Sleep, or lack thereof.

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by LogicfromLogic, Mar 17, 2016.

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  1. So I want to get something very clear.

    I am:

    -Going to therapy
    -Going through EMDR in a couple months

    Please forgive me if I sound like I am pitching some sort of sob story, my intent is not attention rather than desperately trying to find something that can help me get some sleep so that I can function each and every day. I'm just looking for tips, ideas, of what to do in the meantime while I work with my therapist with this shit. Not looking for comfort, not looking for anything else besides some idea.

    That being stated, I've posted this in so many Rant replies I've meant to but I can't get over it. I'm afraid to sleep because of this, and I am exhausted. I find excuses, any, to avoid going to bed. Because of dreams. I know it sounds really stupid and childish but I'm terrified to even shut my goddamned eyes because I might fall asleep and either have the same dream over and over or a really, really bad nightmare. Shit I used to get when I was a child who didn't have a really stable life.

    The dream one might actually think would be nice, no scariness to it, no creepy creatures or anything. Just my family was whole, grandma was still alive. She kept everything balanced. I keep dreaming of a typical day with her and my family, who were only stable when she was there to keep them from killing each other. Coffee in the mornings while sitting at the dining table with her looking out to the mountains beyond the river, breakfast, playing her favourite board game, nap, going out to either go to the store (we always went to the store however with her everything was a family fling. If one went, everybody went, unless it was something small enough to get at the small store beyond the small Native American museum which she'd send my sister or me for, more nap time for the rest), or we'd go to a park and enjoy the outside. Come back, watch TV, play that board game again, snack, TV, dinner, a movie and then bed time.

    You would think that memory would be something everyone would love to have after a loved one has passed, but for me it's nothing but a reminder of what the family never will be again.

    Other dreams are night terrors.

    Last night I dreamed of my friends dying by the hands of the Slenderman and an old cartoon character. I was going into a room with someone who turned into the Slenderman after putting this mask on, and I had almost put this cursed hat on but freaked and threw it and tried to get out but I fell victim to him.

    I was too scared to go back to sleep last night and I don't want to sleep tonight because of it. I feel like such a coward but I can't stay awake like this. I have no idea what to do.
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  2. Well you're already seeing a therapist, which is the best thing you could be doing.
    But I do have to ask, have you expressed these specific and exact concerns to your therapist?

    Because if not you really should.
    If you had, you already got better advice than anyone on Iwaku is capable of providing.
    #2 Gwazi Magnum, Mar 17, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
  3. I have but we have to work on one thing at a time, and the main thing we are working on is making my anxiety disorders safe for anyone to be around at this point.
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  4. So you're more looking for a tie-you-over sort of deal till the therapist reaches it?

    In that case, I'd suggest holding onto a habit that helps makes you comfortable.
    Not something I'd advise as a permanent fix because it creates a reliance, but it should be fine as a short term solution.

    This could be a dream catcher, a very specific position of the pillows, a specific routine you follow that puts you more at ease.
    Anything that helps distract you, and puts your mind at ease.
  5. I have those all over. I meant more like tea remedies or something that strangely worked. You'd be surprised what some people's tricks are.
  6. Oh.

    Keep a bottle (not glass) full of water next to your bed.
    You'd be surprised the number of times you might wake up in the middle of the night needing a drink.
    Having water right there without needing to get out of bed let's you stay hydrated without making your body think it needs to be awake now from getting out of bed.
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  7. Are you on medication for anxiety of any sort? Sometimes these can cause severe nightmares and very lucid dreams. When I forget to take my meds I have severe nightmares that seem very, very real.

    Have you tried reading or listening to meditation on YouTube prior to going to bed? This has helped me immensely. It allows my mind to think about something else, and often, it is our fears that follow us into our nightmares. Sometimes we have nightmares about things we are subconsciously (or consciously) thinking about - therefore you might fear a nightmare, bringing it on.

    To me this sounds like an anxiety and not a sleep disorder, but I am no doctor. I would suggest watching a funny video before bed, role playing, or reading before you sleep - perhaps giving your mind something else to think about. If you are on medication I would suggest speaking with a doctor and night terrors can be a side effect.
  8. Have you considered trying lucid dreaming techniques? This might sound silly or scary, but hear me out. I tried it, and got the hang of going into a semi-lucid state in my dreams fairly easy. I was too afraid of using this lucidity to actually fight against the monsters roaming my nightmares, but the lucidity was enough for me to recognise when a dream was about to turn into a nightmare, and force myself to wake up. Eventually this lowered the amount of nightmares I get a lot. And I don't mean going into a nightmare and waking up, I mean nightmares never starting, and dreams staying normal, or going through a whole night of unconsciousness. Trying lucid dreaming might leave you tired at first, but if you're already not getting sleep, you could not get sleep while trying to do something about it, right?
  9. Thanks for the advice everyone! I have since gotten some sleep, I didn't sleep for about two days and crashed. I have all of your techniques logged onto a piece of paper for the future.
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  10. I acquired PTSD from witness a Bus Crash and trying to help. I had terrible nightmares about it for a bit. They were so real, I could hear the screams, feel the warmth of the blood, and smell the blood and engine fluids. I could hear the music playing through the speakers in the bus. It would literally be an EXACT replay of that night. All the sensations from my senses were the same. They were awful.

    If you want to know the story and how I coped, and are still coping today, just pm me. I’ll be glad to share my experience.
    • Thank Thank x 1
  11. Physical exercise during the day will help you rest during the night. Work-out routines are golden. If you take showers in the evening, end with cold water. It's chilly but it's better for you anyway and helps the muscles which are a place a lot of stress nests in. Additionally, try to turn off your active brain before bed. ie don't do something particularly engaging. For example, videogames are for me a common way of relaxing but if I play one that requires me to focus hard right before sleeping; I end up laying awake. So it's better if I watch a show or read a book (screens can be stressful to people in general, though, so maybe try to avoid that before sleep?) Tea is also a god-tier before-bed drink, just try to avoid the black ones.

    If nightmares wake you up, try methodically collecting yourself before attempting to sleep. I've been told to be crazy for doing midnight meditation (in rooms with 4-8 people, no joke) but breathing exercises will help you find your 'center' as they call it, so you are basically you have to reassure your drowsy brain of the distinction between dream and reality. Personally I also like to take a walk outside and breathe some fresh air, but that kind of depends on your living situation. Just make sure to stabilise before attempting sleep because if you don't let stress fall off you may end up taking it back with you into your dreams.
    • Thank Thank x 1
  12. I have managed to get some sleep thanks to many of your suggestions here. I have all of them logged on my idea list (with proper credit given of course) for future cases ^.^ Thank you all
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