I can't sleep on my back: PTSD trigger - Forums at Psych Central



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Old 03-10-2019, 07:53 PM #1
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Frown I can't sleep on my back: PTSD trigger

I'm unable to sleep on my back. If I do, I end up having anxiety and freaking out. I feel as if someone is on top of me and it brings me back to what my ex-boyfriend did to me. He took advantage of me when I was sleeping. Now I'm unable to sleep on my back, if I happen to sleep on my back I always end up getting triggered and I wake up crying and sobbing. I feel so vulnerable and weak because of this. I wish there was something I could to do to relax about this. Just want to be able to sleep on my back again, like I was able to do. But now I can't because of what he did to me.
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:38 AM #2
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Default Re: I can't sleep on my back: PTSD trigger

Amethyst Stargazer...I understand where you are coming from! I have similar experiences. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

If you ever need to talk feel free to contact me!

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Old 03-11-2019, 10:41 AM #3
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Default Re: I can't sleep on my back: PTSD trigger

So do I - feel the same in some yoga poses when I'm on my back - it's a very exposed position, I prefer my head buried in the pillow and to sleep in a sleep nest
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Old 03-11-2019, 02:23 PM #4
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Default Re: I can't sleep on my back: PTSD trigger

The best thing to do is to find a new way to sleep that feels "safe" to you. I tend to sleep on my side and because I am going through a lot and end up having a lot of pain in my chest muscles from cortizol build up, I also sleep with a heating pad that I hold against my chest and I have a pillow that I hug and it helps me feel safe and calm so I can sleep.

If I have a bad day and have been having a lot of those lately due to all the toxic things I am experiencing with my father's recent death and now my mother is dying, I get the chills bad. Actually, as I am sitting here typing this I have a heater blowing on my feet because I have been struggling with the chills as my mother is dying and my older sister is so toxic that I have chosen to just stay away.

The most important thing is to find a way to feel comfortable and safe so you CAN sleep. Sleep is important for our mental health. Often sleeping in the fetal position feels safest and that is what helps me. For me, when things are especially stressful I wake up with the chills. So I have a hairdryer I keep by my bed and I sit up and blow hot air on me and it REALLY helps to calm those chills down where I can relax again and try to go back to sleep. Some people take hot showers, some take a nice hot bath. For me the heating pad and hair dryer helps and I later read somewhere how the body warming up and cooling down does relax it. So you may want to keep that in mind if you happen to have an especially bad day or night.

Sorry about these intrusive challenges, do whatever you find works so you can calm down and sleep.
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Old 03-21-2019, 09:36 AM #5
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Default Re: I can't sleep on my back: PTSD trigger

your body is going to fall asleep on it's back at some point during the night...and then your brain will kick in at poin ts too. when you wake up tell yourself immediately i'm safe. it's in the past. do some breathing. maybe get up & get a drink and then go back to sleep. it works. been there done that.

you can't do anything about how your body moves while you are sleeping...physically. mentally make and take steps to settle things. eventually it will work to settle this part of the trauma down. it may never feel wonderful but at least it won't feel right in the moment.
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