How Kreuza dealt with insomnia and somniphobia by practicing more acceptance and less resistance (#56)

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In this episode, Kreuza shares her journey through the challenging landscape of insomnia and somniphobia — a fear of sleep. Initially, she found Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) techniques helpful. However, when sleep problems returned as somniphobia, the same techniques faltered. Feeling isolated in her struggle, Kreuza realized that implementing rules around sleep were not helping her.

A turning point came when she embraced a more flexible, compassionate approach to sleep. She began to practice accepting her thoughts and feelings without resistance. She practiced being kind to herself when things felt really difficult. And she engaged in activities that mattered to her, even after difficult nights.

Kreuza’s story is a testament to the possibility and power of patient and kind practice of acceptance as a way to deal with deep-seated fears. It also highlights that moving past sleep struggles is often a journey of ongoing action and practice — and setbacks — rather than quick fixes.

Click here for a full transcript of this episode.


Martin: Welcome to the Insomnia Coach Podcast. My name is Martin Reed. I believe that by changing how we respond to insomnia and all the difficult thoughts and feelings that come with it, we can move away from struggling with insomnia and toward living the life we want to live.

Martin: The content of this podcast is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, disorder, or medical condition. It should never replace any advice given to you by your physician or any other licensed healthcare provider. Insomnia Coach LLC offers coaching services only and does not provide therapy, counseling, medical advice, or medical treatment. The statements and opinions expressed by guests are their own and are not necessarily endorsed by Insomnia Coach LLC. All content is provided “as is” and without warranties, either express or implied.

Martin: Okay, Kreuza, thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to come onto the podcast.

Kreuza: Sure, I’m happy to. Thank you for having me.

Martin: Let’s start right at the beginning. Um, when did your sleep problems begin? And what do you think first caused those issues with sleep?

Kreuza: So my first, uh, issue with sleep was actually in 2013, um, which I did CBT.

Kreuza: It was very mechanical. There was, um, it was just go to bed at this time, wake up at this time. And so, um, there was really not much else to it. And so I overcame that in a few months. And, um, but the, the, um, last year I also had insomnia. But with Somniphobia on top of that. So that’s so that was way more challenging than just the insomnia itself that that required more than just, um, the mechanical CBT get up at this time, go to bed at this time

Martin: When you were first struggling with sleeping, you kind of practice these CBT-I techniques.

Martin: Um, you found them helpful at the time, and then it was kind of a little bit further down the road. Some sleep disruption showed up again. Did you? Yeah. Did you try re implementing those techniques? Um, and if so, what do you feel like the difference was that time around the second time around when you tried implementing those?

Kreuza: I sure did. So, so I, so I was familiar. So, because since I did struggle with insomnia 10 years ago, um, I, I always, it always kind of stuck with me ever since then that, Oh, I’m just a person who has trouble sleeping. Like I just, That kind of stuck with me, but it wasn’t really a problem for about a decade.

Kreuza: I mean, I would have, it was a nuisance at times. I would have periods that my sleep would be, you know, not so great. And then it would kind of fix itself. So it wasn’t a big issue for, for that period of time for that decade. Um, until, um, until last year when. I mean, it really just, as it tends to start, it really just started with a couple of nights not sleeping well, and then it spiraled.

Kreuza: And I, and I said, well, I’ve been through this before, I know what to do, and I know the protocol, I’ve done it before, and I know that it works. So, I started to implement it on my own. And I gave myself a certain amount of time in bed, I would, I would follow it pretty religiously. I stuck to my, to my, um, my schedule, but I noticed that it wasn’t getting better.

Kreuza: And so, and in fact, it was actually getting worse. And so that’s when it really started to spiral out of control.

Martin: Why do you feel that these CBT-I techniques were perhaps really helpful first time around, but then that, then later on when you tried to implement them again. The kind of results weren’t aligning with what you got the first time around.

Kreuza: Right. I actually think that’s because I was trying to do it on my own. The first time I had a therapist and I think that knowing that I have this support from another person and, and so when, because I, I do remember, I mean, it was such a long time ago. It was a whole decade had gone by since. Since that happened.

Kreuza: So I don’t remember everything, but I, I do recall that when I was having, uh, trouble sleeping at night, I was able to email him or I would go to his office. I, I remember every Friday I was going and discussing my week with him. And I think I was just getting that encouragement from him that keep going, this is normal.

Kreuza: This happens to other clients. So I would, I would have that sense of calm from him, which I didn’t have when I was just doing good on my own. Um, and so I think that that’s. Why? And I, and when you’re already struggling so much, um, you really can’t calm yourself down. You don’t need somebody from the outside to help you.

Kreuza: So I think that that’s why the second time, instead of getting better with the CBT, I, um, it actually got worse because I think it’s more than just a mechanical go to bed at this time, get up at this time. I think there’s, I think it’s more than that. I mean, if at least for in my case, because it was, it got to the point that it was so bad.

Kreuza: And that there was fear cropping up and anxiety that I don’t, I did need more than just the, um, just as a restriction. I needed more than that.

Martin: Your experience definitely isn’t unique there. And it’s something I’ve heard from quite a few people that, um, maybe they’d tried CBT-I and found it really helpful.

Martin: And then at some point in the future, the kind of sleep disruption came back and then. All those techniques that once were helpful don’t seem to be working in the same way. Um, and I don’t think it means that You know, there was no value to them or that you’re doing something wrong this time around. I think there can be two components, really.

Martin: One, which you’ve already mentioned. You know, if you’ve got that support from someone, whether it’s a therapist or a coach, it makes the world of difference, right? Regardless of what kind of changes you’re making. And I think, second of all, sometimes The kind of rigidity, or the really, the kind of narrow structure, you know, the inflexibility, perhaps, of CBT-I techniques themselves, can contribute to this sense that their intention is to make sleep happen or their intention is to get rid of insomnia, that there are rules and that if you follow these rules, then sleep will happen and wakefulness will be gone.

Martin: Um, whereas really the way CBT-I techniques are intended to work is they kind of, Address the behaviors that can perpetuate sleep disruption, you know, that can add kind of add fuel to the flames Um, so doing things like going to bed a lot earlier because we’re chasing after sleep or staying in bed later um and so What I think can happen i’m curious to know if you feel like this might have been relevant to you was We can believe that it was You know, only going to bed at a certain time, or only, or always getting out of bed at a certain time, responding in a very specific way to wakefulness when it shows up.

Martin: We can believe that all those kind of rules and rituals have actually made sleep happen, have actually got rid of insomnia. And then, when we come back to re implementing them again, we can believe that, okay, if we just do this Sleep will get back on track. These will make sleep happen. These techniques will get rid of insomnia.

Martin: And then if they don’t, then we start to get worried that, Uh oh, now there’s something really uniquely wrong. Um, do you feel like that, does that sound familiar or relevant?

Kreuza: One hundred percent. Um, everything that you said is relevant for me. And in fact, you know, looking back now, Um, I can say that, uh, you know, where, where I was in my life 10 years ago and, and, and last year you’re, you’re in such different mental, I mean, you’re, first of all, just the physical changes that happened that occur in your body.

Kreuza: So, so naturally I probably just need less amounts of sleep or, or, or just who I am has changed so much. So what worked for me 10 years ago, wouldn’t work for me now, but sure. This makes sense to me now that I’m fine. But when you’re going through it. It’s hard for you to rationalize these things. And so you just, all you, all you can think is that there’s something wrong with me now that’s unfixable.

Kreuza: And that’s what, that’s what I started to believe is that something just happened in my body that was making it impossible for me to get better. Um, and, and also what you, I want to address what you mentioned about, um, about, you know, the, just the, the mechanical, uh, the schedule, the restrictions that we implement.

Kreuza: Yes, that works. Of course it’s. it’s crucial in getting rid of your insomnia. But in fact, I also, I also believe that it’s how you choose to, how you implement it. Because I, and I do want to say that prior to you, I did have another therapist, a sleep sleep coach, and he was very focused on this aspect of go to bed at this time and wake up at this time.

Kreuza: He put so much emphasis in that that it actually made me quite paranoid about Not being in bed any longer than I, than, than he suggested. So I actually do recall that it was under his care that I started to become actually worse. Um, and it’s around that time that the somniphobia started, in fact. So, it really does matter that you find somebody that can give you the information, but also give it to you in a pretty, um, flexible and compassionate manner.

Martin: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I think that it’s, I think it can be helpful to kind of, Go shop, like see, looking for a coach or a therapist as no different really to shopping, to shopping around, to finding something that’s right for you because the way one, one person’s approach might kind of really align with what you’re looking for, um, another person’s approach might not, um, it doesn’t mean that that approach is good or bad.

Martin: It just means it’s not right for you and that’s perfectly okay, right? And so if we work with someone and find that’s not working out, yeah. Doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you or that what you’re learning isn’t useful. It just means, you know, that that’s not the, the right individual for you. Um, and that’s, that’s perfectly okay.

Martin: It’s all part of the process.

Kreuza: And if you remember, actually, when I emailed you, one of the first things I said was, well, can we keep it flexible? How long I stay in bed or if I, if I stay a little longer, um, it’s okay. Or if I go to bed a little earlier, sometimes it’s okay. And you said it’s fine. And already, just with you saying that, I started to feel calmer.

Martin: It’s so interesting because some people really love the flexibility. Other people really love the rigidity, right? Everyone is so different. Um, but the, the, you know, the way I like to see it is. If we’re able to look back or remember a time when sleep wasn’t an issue or a concern, we might then ask ourselves, well, how many kind of rules and rituals did I have around sleep then?

Martin: Did I have a rule that I could only go to sleep at a certain time? Did I have a rule that if I was awake, I had to get out of bed? Did I have a rule that I couldn’t read in bed? Or did I have a rule that I can’t watch TV at night? Often our experience is a good indicator there, right? Because for most of us, we didn’t really have many rules, rituals around sleep, but then Now we might have more and yet we’re struggling.

Martin: So maybe there’s a little insight there.

Kreuza: Yeah, and I was thinking about that as well. Um, but of course, again, um, when you’re trying to do things on your own, you’re not really thinking straight. So you do, you need that reminder, you need that other person to tell you these things, that you’re actually kind of forgetting when you’re going through insomnia.

Martin: When, when your mind identifies a problem, it’s going to focus so much attention on the problem, right, and fixing the problem, making your focus just becomes like a laser, and it’s really hard to see anything else or any big picture, or even just the context of your own experience, and that’s where it can be helpful to have someone to work with, to help you, to help guide you, really, because that’s all that I think coaches or therapists are doing, right?

Martin: All the real work is done. By you, the client, um, really the coach or the therapist is just guiding you and just trying to open you up to, you know, reach in the goals that, that you want to achieve or the goals that you want to reach for yourself. And to motivate you and to keep you on track.

Kreuza: I mean, you actually helped me so much with, um, if you remember, I was, Very unmotivated.

Kreuza: I didn’t have the energy or the desire to do much Especially because I felt so tired and I felt like everybody could see that the the tiredness in my face and when I’d go outside I’d see everybody looking so rested and full of life and I didn’t feel like I fit in with everybody So, um, so I just wanted to be a recluse and isolate myself But in fact you encouraged me to go out and do things that I like.

Kreuza: So if you remember, um, I was doing a lot of hiking because it was, you know, it was more on my own. Me and my dad would go hiking, and in fact, I do remember And especially being out in the sunshine, which is, which is crucial for, you know, like setting, um, you know, your sleep schedule. Um, so I was doing a lot of hiking at the time, even though I was tired, you encouraged me to do it anyway.

Kreuza: And I found that by doing that, it would lower my anxiety levels and. It, it, that actually did help me become tired enough to fall asleep the next day or at night. So that really helped. And that’s what, that’s one of the things that that was my mistake actually, is that when I started to struggle with sleep initially, I quit my job.

Kreuza: I didn’t leave the house. I didn’t want to talk to anybody. So doing all of those, then your whole life revolves around your insomnia. And that’s all that you’re thinking about. You have no other, there’s it, that’s your, your life becomes insomnia now.

Martin: Yeah, and it tends to make things even more difficult, right?

Kreuza: Yes.

Martin: Yeah, I’ve, sometimes I like to kind of picture it as, you know, we’ve got this, unpleasant thing that’s present in our lives, insomnia. Um, so if we kind of draw a circle that represents our life and we write the word insomnia in that circle, um, and then we kind of consider everything else that’s going on in our lives.

Martin: So maybe our family, our job, our hobbies, our interests, and we write all that into the circle as well. There’s a lot of stuff there. The insomnia is still there, right? But there’s also lots of other stuff. But what can happen, because insomnia is so difficult, is we can start moving away from all that other stuff.

Martin: So now we’re starting to pull all that stuff out of the circle. We’re not seeing friends and family so much. We might not go into work. We might quit our jobs. We might not engage in our hobbies. And so what we’re left with is this circle of our life, and there’s kind of only one thing left. And it’s just insomnia.

Martin: And so as we’re taking all those things out, which is completely understandable why we would do that, because it’s really difficult to do the stuff that matters. in the presence of insomnia. But when we are doing that, we’re kind of increasing the focus. We’re kind of concentrating that insomnia. So it becomes all that’s all that’s left really.

Kreuza: And it’s fine to, I mean, everybody will make their adjustments when they’re going through this next. That’s fine. Um, but I think that still, if you can’t go to work, do something that you enjoy, do something else. Even if it’s just for a little bit. Um, just so, just to, maybe you’re not going to completely get your mind out of it.

Kreuza: You’re, but at least you’re, you’re helping yourself. Um, to, to, to, to not focus on just your insomnia, uh, all day long, every day. So yeah, I think that you should really, what, because I, for me, it took a lot of pushing myself going against my instinct to stay indoors and kind of mope around and, you know, wallow in my misery, um, I actually did have to.

Kreuza: Push myself even though I didn’t want to so it was it was work. You know, it wasn’t easy Did I want to get dressed at 8 a. m at with two hours of sleep and hike a mountain? Not necessarily, but I trusted you. I I know that that’s what it required for me to get better So I did it and in fact the more that you do it, you’ll see that eventually As hard as it is in the beginning it does get easier over time and you’ll see that it’s helping you and I if I can tell one quick story, um, I This is exactly what happened is one morning I hadn’t slept that the night before I think maybe two hours maybe like You know, um, if even that And my dad said, let’s go hiking.

Kreuza: It was a good, it was a nice day outside. And I said, no way. I, I was feeling particularly anxious that morning. And, uh, and then I remembered what you said. And so I said, no, Martin says go out. So I said, okay, I will do it. I don’t want to, but I will. Um, and so about halfway up the mountain, the hill, I remember just feeling so anxious and wanted to turn back.

Kreuza: But then somewhere in that journey or in that, you know, hike, um, my anxiety just started to, um, to, to, to dissipate. I wasn’t feeling anxious. My heart rate actually slowed down. And by the time that I reached the top, I felt fine. I wasn’t having even those negative thoughts anymore. And I actually felt I was in a pretty good mood.

Kreuza: So. So that experience helped me to, then the next day or the few days later, then I was initiating the hikes because I noticed that it helped me feel better.

Martin: Yeah, I think that’s a great story. And, you know, that can be such a great bonus associated with doing things that matter to us, right? Is we can just, our attention just kind of expands and anxiety can either fall away, um, or just kind of lose its power and influence over us.

Martin: Um, but, you know, And also, what I think the kind of real benefit is, is let’s say that anxiety didn’t even fade away, let’s say it still remained pretty intense. Maybe what matters most is the fact that you were still doing something important. That was, you know, um, aligned with your values that kept you moving toward the life you want to live.

Martin: Um, even in the presence of that anxiety. You know, so you still are moving in the right direction. You know, you’re doing something that matters. You’re moving toward the life you want to live, the person you want to be. Even after a difficult night, even if that anxiety remains at a 9 out of 10 or a 10 out of 10.

Martin: Even in its presence, you’ve done that thing that matters to you. I think that, that’s, that’s just, it can just be so important and so helpful, um, to, to, to, to just kind of adopt that approach, which is not easy, exactly as you’ve described.

Kreuza: Yeah, it takes work. It does. Um, and if, if, uh, if it’s okay, actually, I’d like to talk about the, the somniphobia, because that’s something that I hadn’t experienced the first time.

Kreuza: So, so just to give you some, some context, the, the, the insomnia started, I believe in April.

Martin: So, April 2022.

Kreuza: And, and I, cause I remember quitting my job in May. So it must have been really bad. I mean, um, I do remember that I, I, I don’t think I was sleeping at all, or I felt like I wasn’t, or if I was, it was micro sleeps, you know, some people say I’m only getting like three or four hours.

Kreuza: That would have been great. I wasn’t, I felt like I wasn’t getting any. And, um, and then, and then, yeah, so then I think it was, In probably May is when I had that therapist that I mentioned earlier, um, and then I moved, so I wouldn’t, I want to say like maybe June is when the somniphobia started or July, early July.

Kreuza: So it took a couple of months. And so really all that happened and it’s, it’s just, you know, like seemingly out of nowhere because everything just seems to start with a single thought and then it spirals out of control from there. I just remember being awake one night and you know, when you’re awake at night and everyone’s sleeping, you know, you just, you, and you’re already going through, like you’re already kind of depressed cause you can’t sleep and all these things, you’re having all these negative thoughts.

Kreuza: And, um, so I remember just laying, it was middle of the night, I’m laying in bed and, Try attempting to sleep and um, I was aware of the process of falling asleep So I was so hyper aware of the fact that i’m a if I do fall asleep i’m going to be Unconscious i’m not going to be aware of my surroundings of what happens to me I just felt like vulnerable to anything on the outside debt, like harming me in some way.

Kreuza: Um, so I know that I was being quite irrational, but you’re not really thinking that way. I mean, you’re, cause your emotions take over. So it was just one thought that was the only thought. And then the next day I remember like, it just kept creeping up into my head. This, this, this one thought, and then it just, I don’t even know.

Kreuza: But so quickly within a couple of few days, It took, completely took over, and every night that I would go to bed, that’s all I could think about, all night, all night, I was afraid to close my eyes, I was afraid to, like, now I was afraid to fall asleep, so, having just insomnia, then I’m like, I wish I just had that problem now, because now, I don’t, you know, now, so I’m, I’m actually afraid now to fall asleep, because I’m worried that something’s gonna happen to me, um, I’m worried that if I’m unconscious, that That something’s going to harm me.

Kreuza: Um, and I was completely aware of how irrational that was. And if you don’t mind, I can, I can mention what, what the, what my thought was, if it’s okay. I was worried that somebody was going to break in my house and, um, like chop my legs off. I think I even mentioned it to you. So it was a very scary visual.

Kreuza: I knew the whole time that it was irrational and I was trying to rationalize my. Myself out of these scary thoughts. But when your anxiety is so high and your emotions are taking over, you really cannot rationalize or use logic to get out of, um, to get out of these, um, emotional, like high intent, emotional states.

Kreuza: Um, So, so yeah, so that’s, that’s what was keeping me up was this idea that something that I was just vulnerable and unconscious and anything could hurt, could harm me. What was so hard is because that I was desperate for sleep, but at the same time I was afraid that it would happen. And that is exactly when I, that’s when I reached out to you, but that is exactly when, um, I felt completely helpless.

Kreuza: I don’t think I’ve ever felt that helpless in my life. I was a hundred percent sure that there was nothing that can be done because I, I, um, was looking this up and it just was so rare. I couldn’t find any information about it. And not only that, but there was also this aspect of shame because I just felt like It was such a silly thing to be afraid of.

Martin: They all come from just that, the brain just doing its job of looking out for us, except it’s maybe trying so hard that it’s kind of getting in the way. Alright, so with insomnia, typically the brain is just trying to protect us from Wakefulness from being awake because it sees it as a problem probably because we’ve just struggled with wakefulness for so long the brain learns Wakefulness is a threat.

Martin: It’s got to be alert to protect us from that threat And similarly with the somniphobia now, it’s kind of the brain’s like, oh, well, maybe falling asleep is a threat too You know, so we have to kind of be alert to protect you from falling asleep as well now. So your desire to, to sleep was unchanged through this, just as you described, you still wanted sleep to happen.

Martin: But in the background, your brain is there with alarm bells ringing, red flashing lights, you know, sirens, everything, just trying so hard to protect you that it was getting in the way. Um, I mean, I, I think it’s useful to Recognize that because sometimes it can feel like our brain is kind of an adversary, you know, that it’s working against us, but really it’s just actually trying so hard to be on our side that it’s kind of getting in the way a little bit.

Martin: Um, which can sound quite unusual, but maybe now you’re able to look back on your experience. Do you feel that, um, you know, there’s any sense in what I’m saying?

Kreuza: Yes, of course, in retrospect, it all makes sense now that I’m able to think about it. And I think clearly, yes, of course, it all makes sense. But in the moment, you actually really start to, in the moment when you’re going through it, you really start to, um, In a way despise your the way that your brain works because you just feel like it’s against you.

Kreuza: I mean I Yes, technically. Yes. It’s working for you. But really what it’s doing. It’s it’s It’s not because it’s making your life miserable and, and the, the, the problem is, is that most, most problems in life we’re using logic to resolve. You can’t do that here. Um, you really can’t use logic. You can’t rationalize yourself out of this problem, this particular problem.

Kreuza: So it takes a whole other approach and one that we’re not acclimated to doing, which is acceptance. Um, because you feel like by acceptance, you feel like, like, Oh, am I just being apathetic? That’s not real. I’m not actually doing anything. How can I accept this? All these things go through your mind, but really it is the key.

Kreuza: It is the one thing that’s gonna work. Um, and it is, it is what got me out of it

Martin: and I’m really keen to talk more about that with you. Definitely. Yeah. Um, and I think maybe a kind of little intro to that is it’s so easy to. Respond to all this really difficult stuff in the opposite way of acceptance. Um, which typically is, you know, trying to fight what the mind is doing.

Martin: Um, so if the mind is trying to protect us from wakefulness by generating a lot of anxiety, we can start trying to suppress that anxiety, trying to distract ourselves, uh, trying to go to war with our minds. Um, and then when it It doesn’t maybe work, maybe temporarily distraction can help, but when all that stuff comes back, when we are no longer distracted, then we can be really hard on ourselves, right?

Martin: Um, because we will be like, well, I’m trying so hard, but this is still here. This is still a problem. Why is this a problem? What’s wrong with me? So then we can put more effort into trying to go to war with our minds, trying to control our thoughts and feelings, trying to get rid of certain thoughts and feelings, trying to welcome only other certain thoughts and feelings, and Before we know it, we’re just tangled up in such a struggle and we’re also just being so hard on ourselves that it just makes everything so much more difficult.

Martin: Was that your experience at first before you kind of changed your approach and explored the opposite, the opposite way

Kreuza: forward? Yeah, I was basically, I was trying to distract myself. I thought that was the answer. Um, I. But of course you can’t I mean this is pervasive now This is this has become such a big problem in my life that how can you distract yourself from something this this huge?

Kreuza: I was trying to solve it of course again rationally and again Like I said, it’s you can’t rationalize your your you know, you can’t rationalize yourself out of something like this Um, you have to tend to the emotions, to the, you know, to the root of the, to the actual emotions. Um, it’s not logic that’s going to get you out of this kind of situation.

Kreuza: Um, but I didn’t know how to do that. I had, I had, I had read a book by, uh, by Daniel, um, from the sleep school coach, school coach. I’d read a book from him and he talks about acceptance and it’s one thing to read a book and you can even absorb and understand all the information but implementing it is really the key and I think that what I needed was you to explain to me exactly what to do because it’s, I needed that guidance, you know, like I can read a book and understand what it’s telling me.

Kreuza: But actually doing it and implementing it in my life every day that that actually I need, I needed someone to explain to me exactly how to do it and exactly how that works. And that’s why you were so helpful is that you told me exactly what I needed to do. Um, and so that’s when I started to see improvement.

Martin: You know, first of all, I think, I think the book you might be referring to is set it and forget it by Daniel Erichsen. Yeah. Um, actually, uh, uh, just lives half an hour away from me, which is crazy. Um, with two, two people that, um, do a lot of, Insomnia work, um, for us to live so close together is quite funny.

Martin: But yeah, good friend of mine and yeah, he, I really love his approach as well. We’ve very similar approaches, right? In terms of what tends to make things more difficult is when we get tangled up in a struggle that’s caused by trying to control things, difficult things. That our experience might be telling us can’t be directly or permanently controlled anyway.

Martin: And I, I think sometimes where we can get tripped up is because, you know, what does acceptance mean? Um, does it mean accepting the, I’m never going to sleep again? Does it mean accepting the, my life is just going to be crippled by anxiety again? Cause those things kind of are unacceptable, right? Um, and so I think it’s important to clarify.

Martin: What acceptance actually means and since you kind of went through this process yourself I might put you on the spot a little bit here But if I was to ask you to describe what acceptance is or what acceptance means How would you answer that?

Kreuza: So it’s exactly what? what I wanted to talk about actually because initially I was I was thinking that acceptance and is accepting my situation and accepting that it’s not going to change and just learning to live with it and just being apathetic.

Kreuza: And that is not what it means at all. What it means as the way that I understood it is that whatever you’re feeling in this moment, whatever anxiety, whatever thoughts you’re having, you accept it in this, in this moment, you sit with it. You just accept that you’re having it now. That’s all that it means.

Kreuza: You accept that you’re having it now. you sort of tend to it gently. So I’ll tell you what, what I, what I, what I would do is I, um, I mean, I was having these negative thoughts, these scary thoughts with, you know, what I mentioned about like the intruders coming in and harming me hundreds of times a day. I would really just, they would come, I mean, on a loop, they would just, and so what I would do is, and this took work, but I do it is I go to the couch or the bed.

Kreuza: I put my hand on my chest and I would just tell myself, I’m having this thought. It’s fine. I’m just having this thought. It’s just a thought And when I did that believe it or not is when is when it would get less and less intense every time Um, if I try to distract myself or rationalize it, they would come back stronger.

Kreuza: But if I would just tell myself I’m just having a thought. It’s okay. It’ll pass gently. Um, yeah, they would sort of, yeah, they would just sort of go and come back less frequently. And so what, so, but so I did this, um, literally every time the thoughts come, I would do it hundreds of times a day. I would actually, even if, if I wasn’t at home, let’s say I was hiking or at the store or whatever, and I couldn’t, you know, do my technique.

Kreuza: Then I would just, what I did was I started to visualize a window opening up. In my subcon in my conscious mind and the thoughts were just sort of. fly out the window gently. I, I wasn’t hard on myself anymore. I started to be more compassionate with myself and I would just visualize these thoughts flying out the window.

Kreuza: And, um, and so, yeah, I mean, I, when I, when I’d catch myself, because of course there were times that I would catch myself later on, but as soon as I did, I’d become aware of these thoughts. Then I would just open up that window and they’d fly right out and eventually they would just be less and less intense and less frequent.

Martin: So it sounds like the way you’re describing it. It’s kind of like you’re instead of that reflex response, which I think virtually all human beings are hardwired to respond in this way of You know trying to push certain thoughts and feelings away Um, you were kind of practicing acknowledging them Making space for them to exist and allowing them to kind of just come and go as they chose rather than putting on that big suit of armor, putting the war paint on and trying to kind of go to war with them.

Martin: Does that sound like an accurate kind of summary?

Kreuza: Exactly, exactly. And it’s just so much easier to do that than to do all the other techniques of the distracting, the, you know, as you said, going to war with your thoughts. Accepting it actually is so much easier once you get into the habit of it. Then it becomes easier, but it, but because it’s so different, it’s such a different approach that you do have to develop the habit, which can take some time, but once you have, then actually you’ll find that it’s much easier to do that.

Kreuza: Um, and I would like to mention one more thing, actually, because somniphobia is quite rare, at least from my research, I couldn’t, you know, as you can imagine, initially, I was looking up what this, Even was and I couldn’t find much information However, I did find a girl on Daniel’s channel who had who described everything that I was going through And I reached out to her.

Kreuza: So at the same time that I was, um, with you working with you, I was also speaking with, um, emailing back and forth with her sometimes and just her validating my experience because it’s such an unusual experience to have just her validating it, saying, telling me that she had gone through the same thing and she overcame it with the same technique.

Kreuza: Um, that also really helped me. Um, I thought that was really important for me just to hear that because every other video was just about the insomnia. But for me it was. You know, even more than that. So, so yeah, having her, her, her video and her support Was crucial in me getting better. I’m sure I would have gone better anyway But I think maybe just helped me get better possibly a little faster.

Martin: That’s great to hear that. Did you pick up any specific Insights that you haven’t already mentioned from your communication with that person?

Kreuza: No she really just said the same thing. She just said, you have to accept every thought that comes every whenever it comes. Um, she motivated me as well as you did to stay on track because you know, you get tired, the thoughts keep coming.

Kreuza: They’re coming every day. They’re coming for weeks or months or however long they, you know, you might be struggling for and you just want to get better already. And so, um, and so you, you’ll revert back to the same methods sometimes that you used before you knew about acceptance because it may be just comes more readily to you.

Kreuza: But really, um, you and, and her name was Melina. She helped keep me on track and, um, and motivated me to, to, to continue with this. Acceptance technique.

Martin: I think it’s really important to emphasize that it, it kind of is a process of ongoing practice. Um, you know, responding to thoughts in a, in a way other than going to war with them, than trying to fight or avoid them.

Martin: It is a process and like you just said, the mind is always gonna kind of revert back to reaching for that sword. You know, you’re always gonna get pulled back into trying to struggle with those thoughts and feelings again. And that’s. Natural and normal. Even if you feel like you’re making really good progress for weeks or months.

Martin: You know, these thoughts and feelings don’t go away. It’s kind of like if we learn a second language, we add that new language to our mind, but we don’t lose the first language from our mind, right? Right, you’re training yourself. So that stuff’s still there. Yeah, that’s exactly it. And so we’re still going to get pulled back into the old ways every now and again, the ways that our experience tells us aren’t helpful.

Martin: And that’s natural and normal. It’s just a case of noticing when this happens kindly. bringing ourselves back to maybe a more workable approach that involves listening to what the mind is saying, acknowledging what it’s saying. We don’t have to force ourselves to believe it. We don’t have to rationalize it.

Martin: We just have to listen, you know, acknowledge what it’s saying. Then maybe it doesn’t have to keep repeating itself louder and louder because it thinks we’re ignoring it. Listen to what it’s saying, and then kind of make space. for whatever it wants to think or feel, and then refocus our attention on where we are and what we’re doing.

Martin: And of course, it sounds so easy and so simple for us to sit here and talk about this. But as you said, putting it into practice is difficult. It requires work, effort, and ongoing practice.

Kreuza: Yeah, I do want to emphasize it apps. I mean, I’m sure I’m coming off as very calm right now, but it wasn’t easy at all.

Kreuza: It took so much effort, it, uh, uh, patience, a lot of patience, um, and, and, you, and just awareness, because you won’t, you’ll be surprised at the thoughts you’re having if you’re not actually aware of them, because, like, okay, I can a thought like, okay, what if somebody barges in and harms me, but then at the same time, I could be having another thought like, oh, this isn’t, this isn’t ever going to work.

Kreuza: I mean, I was having those, those doubts constantly, every day, daily, multiple times a day, my brain was saying, this isn’t going to work. Um, you, you know, I mean, just, just so many scary thoughts. And, um, And so you really do have to, even when I was getting those thoughts, I w you, you, you should, I, at least I wouldn’t tell myself, no, it’s going to work because I don’t know that it’s going to work.

Kreuza: So you just accept you’re having even that thought you just really X you. So every, whatever you’re thinking or feeling, you just have to accept it kindly and, and patiently and just stick to the same, uh, technique.

Martin: Yeah. And again, all of those thoughts and feelings, again, it’s not the brain trying to work against you. It’s the brain looking out for you. You know, it’s trying to protect you. You know, it’s like, this isn’t going to work. Let’s go back to trying, trying harder, even though. What we might have been trying before doesn’t work.

Martin: The brain kind of gets out of ideas, um, because almost everything responds well to effort, right? But difficult thoughts, feelings, and sleep, they don’t respond well to effort. And then the brain kind of hits this dead end. It’s kind of run out of ideas. So it tries to pull you back into just trying through effort.

Martin: It’s not the brain working against you. It’s completely natural and normal for that to happen. It’s the brain looking out for you. Um, and it’s just a case, like you said, of just recognizing that maybe seeing it as just another opportunity to practice acknowledging. What you’re thinking and feeling, making space for it to exist and then just refocusing your attention.

Kreuza: And in fact, uh, being aware of the techniques helped me just even with other negative thoughts. I, I have to admit, I haven’t been using it as much as I was before with the insomnia, but I, I have found myself, um, going back to it in, in, in other circumstances. With other things. It doesn’t have to be just with sleep.

Kreuza: It can be any other stresses in life or problems that you’re having and you’re trying to work through them and you go into this loop in your head. Well, you can actually just take a step back and use the technique and you’ll find that. It’s really calming. It’s a really calming time. And for me I’m somebody who’s kind of naturally very like jittery and have a hard time like sitting still and, you know, maybe like a little bit energetic or whatever, you know, um, my, I’m always thinking, I’m always analyzing.

Kreuza: I like to write, I write a lot. So, um, so yeah, I’m just that kind of person by nature. So taking a step back from me isn’t, doesn’t come easy. Um, but. But, but again, you just have to train yourself and I, so yeah, you just, you really have to just put in the effort and when you see the outcomes, when you see that it actually works, you’ll, you’ll want to use it because you see that there’s something to this.

Kreuza: Um, and I’m, I’m really like, I’m really an advocate for this now because I, I found that it’s so helpful, um, not just with sleep, but just in life with, with, with many problems in life. I’ve, I’ve, I’ve sort of used this and, um. When other things fail, this kind of always seems to work. It always seems to at least help calm me down, which is great.

Martin: I completely agree. I think as soon as we just acknowledge whatever we’re thinking or feeling, even if it’s really difficult stuff, um, I, I’m not sure. I think it just almost takes the pressure off of ourselves that It kind of gives us permission to experience it as soon as we acknowledge it, rather than continuously trying to fight or avoid it.

Martin: And just that in itself can be a weight off of our shoulders. Um, and I think it can also make it easier for us to do things that matter. You know, things that are important to us because we’re freeing up all that energy and attention that might be focused on fighting or avoiding certain thoughts and feelings.

Martin: And instead we’re just allowing them to exist, we’re freeing up that energy and attention to do things that are important to us, even in the presence of that difficult stuff.

Kreuza: Yeah, and you can sort of feel the stress melting away if you really stick with it. Um, so yeah, um, and I actually would like to mention one more thing because I made it seem like it was just a linear progression, but in fact it wasn’t.

Kreuza: There were many setbacks. And, um, and so I just encourage people to continue even when there are setbacks because I most likely there will be. I mean, for me, there were, um, and when you get these setbacks, you think, well, I’m back at square one. It’s not working. What’s the point of trying? You’re going to have.

Kreuza: I had, I certainly had these thoughts. And um, but yeah, you just have to get really good at catching yourself when you’re having these thoughts and just sticking with the technique because what I was telling myself as well, I managed to sleep pretty okay for a week, let’s say, or a few days, which I wasn’t doing a month ago, so obviously something’s working.

Kreuza: So you’d have to just remind yourself of that and then just stick to it. And almost expect there’s going to be setbacks.

Martin: Yeah, I completely agree. And I always like to say, just as every human being has difficult days from time to time, we all have difficult nights from time to time. It’s when we maybe, we kind of succumb to that temptation of overanalyzing when those difficult nights come back or when the difficult thoughts and feelings come back that we can get pulled back and tangled up in that struggle again.

Martin: So yeah, absolutely. The ups and downs are completely normal. I like to think of it as another opportunity to just keep practicing this new approach because it is a skill and skills take a lot of practice. And when we’re learning skills, sometimes we can feel like we’re making really good progress. Um, we’re kind of flying through, I don’t know, the training manual, so to speak.

Martin: And then there’s other times where it feels like. We didn’t even start learning yet. Like, it feels like we’re back to square one, we can’t even read a page of this, uh, progress manual, this new skills development manual. But it’s, it’s all part of the journey. Um, so I’m really glad that you mentioned that it’s I’m still yet to meet someone that just found completely linear progress every single night and every single day was better than the previous one.

Martin: Yep. So just in terms of a practical sense, so if someone’s listening to this and they think, yeah, this sounds good. I think I want to explore this approach in terms of how this can be applied, um, and how you applied it in your own experience. So let’s say, let’s start by just kind of being in bed. So you kind of getting into bed, um, You might, all those sirens start going off in your brain, you know, the flashing lights, you start to feel really anxious or scared, all those stories start appearing.

Martin: What do you do next if you want to pursue this kind of acceptance, this alternative approach?

Kreuza: Right, so when I would go into, I would go to bed, and immediately, you know, the bed was the trigger really, um, immediately I would just have these, Scary thoughts and they were really scary. They were even graphic.

Kreuza: And yeah, so, um, um, I’m surprised. I don’t even know what they came from. It’s, it’s so strange, but, but yeah, so, um, I would, I, I would just, like I said, I would, I’d, I’d put my, my hand on my chest. I feel my heart racing and it was racing really, like really fast and um, and I would just all the thoughts, all the feelings, everything, I would just tell myself it’s okay, you’re just, you’re just experiencing these thoughts right now and it’s okay to just sit with them and that’s all I did is I was, I wasn’t judging, I wasn’t It’s okay.

Kreuza: Trying to change them. I was just sitting there with them. And yes, it does take a lot of patience because you don’t want them there. Um, but I, I, I just, you know, I, I started to have some compassion for myself. Um, and I just, you know, I sort of started to treat myself as like a scared child because in a way that’s kind of what it felt like.

Kreuza: It’s like if you have a kid who’s afraid of the monster under the bed, I kind of felt like I was that kid who’s afraid of the monsters going to get them. And so, well, how would I treat that kid? Would I berate them? No. I would sit there with them patiently and comfort them. So that’s what I did with myself.

Kreuza: And, uh, and I did this, yeah, every night. Every night.

Martin: So, you’re lying in bed, um, you kind of got your hands on your heart, you’re noticing that your heart is racing, you’re maybe talking to yourself or acting in a kind way towards yourself, um, rather than kind of berating yourself, which is so easy to do when we’re tangled up in all this difficult stuff.

Martin: Um, Would, would, would you then just be in that state or engaging in that practice, you know, for the rest of the night, like whether that was three hours, four hours, five hours, six hours, or did you kind of do that for a certain amount of time and then try something else? I’m just curious to know like what this looked like over the course of a night.

Kreuza: It was different every night. So, um, some, some nights, um, if I got really frustrated, I would get up. And, uh, I’d go to the living room and watch TV. Um, and then if I felt sleepy, I’d go back to my bed and start the process again. I wouldn’t, I don’t think I ever did it, the technique all night. I don’t think I ever did that, but I certainly did do it multiple times a night.

Martin: I was just curious to hear, you know, because I know everyone listening to this is going to be trying to The cogs in their brain are going to be whirring. It’s like, well, what if this goes on for six hours? Do I have to just sit there or lie there with my hands on my chest for six hours, you know? But it’s like you said, I think We need to be kind to ourselves and give ourselves flexibility too.

Martin: You know, just because we’re lying there practicing this new approach, it doesn’t mean that suddenly all this stuff’s going to disappear and we’re going to fall asleep. Um, but we always have the opportunity to do something else instead, whether that’s reading in bed, getting out of bed to watch TV, just doing anything.

Martin: Um, not again, I think it’s important to emphasize, maybe not with the goal of Getting rid of these thoughts and feelings or making sleep happen, but with the goal of just getting in practice with Experiencing wakefulness and all the thoughts and feelings that might be showing up with a little bit less resistance Yeah, you know with a little bit less struggle And how you do that probably matters less, um, than, than the fact that you’re just staying on track and your goal is to just practice experiencing wakefulness with less struggle, rather than getting pulled back into the struggle.

Kreuza: In the beginning, the thoughts were constant.

Kreuza: And so if I wasn’t, um, putting my hand on my chest and doing the techniques, then I was visualizing that window open up and just the thoughts would just float, float, uh, away. Um, so I would kind of, I was utilizing both of these techniques. I kind of just intuitively felt what I needed at the time. Um, so I think you’ll know like what’s going to work for you in the moment.

Kreuza: Like if I was, if I felt like I needed to, if I’m anxiety was really high, my heart’s racing, then I would just focus on my chest and I would put my hand there and do the first technique. If I’m sitting up in bed or if I’m watching TV, but the thoughts are still coming, then I would do the, the other technique.

Kreuza: Um, and I would do the other technique, like with the window opening up and everything. If I’m walking outside, because obviously I can’t walk around, you know, uh, holding, yeah. So I would just do that as I’m, as I was walking, and that was very therapeutic for me. Taking hikes and just visualizing these thoughts, um, like, you know, uh, uh, flowing out of me.

Kreuza: That was actually very therapeutic, and I did that a lot. I actually remember doing that. Well, I was shopping. Well, I was just walking, walking around. Um, just constantly. I mean, in the beginning I was doing it all the time. So, so yeah, and it retrained my brain to not feel so threatened by these thoughts because now that I have this technique.

Kreuza: I’m not getting emotionally, um, these intense emotions by trying to suppress them or fight with them. No, they’re just coming and going.

Martin: When we’re engaged in that struggle trying to fight or avoid all these thoughts and feelings, it’s kind of like we’re, we’re shrinking that available space down for them, right?

Martin: In the hope that they won’t be able to show up. Um, but then what happens is they show up and there’s only a tiny, teeny, teeny space for them so they’re more likely to get stuck and then they’re trapped. And then they’re there, um, or as if we practice accepting their presence, we kind of open up and make space for them.

Martin: They’ve got more space to kind of move around in. Maybe then they’re less likely to get stuck, more likely to come and go because we’re more willing. To experience them, um, rather than closing everything down, trying to get rid of them or prevent them from turning up in the first place.

Kreuza: Yeah, yeah, I think that by doing these, it kind of signals to your body that, oh, the fact that you’re accepting it, it’s maybe it’s not that much of a threat.

Martin: Yeah. And, and also I think that then, then the mind learns that you are listening to it. So maybe it doesn’t have to keep saying the same thing over and over again. And because you’re listening it, maybe it doesn’t have to yell quite so loud. Um, but again, it’s something that the brain tends not to twig onto or understand that when we first start practicing this approach, it tends to be, we have to repeatedly.

Martin: Acknowledge repeatedly, make space for this stuff to exist repeatedly, allow it to come and go as it chooses before the mind sort of figures out that, oh, maybe there’s not really much behind these thoughts, behind these ideas that I’m coming up with. Maybe we can kind of tone them back a little bit. Um, I’m curious to know when you started practicing this way of responding during the night.

Martin: When did you kind of notice that it was making a difference, that it was maybe a more workable approach compared to whatever you’d tried in the past?

Kreuza: I would say it took about a month and a half, um, for me to start feeling like this is working. Um, Yeah, I would say that around a month and a half, uh, with setbacks, but yeah.

Martin: Yeah, definitely with setbacks.

Martin: Um, what was the, what was the difference? Like, was there something that happened, you know, after about a month and a half? Was there like an aha moment or was it just this case of like gradual,

Kreuza: gradual change? No aha moment. I, I never had anything like that. It was just a gradual change where I could. See that I was retraining myself.

Kreuza: Like I could actually see that that was what was going on. It wasn’t anything overnight. Like I said, it was, it was. a progression, you know, so like, so I would, yeah, like I, I was just noticing that my, when I would do a technique, I wouldn’t get as, as intense emotions and anxiety anymore. So I’m like, okay, this seems to be working.

Kreuza: I kept doing it. So it was, yeah, it was, um, every day, maybe a little better than it would get a little worse and it would get better. So it was, it wasn’t a linear progression. It was like weeks and weeks of practicing this that I could see it was causing it, making a difference.

Martin: Yeah, and I think that’s really important to emphasize that this isn’t really like a kind of quick fix, you know, it’s not like an immediate change.

Martin: It’s, it’s a skill going back to what we were talking about before and skills take time to learn and to develop and everyone makes progress on their own timeline as well.

Kreuza: I want to mention it was a month and a half for me to start feeling some difference, not for me to be fine. It was, it was when I started to feel better and then took a little longer for me to actually start feeling and seeing myself as, okay, I’m actually okay now.

Martin: To, to kind of expand on that a little bit. Um, how long would you say it took you? from this, from the start of practicing this new approach to getting to a point where you felt that you were better able to Live your life independently of sleep and independently of whatever thoughts and feelings your mind might choose to generate when you felt like the struggle was kind of in the rearview mirror.

Kreuza: I remember very well it was September because it was when I came back to the States. So I would say about three months later. Um. Yeah, it was and actually if I maybe this is a silly thing to mention But when I moved back to the States and I was living with my brother He has a little dog that I was taking care of.

Kreuza: I was staying with him a little bit and she’s You know, very sensitive to noise so when she’d sleep on the couch with me and when she’d hear something she’d bark So it kind of made me feel like oh I don’t have to be so alert now because she’s here and if she hears something that she’ll wake me up So that all in fact having her there in conjunction with the techniques that I was already doing I felt like that’s what finally made me feel Um, better like a hundred.

Kreuza: Oh, not on maybe like 90 percent better worse where I was not thinking about sleep so much. It wasn’t interfering with my daily life. Um, it wasn’t, I wasn’t taking sleep into account when I would make plans or anything like that. And so, yeah, that I stay that month with the dog on top of the, the, yeah, the, the techniques.

Kreuza: Then I felt like, okay, now I’m fine, now I’m fine. Um, the thoughts still creep up even now, um, but I just know how to handle them now. And so it hasn’t spiraled like it did the first time, which when I didn’t know how to handle it.

Martin: If we were just to compare what an average night was like before, um, before you started implementing an approach more aligned with kind of acceptance and less resistance, um, To what an average night might be like for you now.

Martin: What was an average night like for you back then?

Kreuza: Oh average, it was very bad. Um, it I I didn’t feel like I was getting any sleep. And in fact, I felt hyper Aroused at night. I felt like I was more awake at night. I really don’t think I I don’t I mean for a few months I don’t think I was getting I’m sure I was getting some micro sleep and in the daytime In fact is when I was getting sleepy The daytime was hard because if, like, if I was watching TV and kind of distracted my body would sort of, you know, want to, you know, I would, I would, I would kind of fall asleep while watching TV and then I would jerk myself awake within, after a few seconds.

Kreuza: But at night time, I was really, I don’t, I mean. Seriously, maybe an hour if I was lucky, but very little and in fact, um, because it was so bad my My parents thought well, she needs at least a little bit of rest so they tried to give me like a sleeping pill just like once or twice and Well that actually didn’t work at all.

Kreuza: I took Sleeping, I took a sleeping pill twice, I remember, and both times I was awake all night. And so, that actually kind of scared me more because I realized that I had, I didn’t have that to fall back on. Other people said that they, it would help them at least, the sleeping pills or, you know, the anti anxiety medications.

Kreuza: That didn’t work for me at all. No difference, none whatsoever. So I knew that that wasn’t going to work for me at all. That wasn’t an option for me.

Martin: So fast forwarding now to kind of today, what’s an average night like for you now?

Kreuza: You know, it varies. Some nights I sleep great, other nights I struggle a little more.

Kreuza: I mean, but it depends also on just, What’s going on in my life? Uh, how much work do I have the next day? You know, I’m thinking about, I’m make, I’m actually moving. I’m gonna be moving in a week, so, uh, just so many. Yeah, I’m actually moving to the West Coast. I’m, I’ll be closer to you and Daniel .

Kreuza: Um, so yeah, a lot of changes are occurring and actually happy changes. I’m, I’m quite glad. So there’s so much excitement going on. So, you know, sometimes I’ll be, I’ll be up for, I’ll get less sleep, sometimes more sleep, anywhere between five hours to seven hours, you know, that’s, that’s the range, but it’s just not something that I’m.

Kreuza: It’s not something that I’m worrying about and it certainly isn’t impacting my life or my plans or my goals in any way. Even when I do get those scary thoughts, which sometimes do come up, especially like now that I’m kind of reminded of and I’m thinking about it, but, um, but yeah, um, I know how to, I feel calmer knowing that I have a technique that I know that works.

Martin: Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I think it’s important to emphasize that there’s still going to be some difficult nights from time to time. Um, sometimes there’ll be an obvious cause, sometimes there won’t be, and there’s going to always be difficult thoughts and feelings from time to time because that just comes with being a human being.

Martin: The difference now is, you know, the way you’re responding to it, the way you’re responding to difficult nights, the way you’re responding to difficult thoughts and feelings. Um, you’re able to respond in a different way. a way that keeps you away from getting tangled up in that struggle again, um, that helps.

Martin: That really, it just reduces the power and the influence that all of this stuff has over your life, right? So, it, it, it’s less likely to kind of hook you and kind of pull you away from the life you want to live and tangle you up in the struggle. It’s a little bit more like, um, you know, hot butter off a Teflon pan.

Martin: It’s still there. from time to time, but it kind of slides off rather than, you know, an egg just kind of getting stuck on a cast iron pan that hasn’t been seasoned and it just kind of gets stuck there and gets hotter and hotter and gets smoky and burns more and more and more. And before you know it, the whole house is burned down.

Martin: Um, and I think that’s the difference, right? It’s just the risk, the way you respond changes and as a result, the influence that these things have. Changes as well and it becomes less powerful and less influential.

Kreuza: It’s a great analogy. I like that one. Yeah And you know, I also just want to say that I was so convinced And maybe you remember when I first emailed you how much distress I was in.

Kreuza: I was completely convinced that I, there was no, that I wasn’t going to get better. Um, there was no way that I was going to get to this point that I’m in now. So, for anybody who’s watching this and they’re thinking the same thing, I just want to say that my, I was so bad, uh, so, um, anxious and so scared.

Kreuza: And so completely convinced that I wasn’t going to get better. So if I can manage to improve, I just feel like everybody can, um, just because of how bad my situation was. And also just the fact that I was so bad that, that even like pills didn’t Didn’t do anything for me. I mean, I would take them and I would feel like I, I took nothing because I’d be still up all night with the same amount of anxiety.

Kreuza: And, and so like, just to, just to give an idea of, of how anxious I I was and how hopeless I was. Um, so yeah. Um, don’t let that prevent you from trying. ’cause many times I actually did think that what’s the point of me even doing this techniques, that’s not gonna work for me. Um, especially because I wasn’t hearing success stories with somniphobia, just insomnia and, and, and somniphobia and insomnia are two very different, um, they feel like different experiences actually.

Kreuza: So, yeah, um, if something that someone’s experiencing, definitely, yes, it does work. Yes. Just have to stick to it and be diligent.

Martin: You might have already answered my, my last question here that I’m about to ask you, but I’m going to ask you again just in case you have anything else to add, um, because it’s also a question I like to ask at the end of every episode.

Martin: Um, and it’s this, if someone with chronic insomnia is listening, or maybe even someone that’s struggling with somniphobia, as we’ve been focusing on, uh, quite a lot of our time on this, on this episode, is listening, and they feel, you know, that they’ve tried everything. They’re beyond help, that they’ll just never be able to stop struggling with this.

Martin: Uh, what would you say to them?

Kreuza: First of all, I know exactly what you’re going through. And, uh, just be diligent. Um, know that this putting in the effort now is definitely going to pay off. Um, don’t look at how long it’s taking, just do the work. Just do the work, keep at it. And, and Be, be sure to be assured that it’s, it’s eventually going to work.

Kreuza: Um, but then your main focus should just be on doing the work and that’s it. Um, yeah, and I just encourage people to be diligent and, um, and patient with themselves and, and treat themselves with the same compassion that they would treat their child or someone that they love. Well,

Martin: I think that’s a great note to end on.

Martin: So thank you again for taking the time out of your day to come onto the podcast Krause.

Kreuza: Thank you very much. Thank you.

Martin: Thanks for listening to the Insomnia Coach Podcast. If you’re ready to get your life back from insomnia, I would love to help. You can learn more about the sleep coaching programs I offer at Insomnia Coach — and, if you have any questions, you can email me.

Martin: I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Insomnia Coach Podcast. I’m Martin Reed, and as always, I’d like to leave you with this important reminder — you can sleep.

I want you to be the next insomnia success story I share! If you're ready to move away from the insomnia struggle so you can start living the life you want to live, click here to get my online insomnia coaching course.

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2 thoughts on “How Kreuza dealt with insomnia and somniphobia by practicing more acceptance and less resistance (#56)”

  1. My problem has been with me for years. My problem has now become obsession. That’s destroying my life and now tablets are destroying my life because I can’t sleep without them and quite often can’t sleep with them, but can’t give them up altogether because of the fear of not sleeping at all.

    • That sounds really difficult and you are not alone. I hope you are finding these podcast episodes helpful — if you haven’t done so yet, you might want to give my free two-week sleep training course a try, too. I wish you all the best.


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