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getting better again



Last night I got to sleep without any sedatives:). First time in almost a year so that's very satisfying to me. I sort of figured out a way to relax and push myself deeper into relaxation until I fell asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and did the same thing to get back to bed after a snack.

Both times I noticed 3 stages between fully awake and fully asleep. I say "sort of" because I'm going to try it some more and see if this is repeatable. Also I was physically exhausted and I think I am fighting off a cold.

Then today I felt pretty normal. I was stressed at work, but not the kind of anxiety where the boundaries of reality blur and threaten to shatter entirely.

Today is my second day off benzos, have been taking cymbalta for 3 of the past 4 days. I didn't take it last night and that was when I slept the best. I don't know if it's too soon for the cymbalta to be working but I definitely feel better for whatever reason. since I've been cycling up and down over weeks, I'm tempted to say this is a normal mood cycle; anyone is going to have ups and downs over time.

At the same time I feel more confident that I know crazy when I experience it. I've had enough experience with garden variety sadness, fear, anger, etc. to sense a qualitative difference between these and the experiences I label depression, anxiety, or freaking the heck out.


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Glad ur feeling better. I have brutal sleep problems, i take zopiclone every night. I'd be interested in hearing about your observations and technique for falling asleep and how its working for you. You have great info in your blogs, thanks for sharing so candidly.

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So far that one night has been an exception. I haven't slept very well since. The technique I was using was progressive relaxation. It's where you relax each part of the body one piece at a time, like toes, feet, calves, and so on. It helps to tense up the muscle first and then let go so that you can feel it relaxing.

It takes some practice like any skill but in general any trick that gets your mind off of whatever is keeping it from settling down should help.

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I have major bouts with insomnia, and I've used progressive relaxation. Sometimes, though, it just seems like I'm too focused on relaxing each part of my body to fall asleep -- if that makes any sense. Something that has worked a bit better is focusing only on my breathing. Just breathing slowly, in and out, thinking about each breath as it happens and nothing else.

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Something that works for me sometimes is practicing letting thoughts go. Sometimes it's hard to fall asleep because I keep focusing on the thoughts in my head. If instead I see a thought coming and I try not to latch onto it or control it, but watch it morph around into a dreamlike thing and just let it go where it wants without forcing it, then I'm out before I realize it.

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