For the last week, I have had a lot of trouble sleeping. A lot of people with PTSD have sleep problems – insomnia, nightmares, sudden waking, etc. In the past, this has not be such a problem for me. I have always had a strong startle response, so I’d wake up with any noise, but other than that, I could sleep. And no nightmares, thank goodness.
Now the longest I can sleep is a few hours at a time. I go to sleep, wake up in two or three hours, then am up for an hour, then back to sleep, then again awake after three more hours of sleep. Very annoying. I don’t have bad dreams – I just wake up kind of super alert and blank.
Needless to say, this is exhausting. I’m walking through my days very very tired.
I’m trying not to nap. I looked up sleep in my PTSD workbook, and it says, whatever you do, no naps. Very difficult.
Also I am to get up at the same time each day, and go to bed only when tired. And I’ve been taking supplements for relaxation, and also the old-fashioned (drowsy making) anti-histamines. Nothing is working very well – I can get to sleep, but not stay asleep.
What I figured out yesterday is I think I’m holding too much in and not feeling much. So I lay on the couch, watching TV, and tried to let whatever was waking me up out while I was awake, with some success. I believe I need to feel, and I can’t – I’m in a kind of stuck and frozen state. So I felt a bit, and had some somatic type symptoms that I often get.
I also did some yoga, about half an hour, and tried to let myself feel whatever I could, and let myself groan and shake some. Sounds crazy but I was more relaxed afterwards.
I slept a bit better. Still woke up every few hours, but got back to sleep faster. Today I was still very tired. In the afternoon, I just didn’t care anymore about the ‘no napping’ rule, and crawled into bed. I lay and read my book, and then just lay there, but did not fall asleep. Which is good. Though usually I find it very easy to nap.
Oh sleep, oh sleep, where are you? It’s interesting how obsessed I become with something I usually take for granted, once I no longer have it. Like someone thirsty, or starving. Then water or food is all the mind can picture.