At this point, I’d been awake for more than 72 hours. Water! The Committee likes to bring up stressful topics, like the amount of debt I owe. My inner dialogue sounded something like this: “Three to five hours of sleep is a norm for me right now, and although it won’t stay like this forever, this is my current reality. It all began on December 26th, 2013. A panicked disbelief often takes hold: “This is actually happening again.”. So four days in, somewhere around 3am, I called a suicide hotline. It’s essential to do this in the morning, within the first hour of being awake. It was like a heavy load had been lifted off my back, and I was free to experience life as it was, without being so preoccupied with fixing everything, including my sleep. For me, stress builds up in my upper back and neck due to working at a computer. While it is fairly easy to push aside these thoughts during the day with whatever is in front of me or in my inbox, it is more difficult at night when my defenses are down. My insomnia persisted, despite my strongest attempts to push it away, and I eventually developed a conditioned negative response to sleep and my bed. Now my evenings comprise running down a lengthy doctor-and-internet-recommended checklist, an inventory of dos and don’ts. It has become clear that the best way to manage an overactive mind, which is associated with insomnia, is to incorporate simple mindfulness techniques into my daily routine. During this period of my life, I intentionally worked through the stressors that initially led up to the insomnia. The brain is like a hard drive: It needs a reboot occasionally to free up space. As I started digging deeper into the reasons why my insomnia was persisting, I reached out to Dr. Daniel Erichsen, a sleep physician and popular podcaster.
Privacy & Cookies Policy | Terms of Service | Disclaimer©2011 – 2019 HoneyColony LLC. instead, its’ the negative thoughts that accompany the lack of sleep (e.g. Chugging coffee well into the evening? I like to call these circular thought patterns “The Committee.”. I try to focus on the positive things in my life. Delirium set in. Here’s a story that until very recently I told myself about the insomnia that has plagued me for 30 years: “My body doesn’t know how to sleep.
Every time I attempted to create new “solutions” around my sleep, such as adjusting my sleep window, trying a new supplement or medication regimen, or sleeping in a new random position, I fed an unhealthy preoccupation with sleep. Unfortunately a few more restless nights followed in the weeks to come. I’ve been sleeping fine enough the past couple weeks. Sleeplessness and its accompanying anxiety began at an early age for me. Here’s a story of my insomnia recovery, marked by lessons of letting go and leaning in, rather than attempting to fight, resist, or control. Sleep became my only thought, the sole object of my anxiety. The words wouldn’t sit still. I’m not a night owl. So I didn’t sleep. I had spent 7 nights at home for the Christmas holiday and it was my first night back in my own bed. Around this time as I was still navigating my young adult years, I started experiencing waves of physical, emotional, and financial stressors, all of which seemed to culminate at once. I didn’t see a drastic change in my sleep at first, however, I did notice a change in my mental state during the day. I could sit here and write about how “perfect” my sleep has become, but this would be misleading. When I wasn’t sure I could go on, I knew it was time to take action, Last modified on Mon 28 Nov 2016 02.41 GMT. I felt calmer, less anxious, and experienced a deep sense of relief. Any time I would enter the bedroom, anxiety would pulsate throughout my body. Create a Bed Time Routine. Tawny Scarlet Sverdlin is a San Francisco-based recovering English Major and librarian who currently works in digital marketing. The insomnia grew into something much more than a “reaction” to other life stressors; it developed into a separate beast and continued to haunt me into the late hours of the night.
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