insomnia, mental health, mental illness, Uncategorized

Awakening to Your Sleep Reality

spiritual sleep

image from Pinterest– link HERE

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A great percentage of your life is spent sleeping. This feels like a waste of precious time to some people. To others it is a escape  from an otherwise unbearable existence. 

We try to find ways to avoid sleep, in order to get things done that we deem more important. Or we self medicate ourselves by sleeping, and think of it as an escape from being in reality. But sleep is a reality all its own, that it intertwined with our waking reality.

 The sleep states are a natural part of our existence. There are different stages of sleep that each serve important functions.

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sleeping woman.

image from Pinterest – link HERE

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The subconscious awakens and exists in a different way during sleep, than it does when you are awake. The processes that the subconscious parts of the brain need to do, are an important part of your maintaining your emotional, mental, and spiritual balance.

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Sleep deprivation will cause deterioration in your mental state, your emotional state, memory, and cognitive functions. It effects your ability to have a clear continuity from one day to the next. Over time, sleep deprivation can cause a breakdown of your mental state, resulting in mental illness.

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image from pinterest – HERE

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Sleep can be affected by various things. If you are unable to sleep straight through for 8 or 9 hours, then it is critical to your mental health that you make up the missing sleep hours at another time of the day.

This is not laziness. You are not being unproductive when you are sleeping. Lack of proper sleep will cause decreased productivity and poor efficiency. You will have memory problems, especially related to spatial and time memory.

The sleep states are a part of our reality. Your subconscious brain exists just as much as your conscious brain does.

Your core beliefs, your memories, your perceptions of reality, and your emotions are all functions of your subconscious brain.

Your conscious awake state cannot exist separately from your subconscious reality.

Sleep is critical to make sure all these realities, and the different parts of your brain are working both together…and independently… in a way that best supports you.

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awaken

image from Pinterest – link HERE

Spirituality… higher consciousness …and your perceptions about the nature of your reality…are all intertwined with what happens in the brain while you sleep.

Your mental and emotional health are dependent upon your getting proper sleep.  This is also true about  your immune system and your physical health.

Your spiritual health has to do with believing in, and perceiving something beyond the reality of the five senses.

Spirituality gives you a greater perspective about your existence.

Being able to perceive your higher consciousness… and spiritual realities… is also intertwined with your brain being able to experience the sleep states. Your spiritual health is dependent upon letting your conscious brain  rest, so the other senses can awaken.

You are not wasting time by sleeping. You are allowing an important part of your reality to exist. You are increasing your brain’s ability to function well during your waking hours.

We are more than drones or robots. We need more to our existence than just survival. …something more to living than just paying the bills.

Treat your body’s need to sleep with thoughtfulness.  The sleep states are the interconnecting path between realities and levels of consciousness.

What happens when you are awake affects your dreams, and what happens in your dreams affects your consciousness.   🌷

Sleep well tonight,

Annie 💕

 

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life, mental abuse, narcissistic abuse syndrome, poetry

Trauma of the Waking

I fear sleep

I think I might wake

To a day wrought with terror

and a life filled with fear

I will stay awake longer

to pretend I won’t sleep

and awake in the morning

to a life I can’t keep

It is too much to bear

The trauma of the waking

anxiety, domestic abuse, life, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, narcissist, narcissistic abuse

Trouble Sleeping After Domestic Abuse – Abuse Induced Insomnia

People that are in an abusive domestic household are very likely to develop insomnia.

Need to Feel Safe in Order to Sleep

There is a tremendous lack of feeling safe. In order to sleep, we have to feel comfortable and safe. From living in a long term situation of anxiety and fear, our brains are conditioned to stay on “alert mode” 24 hours a day. Once we get our of our abusive household, we still do not feel safe to sleep.

Vulnerability

We are aware that we are vulnerable when we are asleep. We are vulnerable to physical attack. We cannot see someone coming towards us. We also cannot protect our home, our possessions, our cash and credit cards, etc while we are sleeping.

Need to Protect Others

For those people with children in the house, there was also a fear of any harm coming to the children, when we might not be looking, When we lived in the abusive household,  we were afraid to not be vigilant  and always had to be watching to protect the children or others in the household.

Now we are in a safe house, but the feeling that the children are not safe still carries with us. We still have trouble sleeping in a deep sleep, because we feel that we have to be the look-out person.

How You Had to Adjust Your Sleep When You Were Living in Abuse

People in these situations are forced by real safety issues to adjust their sleep routine. They may sleep in the living room with the lights on. They may create some kind of makeshift blockade for the person to be slowed down by,  on the way to the bed.

I used to hide my purse in a different place each night before I went to sleep. I also used to pile things in front of the couch I was sleeping on to create a barrier. I always slept with the light on.

These behaviors become a routine that makes us feel safer. It is not surprising that the routine will be carried on, even when we have left the danger behind us.

Fear of Property Being Stolen

To this day, I sleep with my purse right next to the bed. I cannot sleep if it is in the kitchen, even if I am alone in the house. It causes me too much anxiety to sleep, even though I rationally know that no one is going to steel my money.

The feeling that my money could be stolen and my personal items thrown out all over the floor, is an extremely unsafe feeling.

I spent an entire winter in New Jersey with no heat once, because of financial abuse of a domestic partner. He thought his beer and cigarettes were more important than filling up the oil for the heat.

Moving Forward

These behaviors are not something you should feel ashamed of or stupid about. Of course you are an intelligent person who knows that the abuse is in the past.

You know that these behaviors are no longer needed. Or are they? If you still need these routines in order to feel safe to go to sleep, I would say go ahead and leave the lights on, sleep on the couch or whatever. It is more important that you sleep.

You went through an extreme trauma and your brain needs to heal. Your brain is trying to protect itself from more trauma. If forcing yourself to put the purse in the kitchen is going to traumatize you, don’t do it.

If you still have the feeling of being unsafe when you sleep, try to think of ways that you might feel safer. I don’t care how stupid someone else might think it is.

The therapist might tell you to force yourself not to keep the same rituals you had when you were being abused. It really depends. It is the lesser of the evils.

If the behavior is not hurting anyone or yourself then it is ok to continue it for as long as you need to. The need for sleep is far more important than forcing yourself out of safety rituals before your brain is ready to handle it.

You Need to Sleep

Sleep deprivation is dangerous to you. It is far more important that you can sleep than almost anything else, including what some therapist tells you.

Insomnia causes severe sleep deprivation. Your sleep cycle is disturbed. You will eventually not be safe to drive. Your job will be in harm’s way because you will be in danger of oversleeping and cannot focus at work.

Give yourself a break. First things first. Your brain needs to heal from the trauma. You need sleep to heal.

Sleep first, feel better, feel safe, then worry about having odd behaviors.

Coping Tools

Find ways you can feel safe. Keep someone on the phone with an open line while you are going to sleep, sleep with teddy bears, sleep on the couch or in your child’s room with them. Buy extra locks for the doors.

Talk to someone at bed time about how you feel about sleeping. Write your feelings down on paper or on wordpress. Sleep with your clothes on if you need to. God knows , I slept with all of my clothes on for months after I got out of my abuse house.

I slept in everything but my shoes.   Keep in mind, I was sleeping all alone in my room .

There was no one dangerous or abusive living with me anymore. But my need to feel covered was a strong need of my brain in order to feel safe enough to sleep.

These things can’t be rushed. Your brain has the job of protecting you by alerting you of danger. When the brain becomes traumatized by being on alert too long, it gets stuck.

It can’t just shut off. It still feels the need to protect you by letting you know you might be in danger. Let it slowly get used to the idea that you are ok now.

Trying to force yourself out of trauma will cause you more trauma. Be kind to yourself. Do the best you can to make yourself comfortable and safe, so you can sleep.

If you still can’t sleep at night then try to get some sleep during the day. Sleep deprivation will inhibit the brain’s ability to heal from the trauma.

Take naps during the day, if you cannot sleep enough at night. It is best to sleep the full 8 or 9 hours at once, but it is better to get enough sleep somewhere during the 24 hours.  If you do not sleep well one night, try to catch up the next day, even with naps. Any extra sleep will be welcome by your weary brain and body.

Do not feel guilty for taking naps or doing whatever it takes to heal your body and your brain.

Take care of yourself.

Namaste,
Annie

Uncategorized

Insomnia caused by Domestic Abuse

Difficulty sleeping is not uncommon after domestic abuse. Victims have trouble feeling safe to sleep during the relationship because we are more vulnerable when we sleep.

The feeling of being vulnerable and unsafe during sleep carries over and follows you. It is hard for your brain to process that you are now in a different situation and are no longer threatened because you are sleeping.

I will explore this topic of insomnia in the near future. If you have insomnia and feel it is related to domestic abuse, feel free to leave a comment.

battered women, bipolar disorder, domestic abuse, domestic violence, insomnia, OCD, poem, poet, post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD

Who Are They

Who are They to say we are…
too fat
too dumb
too afraid
too uneducated
too quiet
too shy
too loud
too impulsive
too set in our ways
too sloppy
too independent
too compliant

Who are They to say that we are only…
a nurse
a teacher
a stay at home mom
a working Mom
a playboy
a rebel
a womanizer
an addict
a mental case

Who are They to say that we can’t…
change jobs
change cities
change our minds!
get married
get divorced
learn yoga
dance
go to college
learn something new

Who are They to say that we have no right to…
talk to them
confront them
disagree with them
stand up to them
defy them
leave them

Who are They to say that we can’t become…
a poet
a businessman
an entrepreneur
a parent
a friend
a traveller
a lesbian
a mother
a spiritual advisor
a leader of men
a thinker of new ideas
a creator
a visionary
Ourselves