It's difficult for me to do SR when I can't actually fall asleep and am waiting all night for the morning. I expect I need to do the QHR but I haven't had any success with that so far. I suspect that is really what I need to persevere with in order to improve my bed sleep connection. Does it really work?
QHR definitely does work! It is the absolute hardest part of SR, especially when you are so exhausted you just want to lie in bed. It is the part of SR that helps your body re-establish its bed-sleep connection.
I used to save myself mundane household chores to do when I had to get up; loading or unloading the dishwasher, wiping down the sides in the kitchen etc. Anything that didn't require a lot of thought, but that would keep me on my feet, so I didn't fall asleep on the sofa!
I also used to reason with myself that I had been able to function on 3-4hrs of broken sleep per night since childhood. So although I would feel crap the next day I knew I could function, plus my sleep pressure would be increased the following night.
There is no easy way around it, unfortunately! But it does get easier as your body adjusts.
Best wishes. xx
Thank you for your comments. I am sorry to hear you have had to manage on little sleep since childhood. I've only had it since March and I'm finding it hard to come to terms with.
I will try the QHR tonight and line up a few things to do. I can see preparation is important.
Have you attended a mindfulness course? I went to a workshop on Saturday and found it, interesting and I am thinking of doing the 8 week course.
I would like to draw your attention to this brand-new (and yet small) study on the possitive effect better sleep have on depression.
I think that my poor sleep pattern has affected my ability to lose weight. I have had poor sleep for over 22 years. Now that I am a widow and retired I decided after watching the TV programme that 2016 was the year that I need to sort sleep out. I have noticed that I need to brush my teeth about an hour before bed or else it seems to wake me up en route to bed. Does anyone else have any other thoughts on this?
Hi Laure, I used to have dreadful restless legs but was prescribed a combination of potassium and magnesium plus vitamin e from a respected Herbalist. Now only have to take them occasionally
yes, I have also noticed that I need to used my powered toothbrush well before I retire as it has a wakening effect. I just make sure I brush my teeth earlier in the evening and only take water after I have brushed them.
I am only on week 2 of sleepio and already new and used 90 % of the ideas suggested. I am anxious to get to the program as I sleep about 4-5 hours 1 night and the next, I am up the entire night. I have been doing this for about 2 months and don't want to wait to learn QHR and SR when I get to that week. Would someone just outline it for me please?
I know how frustrating it can be waiting for things to happen or improve!
You need to understand that this course does not offer a “quick fix” for sleep problems. Even once you have completed week three and are using sleep restriction you will be in for a tough ride, although it is worth the effort.
I used to sleep like you do, from the sounds of it and I found it helpful to vent in the forums when I was suffering from lack of sleep. Unfortunately without seeing your sleep diary there is no way I could help you with sleep restriction right now.
You have already completed week two, so try to hold on until week three, keeping all of the sleep hygiene habits you have been taught so far. If you find yourself lying in bed unable to sleep, get up. This is part of sleep restriction but I'm sure I'm not breaking any rules by telling you this!
I used to keep a few boring jobs for when I couldn't sleep, like folding washing or emptying the dishwasher. Tasks that don't require a lot of brain power, but keep you awake while you need to be.
Wait until you are sleepy before returning to bed, even if that takes hours, which it sometimes can. I consider myself “cured” now, but even so I had an awful period of bad sleep over the last couple of months & had to return to the strict regime I used on the course. It helped me get back into the swing of bed/sleep again.
Another recommended activity for wakeful times is colouring in. I got a lovely colouring book from a cheap shop & some pencils. This is a lovely activity to do, without having to worry about staying inside the lines too much, because it breaks the thought processes your brain will be going through. It can help you feel sleepy quickly, so you can then return to bed.
Hang in there! Sleep restriction is coming & it's hard work, but worth it.
Best wishes. xx
This program seems like it will be helpful.
I would like this program to offer more professional advise to those taking sleep meds for years and would like to be “normal” and not take them anymore…..
All this great advice almost doesn't apply to people who are on a medical carousel…..prescribed drugs. Every morning one has that “hangover” feeling…
Zombie wolf behind the eyes???
Please address “weening off” these drug cocktails often prescribed…. And how sleepio works with THAT!
Hi Sher22, have you had a look in the Library section to see if there are any articles in there? There's also a live discussion each week with a sleep expert. You can post your questions during the week. If you can't “listen” live at that time, you can view it on screen at a later date.
I'm pretty sure the sleep experts would advise you to talk with your GP about weaning yourself off your prescription medication. This is not because they don't want to help you, but because your GP is the medical practitioner who knows you best & can see your medical records.
If you search the discussions, you will find that others have asked this before & received that response.
You could also ask people in the discussions what their experiences have been weaning off prescription medications.
Best wishes. xx
My sleep seems to go in cycles. During a cycle of good nights (lasting 4-5days), I still get up at least 3-4 times but I can get back to sleep fairly quickly and I sleep about 7 hours. On a cycle of bad nights (usually 3-4 days) I usually get to sleep ok but wake up after 4 hours and can't get back to sleep regardless of what I try . . . Sometimes it helps to get out of bed and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes imagery helps, sometimes not. While it's highly frustrating after living with 20+ years of insomnia, I can say that the program has done these good things for me;
Hi Molichka, I think you're right about the self acceptance; we put ourselves under a lot of pressure in this life, and acceptance can help break the vicious circle of being more stressed because we can't sleep, and beating ourselves up about it.
You're also right about compassion. A little goes a very long way.
Thanks for the comment EO. I haven't been on the site for a while because my sleep got much better recently and I didn't feel as much of a need. It's partly because I've been meditating at a regular time most days. I hope things are going well/better for you too.
I started sleep restriction last week, and I am having a bit of a hard time. This extra lack of sleep affects my concentration, makes me forget things more often and seems to make me nauseous (is that possible?). I am
especially worried about the effects on my mood. I have had trouble sleeping for years, and I am quite used to adapting to a few hours of sleep. I am doing my best not to let my lack of sleep affect my mood too much, but sometimes I really get overwhelmed. Does anyone have any advice on this?
As Jinny said, Sleep Restriction is hard work!
I would add that you need to use your best judgement as to whether you need a nap for safety, or if you are feeling unwell. SR works best if you can stick with it, however unpleasant, but if you need to take a night off for your sanity don't beat yourself up over it! You know your own body, routine & circumstances better than anyone else.
It does get better! It just sometimes has to get worse before it gets better.
Best wishes – do post again if you need any more advice, or even just to rant about how awful SR can be. xx
Thanks so much, that is really sweet. It is nice to be supported like this!
Be encouraged to know that the intensity of this week and next will get better soon. If possible, try and keep your responsibilities etc. to a minimum and keep your expectations of yourself low. Hopefully you have supportive people around you who can help out with some of the things you normally do. Focus your mind on positive things-- this helps when the effects of sleep deprivation are heavy upon you. Be a good coach to yourself! : ) You'll get through this and it will get better!
Just another post to say it does get better….
No matter how awful you feel because of sleep deprivation tell yourself that at the end of the week if you stick to the rules you will almost certainly have slept well enough for the Prof to give you another 15 minutes.
Try not to do more tha you absolutely have to for the first week or two of SR- don't arrange to socialise or take on more at home or work than is absolutely necessary. Tell those around you at home or work about what you are doing. Hopefully they will be supportive and not make undue demands on you for the moment.
Good Luck and keep posting.