If you have maladaptive daydreaming, chances are you’re not sleeping very well. Waking up multiple times in the middle of the night? And every time you wake up you find yourself latching onto one of your daydreams? Sound familiar? I have tried to stop daydreaming when I wake up at 2am but but I’m afraid my daydreaming addiction is so strong at the moment I don’t even want to stop it then. I find it comforting. So yes my Maladaptive daydreaming is making me feel constantly tired.
“ The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep.” – Rumi
Why as Maladaptive Daydreamers do we wake up in the middle of the night?
I spoke to a psychotherapist about this and he said the reason why maladaptive daydreamers wake up is because we’re scared of dreaming about our trauma or what is causing us to MD in the first place. Waking up in the middle of the night is also a common symptom of anxiety and depression. So it is no wonder we then revert back to our safe fantasy worlds.
Do you wake up between 3am and 5am?
I read an interesting article on traditional Chinese beliefs, which say that if you wake up between the hours of 3 – 5am, (which I do) this time is associated with the energy meridian that runs through the lungs and the emotion of sadness. Obviously waking up constantly around this time is not normal and something is wrong. In Chinese beliefs waking up at this time is also supposed to mean that a higher power is trying to get you to be more in tune with yourself and so you need to listen to what your body and thoughts are telling you.
Anxiety and waking up in the middle of the night
As you know, anxiety can wake you up in the middle of the night. Disruptive sleep is a common symptom of anxiety. People can also have nocturnal panic attacks, which wake them up.
Solutions to stop waking up in the middle of the night
Practice Mindfulness. Mindfulness is a big buzz word right now and thousands of people say it helps them with their anxiety and depression. No idea how to practice Mindfulness? Read my top 5 books on Mindfulness
CBT, stands for cognitive behavioural therapy and is an effective treatment for anxiety disorders. CBT helps us to replace thoughts and behaviours that aren’t working for us (I don’t know about you but the maladaptive daydreaming really isn’t working for me anymore) with new ones that work better for us.
Again, find out what the causes are for the anxiety and sleeplessness in the first place. How you ask?
1. Write down everything you think that is worrying you.
2. Write down all the possible solutions, even if they’re silly or bad.
3. Fold up the piece of paper and put it close by, for example in your night stand drawer and when you wake up, tell yourself you’ve already addressed the issues and that there’s no point worrying about them now, when you’re tired and can’t do anything about them. tell yourself you’ll address them in the morning when you’re awake.
4. In the morning look at your solutions and choose the most practical one.
5. Plan how you will carry that solution out.
6. Do it.
(Obviously if any of the solutions you’ve written down has the potential to cause harm you really need to talk to your doctor ASAP. The Samaritans are also a good organisation to talk to).
If you can pay for a therapist or get your doctor to refer you to one then having a trained professional listen to your problems and help guide you to a solution would be extremely beneficial.
Do you have anything to add?
If you’re having problems sleeping and found something that worked for you then please let us all know what it was. Please leave a comment below or email me.