Friday, October 14, 2005

Sleep Workshop - Follow-up

OK. You'll all be glad to know that none of my worst case scenarios came to pass last night. What a relief!

I did have some trouble getting to the building though. It was raining, I didn't know the area, I was stressed about getting there on time (which is a whole other issue for me). I did finally make it to the right building and the right room, but not before following the instructions on how to get there that I pulled from the internet instead of reading my notes to find the right room number. Argh!

There were only 4 of us in the workshop last night. There should apparently be 6. The moderator is a young guy, probably in his 20s. He's an intern at the hospital and has conducted this workshop several times before. Of the other people who were there, I was the youngest. There was only one other man, probably in his late 50s.

The two hours passed quickly and apart from feeling uncomfortable initially, I managed to relax a little and get something out of it. However, most of what was talked about last night I had already read in a book, recommended to me by a friend, called No More Sleepless Nights, by Peter Hauri. It concentrates on the patient (me) becoming one's own sleep therapist. But more importantly for me, I think, I had to agree to meet 2 goals for the next week.

The first is to commit to a sleep time (this means get in bed to sleep, not worry, not read) and to a wake time (meaning no more hitting the snooze button 6 or 7 times, no more sleeping in on the weekend). I've said that I will go to sleep at midnight and get up at 6:00 a.m. I tend to get in bed not to sleep earlier and get out of bed later, even though I haven't been sleeping. This will be a challenge. It was also something I was not able to do by myself. But now it's written down in the therapist's binder with my name beside it. Next week I'll have to report my success or failure. Of course, being the perfectionist I am, it will be a success.

The second goal is to get out of bed if I'm not sleeping. No tossing, no turning, no looking at the clock, no stressing about how much sleep I'm not getting, no counting the hours I have left until I have to get up, no reading in bed, no counting the times my neighbour drags his iron chair across the tiled kitchen floor. I will get out of bed and do something else. Read a book in a chair, do an easy crossword puzzle, finish up a couple of photo albums (oh - that idea just came to me!).

What did I learn? Well, I'm going to say that after last night the most important thing I have to remember is that my bed is for sleeping. Nothing else.


Darcy's Mama said...

I'm glad to hear it went so well. I hope it helps.

Why said...

It sounds really interesting, Stef and I hope it helps. Are you really going to bed at midnight and getting up at 6? Is that enough sleep for you? Can't you go to bed at 11 and get up at 7? And what about your Sunday afternoon naps???

Stef said...

Stef and I? Do you mean Andy and I?

6 hours isn't enough, but it's about my average. The point is to only be in bed for sleeping right now.

As for afternoon naps - that will be dealt with later. Must admit I did nap on Saturday and Sunday - sweet bliss.

Stef said...

oh dear - now I get it ... the stef and I ... can I blame the lack of sleep?

Why said...

And did the napping interfere with your nighttime sleeping?