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    Thread: Major difficulty getting back to sleep

    1. #1
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      Unhappy Major difficulty getting back to sleep

      This is a really annoying problem I have sometimes.

      What usually happens is I would go to sleep, only to wake up after about 3 or 4 hours and not be able to get back to sleep again. Usually waking up around this time isn't a problem and I would easily be able to fall back to sleep (sometimes I even take it as an opportunity for MILD/WILD etc.) But sometimes when it happens I feel completely awake wondering how on earth am I supposed to get back to sleep now?. and after trying for over an hour to get back to sleep, it's just no use and I would have to get up.

      I just dont get it. Why would my body want to stay awake after just 3 hours sleep? Im not sure if this has anything to do with it, but usually when this happens I would worry about not being able to fall back to sleep, thinking about how sleep deprived I would be for the whole day etc. and what I would have to do for the next 5 hours.

      Would anyone have any advice? Thanks in advance.

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      Worrying about getting back to sleep is a good way to prevent it from happening, yes. Probably just getting up and getting your mind distracted with something else for a while is the best way to handle it. Maybe you'll forget about it and then start feeling sleepy again. Or, if that fails, you might at least end up tired enough the next night to sleep better.

      Edit: I managed to find this post I happened to come across a while back that has some cool things to try, by the way.
      Last edited by TravisE; 01-07-2015 at 06:52 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Travis E. View Post
      Worrying about getting back to sleep is a good way to prevent it from happening, yes. Probably just getting up and getting your mind distracted with something else for a while is the best way to handle it. Maybe you'll forget about it and then start feeling sleepy again.
      Good advice. Yeah I’m really starting to think that worrying about not being able to sleep will actually prevent it. The last time this happened I just thought “oh well, if I don’t get back to sleep I’ll just lie here and daydream”. I then woke up hours later. So yes I think just not worrying or caring about being able to sleep would be the solution -- it can a little difficult sometimes though!

      Quote Originally Posted by Travis E. View Post
      Or, if that fails, you might at least end up tired enough the next night to sleep better.
      Ah good idea! Yes it would be good to keep this in mind.

      Also, thanks for the link.

    4. #4
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      This seems to be a problem I have noticed quite regularly in myself. If I wake up after a few hours, I feel very awake and can get up easily, if I wake up after say 8 or 9 hours, I am too tired to force myself out of bed.

      I am certain it has to do with sleep cycles, rem, and survival. Let me explain. After 3 or so hours of sleep, you have finished or just about finished getting all the deep sleep you are going to get for the night. From then on out, you are going to get between light sleep and REM sleep. REM is a necessary function for the consolidation of memories and making random connections that may help with your survival or daily life, but if there is a part of sleep that is expendable, it is REM sleep. If you happen to wake up after 3 hours of sleep and get up to go to urinate or something, or even possibly just start thinking a lot or roll around a bunch, then you are likely to have trouble going back to sleep. The reason being you have allowed your body to get the rest it needs, the fact that you got up suggests that there may be a threat to your livelihood or that you need to stay awake for some reason. When you move around, your body releases hormones that wake you up, so it is a cycle that feeds itself from there.

      Now, when it comes to REM sleep, if you miss out on some, your brain will make up for it in future nights where there is a better opportunity to get sleep that is uninterrupted, whatever the reason may be: REM rebound. So, as you can see, REM sleep is rather expendable and you will catch up with it at some point of time later. What you have to do is take this knowledge into account when you wake up and it feels like it has only been a few hours. Don't start moving around or thinking about anything if you can help it. Don't look at a clock, don't do things that causes your brain to wake your body up. If you do so, you are just going to increase the chances that you are going to have difficulty going back to sleep, and it will likely take another 2 hours or so before your mind and body get the picture that you aren't going anywhere and it is okay to go back to sleep.
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    5. #5
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      Stressing about not sleeping ("sleep performance anxiety"), or even "trying to sleep", are two guaranteed ways to stay up for hours . You end up creating a vicious feedback cycle: not sleeping -> more anxiety -> more not sleeping -> and round and round.

      The absolute best way to fall asleep is to just stop trying to do anything with any expectation of any result.

      The best way I've found the fall asleep is to just continually release mental and physical tension on every exhale, imagine you're getting more and more relaxed on every exhale. Enjoy just drifting there.

      For really tough cases, get out of bed. Go sit somewhere in the dark, or do some light mental activity that is not stimulating. I find that after an hour or so of doing this in the middle of the night, after not being able to get back to sleep for hours, I get really tired this way.

      Make sure your body needs sleep if you're going to be doing WBTB and dream recall activities during the night: get regular exercise, don't eat heavy meals before bed, keep a regular sleep schedule.
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    6. #6
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      What fryingman said (lol posts thief alert!)

      And here's where chlorophome becomes handy (and when we'll need it to abduct Sensei and do tests on him to figure out his brain mechanisms that allow him such success...oops spoiled the plan *grabs case and runs to mexico*)

      When I get insomnia, I boil some milk, do what FM said, to sit down in the dark, do some meditation and visualization till I become tired, then go to sleep without worrying about MILD or whatever. And o/c if it fails, I stay up and would be like "oh well, I get extra hours to do whatever i want before starting my day, then get a nice long REM rebound the next night that'll help me get longer and more vivid LDs!!"
      (It's funny how once you become an optimist, the good things you see you start actually enjoying them and really feeling them like they are really bonuses, it becomes epic, and the problems really do fade away! It's like you are actually adjusting some epic nobs, it's not anything close to deception, it becomes really true after training and sticking with it!)
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      I fill my heart with fire, with passion, passion for what makes me nostalgic. A unique perspective fuels my fire, makes me discover new passions, more nostalgia. I love it.

      "People tell dreamers to reality check and realize this is the real world and not one of fantasies, but little do they know that for us Lucid Dreamers, it all starts when the RC fails"
      Add me as a friend!!!

    7. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      This seems to be a problem I have noticed quite regularly in myself. If I wake up after a few hours, I feel very awake and can get up easily, if I wake up after say 8 or 9 hours, I am too tired to force myself out of bed.

      I am certain it has to do with sleep cycles, rem, and survival. Let me explain. After 3 or so hours of sleep, you have finished or just about finished getting all the deep sleep you are going to get for the night. From then on out, you are going to get between light sleep and REM sleep. REM is a necessary function for the consolidation of memories and making random connections that may help with your survival or daily life, but if there is a part of sleep that is expendable, it is REM sleep. If you happen to wake up after 3 hours of sleep and get up to go to urinate or something, or even possibly just start thinking a lot or roll around a bunch, then you are likely to have trouble going back to sleep. The reason being you have allowed your body to get the rest it needs, the fact that you got up suggests that there may be a threat to your livelihood or that you need to stay awake for some reason. When you move around, your body releases hormones that wake you up, so it is a cycle that feeds itself from there.

      Now, when it comes to REM sleep, if you miss out on some, your brain will make up for it in future nights where there is a better opportunity to get sleep that is uninterrupted, whatever the reason may be: REM rebound. So, as you can see, REM sleep is rather expendable and you will catch up with it at some point of time later. What you have to do is take this knowledge into account when you wake up and it feels like it has only been a few hours. Don't start moving around or thinking about anything if you can help it. Don't look at a clock, don't do things that causes your brain to wake your body up. If you do so, you are just going to increase the chances that you are going to have difficulty going back to sleep, and it will likely take another 2 hours or so before your mind and body get the picture that you aren't going anywhere and it is okay to go back to sleep.
      Ah, that does make sense, Snoop; thanks for explaining.

      I actually had the same problem just this morning -- woke up after just 3 hours. It’s starting to feel like the my night's sleep needs a half-time break! There was also bit of noise around as well which didn’t help matters. But I tried to just stay as calm as possible, trying to stay confident that I would get back to sleep shortly. It worked! I think I fell back to sleep within half an hour. I think if I stressed myself out over it as much as some previous times, I wouldn’t have gotten back to sleep at all. That survival idea really makes sense.

      Also, I’ve certainly noticed that REM rebound on occasion. I remember times when I would go the entire previous night without any sleep at all, the next night would feel like it was nothing but dreams.
      Last edited by Eamo24; 01-08-2015 at 10:48 PM. Reason: Rephrasing

    8. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by FryingMan View Post
      Stressing about not sleeping ("sleep performance anxiety"), or even "trying to sleep", are two guaranteed ways to stay up for hours . You end up creating a vicious feedback cycle: not sleeping -> more anxiety -> more not sleeping -> and round and round.

      The absolute best way to fall asleep is to just stop trying to do anything with any expectation of any result.

      The best way I've found the fall asleep is to just continually release mental and physical tension on every exhale, imagine you're getting more and more relaxed on every exhale. Enjoy just drifting there.

      For really tough cases, get out of bed. Go sit somewhere in the dark, or do some light mental activity that is not stimulating. I find that after an hour or so of doing this in the middle of the night, after not being able to get back to sleep for hours, I get really tired this way.

      Make sure your body needs sleep if you're going to be doing WBTB and dream recall activities during the night: get regular exercise, don't eat heavy meals before bed, keep a regular sleep schedule.
      Good tips there, FryingMan; thanks.

      I do like the term “sleep performance anxiety”; at least now I can call it something.

      But yes I’ve noticed it so many times, if I worry about not being able to sleep -- it’s basically like ensuring that I won’t. It can just be quite difficult not to worry about it sometimes. Also, my sleep cycle is actually pretty bad at the moment (Christmas holidays etc.) so I seem to be going to bed at different times every night, which probably makes it more difficult to get asleep in general.

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by LouaiB View Post
      What fryingman said (lol posts thief alert!)

      And here's where chlorophome becomes handy (and when we'll need it to abduct Sensei and do tests on him to figure out his brain mechanisms that allow him such success...oops spoiled the plan *grabs case and runs to mexico*)

      When I get insomnia, I boil some milk, do what FM said, to sit down in the dark, do some meditation and visualization till I become tired, then go to sleep without worrying about MILD or whatever. And o/c if it fails, I stay up and would be like "oh well, I get extra hours to do whatever i want before starting my day, then get a nice long REM rebound the next night that'll help me get longer and more vivid LDs!!"
      (It's funny how once you become an optimist, the good things you see you start actually enjoying them and really feeling them like they are really bonuses, it becomes epic, and the problems really do fade away! It's like you are actually adjusting some epic nobs, it's not anything close to deception, it becomes really true after training and sticking with it!)
      Thanks, Louai. Funny plan BTW.

      Yeah I think meditation might have some benefit here, like you said. There was a time once when I couldn’t sleep, so I actually decided to try SSILD, because apart from the fact that it could induce an LD, I’ve read that it can also be good for insomnia. So I tried the cycles a few times thinking “I don’t know if this will work” and the next thing I remember is waking up about 5 hours later! I don’t know if I would count SSILD as meditation, but it is quite similar, I think, and it actually has helped me to get asleep on occasion. Also the REM rebound, yes! A good incentive to practice LD techniques the next night.
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    10. #10
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      Yes, SSILD is one heck of a technique , it helps me too fall asleep when I have insomnia. I usually do it when I don't feel like MILDing or WILDing (though that's rare that I don't get into the mood of any of them at a particular time). Come to think about it, I haven't done it in a long long time. I need to try it again, you know, to keep up on my technique efficiency at every new LD skill level I reach.

      I'll try it again, and usually I couple it with MILD. It helps the intentions sink in more with me I think.....I think.
      I fill my heart with fire, with passion, passion for what makes me nostalgic. A unique perspective fuels my fire, makes me discover new passions, more nostalgia. I love it.

      "People tell dreamers to reality check and realize this is the real world and not one of fantasies, but little do they know that for us Lucid Dreamers, it all starts when the RC fails"
      Add me as a friend!!!

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      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      This seems to be a problem I have noticed quite regularly in myself. If I wake up after a few hours, I feel very awake and can get up easily, if I wake up after say 8 or 9 hours, I am too tired to force myself out of bed.

      I am certain it has to do with sleep cycles, rem, and survival. Let me explain. After 3 or so hours of sleep, you have finished or just about finished getting all the deep sleep you are going to get for the night. From then on out, you are going to get between light sleep and REM sleep. REM is a necessary function for the consolidation of memories and making random connections that may help with your survival or daily life, but if there is a part of sleep that is expendable, it is REM sleep. If you happen to wake up after 3 hours of sleep and get up to go to urinate or something, or even possibly just start thinking a lot or roll around a bunch, then you are likely to have trouble going back to sleep. The reason being you have allowed your body to get the rest it needs, the fact that you got up suggests that there may be a threat to your livelihood or that you need to stay awake for some reason. When you move around, your body releases hormones that wake you up, so it is a cycle that feeds itself from there.

      Now, when it comes to REM sleep, if you miss out on some, your brain will make up for it in future nights where there is a better opportunity to get sleep that is uninterrupted, whatever the reason may be: REM rebound. So, as you can see, REM sleep is rather expendable and you will catch up with it at some point of time later. What you have to do is take this knowledge into account when you wake up and it feels like it has only been a few hours. Don't start moving around or thinking about anything if you can help it. Don't look at a clock, don't do things that causes your brain to wake your body up. If you do so, you are just going to increase the chances that you are going to have difficulty going back to sleep, and it will likely take another 2 hours or so before your mind and body get the picture that you aren't going anywhere and it is okay to go back to sleep.
      hey Snoop,

      Im really glad I found your reply to this post, it sheds some light on my own problems of waking up in the middle of the night.
      I get it where I wake from that deep sleep cycle feeling confused and agitated. I find myself feeling really confused on the subject of determining the difference of waking and dream reality. My thoughts on the topic are much more coherent in the daytime, but when they spring into mind at 3-4 am i just lie in bed feeling incredibly disorientated by it.

      I am going to try and remain calm, and clear my mind of such thoughts next time. And I'm glad i know now that this is partly caused by the fact i am coming out of the confusing and amnesia drenched phase of the deep sleep cycle.

      DR

    12. #12
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      Hi, I also feel the same. I also do have a difficult time to fall back asleep especially when I already get up. But there were times that I do read some stuff to make my eyes get tired and help me rest and get back to sleep. I just don't know if it will work on others.

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