Sleep loss due to work stress

Hi

I often wake in he night with my brain in overload and this is mostly work based. I have even been known to dream I have agreed to do something which seems so real I get panic attacks during the day when I recall this mythical piece of work and realise I haven't done it.
Does anyone have any good ways to help deal with this?

Posted 13 Dec 2012 at 2:54 PM
  • 5 comments
  • 6 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 24 comments
    • 22 helped
    Graduate

    I date my more serious sleeping problems back to when I started in a new job more than a decade ago. Nightmares, restless sleep, lying awake, all of those… And this last week before going on leave, I was under more pressure at work and it affected my sleep again. So I can’t really say I have the solution. What I can say is that since starting Sleepio three weeks ago, I used the thought checker in the first instance to deal with sleep thoughts, and then realised it was very applicable to my work worries as well. So I don’t know if you’re a thought checker kind of person (I knew about the technique a long time before I was actually ready to start using it) but could it be an idea to maybe review your most pressing thoughts about work some time before sleep, hopefully finding a more realistic and calming thought. and if you find it, giving a moment to just enjoying that more relaxed feeling. Then you could try to tap into that if you should wake up in the middle of the night?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 132 comments
    • 72 helped
    Graduate

    Hello Kim,

    I've been a prolific vivid dreamer ever since I was a child but as I got older my dreams gradually became more and more violent and intense. I've been killed in my dreams several times – shot in the head, burnt alive with a flamethrower, completely vapourised by nuclear bombs and even chased in to the chiller of my local newsagents by a T-rex! I had these nightmares several times a night, every night for years until I just accepted them as a “normal” aspect of my sleep. I even began to see the positive side of these nightmares, rationalizing that they could be my mind's attempts at rehearsing for the worst that real life could throw at me. I'd frequently wake up drenched in sweat with my heart racing but I'd soon realise that it was all just a dream and I usually didn't have much trouble drifting off to sleep again – often in to yet another nightmare.

    Except for nightmares involving my family that is. I found these dreams very traumatic and although upon awakening, I knew they were only dreams, the emotions I experienced during these nightmares would remain and I would struggle to return to sleep. Sometimes, after particularly unpleasant dreams involving family members, I would feel depressed for days.

    As my insomnia steadily got worse and my vivid dreaming seemed to be either a large contributing factor or at least a pervasive component, my GP sent me for CBT for stress and anxiety. I began doing meditation, breathing exersises, visualization/image rehearsal therapy, dream rehearsal and thought checking. (A lot of these techniques and more are included in Sleepio and they'll be introduced to you gradually as you progress through the programme) I also experimented with lucid dreaming and dream control which, although made my dreams much more pleasant, also made them more vivid, intense and exhausting. The thought checking really helped me to put my job in to perspective and reduce workplace stress. I'm not as committed or conscientious at work as I used to be but then again, I'm not as frustrated either yet I still get paid the same and get no complaints from the management.

    The therapy had a substantial impact on the content of my dreams althought it did nothing for their frequency, vividness, length and the amount of times I would awaken from them so therefore didn't cure my insomnia.

    However, since doing SR my sleep has become much deeper, my dreams are less prevelant and I don't awaken from them as much nor do I remember them as well in the morning so I'm no longer carrying any residual dream anxiety from them in to the day.

    It seems that each component of the Sleepio programme tackles a different element of insomnia so that when combined they cover all the angles to give you the best possible chance of having good quality sleep.

    So don't worry! You're only on session 2 and there's loads yet to come from the Sleepio programme. Try it all and don't forget to let the community know how you're doing.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 868 comments
    • 269 helped
    Graduate

    Kim,

    Would it help to keep a notebook by the side of your bed and if you wake then write down everything you need to know when you look at it in the morning. It might be just one or two words, like progress report or book library, or talk to X. Or it might be more. I have a small book reading light that is clipped to the top of the notepad so it doesn't wake my partner.

    I then lie back and Beathe in Peace, Breathe out Tension. Or listen to a meditation/relaxing CD.

    If i still can't sleep I do the QHR and go to a room with an electric wrap and a fan heater until I am sleepy tired again. A good book is helpful to have ready too.

    I consider the notebook,book light, CD player and reading book selection as part of my sleep preparation and make sure it is done in the relaxation period before bed. Or even when I get up in the morning if I'm very organized.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 2 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    thanks Capie – I'll try the thought checker. I expect it gets easier with use. I'll print some off and keep them by my bedside

  • Sleepio Member

    • 6 comments
    • 2 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Thanks Grumpy Imp and Suella, some good ideas here.

Return to top