1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Sleep Issues Are Back

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by tmstraveler, Sep 9, 2021.

  1. tmstraveler

    tmstraveler Peer Supporter

    Well, I’ve been at this for a bit and do see the pain for what it is, a product of my brain. It’s been up and down of course and I strive to calm my nervous system and embrace confidence in TMS as well as outcome independence. I’m not perfect at it, but I am moving towards it.

    I’ve had some real highs AND real lows this month. The pain is more erratic than it’s ever been—going from all day extreme pain to several days where I barely notice it. And then back again. This is a new development. I want to take hope in that but it’s exhausting—more so because my sleep is now really bad. I know it’s anxiety, perhaps looking for a home, but I feel trapped by it.

    When symptoms first came on, I had real trouble sleeping. Gradually it improved to where I generally could get about five or six hours. But now it feels like I’ve slid back.

    I want to believe this is progress, perhaps another symptom to embrace instead of fight, but it’s hard. I’m scared. I’m tired. I’m worried that if I can’t sleep, I can’t continue to heal.

    Any experience with this? Is medication, even in the short term, counterproductive?
    Raju likes this.
  2. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    It sounds like there's a lot going on, tmstraveler. I know how frustrating these sleep and other issues can be. I agree that calming your you nervous system should help a lot. I've found meditation and somatic tracking very helpful.

    I'm not a doctor, but very short-term sleep medication may be okay. For me it was enough show me that medication was not the answer. It also may of helped a little getting me out of the habit of not sleeping. But long term, I don't think it's a good solution.

    I would suggest doing a search on this forum for insomnia and sleep issues. There's a lot of great info. Below I've pasted in a post from @Ellen that I found super helpful. I hope she doesn't mind me sharing it here :).

    From Ellen on TMS forum:
    Yes, I finally got rid of the insomnia using TMS strategies. I had both the trouble falling asleep and the waking up early types of insomnia for many years. I overused sleeping medications to address it, but eventually they stopped working and I was in crisis. I went a long time on an average of 4 hours of sleep a night. I had successfully recovered from fibromyalgia and migraines using TMS strategies after about a year, but the insomnia persisted despite all my efforts. Then I finally realized that the missing piece was outcome independence. I wasn't applying the concept to the symptom of insomnia like I had to pain. So I changed my approach completely. I stopped trying to sleep (which is impossible anyway). I no longer followed all the sleep hygiene advice, taking supplements, etc. Most importantly I decided to accept, even embrace the insomnia. I realized that I could still function even though sleep deprived, and that many times during the day, I completely forgot about my sleep deprivation and life was pretty normal. So I stopped worrying about getting enough sleep and catastrophizing about it. Instead, when I woke up at 3am and couldn't get back to sleep, I'd just say "Oh well, this is how much my body wants to sleep right now." Then, I'd get up and listen to audio books or something else and go about my day. Gradually, my sleep returned to normal. I now average 8 hours of sleep a night. I occasionally wake up during the night, but I can fall back to sleep. The only thing that changed was my attitude and belief that I required a certain amount to sleep to function adequately. This is the key. I think outcome independence is essential for recovery from all TMS symptoms.
    You can overcome your insomnia, too. Hang in there. Be patient and address your attitude and beliefs about sleep.

Share This Page