When you hear the term, Insomnia, how many think of someone tossing and turning all night who cannot fall asleep? Well, that’s one type of insomnia.
Did you know there are five noted types of insomnia. Acute, chronic, comorbid, onset, and maintenance. Onset is the type where you cannot fall asleep at night. Briefly: acute is associated with a temporary event that keeps you up at night; chronic occurs when you’re awake more than three nights a week for three nights in a row; comorbid is paired with another psychiatric disorder; onset is where you cannot fall asleep at night; and maintenance is where you fall asleep by wake up.
I suffer from Maintenance Insomnia. I’m one of the lucky ones who can fall asleep in ten minutes (max) once my head hits the pillow. Hell, if I sit still for longer than 30 minutes, I begin to fall asleep. Unfortunately, I usually wake up once to several times a night most nights.
Why am I bothering to share this? Recently, I’ve developed a coping strategy that has allowed me to fall back asleep and I’d like to share it with you. Now, I am not a medical professional. This works for me. I’m hoping someone else can benefit.
When I’ve woken up for whatever reason, I’ve begun playing a game with myself called “I Acknowledge,” where I go through everything that is bothering me. From the obvious, big things (teaching back to back classes at the library or being nervous about an upcoming trip) to the smaller and seemingly inconsequential things (being behind on laundry).
I don’t verbally say these statements out loud, because my husband’s sleeping beside me. I mentally follow the mantra of: I acknowledge that I’m feeling anxious about the England trip because…I acknowledge that work has me stressed out because…and I repeat until I get to the little things…I acknowledge that I want to deal with the pile of magazines in the living room.
I’ve been falling back asleep quicker since starting to do this. Bargaining with my brain hasn’t always been successful, i.e. If I can fall back asleep now, I’ll willingly get up a little earlier to deal with ____. Having added this technique to my Fall Back Asleep routine, I’ve been getting more sleep, instead of laying there for hours being mad about being awake.
Source: Sleep Foundation