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3 days no sleep and countless days of irregular sleep.ive started doubting my recovery

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by unlearningpain, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. unlearningpain

    unlearningpain Peer Supporter

    This thing just sucks.
    Im unable to find out reason.is anxiety ? Depression ? Or what though my pain in LS is gone but this insomnia has spiked.

    I went home after taking leave from work thinking I'll rest better there for some days.But this thing has gotten only worse.

    Dark circles have started appearing.what does it want from me.? Long breaths aren't working.

    I have controlled anxiety a lot but still I'm unable to sleep.i gone through sleeplessness in past.but it's frustrating how I'm unable to recover even after following Claire Weekes and other stuff.

    I doubt if anxiety is keeping me up?
    I mean 3 consecutive days at home.where peace is like nowhere else.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  2. Free of Fear

    Free of Fear Well known member

    I wish I knew more about insomnia so I could offer more, because I really hear how hard this is. Sometimes it feels like it can't get worse, and then it does. But it always gets better, eventually.

    I look forward to hearing what others have to say.
    unlearningpain likes this.
  3. Marls

    Marls Well known member

    Try googling Curalistic handbook. It’s a free download in neck pain and has a very good chapter on sleeping. Nights can be long and lonely and it may help.
    unlearningpain likes this.
  4. unlearningpain

    unlearningpain Peer Supporter

    i tried doing everything to sleep.i read curalistic too.Now it is 6-7 days of insomnia.
    Though im not that irritated by it, as i was when it happened last, but still

    in night my mind is thinking all kind of useless things that i don't even remember.it goes on and on.
    i start concentrating on my breath to relax using deep breathing technique but eventually those thoughts come and start a never ending loop.

    i tried watching the thinker but i feel im not doing it correctly as i get lost in thoughts a lot.sometimes i catch it come back sometimes i don't.

    ultimately im sleep deprived.
  5. JoeHealingTms

    JoeHealingTms Peer Supporter

    Something that help some people is a herb called skullcap and passion flower. It comes in herbs, teas, tinctures and pills. I take one 425mg of skullcap and one 500mg of passion flower 2 hours before sleeping and they do help a lot with that anxiety that comes from rushing thoughts. Some people also use and swear by kava kava but it did not have the same calming effect as the other 2 so I stopped using it. I am doing tvns therapy now also and that have been a game changer in terms of controlling anxiety and induced pain. I do not recommend anyone to be on pills either prescribed or natural, but these ones being natural and non addictive and certainly safer than any prescribed anti-anxiety pills, it is a good middle of the road addition to control anxiety until you learn to control it totally with your mind. Hope this helps.
  6. Marls

    Marls Well known member

    If it’s some lonesome hour in the night try positively describing yourself A to Z very very softly and slowly. IE A = amazing B = beautiful C = er .... Curious. Very gently and always positive. Not rocket science because even Q can equal Cute in a way. Anything to stop your negative thoughts for a while. xx
    suky likes this.
  7. unlearningpain

    unlearningpain Peer Supporter

    Maybe I'll try.
    What happens is my mind goes on making scenarios that never happens.

    If I stop or control that.im cool as ice.isn't it.ill recover completely.isn't it?
  8. HattieNC

    HattieNC Well known member

    I had insomnia for almost 15 years. A few things that have helped me overcome it.
    1. A SMALL dose of Melatonin ( I take a 3mg tablet and break in half). Ironically, a larger dose will make me restless.
    2. Never looking at the clock during the night.
    3. Keeping the bedroom cool and dark (I wear an eye mask and use a sound machine to block outside noise).
    4. Visualizing a pleasant memory from my past and creating a happy story around it. If I don't take control of my thoughts, they will take control of me. I used to dread going to bed each night, but now I look forward to it. Snuggled peacefully, my thoughts can take me on happy, relaxing journeys. Sometimes I create a story around a pleasant memory and sometimes I create a story of fiction. I allow them to develop slowly, so I don't get overstimulated and become wide awake. Before I know it, I'm sound asleep!
  9. Cheryl

    Cheryl Peer Supporter

    It’s impossible to stop thinking! The best we can do is notice our thoughts (mindfulness) and recognize them for what they are..just thoughts not truths. My therapist suggested I think of theses repetitive unwelcome thoughts as playing on a tape on a loop that is going round and round playing the same scenarios over and over. I say to myself, gently, ok the tape is playing again and picture myself cutting it and stopping it. Yes, it will eventually start playing again perhaps with the same or new worries, so I just cut it again. Be kind to yourself , Recognizing that you’re having a difficult time. Give yourself a hug.
    Something else I do when I’m lying in bed wide awake is picture all the people in the world that are having the same experience in this moment. I send out kind feelings to them all collectively and that helps me not feel so alone.
  10. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've had good luck getting through periods of insomnia with middle of the night meditations. I change locations- usually go to the armchair in our bedroom, and pick a 15-20 min meditation to do. It helps calm me down. When I was pregnant, I was doing hypnosis for birth, and sometimes would listen to the hypnosis tracks to relax and fall back to sleep. I'm sure there is hypnosis for insomnia out there, it might be worth looking into if other things havent worked!
  11. unlearningpain

    unlearningpain Peer Supporter

    i finally slept yesterday.today im feeling normal like other sleepless days.
    I think ive reached a point where sleep makes no difference.

    what i did before sleeping was writing all thoughts down that were coming up.
    finally i tried deep breathing technique while i was in bed.

    lets see if this was last insomnia episode.
    i wish.
  12. unlearningpain

    unlearningpain Peer Supporter

    How is it for normal people who aren't suffering nervous illness?
    Do they have such kind of thinking issues.falling in loop of thoughts?Do they need to focus on breath to calm down.
  13. fern

    fern Well known member

    My brain has never gone easily to sleep and thinks in loops, sometimes for a very long time before I fall asleep. Before I had a kid, the best thing I ever learned was just to relax into the fact that my brain is going to do what it does as I lay there, and sometimes my brain will keep me up for a very long time. I learned to almost peacefully watch it go on and on, without adding frustration, anxiety about the morning, or despair add emotional charge to the experience. That way it doesn’t form as powerful an expectation and memory in the brain to prime me for the next sleepless night. Usually, with practice and just letting my brain do its thing no matter how late I’m up, I end up in a place where I have one or two very late nights a week, but the rest are good enough (this never ever means falling asleep the moment my head hits the pillow, mind you, no matter how tired I am). I just lay there in the dark (dark is important) and think, and I keep myself as dispassionate about the situation as possible.

    One thing that really, really helped me was learning that lying in the dark with your eyes closed is nearly as good as sleep for many of your brain/body functions. I can’t cite that now, but I think the source was a study. That helped me relax about my busy brain, and it made it feel worthwhile and less frustrating to be lying there. That helped me remove negative emotions from the equation and stop giving the experience so much power. And, now not worrying so much about whether or not I was getting enough sleep, I started to sleep more!

    Now, as a parent and feeling more desperate for sleep than before, I do sometimes use a distraction trick to help bypass all that stuff: I download truly boring library books about things I am somewhat (but not passionately) interested in (always nonfiction - novels make you stay up!). I turn my phone brightness all the way down AND reduce the white point by like 95% (accessibility settings) AND set my library reader to a dark background. I turn off the lights, get comfy in my favorite sleep position, and literally read until my eyes are closing. Then I quietly put down my phone and sleep. I don’t even have to reach over and turn off a light. It’s just the right amount of stimulation to keep the thinking at bay, but it’s boring enough to literally put me to sleep. This way I don’t have the chance to think much at all. It doesn’t always work, but it often does. Sometimes I read for quite a while, sometimes for five minutes. Anyway, it’s a trick that works for me when I need it.

    But I think the thing is to get back to TMS basics and try to stop giving power to the issue. The thinking at night is just a thing that is. The frustrated, anxious, desperate feelings *about* the thinking are what drive the pattern deeper into your brain and drive up your stress hormones in anticipation of another bad night.

    I’m sure you’ve heard this all before, but one of my favorite things about this forum is the reminders to get back to basics.

    Which reminds me! I know you sought refuge at home, but have you taken time to check in and see what might be happening in your life to get this all wound up again? It can be pretty mundane, little stuff sometimes - it usually is for me. The stuff I subconsciously think I *shouldn’t* be struggling with emotionally because it’s not a big enough deal. So I never get to feel or process it. Don’t forget to check in with yourself!
  14. Penny2007

    Penny2007 formerly Pain2007

    There are a lot of very good suggestions here for insomnia. I worked on this a lot in therapy and tried to convince myself that I'd be OK whether I slept well or not. This was helpful. That said, you do need sleep and you want to stay away from pharmaceuticals. Niacinamide (b3) in large doses has been helping me sleep well. I learned of it when researching the best way to get off of a benzodiazepine. You have to built up your dose slowly. There are case studies that show it helps anxiety and other mental health issues.
    HattieNC likes this.
  15. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have a 30+ years of insomnia under my belt and it has never been as tame as in the past 2.5 years since I started meditation. Looks like roots of your insomnia is same as mine: anxiety. Meditation, yoga, qi gong and regular exercise keep my sleep under control, although occasional outbursts still happen. When I lose my sleep, I double down on meditation - it works.
    HattieNC likes this.
  16. unlearningpain

    unlearningpain Peer Supporter

    I really want to know how to meditate.
    I lie in my bed watching my thoughts come and go .. getting aware of my breath and surroundings..but soon I realise that I was unable to control my thoughts and meditation wasn't much of a success.

    But it has happened correctly once or twice and I remember it was Peaceful.my mind slowly went blank

    So how do you do it? Any short and crisp technique?
  17. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi there,

    I love this resource for learning to meditate: https://palousemindfulness.com/ (Online MBSR/Mindfulness (Free)) it is a full MBSR course (mindfulness based stress reduction), but you can just look at parts if you want. I did this a couple years ago and it's great. Paradoxically, the goal of meditation isn't a blank mind...that might happen sometimes, but it's simply about noticing. Letting go of control and knowing that you can't control your thoughts is actually the point! Unfortunately it's not a skill that is learned quickly, it takes time and practice to feel comfortable with.
    TG957 and suky like this.
  18. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    As any tool to control your mind, meditation may not be easy to learn.
    If anyone told me 3 years ago that I would be able to sit still for an hour and a half “not doing anything” – I would not believe them. As a matter of fact, I prided myself on being energetic go-getter who needed to be on the move all the time. A long-time yoga practitioner, I could never fully succeed in savasana – a corps pose, which is a form of meditation. Rarely I could stop going over my to-do list, or dwelling on the unpleasant conversation at work, or thinking about what to cook for dinner – you name it - while in savasana.

    Once I realized that I would never get out of CRPS (which was my chronic pain condition) unless I do something, I signed up for the meditation class. A one-day class consisted of about four 45-minute meditations, with talks and breaks in between. After taking the meditation class, I started meditating daily in the evening. It was hard. My mind would start wandering, my anxiety would start rising about 10-15 minutes into it. To make the matter worse, I was in pain from sitting still: as I was sitting, I experienced increase in pain not only in my hands, but also in arms, legs and feet. Since I lost flexibility in my joints to dystonia, I could not sit on the floor cross-legged anymore, so I had to use a chair, but the pain was still present.

    I tried all kinds of meditation: guided, unguided, walking, sitting, with music or without music – until I finally found my groove.

    I soon found out that guided meditation did not work well for me in any form. I was too easily distracted by the voice of the instructor, by the instructions he/she was giving me, by the prescriptive nature of the instructions. I could not focus on my breath on the count of four, or two, or any given number. Instructions were amplifying my anxiety.

    One of the most popular kinds of meditation, a body scan, did not work for me either. A prescribed sequence in which I was supposed to focus on my toes, then feet, then ankles, then legs etc until I reach my head was an annoyance. I would get lost half-way along my body or forget whether I took care of my right side before switching to the left side and so on. I bought various audio guides on meditation and tried to follow recommendations on proper sitting (cross-legged), on keeping my back straight, on counting the elephants instead of breaths – and was getting nowhere. Especially hard was sitting cross-legged, since my joints were cemented by dystonia.

    I finally decided to just sit on the couch, rest my arms on the pillows, close my eyes and do nothing: no counting of breaths, no body scan, no imagining a place where I wanted to be as a child or a beautiful trail in the woods.

    Surprisingly, the less effort I put into following the rules, the better results I was getting. I came to believe that people like me who tend to be obsessive perfectionists and over-achievers, are too uptight and tense in following instructions. Any perceived deviation from instructions was generating extra anxiety. So, the best way to start would be to abandon any prescriptions and ease your way into the practice, which is what I did.

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