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Sleep Problems need more focus

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by William, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. William

    William New Member

    I have been able to remove 95% of all pain during the day but at night I have problems. I have attempted to write my feelings in a journal before bed, recommended by others, and this has not helped. Is there any relationship between sugar and caffeine and TMS? I will remove these from my diet for the next 30 days to see if it helps. Does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks, Bill K (Tulsa, OK)
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  2. blackdog

    blackdog Peer Supporter

    My TMS doctor gave me a suggestion to read the book Say Goodnight to Insomnia by Gregg Jacobs as possible help with my insomnia. I do not read much due to vision issues, so have not gotten to it yet. Wanted to pass along the suggestion, though, as perhaps viewing sleep differently will take away a trigger for your pain? The thought of bed becomes very stressful for us insomniacs.
  3. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's only a problem if you allow your TMS mind to make it one! Here's a great article I'll post once again. I now look forward to waking up and doing productive or un-productive things when the world is quiet (except for 6.0 earthquakes like last night when I was awake reading about Lotus 7's, the car not the petal or the position, it was quite a ride, ready to bail and run). When I want to take an afternoon nap, I fix myself a nice warm cup of coffee and I'm out like a light.


    The myth of the eight-hour sleep

    Comments (321)
    By Stephanie Hegarty BBC World Service

    We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night - but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.
    In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month.
    It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects had settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep.
    Though sleep scientists were impressed by the study, among the general public the idea that we must sleep for eight consecutive hours persists.
    In 2001, historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech published a seminal paper, drawn from 16 years of research, revealing a wealth of historical evidence that humans used to sleep in two distinct chunks.
    [​IMG] Roger Ekirch says this 1595 engraving by Jan Saenredam is evidence of activity at night
    His book At Day's Close: Night in Times Past, published four years later, unearths more than 500 references to a segmented sleeping pattern - in diaries, court records, medical books and literature, from Homer's Odyssey to an anthropological account of modern tribes in Nigeria.
    Much like the experience of Wehr's subjects, these references describe a first sleep which began about two hours after dusk, followed by waking period of one or two hours and then a second sleep.
    "It's not just the number of references - it is the way they refer to it, as if it was common knowledge," Ekirch says.
    During this waking period people were quite active. They often got up, went to the toilet or smoked tobacco and some even visited neighbours. Most people stayed in bed, read, wrote and often prayed. Countless prayer manuals from the late 15th Century offered special prayers for the hours in between sleeps.
    And these hours weren't entirely solitary - people often chatted to bed-fellows or had sex.

    Between segments
    Some people:
    • Jog and take photographs
    • Practise yoga
    • Have dinner...
    A doctor's manual from 16th Century France even advised couples that the best time to conceive was not at the end of a long day's labour but "after the first sleep", when "they have more enjoyment" and "do it better".
    Ekirch found that references to the first and second sleep started to disappear during the late 17th Century. This started among the urban upper classes in northern Europe and over the course of the next 200 years filtered down to the rest of Western society.
    By the 1920s the idea of a first and second sleep had receded entirely from our social consciousness.
    He attributes the initial shift to improvements in street lighting, domestic lighting and a surge in coffee houses - which were sometimes open all night. As the night became a place for legitimate activity and as that activity increased, the length of time people could dedicate to rest dwindled.

    When segmented sleep was the norm
    • "He knew this, even in the horror with which he started from his first sleep, and threw up the window to dispel it by the presence of some object, beyond the room, which had not been, as it were, the witness of his dream." Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge (1840)
    • "Don Quixote followed nature, and being satisfied with his first sleep, did not solicit more. As for Sancho, he never wanted a second, for the first lasted him from night to morning." Miguel Cervantes, Don Quixote (1615)
    • "And at the wakening of your first sleepe You shall have a hott drinke made, And at the wakening of your next sleepe Your sorrowes will have a slake." Early English ballad, Old Robin of Portingale
    • The Tiv tribe in Nigeria employ the terms "first sleep" and "second sleep" to refer to specific periods of the night
    Source: Roger Ekirch
    In his new book, Evening's Empire, historian Craig Koslofsky puts forward an account of how this happened.
    "Associations with night before the 17th Century were not good," he says. The night was a place populated by people of disrepute - criminals, prostitutes and drunks.
    "Even the wealthy, who could afford candlelight, had better things to spend their money on. There was no prestige or social value associated with staying up all night."
    That changed in the wake of the Reformation and the counter-Reformation. Protestants and Catholics became accustomed to holding secret services at night, during periods of persecution. If earlier the night had belonged to reprobates, now respectable people became accustomed to exploiting the hours of darkness.
    This trend migrated to the social sphere too, but only for those who could afford to live by candlelight. With the advent of street lighting, however, socialising at night began to filter down through the classes.
    In 1667, Paris became the first city in the world to light its streets, using wax candles in glass lamps. It was followed by Lille in the same year and Amsterdam two years later, where a much more efficient oil-powered lamp was developed.
    [​IMG] A small city like Leipzig in central Germany employed 100 men to tend to 700 lamps
    London didn't join their ranks until 1684 but by the end of the century, more than 50 of Europe's major towns and cities were lit at night.
    Night became fashionable and spending hours lying in bed was considered a waste of time.
    "People were becoming increasingly time-conscious and sensitive to efficiency, certainly before the 19th Century," says Roger Ekirch. "But the industrial revolution intensified that attitude by leaps and bounds."
    Strong evidence of this shifting attitude is contained in a medical journal from 1829 which urged parents to force their children out of a pattern of first and second sleep.
    "If no disease or accident there intervene, they will need no further repose than that obtained in their first sleep, which custom will have caused to terminate by itself just at the usual hour.
    "And then, if they turn upon their ear to take a second nap, they will be taught to look upon it as an intemperance not at all redounding to their credit."

    Stages of sleep
    Every 60-100 minutes we go through a cycle of four stages of sleep
    • Stage 1 is a drowsy, relaxed state between being awake and sleeping - breathing slows, muscles relax, heart rate drops
    • Stage 2 is slightly deeper sleep - you may feel awake and this means that, on many nights, you may be asleep and not know it
    • Stage 3 and Stage 4, or Deep Sleep - it is very hard to wake up from Deep Sleep because this is when there is the lowest amount of activity in your body
    • After Deep Sleep, we go back to Stage 2 for a few minutes, and then enter Dream Sleep - also called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep - which, as its name suggests, is when you dream
    In a full sleep cycle, a person goes through all the stages of sleep from one to four, then back down through stages three and two, before entering dream sleep
    Source: Gregg Jacobs
    Today, most people seem to have adapted quite well to the eight-hour sleep, but Ekirch believes many sleeping problems may have roots in the human body's natural preference for segmented sleep as well as the ubiquity of artificial light.
    This could be the root of a condition called sleep maintenance insomnia, where people wake during the night and have trouble getting back to sleep, he suggests.
    The condition first appears in literature at the end of the 19th Century, at the same time as accounts of segmented sleep disappear.
    "For most of evolution we slept a certain way," says sleep psychologist Gregg Jacobs. "Waking up during the night is part of normal human physiology."
    The idea that we must sleep in a consolidated block could be damaging, he says, if it makes people who wake up at night anxious, as this anxiety can itself prohibit sleeps and is likely to seep into waking life too.
    Russell Foster, a professor of circadian [body clock] neuroscience at Oxford, shares this point of view.
    "Many people wake up at night and panic," he says. "I tell them that what they are experiencing is a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern."
    But the majority of doctors still fail to acknowledge that a consolidated eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.

    More from the Magazine
    • Margaret Thatcher was famously said to get by on four hours sleep a night
    • That put her in a group of just 1% of the population
    "Over 30% of the medical problems that doctors are faced with stem directly or indirectly from sleep. But sleep has been ignored in medical training and there are very few centres where sleep is studied," he says.
    Jacobs suggests that the waking period between sleeps, when people were forced into periods of rest and relaxation, could have played an important part in the human capacity to regulate stress naturally.
    In many historic accounts, Ekirch found that people used the time to meditate on their dreams.
    "Today we spend less time doing those things," says Dr Jacobs. "It's not a coincidence that, in modern life, the number of people who report anxiety, stress, depression, alcoholism and drug abuse has gone up."
    So the next time you wake up in the middle of the night, think of your pre-industrial ancestors and relax. Lying awake could be good for you.
    Craig Koslofsky and Russell Foster appeared on The Forum from the BBC World Service. Listen to the programme here.
    Do you sleep in segments? Send us your sleep stories.
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
    Tennis Tom, May 22, 2014Report
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Two nights ago I just couldn't get to sleep and then kept waking up. I woke up and peed 4 times.
    I began to worry I had urinary problems.
    Then last night I slept soon as my head hit the pillow and I woke up only one time to pee.
    That's how I usually am.

    I don't remember doing anything different before bedtime either night.
    You figure it.
  5. William

    William New Member

    I can go to sleep but I wake up 3-5 hours later with muscle pain in my back. Something is happending with my thoughts that is creating tension. Journaling hasn't worked I am going to be doing the following: 1) remove caffeine from my diet and sugar (this may be an agitator) 2) Use EFT (touch therapy) techniques 3) Cognitive Therapy techniques. However, I am also concerned that all my efforts may be creating additional anxiety about sleep. I remember one time I said to myself, "I don't care if I sleep well tonight or not I'm going to bed." I didn't have any muslce tension and I slept great. Maybe the best strategy is to just go to bed and if it happens just wake up and start my day and not make a big deal out of it? Not sure, this web site needs its own discussion board just on this issue.
  6. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    William, did you read the BBC article on SEGMENTED SLEEP I posted, or did it put you to sleep? What are your thoughts on it? It helped me A LOT not to lose sleep over losing sleep, now I look forward to getting a few hours of reading, writing or catching up on my backed up DVR recordings.
  7. William

    William New Member

    Hi Tom, I read the article but I think my lack of sleep is more dysfunctional in nature. I often feel dead tired and I'm not able to function. As for catching up on reading thats not on my radar screen when I'm exhausted, I just want to sleep.
  8. jazzhands

    jazzhands Peer Supporter

    Before my TMS was cured, I would often wake up with numbness/pain in my hands. I also woke up quite often due to untreated sleep apnea. Now that both are under control, I do wake up once or twice a night exactly as described in the article that Tom shared but as I'm pain free I'll just spend some time quietly thinking before drifting off again, and I do sleep well.

    You said you wake up after 3-5 hrs, do you get back to sleep afterwards?
  9. William

    William New Member

    When I wake up my back muscles are tight. I am unable to get back to sleep, I'll often toss and turn. When I left Tulsa and went back to visit my parents in South Carolina my back pain went away. When I came back to Tulsa the back pain slowely returned. I think, not sure, that it may be related to my job. But I've had times when I went days without back pain, so I can't figure it out.
  10. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    William, if you put insomnia in to the search box at the top right of the page, you will have access tothe many threads where insomnia has been discussed on this forum. It's a big issue for many of us. You are on the right track--the key is not being fearful of not sleeping.
  11. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    "I remember one time I said to myself, "I don't care if I sleep well tonight or not I'm going to bed." I didn't have any muscle tension and I slept great. Maybe the best strategy is to just go to bed and if it happens just wake up and start my day and not make a big deal out of it?"

    I think I would follow your own suggestion here. Pain at night is no different than the daytime pain, its there to serve as a distraction. The fact that it went away when you visited your parents is a good sign that it is TMS. So you need to approach it just like you would with the pain you experience during the day, think psychologically and practice outcome independence. I used to monitor my pain constantly, especially at night and when I woke up in the morning. I think its because it is a quiet, still time. The fact that you have eliminated 95% of your pain during the day is great and this nighttime pain is just another side of symptom imperative. Instead of the pain moving to another part of your body, its trying to fool you into thinking its something different because it happens at night.
  12. Wavy Soul

    Wavy Soul Peer Supporter

    TTom, thanks for that posting. I've known about the two sleeps, but I found all that information very fascinating.

    For me it's the peeing thing. I was peeing when the earth moved and rattled and rolled the other night. I called to my cat to come and die with me. This would be a good night to die, I thought.

    Someone told me that when I wake up thinking I need to pee, I should just ignore it and go back to sleep. Like I do when I'm on a 12-hour flight to England stuck in the middle of the row between 3 snoring people.

    Good to be here with y'all again.
  13. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes! I just figured this out. I am conditioned to pee when I wake up, and then conditioned to remain awake after I pee. So the best way to get back to sleep when I wake up in the middle of the night is to ignore the urge to pee. Once I started doing that, I can now go back to sleep after waking up.
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    That works for me, too, unless I feel like a Johnstown Flood is coming.
    Fabi likes this.
  15. William

    William New Member

    Hi Ann, This worked for me one time I haven't tried it recently. I remember saying "My bed is not the problem and I'm just going to go to sleep and I don't care what happens." I slept great. I think I have anxiety over sleeping which is like throwing fuel on the fire of TMS.
  16. William

    William New Member

    BREAK THROUGH? I want to say thanks to everyone for your advice. Having TMS is difficult and not having others who understand me makes it more frustrating, everytime I explain it to a friend or doctor they just look at me crazy. Over the past several months I've been trying cognitive therapy before bed, which I believe has helped. But I decided to read "The Great Pain Deception" by Steven Ozanich. I had read Sarno's "Healing Back Pain" several times and it I thinks remains the Bible on understanding TMS. I didn't see the reason or purpose for reading another book on TMS. But I decided what the heck the book got great reviews. The last 3 nights I've been reading before bed and the last 3 nights 90% of my muscle tension that happens at night in my back has gone away. Sleep is good! In his book he says "....pain will only go away when we learn it away or process it way." (p. 20). I've been working on doing process things, writing about things that have botherered me and that type of thing. I learned in Ozanich's book about my childhood and how it had basically set me up for TMS. I was a very lonely child and often played by myself. I had 3 brothers but they were much older than me and we never did anything together. I was in a home that was loud and busy but I felt that I wasn't part of the activity, I watch it happen. My mother didn't appear to be too interested in me and I felt like I was more of a burden to her. My father worked all the time. This created feelings of rejection and abandonment. People who have been through these learn to handle their own emotional isssues, because they have to, their emotions remain inside. This is a perfect set up for TMS, due to the habit of repressed emotions. (side note) Anyway I knew that Sarno spoke about the importance of education in healing but I guess I under estimated it and figured "Well I already know that about TMS, why read about it again?" Wow! Who would think that just reading 10-15 pages could reduce your back pain at night. What a crazy thing TMS is! Anyway, I'll keep you informed and once again I appreciate all the advice. Thanks, William
    Anne Walker and tarala like this.
  17. doggydave

    doggydave New Member

    My god. I had to check that this wasn't me who had written the post. You've described my childhood with spooky accuracy. I haven't been able to rid myself of any pain yet though. It's only been about ten days though, so I'm not giving up.
  18. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    The process that Dr. Sarno uncovered is amazing in its elegance. It's not really new, but in the past it was being practiced mainly by psychologists and psychiatrists, not by practicing clinicians. So his was revolutionary in that sense because he took it to mainstream medicine.

    The process is working in everyone who wants to heal. By that I mean people who are ready to heal. Many are not ready, they still need the diversion. Seeking placebos, continually gathering information, asking questions they already know the answers to just to talk to others, etc.

    When you take TMS to its highest level, you will see that all suffering comes from feeling alone and emotionally isolated. When I work with people I tell them of the times in life that I seemed to be observing it through a glass window. This isolation is the cause... and it's called loneliness. Most of the people that Dr. Sarno saw told him that they felt their parents never gave them enough emotional support. This is the same thing I'm seeing now.

    I created that word "tracordify" to explain this deep need. If you can get to these larger complexes you can heal without doing all the tedious work. But ritual is very powerful, and often needed to walk us more slowly back home. Things like EFT are rituals that people need to control the pace of healing. It's all too much emotionally to accept at once and so rituals can lead us there more safely.

    Pain comes from feeling alone. Healing is based only on belief.

    When Dr. Sarno speaks people lean forward to listen due to his great experience. He rarely endorsed books because he wasn't a business person and he had to deeply believe in it. But he did understand pain better than any doctor in history. So when he says, "these people are suffering because they want to be good people," everyone should heed those powerful words. They want to be good people so they will be accepted, not rejected, not alone anymore. They allow the outer world to form them, but in that process they lose themselves, their own wants and needs, and this is where the deeper rage stems.

    The entire pain process is a chain reaction beginning with separation. So get it back together...through education.

    Lavender, mike2014, Ellen and 2 others like this.
  19. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks, Steve. I wish I had read this years ago, that separation causes pain.
    I didn't realize until I read Dr. Sarno how deeply my parents' divorce when I was seven affected me.
    I journaled to realize I had been repressing years of anger because of feelings of separation and insecurity.
    I think that knowledge led to me healing from severe back than began a few years ago when my best friends
    divorced, and I had felt like part of their family. It triggered the earlier feelings. TMS knowledge really is
    what Dr. Sarno calls "TMS penicillin."

    I'm keeping so busy writing a new novel (with some TMS tie-ins) that I am happy and distracted from any pain.
    It's kinda sexy. I hear sex sells.
    IrishSceptic likes this.
  20. DanielleMRD

    DanielleMRD Peer Supporter

    Wow. Thank you, Steve. I know this is a bit old, but it's so perfect and so powerful....every single word ❤️❤️

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