Forum Replies Created
Karen – Just a thought. When did you go on Zoloft and when did your sleep problems start again? Anti-depressants/anti-anxiety meds such as Zoloft are known for causing insomnia. That’s why doctor’s sometimes prescribe a benzo type med to help with sleep until you get used to the anti-anxiety meds. However, you DON’T want to get involved with benzos as they are too addictive and coming off of a benzo addiction has been described as worse than coming off of a heroin addiction Just a thought that it is the Zoloft possibly causing your sleep problems.. Other than that, I would have to say that it sounds as if you are trying too hard to get back to sleep.
Deb – Sorry to hear you are having a hard time of it. I think it’s a wise move to have had that session with Dr. Kat. If I remember right, you had a time credit so you might as well use it when you need it. I understand why she doesn’t want you to compare this experience with your previous ones but I will say this. If I remember right, the first two times you started ACT, you were coming off of CBT-i where you were getting about 5 nights of good sleep to about 2 nights of bad. So you were in good shape to start ACT. In this past relapse of the last four weeks or so, you were pretty much only getting to sleep with the use of a drug or alcohol. So I would think that your body and mind needs to break that connection. Once you do that, I think you should start seeing positive results. How did you sleep last night? I wish you well and hope you get back on track soon.
gsdmom – Thanks for replying. I take that ashwagandha as well. My acupuncturist recommended it to me although I don’t get it from her. I buy it off of Amazon. She told me it can help sleep because it is supposed to reduce anxiety. But it doesn’t make you sleep directly. I’m sorry to hear your sleep has been poor recently. Hopefully, your acupuncture treatment will get you back on track. I had my acupuncture treatment yesterday but I never really sleep well on the night I get it. I think it’s because I get my treatments around 6:00 or 6:30 at night after work. After she sticks the needles in and leaves me for about 20 minutes, I usually do my breathing meditation and that’s when I go to sleep a little as it’s very relaxing. Not long, but I think just enough that it harms my sleep drive for that night. It’s very difficult for me to get home and sleep after that. However, the next couple of nights I usually sleep well. Last night, was really bad as I only got about 2 to 3 hours of sleep so I am a little out of it today. This whole last week and a half, except for one night, have been lousy for me so after last night’s session, I hope I can pick it up again.
I’m really sorry you have regressed as well. We both seemed to be on the upswing. I guess we just have to keep sticking to the fundamentals of ACT. It must be harder for you what with your spouse causing problems and I’m really sorry for that. I hope you sleep well tonight. Keep me posted how you are doing. I am praying for you.
gsdmom – Sorry you didn’t get any sleep last night gsdmom. We all know how rough that can be. My sleep started going south some last week. I was doing acupuncture weekly for 7 weeks straight and then skipped a week. The week I would have went if I continued weekly is when I started getting less sleep. I wonder if stopping acupuncture had anything to do with it? I go back tonight so I’ll see if my sleep picks up again. Even if it does, I’m not sure I can afford weekly sessions. Does your acupuncturist advise you to take herbal supplements? I was getting a lot of 6.5 to 7.5 sleeps until I regressed this past week. Now it’s more like 5. And I wake up after the first hour. I haven’t seemed to be able to stop that yet. I think having to get up for work has a lot to do with it. That’s one of the unwelcome thoughts I deal with when I wake up and can’t get back to sleep right away.
whitelori – Reading the book again is a very good start. We have all read the book a number of times and constantly refer back to it. ACT is not widely known as much as CBT-i is so the book and this forum are your first two places for help and information on it. Talking to Dr. Kat, if you can do it, is also a good place for help on it.
I use an alarm no matter what as I have to get up and one of these days, I might just sleep past my get up time if I don’t have it set.
whitelori – ACT and a sleep window don’t really work together too well. Do you have the book by Guy Meadows? A sleep window can promote anxiety which ACT is trying to get rid of. Also, once you pick your time that you need to sleep (I use 8 hours as that is what I slept for – approximately – before I got insomnia) that is the time you should stay in bed for. A sleep window is geared more towards CBT-i in that you only stay in bed for the time you are actually sleeping. You would gradually increase that as your sleep improves. The theory there is that you only use the bed for sleep and you won’t get anxiety by staying awake in it all night. ACT doesn’t want you to get out of bed when you can’t sleep. With ACT, you accept the fact you can’t sleep even if it means lying in bed all night. That way, you get accustomed to your bed and you don’t become afraid of it, so your anxiety is reduced. Also, you get more rest because you are lying in bed rather than up doing activities as a short sleep window would have you doing. (If you are up because of a short sleep window, then you are expending energy doing some type of activity.) I hope I’m explaining that logically. Someone can correct me if I am wrong. So, I go to bed between 9:00 and 9:30 and my alarm goes off at 5:15, which is about 8 hours for me. CBT-i didn’t work too well for me as I had high anxiety. Without that rest from staying in bed. I would never be able to get through my workday. You need to start with accepting whatever sleep you get. Deb can help you more with that as she has some very good definitions of Acceptance.
Deb – I know you can do it. You did it twice before! New year new sleep for you. Glad to hear you will cut back on the Ambien and White Russians again. Let us know how it’s going.
Welcome whitelori. Sorry to hear that you have insomnia for so long. People in this thread mostly follow ACT but we have all done CBT-i. So if you have any questions about either, feel free to ask. Also, don’t be afraid to post to let us know how you are doing. That’s what the support here is for. Nice to hear from you.
Happy New Year everyone! Yes, this forum has been a big help to me as well. I am still having my difficulties but I still think I’m on the right track. Mostly, I can get from 5.5 to 6.5 hours of sleep and on really good nights, over 7 hours. I still don’t feel refreshed though and lately, I have had trouble trying to get to sleep. Before, I never really had a problem with that, just the wake-ups. Lately, I have been feeling so frustrated when I wake up. I am trying to accept and welcome that thought but it’s difficult. Featherly reminded me that before I go to sleep, to just accept the fact that I will wake up at that time instead of expecting to sleep and that reminder has helped. I guess my biggest problem though is I will have 3 or 4 decent nights in a row and then get a killer almost nil sleep night which sets me way back as the next day I am a zombie. I remember that I do make it through the day but hate going through that. I guess I have to work on acceptance more.
Deb – Sorry you are going through a hard time again. Just concentrate on doing what you did the first time and you should start getting better.
Mac – Glad things are going better for you.
gdsmom and Pam – You are on the right track and your comments help me immensely.
Has anyone heard from Burn? I haven’t seen a comment from him in a long time. He was the other member here who talked to Dr. Kat besides Deb, wasn’t he?
Deb – Sorry, I meant that second comment about the stress of the holidays for you, not Pam.
Pam – Very happy to hear that you are doing better. It was my pleasure reaching out to you after you posted originally. Hope you continue to improve. Stop by here on this thread in the forum more often. We love hearing from you and everyone else out there who has trouble sleeping and is trying, or wants to try ACT.
Pam – Maybe it’s just the stress of the Holidays that is interfering with your sleep this time. Hope you get back on track soon. I know you will.
Mac – Deep seated anxiety. It just takes a long time to get rid of it, or live with it peacefully. I had insomnia for 9 months before that August date when I started ACT whole-heartedly, so it was really ingrained in me. I tried CBT-i but the SC just made the insomnia worse.
Thanks Deb. It has taken me awhile to get where I am with ACT. I have it written down that I started August 7 so it’s been a little over 4 months. It takes time. Some people pick it up quicker than others. And remember for those of you starting ACT that after 4+ months, I am nowhere near “cured” yet. So don’t get discouraged if it starts taking you awhile to pick it up.
Deb – Glad to hear you are doing well again. BTW, any new videos of you singing on YouTube? As for me, I try to do everything that needs doing before I go to bed before 9:00. So I am in bed between 9:00 and 9:15. The alarm is set for 5:15 so that is about an 8 hour time period I am in bed. Of course on weekends and days off, I usually stay in bed another half hour to an hour, which is what I used to do when I was a normal sleeper. I still wake up mostly about an hour after I initially go to sleep. Not sure why. Usually it doesn’t last long and I can get back to sleep rather quickly. Then I used to wake up around 2:00 to 2:30. A lot of times I would get back to sleep and then wake up again around 3:00 and again at 4:00. I could mostly get back to sleep if I woke up around 3:00 but if I woke up at 4:00, I could never get back to sleep. Probably there was some stress in there about the alarm going off. Within the last two weeks though, I have been sleeping longer into the 3:00 and 4:00 hour time periods. Like last night, I woke up about 3:00, went to the bathroom and came back to bed and fell right back to sleep. I then slept until about 4:45, went back to sleep right away and then woke up for good at 5:00. I still am a bit tired today along with some other symptoms but nowhere near as bad as when I get less than 5 hours of sleep. In fact, I feel pretty good today. Not really great but much better than I have been . I hope it continues. I know there will be some relapses in there but I will take them as they come and accept them like I have been doing.
As for mindful meditation, I admit it’s hard for me to practice that. I mostly practice the tools of welcoming the unwelcome thoughts and feelings as well as the noticing your senses tools. Those are really easy to practice for me with the time I have during the day. I find it’s better to practice them during the day than just before I go to bed.