Help with nightmares, I really need to sleep.

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Roe Lee

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Help with nightmares, I really need to sleep.
« on: June 13, 2018, 10:30:29 AM »
Hi everyone,

So i've had nightmares all my life due to my cptsd. They're usually about my abusers, and recently they've been about a certain Theme that plagues me. My inner critic, my inner child, my hyper-vigilance, they all work together to weave the most distressing nightmares that I find it hard to go to sleep. It's really getting me down. I've just taken a good look at myself in the mirror and there are dark semi-circles forming under my eyes.

With my new job, i work from 7.30am to 4.30pm so it's an extremely early start for me. I've been trying to up my hours of sleep by being in bed by 9, but it doesn't help. I don't think it's the number of hours of sleep, it's the quality of sleep. These nightmares have me feeling in a constantly low mood and i am honestly so exhausted.

The battle rages on in my emotional state, guys. I feel better typing it out here, but i'd honestly like to hear from you guys. Do you still get nightmares? How do you cope? and if you're as exhausted as me, i give you everything i can to soothe you :'( i am so tired...


All my love,
Roe.

p.s. feel free to move this thread to wherever it will be a better fit for, I just put it under general symptoms because i didn't know what else to do. Sorry :(

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finallyfree

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Re: Help with nightmares, I really need to sleep.
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2018, 12:00:28 PM »
Hi Roe,
I am so sorry to hear your going through this. I too still get nightmares and have trouble sleeping. I take something to help me sleep and that allows me to turn it off for at least 8 hours which I am happy about because I like you must work. I really donít know what to say about the nightmares. I try to not think about any of them and this has helped but I still do get the nightmares and bad dreams. I hope you get some relief and good sleep soon.  :hug:
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 12:03:51 PM by finallyfree »

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Roe Lee

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Re: Help with nightmares, I really need to sleep.
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2018, 12:23:32 PM »
Thanks Finallyfree,

I am so distracted at work today because i am so exhausted. And you know when you can still FEEL the nightmare?? like it was something that really happened, more of a memory than a dream. I'm on guard all day today from it, it's so silly in my mind but my body is reacting big time.

I remember having nightmares since i was a child.

Does anyone know if aromatherapy or other alternative medication works? I have a sneaking suspicion that clinical sleeping aids might make me oversleep and miss my commute train. I could sleep earlier, but i lose a lot of me-time in the evenings :o

I wish all of us better sleep.

All my love,
Roe

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Rainagain

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Re: Help with nightmares, I really need to sleep.
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2018, 02:04:07 PM »
Bad sleep and nightmares are the worst thing, kicks the stuffing out if everything you try to do.

I nap during the day as the nightmares are less then.

How about a power nap for an hour when you first get home from work?

Sleeping pills that work tend to be highly addictive, not a long term fix, and we have long term issues so not a good fit.

Routine and physical activity help me, if I'm physically exhausted I sleep better at night, mentally exhausted not so much.

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Roe Lee

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Re: Help with nightmares, I really need to sleep.
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2018, 02:10:40 PM »
Good suggestions, Rainagain

I do try to nap as much as i can, but that usually means i'm restless in the night haha!

I've tried to do more running to tire myself out but my lungs are not very happy with summer and hayfever right now so i've not been able to do that as much recently. I'll try to get more exercise in anyway :D

i'm a little scared to go back to sleep tonight :( this recurring theme is so horrible. I just keep seeing her face... she wasn't my abuser, but she is just something/ someone i find very hard to get over.

All my love,
Roe.

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Deep Blue

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Re: Help with nightmares, I really need to sleep.
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2018, 02:44:00 PM »
Hey Roe,
I too struggle with flashback nightmares.  I sometimes snap awake with a panic attack accompanying the nightmare.   Lately Iíve been working on sitting with the emotions when they come up.  Iíve noticed if I push the emotions away during the day, Iím more likely to have nightmares about it later.  It sucks... but sitting with the emotions helps me sleep at least.

Best of luck to you
 :bighug:

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Roe Lee

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Re: Help with nightmares, I really need to sleep.
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2018, 03:04:22 PM »
Thanks Deep Blue,

I remember my counsellor has mentioned sitting with emotions too, but we never really got to go in depth about it. If you want, i wouldn't mind hearing more about this method :)

I also don't even know if mine are flashback nightmares :( i wasn't dreaming about my childhood and all its bitterness, i was dreaming about stuff my inner critic has been shouting at me these few years as i enter a new stage in life (aka my new relationship). Let's just say my partner and i have had a bumpy start to our relationship because of "external factors" and the phrase '3rd party involvement' doesn't even cover it. So i keep having nightmares about not being loved by him, not being loved by everyone in the dream, i dream my teeth and hair all fall out and are crooked, i dream i'm not me, i dream about him choosing to be with someone else instead (more specifically, his ex... who does "haunt" me in real life, because she's found her way onto my social media!)

I'm about to be extremely open now and tell you (and whoever reads this) my latest "problem" that triggers my cptsd and awakens my inner critic.

I don't know if this is triggering, but i'll put a Potential Trigger Warning here
********************************POTENTIAL TRIGGER WARNING? ******************************
So my partner and i were with different people before we got together. He and I were close friends.
I was together with my ex for 8 years of my life, and had endured verbal and emotional abuse from his mother. She used to look down on me because i was a girl, and she would blame me for her son's questionable exam results. She baby's him, you see. He is extremely close to her. Uncomfortably close.

My partner was together with his ex. He dumped her because he was having feelings for me. I remained with my ex for a few months.

Long story short, my break up was extremely messy, very triggering, and i had to live with my ex for an additional 3 months when we were already broken up due to "issues". Too long to post here, but very happy to share this story with those who are interested.

Anyway, the thing that triggers me a lot is the fact that my partner's ex continues to post very harsh tweets and comments on her social media about us being together, and she continues to follow me on my social media. I'm not sure if she is stalking me, but i know she likes my stuff and shares some of the articles i've shared. She still to this day continues to speak unfairly about us, and i understand everyone needs to grieve, but honestly i am so triggered by her actions that i have nightmares about her, i have nightmares about my bullies at school because they both give me the same emotional demons.

I wish she wouldn't "stalk" me, i wish she would leave us alone on social media but i continue to respect that she is free to express herself because he did break up with her and i suppose i blame myself.

I'm haunted, i need to let this go, but it is extremely triggering and painful, and i hate myself for it.

************************END OF TRIGGER WARNING **************************

So i have these very convoluted nightmares because I am still guilty and i can't believe that someone loves me. my brain won't let me believe that i am not still under threat from this.

I hope one day i can let this go, and find peace within myself and in my partner. I am happy to be where i am, but my cptsd makes it hard for me to be Truly Happy, if you get me?

For now, i just want a good night's sleep :(

All my love,
Roe

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Gromit

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Re: Help with nightmares, I really need to sleep.
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2018, 05:13:45 PM »
Hi Roe Lee,

I found talking to Therapists helped with nightmares, or changed them. Some medication made them more frequent, so do check the side effects of any meds you might be on.

I don't have them so much now. However, if I have had a bad night, or two I use Yoga Nidra. It's a relaxation technique and there are some on YouTube you can listen to of varying lengths to suit how much time you have. They help me feel refreshed. You can also get them on CD but the YouTube ones are free & you can check out a few to find a voice that you are happy listening to.

Whilst it is a yoga technique it is not necessary to be a yogi, there should not be anything on them that should offend anyone with religious beliefs.

I hope it helps.

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Deep Blue

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Re: Help with nightmares, I really need to sleep.
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2018, 06:06:07 PM »
My T also used a technique with me about rewriting nightmares... especially if they are reoccurring. 
*** Trigger warning ***




I have one specific one where Iím in the trunk of a car.  We rewrote it... Iím with someone I trust as I walk towards the car and the car is my friendís car now.
*****End trigger warning ****



 I read the good version before bed if Iíve hit some triggers.  I NEVER want to sit with the bad emotions right before bed.  I need to sit with them in a safe place at some other time of the day.  I hope this helps you.
Much love sweetie,
Deep Blue

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Roe Lee

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Re: Help with nightmares, I really need to sleep.
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2018, 11:18:50 AM »
Thanks for the replies, everyone.

I will try re-writing the nightmares, i'm reading up on it now.

I hope it helps me get better sleep!

Thanks again, everyone.

Will have to look again into sitting with my emotions, DeepBlue. It sounds like something that might benefit me if i do it right :)

All my love,
Roe

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Laura90

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Re: Help with nightmares, I really need to sleep.
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2018, 06:52:44 PM »
Hi Roe

I really struggle with nightmares too and often wake myself up from them from screaming or speaking out loud.

My therapist I see recommended that it's about trying to feel safe asap after waking from a nightmare so your brain can adjust to the here and now and help you fall back into a deeper higher quality sleep.

She said there are night lights you can buy that turn on with a loud noise like clapping your hands (so you don't have to move if youre in a freeze state).

I sometimes play podcasts when trying to drift off so the sound of the person's voice or content of the podcast completely takes me away from subconscious thoughts about my abusers or me.

Unfortunately I'm not sure nightmares ever completely go away but trying to reduce the fear created by the awful traumatising emotions and memories they bring up is (what I have been told) the best method.

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Rainagain

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Re: Help with nightmares, I really need to sleep.
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2018, 08:46:44 AM »
Does anyone else find daytime naps are nightmare free?
They are for me, not sure what it means.

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Deep Blue

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Re: Help with nightmares, I really need to sleep.
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2018, 11:25:09 AM »
Yes Rainagain,
Iíve had the same experience.  I think it may be because itís shortened, we donít go through the same sleep cycles ???!??

Just a guess.

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safetyinnumbers

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Re: Help with nightmares, I really need to sleep.
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2018, 09:28:02 AM »
Yes, day naps for me are free of nightmares.
I struggle with nightmares, a lot. Some of my nightmares feature people, places, situations from my past abuses. Others are a mish mash of life experiences with danger and scary themes within the narrative.
I have always had vivid and detailed dreams and remember nightmares on a regular basis since I was a child. I remember the emotional hangover even when I was a child, feeling distressed and affected by the nightmares the next day, as if the nightmares had really happened. I can cope with a nightmare here and there but when they come night after night without a break, I struggle. I am in a constant state of hyperarousal and feel anxious about going to bed at night for fear of what I will dream. Then I run out of energy to keep going in this state and crash to hypoarousal.
My Dr has given me a script for amitriptyline which I can take an hour before bed. It helps me sleep more solidly through the night rather than waking constantly. It also changes the sleep pattern to less REM sleep so that I can get a break from the nightmares. I don't take them every night. I take them when I'm struggling with nightmares over and over again to break the cycle. I feel dopey and uncoordinated the next morning though which is not pleasant or suitable for if I'm doing an early work shift the next day.

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Roe Lee

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Re: Help with nightmares, I really need to sleep.
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2018, 11:30:45 AM »
Thanks for sharing, Safety.

I work in construction irl, so i can't really take any meds that will affect my performance the next day.
I'm not quite the labourer, but i do have to spend time on site and everything. Plus i deal with finances in the office so I can't mess up.

My job feels a bit stressful at the moment, so I'm struggling to keep my emotions in check. Plus there's a heatwave where i am so it is super difficult to get to sleep because of the heat.

I hope we all get the sleep we deserve :( feel free to use this space to rant about nightmares/bad dreams/disturbed sleep, by the way. I want to hear more about your dreams if you need to talk about them xx

All my love,
Roe