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Alex B. Waking up with pain

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, May 13, 2015.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

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    Question
    I wake up in the middle of the night with back pain. What technique can be used to overcome the trigger of going to bed at night? I can lay in bed and twist and squirm or get out of bed and sit up until the pain goes away or I doze off and on with the pain.
     
  2. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Hi, thanks for the question. It's actually very common for people to have pain and tension arise at night or when they're sleeping. I will often remind people that TMS springs from the unconscious parts of the mind, and it is during sleep that the unconscious comes up and is closest to the surface. The normal defenses blocking it out are much less and so it can often be a trigger for increased symptoms.

    People hold a lot of tension at night while they sleep. This why things like mouthguards are so common, people will often be tense to the point of grinding their teeth as they sleep. What you can then do is take on whatever you can to help release and ease some of this tension. If you find that getting up and sitting quietly, reading or watching TV helps, then go ahead and do it. The important thing is to try and avoid getting hard on yourself and putting on the pressure of "I need to go to sleep or else...". This just reinforces the tension and fear, making it both harder to sleep and reinforcing the symptoms themselves (purpose of TMS -> keep you anxious/fearful). Progressive muscle relaxation, mindful breathing and so forth can be very helpful for this. Remember to tell yourself that the pain can't hurt you, that you know what it is and that just getting out of bed and taking the pressure of yourself to fall asleep can actually be more restful than tossing and turning, worrying about your symptoms.


    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

    Questions may be edited for brevity and/or readability.

     
    Walt Oleksy likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I like Alex Broom's suggestions for relaxing when you can't sleep.
    I am amazingly better recently for sleeping more soundly and not waking up in the middle of the night.
    If I do, I am getting much better at falling back to sleep by deep breathing. Within a few minutes, I'm asleep again.

    If deep breathing alone doesn't get me to sleep or back to sleep, I do deep breathing while counting from 100 to 1
    backwards, or even just from 50 to 1 backwards. It keeps my mind focused on counting and not worrying,
    and worrying is a main cause of sleeplessness.

    I also avoid watching television or being on the computer at least an hour before bedtime.
    The bright light of a TV screen or monitor is enough to keep us awake before bedtime.

    I often watch one of the Youtube videos on sleep and relaxation about an hour before bedtime.
    It puts me in a calming mood.

    A relaxing mantra also can be helpful... "I feel sleepy now. I am going to sleep now."
     
    Melb1971 likes this.

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