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Old 01-08-2019, 07:23 PM   #1
Carmina
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Default Dampening down hypervigilance

I can cope pretty well with emotional regulation when I'm fully conscious but when I'm sleeping I find my sleep gets interrupted a lot still by startle responses to sounds outside (often things like car doors slamming or people loading something into a car in the early hours of the morning). And when I get woken this way it's a real shock and my nerves are on edge for a long time afterwards which makes it hard to get back to sleep (this morning I didn't at all). This is an autonomic reaction so there is no way I can use cognitive coping strategies like I can in the daytime for panic reactions. Neither does it help to put in earplugs as that just makes me feel more vulnerable, I do seem to need to be aware of my environment.

Are there any strategies for this sort of reaction?
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:52 PM   #2
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Earplugs, itís the only way, or a fan.
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Old 01-08-2019, 10:34 PM   #3
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I am sorry Carmina, I can definitely relate to the challenge. Yes, ear plugs might help, a loud fan, once someone suggested getting a tape of ocean sounds. What I ended up doing is I leave the TV on all night, something where it's talking so I don't want to look at the TV. There is also a small box/sound box that therapists use that makes a fan like noise they put just outside their door during therapy so anyone waiting in the waiting room can't overhear a session they are having with a patient.
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:16 PM   #4
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As I said earplugs are not an option as if I can't hear at all it makes me panicky - I think the whole point of hypervigilance is to feel safe - it just makes it hard to sleep at times. Soundscapes do help me get to sleep (I use TaoMix 2) but I don't keep them on all night as once I'm asleep any sound can wake me, even that. I need to find a way to unwind my woundup nervous system.
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:24 PM   #5
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I've been discussing this with my therapist today, we think selecting noise that promotes slow-wave sleep might help. I've been exploring the use of structured noise to do this e.g:

Frontiers | Acoustic Enhancement of Sleep Slow Oscillations and Concomitant Memory Improvement in Older Adults | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

Also thinking of buying some of these:

SleepPhones v6 Wireless Bluetooth Portable Headband: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:44 AM   #6
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I'm strugling with this too and I'm feeling quite desperate lately...
I've tried different medication, using earplugs, meditation tapes etc. but nothing seems to help.
What kind of therapy are you doing? I'm currently doing talk therapy (psychodynamic), but I'm starting to think that maybe I need to do something different to help me with this.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:02 AM   #7
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I'm strugling with this too and I'm feeling quite desperate lately...
I've tried different medication, using earplugs, meditation tapes etc. but nothing seems to help.
What kind of therapy are you doing? I'm currently doing talk therapy (psychodynamic), but I'm starting to think that maybe I need to do something different to help me with this.
I find talking on its own of limited value, I'm doing proper art therapy with a therapist working from an embodied relational perspective.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: Dampening down hypervigilance

What about doing physical exercise to calm down your nervous system? There's plenty to try : somatic experiencing, yoga, Tai chi, tapping...also mindfulness, especially body scan exercise.
These things might not work immediately but they could help your NS heal over time.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:17 AM   #9
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Default Re: Dampening down hypervigilance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmina View Post
I can cope pretty well with emotional regulation when I'm fully conscious but when I'm sleeping I find my sleep gets interrupted a lot still by startle responses to sounds outside (often things like car doors slamming or people loading something into a car in the early hours of the morning). And when I get woken this way it's a real shock and my nerves are on edge for a long time afterwards which makes it hard to get back to sleep (this morning I didn't at all). This is an autonomic reaction so there is no way I can use cognitive coping strategies like I can in the daytime for panic reactions. Neither does it help to put in earplugs as that just makes me feel more vulnerable, I do seem to need to be aware of my environment.

Are there any strategies for this sort of reaction?
Carmina, I am glad to hear you understand the importance of sleep in regulating your mood and mental health. Is is possible to alter your sleep schedule? How long have you been living like this?

Sometimes, I feel something similar to what you are describing. My mind, relaxed, wonders and corrects itself almost immediately. That happens to me at night and not in the early morning and it is a total bummer. Deep breathing exercises help me with that. Also, I want to try the suggestions mentioned in the previous posts. I think my environment(along with my happy pup) could use Soundscapes, maybe before you know your mind will become hyperactive and search for peace of mind. Have you thought about embracing your hypervigilance?
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Dampening down hypervigilance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmina View Post
I can cope pretty well with emotional regulation when I'm fully conscious but when I'm sleeping I find my sleep gets interrupted a lot still by startle responses to sounds outside (often things like car doors slamming or people loading something into a car in the early hours of the morning). And when I get woken this way it's a real shock and my nerves are on edge for a long time afterwards which makes it hard to get back to sleep (this morning I didn't at all). This is an autonomic reaction so there is no way I can use cognitive coping strategies like I can in the daytime for panic reactions. Neither does it help to put in earplugs as that just makes me feel more vulnerable, I do seem to need to be aware of my environment.

Are there any strategies for this sort of reaction?
I have the same issue when asleep and awake. Every sound is distinct and huge to me. I use a noise maker when I sleep-waterfall or stream played on a higher volume. This helps a lot at night, but not during the day. Iím going to try earbuds and nature videos during the day or music. Thanks for bring this up. Also, I canít deal with it when someone raises their voice. I feel like I have no skin.
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