hours and then experience frustration.
I’ve been keeping a sleep diary the last couple weeks in order to keep track of what I’m thinking and doing. So for instance within the last week there was one night when my thoughts were that I was so frustrated that it’s taking so long this time to recover in comparison to before. Another night my thoughts were that I was so frustrated because I’m so tired when I go to bed and yet still can’t sleep. Most of these thoughts came after lying in bed already hours doing nothing and thinking nothing, and not when I first went to bed. In addition to keeping track of my thoughts, I’m keeping track of my actions as well, in particular when I resort to a drink or Ambien to go to sleep. When I look over my diaries I realize that I’ve had a drink or Ambien many times when I’ve gotten frustrated. So I really need to learn how to deal better with my frustration instead of resorting to these crutches, or I’ll never learn to sleep naturally. There’s only been one time when I went for more than one or two nights without taking anything. I’m never going to heal that way.
It helped a lot to talk to Dr. Kat last week because I could then recognize more clearly that I’m not accepting my experience, but struggling with it, which will never lead to sleep. Last night for a change I was able to accept it. Again I lay in bed for hours and finally at about 4 or 5 I realized that I was still awake and not sleeping. I got frustrated but then reminded myself that this thinking is not helping me. I was able to use some mindfulness and just name the thoughts I was having, “I’m having the thought, ‘I’m never going to heal.'” “I’m having the thought, ‘This is just too hard to do.'” “I’m having the thought, ‘I’m going to be zombie tomorrow.'” Etc. That helped me separate from the thought, and then I calmed down. I was able to sleep a little eventually. I considered it a victory that I was able to deal my thoughts in a more helpful way instead of letting the frustration take over me and lead me to take a drink or pill. Now if I could just do this enough nights in a row so that my system starts to settle down and actually start falling asleep sooner. But it’s hard, especially dealing with things at 4 or 5 in the morning after hours without any sleep.
Hi Daf – glad you’re doing well. And thanks for checking in.
I’m having a hard time right now. This relapse has hit with a vengeance. I finally decided I needed some help so I’m working with Dr. Kat again. It’s helped me gain some clarity which I needed. Sometimes you’re struggling and not accepting and you don’t even realize it. When I had done ACT back in July, it worked so quickly, in less than two weeks and it was easier in a way. I mostly had light sleep and then it consolidated. So I wasn’t conscious most of the time. But this time I’ve had a lot of very long nights, where I’m awake (or at least I think I am) for hours. Dr. Kat pointed out that I was comparing my different experiences instead of accepting what’s happening right now. So I’m trying to accept the long nights, which is not easy.
Mac – how are you?
I got insomnia last year and as a result of my research have come to understand that chronic insomnia is a mental condition and cannot be healed through drugs or medical interventions. The only treatments I know of for this that work are CBT-I, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, or ACT. For information about CBT-I read this website and also watch Martin’s videos. He also can coach you through it and is an excellent coach. For ACT the best resource is The Sleep Book by Dr. Guy Meadows. He also has a website. I first did CBT-I with Martin and got good results. Later I switched to ACT.
I got insomnia last year and as a result of my research have come to understand that chronic insomnia is a mental condition and cannot be healed through drugs or medical interventions. The only treatments I know of for this that work are CBT-I, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, or ACT. For information about CBT-I read this website and also watch Martin’s videos. He also can coach you through it and is an excellent coach. For ACT the best resource is The Sleep Book by Dr. Guy Meadows. He also has a website.
Manfred – hopefully through doing CBT-I the anxiety will start going down again. Once we start sleeping better, it tends to go down. Have you tried the mindfulness yet? Seems it would help you.
Mac – how’s this week been for you?
Last night was better for me. Fell asleep within an hour. I think I had light sleep mixed with regular sleep because I woke up feeling not fully rested even though I slept till 7:30. But do feel that I’m back on track. Anxiety is going down. This is my forth night practicing ACT the right way, without any props. Just lay in bed and do nothing.
Yes I got out of bed. I usually read and sometimes wrote in my journal. What has relaxed you in the past?
Tell us more about your experience with CBT-I when you did Martin’s course. How was SC and SRT for you then? Did your anxiety go down?
Yes I had intense anxiety and the catastrophizing. I think most of us here on the forum all went through this. That’s how this darn anxiety became chronic, with all our worrying! When I started SRT, I saw how well it was working and then my anxiety went down a lot. I was lucky in that right away I was sleeping well 5 nights out of 7. I didn’t do so well with the SC though on the other 2 nights. I hated getting up and would only get up once or twice instead of as long as needed. I struggled a lot on those nights.
Last night was another long night. Laid in bed a long time not struggling, but not sleeping either. Finally caught some sleep in the morning so I’m ok today. I thought I was on my way to recovery but maybe not yet. Maybe it’s just going to take longer this time. Will have to accept that. I can still slip into some catastrophizing these days, wondering if I’m training my brain to stay awake all night and sleep a few hours in the morning. But I know this thinking is not helpful. Have to remind myself of Carlos in the book, whose sleep didn’t improve for 2 weeks. I’ve only been doing this a few days now with no props.