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any trick to dealing with bad nights?
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space45 Offline

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Post: #1
any trick to dealing with bad nights?
one thing good about sleep apnea is you go to sleep fast, you may wake up lots but fall asleep fast when head hits pillow
I am back to dealing with not sleeping, you sleep sort of, but watch the clock all night as well, you know by the jumps in time you must have slept but it feels like you were awake the whole time, the only indication you have that you were asleep is you were not board and frustrated enough for that amount of time to have passed and you being 100% wake and alert. but still you would swear you were awake the whole time.

the thing I hate most is the time you are for sure 100% awake and looking at the clock and waiting and tossing trying to get to sleep. notice I said asleep not back to sleep as you would swear you were never asleep in the first place, only logical thinking tells you you must have been asleep at some time even tho you have no idea when or how much you really did sleep.

I really hate nights like that, any help with this problem?
04-03-2014 08:49 AM
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herbm Offline

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Post: #2
RE: any trick to dealing with bad nights?
Patience, breathing, and 'day dreaming'. Stay off the tough subjects if you can.

Just accept the time in bed is letting your rest even if not sleep.

Enjoy the quiet time and be grateful to have the chance to just relax.

It's not much, but that is how it works for me.

I also have the time one the ceiling (projector clock) so I do NOT move to look at the time. Some people shouldn't look at all but for me seeing the time is a good thing as long as my position doesn't need to change much.

Sweet Dreams,

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"We can all breathe together or we will all suffocate alone."
04-03-2014 08:52 AM
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retired_guy Offline

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Post: #3
RE: any trick to dealing with bad nights?
I kind of enjoy waking up and peeking at the clock to see how long it's been. "Wow, way cool, I've been asleep for only two hours and it feels like 6! I'll take some more of that thank you very much..."
04-03-2014 11:55 AM
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eviltim Offline

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Post: #4
RE: any trick to dealing with bad nights?
Best thing I've done for my sleep (well, after getting treated for sleep apnea) was turn my clock on its face and stop looking at it. Instead of worrying about disruptions to my sleep I just focus on slowing down my breathing and thinking. It's partly psychological -- even though you are probably getting enough sleep you are worried about the disruptions in your sleep and it makes them much worse.

I've actually had this problem since well before I was treated, it's much better now with the CPAP although I do seem to have an absolutely terrible night every few weeks or so.
(This post was last modified: 04-03-2014 12:11 PM by eviltim.)
04-03-2014 12:10 PM
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trish6hundred Offline

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Post: #5
RE: any trick to dealing with bad nights?
Hi space45,
If you find that you are looking at the clock too much, you might put the clock somewhere else where you can't look at it. If you find that you are just layin' there and can't get back to sleep, you might get up and do something quiet like reading 'till you feel like you can try to get back to sleep again.
Hang in there for more suggestions.

trish6hundred
04-03-2014 12:13 PM
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space45 Offline

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Post: #6
RE: any trick to dealing with bad nights?
I am not watching the clock per say, maybe 1 time per hour or so on average. but when your not feeling like you have slept it feels like allot, well it is allot seeing as I like to look at night when going to bed and in the morn when waking up, some time 2 time at night if it takes awhile to get to sleep.

the amount of time that's passed between looks is the only thing telling you that you did indeed sleep some.
I too have a projection clock for the ceiling, I also have a wife obsessed with time and clocks, no less then 6 running clock in bedroom alone, they come and go on the whims of my wife, some are keepers in the bedroom, most doing a tick tock sound so you get interesting patterns of sounds as they go in and out of sync as some keep time better then others, so hiding clock would not make the wife happy at all....lol and I want a happy life so I need a happy wife....lol. at night only the digital unit on my night stand that also projects to the ceiling is visible.

I wish a 2 hour sleep felt like 6, from my point of view one to 2 hours, or even 30 minuets seems like non, I have no idea or feeling of sleep at all. I feel just a tired all night and when getting up in the morning as when going to bed , well rested I am not.

will try the zen/ relax more thing, I do try to not think but for me that is so very hard to do. I get exited about something and I can not stop thinking and designing and improving what ever it is I am exited about. I make thing and design things for my self and others. I can almost predict a bad night as they are mostly when I am all geared up about something I am working on, maybe I should try some sort of sleeping pill or something.

I wake up suddenly some nights with a eureka moment where I have solved some sort of problem in my sleep so even when I am sleeping I am still working on the problems, to bad I can not get paid for time sleeping as it seems to be very productive time indeed.
04-03-2014 01:23 PM
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Peter_C Offline

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Post: #7
RE: any trick to dealing with bad nights?
Personally, I get back up and forum-surf until I feel sleepy.

I have many of these nights due to either my brain working overtime, or pain not allowing me to relax. Personally, I find staying in bed to only increase the problem. Granted, I then also have days that I need a nap as well. Sadly, CPAP does not fix everything.

*I* am not a DOCTOR or any type of Health Care Professional. My thoughts/suggestions/ideas are strictly only my opinions.

"Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your Soul, the other for your Freedom."
04-03-2014 01:39 PM
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robysue Online
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Post: #8
RE: any trick to dealing with bad nights?
(04-03-2014 01:23 PM)space45 Wrote:  I am not watching the clock per say, maybe 1 time per hour or so on average. but when your not feeling like you have slept it feels like allot, well it is allot seeing as I like to look at night when going to bed and in the morn when waking up, some time 2 time at night if it takes awhile to get to sleep.
Looking at the clock "maybe 1 time per hour or so on average" is the CLASSIC definition of clock watching. And that's a big part of your problem.

Make it more difficult to watch the clock. If turning it around is not sufficient to break you of this habit, then put the clock somewhere where you have to get up out of bed to see it. Seriously.

(04-03-2014 08:49 AM)space45 Wrote:  you know by the jumps in time you must have slept but it feels like you were awake the whole time, the only indication you have that you were asleep is you were not board and frustrated enough for that amount of time to have passed and you being 100% wake and alert. but still you would swear you were awake the whole time.

the thing I hate most is the time you are for sure 100% awake and looking at the clock and waiting and tossing trying to get to sleep. notice I said asleep not back to sleep as you would swear you were never asleep in the first place, only logical thinking tells you you must have been asleep at some time even tho you have no idea when or how much you really did sleep.
Even though you don't remember getting to sleep, you probably have gotten to sleep for very short periods of time. The problem is you keep looking at the clock and saying, yeah, I've been awake the whole time since the last time I looked. And that feeds the insomnia monster. The clock watching is making it much, much harder to just fall asleep and stay asleep.

You also write:
(04-03-2014 01:23 PM)space45 Wrote:  the amount of time that's passed between looks is the only thing telling you that you did indeed sleep some.
Actually, what you are thinking in bed at the time you look at the clock is how much additional time has passed with LITTLE or NO sleep. And that's feeding the worrying about "Why can't I just get to sleep?" or "Why can't I get back to sleep?" or "Why am I awake yet again?" All of which perpetuate the problem by keeping you from being able to really relax and not worry about the sleep.

You also write:
Quote:I too have a projection clock for the ceiling, I also have a wife obsessed with time and clocks, no less then 6 running clock in bedroom alone, they come and go on the whims of my wife, some are keepers in the bedroom, most doing a tick tock sound so you get interesting patterns of sounds as they go in and out of sync as some keep time better then others, so hiding clock would not make the wife happy at all....lol and I want a happy life so I need a happy wife....lol. at night only the digital unit on my night stand that also projects to the ceiling is visible.
It's time to be honest with wife: You need to tell her all the tick tocking the clocks make (when she's sound asleep) and the projection clock are literally keeping you up all night. Your sleeping environment sounds like a nightmare to me: There is NOTHING that an insomnia monster likes to feed upon so much as an annoying, repeating sound. And it sounds like you're dealing with multiple, annoying repeating sounds all telling you: "You're not asleep yet and morning is coming."

Seriously: Your bedroom environment is like trying to sleep with the sound of a leaky facuet going "drip drip drip" all night long. And all of the noise of the time steadily slipping away is feeding the worry and anxiety about NOT being able to get (or get back) to sleep. Which is why the night seems soooooo long and soooooo awful. I bet that when morning finally comes, it is sometimes a relief to realize that you have to get up even though you didn't get much sleep.

Quote:will try the zen/ relax more thing, I do try to not think but for me that is so very hard to do.
Yep. Been there done that. It's very hard to get the old brain to just shut up sometimes and let the rest of the body sleep. And since your mind has a hard time being quiet, the clock watching is just adding to all the things that it keeps "thinking" about. Particularly if there's nothing else to think about because of all the clocks in the bedroom audibly and visually ticking away the hours while your brain just won't shut up.
04-03-2014 01:54 PM
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robysue Online
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Post: #9
RE: any trick to dealing with bad nights?
Space45,

You also got some real classic insomnia feeding patterns.

You write:
(04-03-2014 08:49 AM)space45 Wrote:  I am back to dealing with not sleeping, you sleep sort of, but watch the clock all night as well, you know by the jumps in time you must have slept but it feels like you were awake the whole time, the only indication you have that you were asleep is you were not board and frustrated enough for that amount of time to have passed and you being 100% wake and alert. but still you would swear you were awake the whole time.
and
Quote:the thing I hate most is the time you are for sure 100% awake and looking at the clock and waiting and tossing trying to get to sleep. notice I said asleep not back to sleep as you would swear you were never asleep in the first place, only logical thinking tells you you must have been asleep at some time even tho you have no idea when or how much you really did sleep.
and
Quote:I wish a 2 hour sleep felt like 6, from my point of view one to 2 hours, or even 30 minuets seems like non, I have no idea or feeling of sleep at all.
Many insomniacs have a very tough time distinguishing between being in Stage 1 sleep, Stage 2 sleep and WAKE. And it sounds to me like this might be part of your problem.

There have been some studies that have confirmed that fact that many people with persistent insomnia problems vastly over estimate the amount of time they are awake while in bed and vastly underestimate the time they really were asleep.

In one study, they had people sleeping in a lab and at random intervals a tech would go in and "wake" the person up and ask one question: Were you awake before I came into the room to wake up up? The researchers were tracking the EEG evidence at each time the person was "woken up" and asked the question. For each subject, many of the "wakes" happened when the EEG evidence said the person was sound asleep and may of the "wakes" happened when the person was already awake before being woken.

People who identified themselves as insomniacs frequently said they were already awake before the the tech came in to wake them up, even though the EEG evidence said they were sound asleep. And many insomniacs also frequently said they were asleep before the tech came in to wake them, even though the EEG evidence said they were awake.

Folks without insomnia problems usually answered the question correctly: If the EEG data showed they were asleep, they said they were asleep. If the EEG evidence showed they were awake, they said they were awake.

So part of the problem with many insomniacs is that they really don't reliably recognize the difference between Sleep (particularly Stage 1 or Stage 2 sleep) and WAKE. And they base their impression of how much sleep they got more on the amount of Stage 3 and REM sleep rather than total sleep. Sometimes the "fix" for this problem is simply retraining the insomniac to accept the fact that they're sleeping more than they think they are.

And then there's another common insomnia behavior pattern that I think you are exhibiting: Many insomniacs will (unintentionally) prolong the length each and every wake during the night so that they'll be sure to remember it in the morning. Studies have shown that a person typically will NOT remember a wake that lasts less than 5 minutes once they wake up in the morning. And a few very short wakes (often post-REM) during the night are pretty common for most people who have NO sleep problems at all. The thing is, what these normal people do when they wake up in the middle of the night is very different from what a typical insomniac does.

A "normal" person (for lack of a better word) wakes up in the middle of the night and does NOT look at the clock and does NOT immediately ask themselves Why am I awake?. Rather they quickly assess their physical surroundings and their comfort. If everything seems in order, they just turn back over and go back to sleep. If something is amiss, they deal with it: If they are hot--they throw some covers off, if they're cold they pull the covers back up. If their neck, back, knees hurt, they change position and go back to sleep. The point being---if there's nothing seriously wrong (like a baby crying because they need to be changed and fed), they simply go back to sleep and don't remember the wake in the morning.

But when an insomniac wakes up in the middle of the night, the insomniac typically starts out thinking about Why am I awake? and What time is it? and How long have I slept? Have I slept at all? and Will I be able to get back to sleep? and How much time is there for me to get back to sleep? All of these trigger the brain to go into thinking mode and they all also tend to feed the length of the wake. And many insomniacs also (unconsciously or not) tend to think that it is important to remember that they woke up. And so there's no sense of "let's just roll over and forget about the wake 'cause there's nothing wrong that needs my attention."

And the only way to "fix" this problem is to retrain your mind on how it thinks about finding itself awake in the middle of the night. And that can be very, very hard to do. But many cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia programs work on ways to retrain how your mind on how it reacts to waking up.

(04-03-2014 01:23 PM)space45 Wrote:  I wish a 2 hour sleep felt like 6, from my point of view one to 2 hours, or even 30 minuets seems like non, I have no idea or feeling of sleep at all. I feel just a tired all night and when getting up in the morning as when going to bed , well rested I am not.
It sounds like you may also have a problem distinguishing between feeling sleepy and feeling tired and exhausted. Many insomniacs do have trouble telling the difference. But it's a critical difference to learn:

No matter how tired and exhausted you feel, if you are not sleepy it's hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Sleep happens when you are feeling sleepy, not when you're feeling tired. Many insominacs overlook feeling sleepy and they wind up staying up too late and go to bed when they are over tired and over exhausted, but the natural feeling of sleepiness that they had and ignored is now gone. The periods when we naturally feel sleepy are pretty much controlled by the melatonin cycle. And if you don't go to sleep when your body is ready to go to sleep, it can become very difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep once you do go to bed.

Overall, it sounds like you need to spend some serious time evaluating your sleep habits and figure out ways to improve your sleep hygiene. You also need to learn more about what quality sleep actually looks like and feels like. And you need to spend some time unlearning some behavior patterns that are making things worse.
04-03-2014 02:36 PM
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robysue Online
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Post: #10
RE: any trick to dealing with bad nights?
(04-03-2014 01:23 PM)space45 Wrote:  will try the zen/ relax more thing, I do try to not think but for me that is so very hard to do. I get exited about something and I can not stop thinking and designing and improving what ever it is I am exited about. I make thing and design things for my self and others. I can almost predict a bad night as they are mostly when I am all geared up about something I am working on,
Sounds like you also have another common problem for insomniacs: Closure. In other words, it sounds like you have a hard time bringing the day to a close and letting go of all the things that you did or didn't do and all the things that properly need to be put off until tomorrow. If your mind can't shut up for a few minutes, then it is very difficult to get to sleep. I know this all too well. Prior to my First War on Insomnia, that was one of my biggest issues. It's still an issue, but not as much and it's certainly not the same kind of daily issue that it used to be.

Yoga and Meditation are finally what allowed me to learn how to turn off the constant chatter in my mind: When I think, I think in terms of "hearing" words go through my head, and, like you, I seem to think all the time. But I've learned to appreciate being able to get my brain and mind to be still and be quiet for a few minutes here and there. The first time I actually managed to get to a meditation state for more than a fleeting few seconds was astonishing. So if you are inclined to try some kind of zen/conscious relaxation techinques/meditiation, or whatever, I'd say do it. You may find that it helps in many ways other than just improving your sleep for a bit.

Quote:I wake up suddenly some nights with a eureka moment where I have solved some sort of problem in my sleep so even when I am sleeping I am still working on the problems, to bad I can not get paid for time sleeping as it seems to be very productive time indeed.
Good sleep can do this.

Realistically, waking up with the Eureaka! feeling is NOT BAD even if the wake is in the middle of the night. Learn to accept this as part of the pattern of how your good sleep works and embrace it. When it happens, it's quite reasonable to get up out of bed, write down what it is you need to remember about the solution to the problem. And take a few minutes to celebrate. And then do something relaxing (meditation, reading, listening to some music, etc). And only go back to bed when you're sleepy enough to get back to sleep with a smile on your face ...
(This post was last modified: 04-03-2014 02:49 PM by robysue.)
04-03-2014 02:48 PM
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