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June 25, 2019 10:04 pm  #1

Strategies for night time? (De_Profundis comment in another thread)


What are strategies you use, or that you have used at different stages, to get through the nights? To get some sleep?

In another thread, new forum member De_Profundis commented on how hard it is to get through the nights.  I was going to comment on that there, but thought it deserved its own topic.

I am a year post discovery, and I would still welcome any good ideas!


June 25, 2019 10:32 pm  #2

Re: Strategies for night time? (De_Profundis comment in another thread)

Here are things I have done to get through the nights and get a little sleep, and also to compensate for lack of sleep during the day:

—I went to my doctor and asked for a sleeping med.  I did this maybe 6 weeks after discovery..  This has been the most helpful thing of all for sleep, and I wish I had asked sooner.  I use Lunesta. It has a “clean effect” for me. I experimented with different doses and actually found that the lower dose helped me sleep longer,

—I have some guided imagery recordings that I listen to, and sometimes just put headphones on and listen to these all night long.  I listen to Belleruth Naparstek, who is on the HealthJourneys label. I love her work, and she has many topics to choose from. Years ago when I had a hysterectomy, I found her work and I went from being very  afraid to looking forward to the surgery.  Since then I have listened to many of her albums, and they have nourished me so deeply.  They have been an especially big help as I have worked through the upheaval of TGT.  (And they also help me sleep and calm down!). She is on Apple Music if you have a subscription.

—Although I did not do this specifically for better sleep, about two months ago I asked my husband to start sleeping in a different bedroom at night.  This has been such a huge relief to me! I still take the Lunesta, but I also sleep so much better and feel so much more at peace as I go to sleep and as I wake up. 

—Not for better sleep, but to compensate for lack of sleep—because even with the sleeping med, sometimes I am tormented at night, or only get 4 hours: I also asked my doctor for help with attention and wakefulness during the day.  So I am taking an ADD med and regulated caffeine pills with doctor supervision. For the caffeine, I experimented with different amounts at different times and use them like a prescription—half a tablet at breakfast, and half a tablet around 1:30.

—as a side note, I recently asked my doctor about something for anxiety/depression too, because my sadness gets in the way of my work. I do a lot of PTSD circular thinking, reliving memories. A lot of anxiety meds interact badly with the ADD med, but my doctor and I decided to try a higher dose of the ADD med.  he said this is actually a common-ish practice for depression.  It has actually helped my depression and anxiety without having to add yet another med into the cocktail.

I have never been a pill person.  This is just troubling to me to be on so many meds, just to function, but it is also a symbol of how stressful the situation is.  And if ever there was a time for help, now is it,

Overall, I know I need to work on better sleep hygiene in general. My evening routine—like all my routines—are just generally shot.

I hope this is helpful!

Last edited by OnMyOwnTwoFeet (June 25, 2019 10:42 pm)

     Thread Starter

June 25, 2019 11:07 pm  #3

Re: Strategies for night time? (De_Profundis comment in another thread)

This post was longer than intended so sorry about that but here goes. Exercise. I can wear myself out and fall asleep despite how I feel. If I woke up in the middle of the night I'd cry or pray or get up for a drink of water and go back to bed.

Mornings were actually harder for me. I'd fall asleep and it would go away but when I woke up it was as fresh as the beginning. Like the coping and emotional armor I'd built up through the day vanished and I had to start all over again. It was devastating for me. At work I would take breaks and cry in the bathroom. This isn't a problem anymore thankfully so I'm happy about that. It took months to make any progress. I talk to safe friends and family. On angry days I listen to loud music and power through chores because I know the energy won't last and I'll be lethargic and depressed again. Hobbies too. Lots of hobbies.

I've tried everything and sometimes it has worked. When it doesn't I cry and wait for it to pass. It always passes and comes back so working out the pattern helps me cope. I can anticipate now and have some ideas ready to deal with it. I try to avoid thinking about the why and focus on the what now. Those are my healthy coping skills.

I also gave myself some bruises and stopped eating for a while. I don't recommend that to anyone but it happened. I think it's important to mention it in case anyone else feels that way. When it gets that bad it's okay to talk to someone like a therapist or a doctor who can discuss the issues with you or get you on antidepressants. I'm also doing a lot better now so just want to put that out there. Healing from this stuff is hard work.


June 25, 2019 11:17 pm  #4

Re: Strategies for night time? (De_Profundis comment in another thread)


I must admit I'm not a fan of taking meds, but a big fan of having your own bed to sleep in.  That made a huge difference for me too.  I underscored it by asking him if we could agree having sex was completely off the menu and with that assurance it was more relaxing in general.

The thing that helped me the most was a bit of advice I read - to turn over and try and go back to sleep but if you are still awake in 15mins then get up and I did a lot of writing or browsing on the computer.  I enjoyed the quiet time so much it got so I was disappointed when I didn't wake up at 3am.

When it comes to circular thinking, my observation of myself was that it was caused by little chunks of belief which sent my thoughts back to where I'd come from.  I developed a sort of stick both beliefs in one room approach - worked well for me.  I have always liked being able to have a linear thought!  



June 27, 2019 11:31 am  #5

Re: Strategies for night time? (De_Profundis comment in another thread)

I'm still struggling with sleepless nights.

A friend had suggested melatonin, and that does keep me in a slightly deeper sleep for slightly longer, and when I do wake up it's easier for me to fall back asleep.  I'm still not positive it doesn't leave me a little droopy during the days, though.

I definitely agree with moving to a different bedroom, so you're not sharing the bed with the person who's causing you to lie awake all night.



July 6, 2019 4:52 am  #6

Re: Strategies for night time? (De_Profundis comment in another thread)

I think for me it was the early morning hours that really got to me as I ruminated at that time, so getting up and out of bed earlier helped that.

Also I found that Chinese herbal medicine prescribed by a qualified acupuncturist has helped me so much.  And the acupuncture as well seems to help for the few days after I have it. 

And yes to a big bed on your own, my GIDXH had terrible reflux and was endlessly clearing his throat, god I don’t miss that!!


July 9, 2019 12:45 pm  #7

Re: Strategies for night time? (De_Profundis comment in another thread)

*I did not share a room with him (that was too painful). I also changed some of the bedding (pillows & throws) and took down certain decor so it didn't remind me of him. 

Things that have worked for me...
1) Gratitude journal. I begin and end the day with this process; it pulls me out of my head. I write down 3-5 things in the morning and evening. In the evening I write down things that went well that day, made me smile, or that I'm grateful for. It helps me focus on the positive, which aided in going to sleep. 
2) A show in the background for noise that had nothing to do with me XH. For example, Golden Girls was a top pick for me. 
3) Puppy dog snuggles. 
4) A go-to friend/family member to call and chat with before bed that can put you in a good mood or be a distraction. 


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