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Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Gigi, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    OK friends, I can really use some help!
    For the past week or so, I've experienced TMS symptoms while I sleep. Each time I roll over or move--which I frequently do--I have the horrible back pain that was my first manifestation of TMS. Last night I even started getting a migraine, at about 2 am. This is so bizarre.
    When I get up, I meditate and I can usually banish the pain.
    My theory is that while I sleep the subC is free to dominate my thoughts. Since school starts here on Tuesday, all teachers are stressed preparing for 1100 kids to arrive. But I already have trouble sleeping and this is driving me crazy. I don't think I can meditate before going to bed, or it will prevent me from falling asleep.
    I welcome suggestions...TIA
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have experienced this phenomenon for many years--waking up with pain and/or migraines. I was reading a book on trauma by a neurologist and trauma researcher (Dr. Richard Scaer) recently, and he described his theory that this pain is triggered during REM (dream) sleep. He states that the purpose of dreams is to integrate current experience with past experience. So if one's current stress is triggering past trauma than the subconscious will resort to the same distraction technique used when awake. So your theory fits with his.

    As to what to do about it--I think the same techniques we use to deal with the phenomenon when it occurs while we're awake are the best answer. My sleep-induced symptoms have lessened in frequency along with my awake symptoms as I've practiced these techniques--journaling, meditation, self-soothing, etc. You already know what the likely trigger is, so I suggest journaling about it in the evening to try to get at the underlying repressed emotions. I find I need to do this in the early evening. If I do it too close to bedtime then it is too stimulating and can exacerbate my trouble with insomnia. I know all too well how frustrating it is to not be able to sleep.

    Best wishes,
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  3. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Gigi, I know how upsetting it is when things happen in our sleep. We have so little control over it and sleep is one place we would like so much to trust and let go. I think Ellen gives some very good advice. I started working with a Somatic Experiencing therapist last week which is based on the work of Peter Levine. I have read several of his books now after a recommendation on this site and it all makes so much sense and works very nicely with the TMS work(meaning it is all about how your nervous system processes trauma and so it is not chasing a structural cause). Its very involved to try and summarize but I wanted to mention it because the work is already easing my fear of what my subconscious might do. Also, I have always heard that it is good to meditate before bed. I often listen to a guided meditation lying down before bed. Okay, granted, it does generally put me to sleep, but I don't think that a bad thing. Hope your symptoms improve soon.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  4. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Hi Gigi. What are you doing to process what is going on in your life right now? I believe feelings and emotions need processing to move out. I journal.

    Fortunately I rarely have issues sleeping. However, when i do I know it's because I'm having anxiety about something. I try to talk it out in my head or plan how to handle, then I pray, and usually go back to sleep. Happened to me last week because I knew I had to speak up about something at work. But I planned more or less what I was going to say when I woke up during the night, was satisfied, and went to sleep. And believe me I took care of the issue first thing when I got to work to be free! And I was.

    Nightime we can have thoughts come up still. Our brain doesn't turn off!
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  5. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Man Gigi sounds like our New Member Ellen is on the money.
    and Anne Walker our Peer Supporter is too.
    We all know That Lori really knows her stuff.
    How could I add anything- We have the best support group in the world
    The best of the best. Thanks guys for doing the work, Im truly in Awe.
    Im going to save this thread to my Desk top, its Truth.
  6. Hilary

    Hilary New Member

    Teachers spend their energy giving and giving to others. I am in admiration of anyone who does that because it has to take a toll on her or him. Be sure to cut yourself some slack and be good to yourself these next few days!
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  7. ayalitta

    ayalitta New Member

    Pain at night is something I'm awfully familiar with too. My intuition about the cause is similar to what Ellen said: stuff from the unconscious attempts to rise up, and must be pushed away by physical symptoms. Strangely enough, when I was in the beginning of my last worst ever TMS attack (which lasted three and a half months) - the pain at night was so excruciating, that I had the worst nightmares. I was sure they were induced by the pain. Now I am not sure.

    Another interesting thing that happened to me with pain at night:
    The night before I was going to see a therapist for the first time regarding this abovementioned TMS attack (the first time I was trying to tackle my back pain as a phychological/emotional problem, rather than physical) - was after over a week of being being about 80% pain-free. However, that night, I was awakened several times from a very sharp, excruciating pain along my right thigh - the same area where I had sciatica recently. It was a very strong pain, as if someone slit my thigh open with exacto knife (something that never happened to me in real life, thankfully... But that's how it felt). The same pain returned the next day while I was in session as well. I was so afraid of opening up the pandora box of my traumatic childhood.
    (And I still am...).
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've found that it helps with pain at night or while trying to get to sleep to spend the last hour or two before bedtime just relaxing and deep breathing, listening to calming music. If I watch anything on tv that is exciting or upsetting, like the news or an action movie or deep drama, I can't get to sleep. Then when I do fall asleep I might dream and even have a nightmare.

    My favorite humorist, James Thurber, said "Let your mind alone." I suggest that to be especially true before bedtime.

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