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Anyone with increasing muscle tension while sleeping?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Mars497@, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. Mars497@

    Mars497@ Peer Supporter

    I am wondering if anyone wakes up with more muscle tension in the morning than when going to bed? It’s mostly in my calves, upper leg/hip and sometimes through my knee, and tends to be on my right side. And I think I sleep ok, not waking much and not aware of restlessness. I am still reading Dr. Sarno but he seems to say night is when the conscious mind is asleep and the subconscious is unrestrained. I have to assume I am doing something to myself at night, twisting/turning/tensing up? How will I eventually be able to turn this off and sleep as I’m meant to? I am puzzled because I think I’ve slept ok until I try to get out of bed and realize a new muscle area is so stiff/tight and clearly wasn’t that way when I went to bed. Some days it stays with me all day but mostly the lower leg/calves. Are there any success stories overcoming this nighttime manifestation of tension? Has anyone come up with a bedtime ritual to help work through this?
  2. andy64tms

    andy64tms Well known member

    Hi Mars

    most days I wake up with a severe neck cramp, other days not! I have had a Charlie horse on my neck (a hard muscle mass on the Levitor Scapulae) for over twenty years. I have a good understanding of what is going on both physical and mental.

    1. The muscle mass materialized over time because I have a crooked neck and severe arthritis.

    2. This muscle mass has the potential to be painful to the hospital scale of 1. Ouch! This happens rarely, but one of the worst times was at the opening of “The Phantom of the Opera” the percussion was so loud my whole neck went solid, then shock and pain put me on the ground.

    3. Your description “nighttime manifestation of tension” is very good, but I believe we have daytime manifestation tension “also. Perhaps we absorb our tension all day every day, every minute without realizing it.

    4. You may have this morning tension from a bad dream or perhaps from using a new machine at the gym, it’s up to you to explore this area. Dr Sarno stated we go a little mad at night, as our mental state defrags, so I don’t take nightmares or night events too seriously. If I wake from a bad dream I shake it off and call it bullshit.

    It’s in the clarity of the day that TMS should be addressed, what is really going on with your emotions and life. The Physical-Mental are intertwined, they are both connected irrevocably, Day and Night.

    I wake up with tension and pain in my neck most days. A cup of coffee takes care of the physical; perhaps, the caffeine inspires nerves and blood vessels to behave. Mentally I am distracted by the stock market news or my wife’s chatter. Sometimes I “do the work”, and mindfully ground myself with what is going on emotionally.

    My bedtime ritual to get to sleep (20 years in the making) is sleeping like a mummy with hands on my chest-flat on my back, mentally thinking “Blackness”, take 6 deep breaths in and out. I rarely get to 6…

    Over the years I have noticed during the windsurfing season (my happiness bubble) I am free of this morning pain, so I will end with the note:

    Exercise for the Body-Happiness for the mind.

    Welcome and goodluck
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
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  3. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I healed from full-blown dystonia (severe muscle contractions in hands and wrists). It started spreading to ankles and knees, but then I learned about Sarno. Tightness was often worse at night and I believe it had a lot to do with subconscious running the show at night. My dystonia is long gone, thanks to the emotional release work I did. You can do it, too! Andy gave you a lot of good advice, of which finding your happiness and regular exercise both worked for me very well. Muscle spasms are more common TMS symptoms than you may think.

    It is possible to heal. You are on the right path. Best of luck!
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
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  4. Mars497@

    Mars497@ Peer Supporter

    Thank you @TG957 for your reply. May I ask what emotional release work you did? So far I have read Mind over Back Pain and I’m almost through Mindbody Prescription. I have The Great Pain Deception and Unlearn Your Pain but I have barely skimmed the beginning of each but plan to work through them as well. Did you follow any programs or seek therapy?
  5. Lracerr01

    Lracerr01 Newcomer

    I did have muscle tension in my lower back at night after some long runs but that has gone away. I used the sarno method of thinking psychologically etc. Now I’m pain free !
  6. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Mine was mostly somatic meditation and mindfulness, which led to the emotional release. It is all connected, emotions, stress and neurological reactions like spasms. I have not had much luck with Nicole's program, but that does not mean it would not work for you. Each person is unique.
  7. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    I definitely used to wake up in the middle of the night with tingling, overly sweaty (as in they were dripping sweat), twitching/spasming, and painful limbs - all from the mind-body connection/TMS, although I used to doubt that they could be TMS because why would I be so stressed out in my sleep? However, I learned very quickly that yes, symptoms can and do appear in your sleep! This absolutely includes muscle tension.

    Restless leg syndrome, nightmares, frequently waking up during the night, back pain, cramps and feeling like you "slept wrong," etc. are also common sleep symptoms affected by TMS!
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  8. Mars497@

    Mars497@ Peer Supporter

    Thank you for replying @Dorado. So how did you eventually overcome it? Also, did you ever find a TMS book that talks about it? In Mind Over Back Pain, Sarno writes “What remains a mystery is why the level of tension at night rises for some people and not for others.” I continue to read both Sarno and Steve Ozanich but I am still searching for how to resolve the nighttime tension that builds which makes the physical symptoms even worse in the morning. Sometimes what I do to my calves when o sleep is so severe that I have trouble walking the next day. It’s frustrating and some days it really sets me back thinking I will never make progress at this.

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