Sleep help

TicTacGirl

Not Active
I need advice on sleep habits. I'm a survivor of sexual assault. I was assaulted in a bed so it is a trigger for me. I have to sleep dressed in several layers even when it's warm. Sometimes I can not get to sleep in bed so I sleep on the floor or on the couch. I have nightmares I take prazosin for, which helps. But lately I've had problems falling asleep. Any advice? Maybe I should give up on trying to sleep in bed? Any other sleep habits that work for you guys? Thanks.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
I listen to an audiobook to get to sleep. It works most of the time, but not lately. There is an article here on how to work with triggers. I'll post the link in case you come back.


My sleep is bad right now, I'm even thinking of getting medication for it. The worse your sleep, the worse your other symptoms become.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
Yeah, that vicious cycle. No sleep -stress over no sleep -stress because of no sleep - why can't I get to sleep, symptoms get worse, scared of nightmares, lie in bed awake thinking you have to pass out sooner or later.

So...

Don't stress over falling asleep. (Way easier said than done ) Therapy hangover, triggers, stressors, excitement, hyperwhatever, overextending yourself, stress from whatever, each have their price. With PTSD you will pay the price in an assortment of symptoms and losing sleep heads the list.

Work on a routine. Time, place, activities, things that tell your head its sleep time. If a bed raises stress, find an alternative. An air mattress, foam, cot, recliner, whatever, in a room you feel comfortable and safe in. All you need is a comfortable place to sleep, a pillow and a blanket.

Use the night mode on your electronics, especially your phone. Most phones and computers have a mode that shifts to a redder spectrum in the evening.
I put LED strip lights on the back of my TV and I switch them to red about 8pm. Most electronics emit blue light which is terrible for sleep as blue light occurs in the morning it says time to get up, red light happens in the evening and says time to sleep. You can help this too by changing your lighting to warm spectrum bulbs - cool and daylight spectrum emit more blue light and warm more red.

Find some activity that slows your thoughts, slows your intrusive thoughts, quiets fears, and lets you slow down and relax or tires you out. Meditation, yoga, exercise, reading, watch a movie you have watched 100 times before, self tapping, whatever takes. Its good to try a bunch of stuff so you can find what helps most.

This one I learned from a golf psychology book. As Dr. Rotella said "You have to believe you putt well before you putt well." Make a list of positive things about sleep like - I sleep well every night. I am safe and comfortable on my couch and I sleep best there, I can set a time and fall asleep then. Read them before bed time. Your mind doesn't know the difference between whats real and whats imagined - give it good stuff to imagine. We get so much negativity thrown at us daily from so many sources its easy to fall into the negativity trap. I do the same with sleep as I do with my wife - keep everything I say about both as absolutely positive as I can.
 
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