Dealing with Non-Restorative Sleep

This is a place for Sleepio members to discuss non-restorative or unrefreshing sleep. Feel free to discuss any aspect of non-restorative sleep here including your experiences and any advice you may have!

Posted 7 May 2015 at 11:02 AM
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  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    What can I do to sleep better during the hours I am sleeping?

    I almost dont wake up at night, and I have not had problems fallen asleep, but I feel so tired :(

  • Sleepio Member

    • 25 comments
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    Graduate

    SRT is working for me but still very up and down. I'm having more and more good nights but find it hard not to be an emotional wreck when I have a couple of bad nights in a row. I'm also very tired and miss the person that I used to be before insomnia started 5 months ago. Had a whole week of 90 + % efficiency last week, which was encouraging. It was followed by a 3/4 not great nights but I let worry and doubt take over so I'm learning that attitude is essential. Positive affirmations and mindfulness make sleep so much easier. However, when going through this, negativity, doubt and self loathing is bound to come up and I think that judging yourself for negative feelings just makes it work. I'm coming to the conclusion that acceptance is probably the key. It's better to be mindful of bad feelings (anxiety, sadness, tiredness) and try to feel the, without judgement. Try hard to have good day after a bad night but, at the same time, don't beat yourself for wanting to cry all day (which is what I do a lot of) . Focus on the good nights only, if you can, remember them and keep telling yourself that you can/are sleeping well.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Have you considered a sleep study? I did one because I was consistently waking up with a migraine. It turned out I needed a c-pap machine. I haven't mastered mine yet but feel it is bound to help with restorative sleep and already a decrease in morning migraines in 10 days.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Have you considered a sleep study? I did one because I was consistently waking up with a migraine. It turned out I needed a c-pap machine. I haven't mastered mine yet but feel it is bound to help with restorative sleep and already a decrease in morning migraines in 10 days.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 3 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Have you considered a sleep study? I did one because I was consistently waking up with a migraine. It turned out I needed a c-pap machine. I haven't mastered mine yet but feel it is bound to help with restorative sleep and already a decrease in morning migraines in 10 days.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 7 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi,
    I'm almost at the end of week three and its awful. I'm getting around 3 1/4 hours of deep sleep out of my 5 hour sleep window, the rest of the time I'm restless but not consciously awake if that makes sense? Just sleeping really lightly. After three nights I was at 75% and now I'm back down to 60%. Today I really struggled to get out of bed at 7 and finally climbed out at 8 and then ended up napping for nearly 2 hours this afternoon (I had some wine at lunch time…). I feel so much better for the nap, but now I'm worried it will affect my sleep this evening.
    Ugh, this is tough, I'm struggling at work with so little sleep, I'm snapping at my kids and I'm a misery to be around. And up til my nap this afternoon, I was getting a horrendous headache. I'm not sure how long I can stick at this for…
    Anyone else had similar experiences and came out the other side? I just want to be able to go to sleep and wake up rested.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Quality of sleep is a problem for me. I literally can't remember the last time I woke up of a morning feeling good refreshed and rearing to go..!!
    The result is most days I'm easily tired, get short tempered, and some times have trouble concentrating.
    I also think this long term sleep problem is affecting my general health (mental and physical) and relationships.
    That is why I've started these sessions here on Sleepio.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    While personally I don't (yet!) have this problem, one thing that I've experienced is thinking I am awake when in fact I haven't been. For example, my wife sometimes works very late, and a couple of weeks ago I told her I'd seen the clock and it it said 2:30 and I knew that I'd been awake for ages in the night. She replied that in fact she'd come into the bedroom at about 1:00 and went to bed at 2:30 and could tell from my breathing that I was fast asleep both times (I don't snore, but lie on my back sort of slowly “puffing”).

    I suppose this was a sort of dream of sleeplessness brought about by the feeling of actually being awake on previous nights. When this has happened, I've woken up reasonably rested though, so perhaps it's not the same as others' describe here? On the times it's happened, I've usually had some alcohol in the evening, which might be a contributing factor.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Good morning
    So here's my question. I work 2 jobs and my night job is cleaning of offices. Some nights are more busier than others. So here's my question. I usually sleep sound when I am totally exhausted. However when I wake up in the morning, I'm still not feeling like I had good sleep at all. My average sleep is about 7 to 71/2 hours at least 4 times weekly. Then other times I get about 6 hours.

    My hours getting home from my second job can go anywhere from 9 p.m. through 1 a.m., depending on the size of the location.

    I most days I still feel very sleepy by the afternoon time and I have to drink coffee with a lot of caffeine in it to stay awake.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 5

    Hi
    I would love to hear from someone in a similar position to me, who went through the Sleepio techniques and found they really worked, as I need some inspiration.

    I'm finding it really hard to muster the strength to actually apply the techniques – the sleep restriction window, getting out of bed after 15 minutes, not taking sleep aids, not falling asleep to a movie as I usually do. I'm just already so tired and so worried about the impact on my job of having even less sleep.

    I function badly at work after poor sleep. My job requires a lot of brain work and when I can't focus that's it, I can't actually finish the tasks I need to finish and I have to get help from other people on my team. So I'm really struggling to apply the cognitive technique – saying to myself it won't be that bad. All I can really do is say something like 'I won't die because of it'. 'At least I'm not really ill right now'. But when it gets into the stuff about 'I do function ok' – it just isn't true in my case. In the longer term, I won't thrive in this career like this.

    I also feel more than just sleepy the day after. I feel like I have a hangover and it's as if my entire body has something weighing down on it. I'd call it fatigue, and it's something close to pain throughout my torso and neck. It's so hard to tell myself 'a day of pain isn't so bad'.

    I have sleep maintenance insomnia. I go to sleep ok, but wake up after 2-4 hours, and am awake for 2-3 hours before going back to sleep, or I don't go back to sleep at all. I usually listen to the same movie every night to fall asleep and sometimes I can use it to go back to sleep when I wake in the night. Usually I'm much more awake then though so it often won't work.
    If anyone has done it for this type of insomnia I'd be especially glad to hear it.
    thank you

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Katsura

    I dont know if anyone responded to you as it is more than a month since you posted. I have in the past had the same trouble as you, waking during the night and not being able to get back to sleep for hours. I will say that the sleep restriction definitely worked for me, as I had a couple of months where I could wake up, two or 3 times a night & usually for the loo, and go straight back to sleep again with no problem. It was so good that I could hardly believe it – I stopped worrying about waking up as I KNEW from experience over and over again that i could just go back to sleep within minutes. My downfall then was that I stupidly tried to lengthen my sleep window quicker than was recommended, as I felt that I had cracked it, and it started going downhill again. But I am convinced that it works if you stick at it, and having let it all slip by the wayside recently, I am just about to get back into it again. But I think you really do have to stick to all the rules, which is hard I know. Maybe work your way through the various techniques with the Prof again and remind yourself of them – this is what I am going to do. They need to become automatic, so you can do them without too much effort. I hope things get better for you soon. All the best, and don't give up, we're all there with you!

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Katsura.
    Every sympathy! Its no good to me to say I coped yesterday so I will tomorrow – I don't call having the screaming ad-dabs at 4pm, crying, and being unable to think, or even decide whether I want to eat an evening meal or not, coping!
    I am lucky in that I have retired so I don't have a full time job. I do (did!) however do freelance work, proofing and preparing articles for publication in an academic journal. I have had to give this up as I can't concentrate to do it effectively – too much 'brain fog'.
    ...However. I have used Sleepio for me. I am up at 90 % sleep as I go to bed and fall asleep more or less at once (always did) and I get up as soon as I wake in the morning. I keep being told to tell people how I have succeeded. I don't like to as the restricted sleep does not work for me and I don't want to discourage people from sticking to the rules when it works for them.
    But you seem to have a different problem. I think it's worth analysing what is wrong in your life (stress, circadian rhythm, chaotic life style etc) and working out what you can do about it. i.e. I can't help having a retired husband (!) but I have given up two stress inducing jobs that had strict deadlines. This gives me the opportunity to attempt not to be 'on edge' all the time.
    I moved my sleep window so I get up at the same time each morning – I think it says 6.45 (kept this time as I will be doing some work that I need to get up at 7 am for)- but I normally wake at about 8am and get up immediately.
    I have also added 2 hours to the front of my sleep – i.e. I go to bed at 12 rather than 2am. I did nothing but fall asleep on the sofa waiting for 2am!
    By doing this I have cut down on the frequency of waking and the time awake at night. After seven weeks I have had two nights this week that I do't remember waking up at all! (Moving my sleep window 15 mins was not what my body needed.)
    Earlier I used the two relaxation pieces in bed if I was awake in the middle of the night.
    I also see the suggestion of colouring in, and doing jigsaws when having to get up at night. I never knew what to do as it was cold and reading engages me so I stay awake when I read. Doing the dishes, cutting up apples to freeze and writing Christmas cards required more brain power than I had.
    I also read somewhere that for ME lying down completely flat for about 10 minutes before getting overtired helps. It has helped for me. I now try this once or twice during the day instead of lying down and sleeping a hour and a half each afternoon. Would this be possible at your work? dozing in front of TV, or 'reading' a newspaper does not have the same restorative effect.
    My next scheme is to try to go to bed (and sleep) at the same time each night. I think more routine in my life is probably the secret to better restorative sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Sorry, I can't work forums. I seem to have 'published' this before I had read it through properly.
    Best of luck.
    Try to go into work to enjoy it – I find doing things I want to helps with the fatigue – also doing important things in the morning, when I can cope!

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Unfortunately I feel exactly the same. I'm half way through week three and it's hard going but will try to tough it out. Good luck with yours

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 1 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Sleepio community,

    Is there anyone who is knowledgeable in NRS that can help in the SF Bay Area? I have seen many sleep doctors/specialists and none ever mentioned NRS, I just learned about it on Sleepio: https://www.sleepio.com/library/article/how-to-get-a-good-nights-sleep

    I don't have problems falling asleep or staying asleep, but I rarely wake up refreshed and I ruled out sleep apnea and others ailments. NRS seems the exact problem that I have. Also anyone with NRS that felt Sleepio helped? I just started

    Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 0 helped
    Graduate

    I have just one session to go before graduation. I am very impressed with the course and seem to have solved my first problem, ie getting off to sleep. Right from the beginning I have been able to manage it.
    Because I was a little worried about the accuracy of my sleep diary, I invested in a tracker to compare my estimates with its data. Unfortunately it is a Garmin, so I can't sync. it to Sleepio, but find it interesting to compare. In general terms the data match.
    It does indicate to me that most of my sleep is light.
    I'm thinking that this accounts for waking unrefreshed.
    I'm wondering what can be done about this.

  • Sleepio Member

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    In reply to a deleted comment
    Graduate

    Thank you Jinny.
    The sensitive nature thing is very possibly true with me. I write narrative verse in which I flatter myself there is some poetry! ! No hope I guess.
    I have been the same all my life, even in babyhood according to my mother…very light sleeper, she said.
    I think after nearly 71 years, my brain has had enough and is starting to tell me so.
    Thanks for your reply Jinny.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 110 comments
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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hello Helzbells,

    I used to get non-restorative sleep with ME. As the ME went I developed insomnia, and went from non restorative sleep to virtually no sleep. I've done really well on Sleepio, ...I had the usual upheaval at week 3, improved in week 4 and had a blip in week 5. Thereafter I improved, yet although I was beginning to sleep 6 hours a night I still didn't feel like I was getting any more than 4 hours. A few days ago I found a note I'd written in my diary. I think I wrote it after reading it in one of the expert sessions. It said “4 weeks after SR day function should improve”. It was then that I realised I had gradually, imperceptibly, improved. I'm at the point now where I'm getting 6 hours a night, and it feels like it too….it's not enough, but its a gazillion times better than no sleep at all.

    Well, this is just a long way around saying that I think Jinny's on the money when she says “ride it out”, because I'm sure it will come good. If one of your problems has resolved, I think the others will gradually follow….you're on the mend.

    I'm interested to know if you've noticed differences in your writing as your insomnia has progressed. When I used to have to write more I would keep a pen and paper by the bed because I used to think I was at my most creative when I was half asleep-half awake. I wonder too if one day you will look back and be able to track your recovery through your poetry.

    All the best,

    Doodle zzz

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Helzbells, I have replied at length about this on your profile
    There I discussed light sleep at length. I also talked about my data from Fitbit
    Initially I felt Sleepio was more accurate because Fitbit counted lying still as being asleep. Now though I take more notice of Fitbit which logs restless periods and deducts them from total sleep time. The number of hours they calculate for quality sleep seems a more accurate indicator to me.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I understand the concept of improving the sleep efficiency but am having troubles with the shortened sleep schedule. My schedule before sleepio was to get into bed 10pm ish and wake at 6:30a. Sleepio schedule has me at 11:45 to 5:45. I am trying to stick to this but fall asleep on the couch earlier and cannot get out of bed in the morning. I need more than 6 hours of sleep. Is there another way of improving the quality of the sleep without out limiting the time?

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