I Have DID. Will I Ever Get a Good Night’s Rest?
There is nothing worse than thinking you're going to get a good night's rest, only to find yourself tossing and turning for hours until your alarm goes off. A poor night’s sleep can impact the following day, leading to a loss in productivity and low energy levels across the board. When you have a mental health condition such as dissociative identity disorder (DID), these types of nights are common, but they don’t have to have a lasting negative impact on your overall quality of life.
Get a Good Night's Rest with DID Despite Trauma Nightmares
Trauma nightmares are a very real part of living with DID and often the cause of missing a good night's rest. Because DID stems from prolonged trauma, poor sleep quality is not uncommon in people who have the condition. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re destined to suffer forever.
I lived with trauma nightmares for years before I was finally able to find some applicable solutions. At first, I wasn’t sure why they were occurring. Confusion is not uncommon when you start to recognize trauma nightmares, as you may be in a positive period in your life when they develop. You may find yourself asking questions, such as, “Why now?” This is when it is important to step back and take a look at your DID diagnosis as a whole.
Instead of wondering why my trauma nightmares were occurring, I began to make real progress once I stopped asking questions and started looking at the bigger picture. The fact of the matter is that DID is a chronic mental illness that impacts everyday life. It can be just as unpredictable as a chronic physical illness and manifest itself in different ways. Trauma nightmares are just one of the many symptoms of DID. Once you can grasp this concept, you can begin to craft a plan to limit those sleepless nights.
Sleep Hygiene for a Good Night's Rest
Sleep hygiene is a real thing and important to a good night's rest, even for people who are not living with DID. In short, sleep hygiene means giving yourself the best opportunity to get some rest. Limiting screen time before bed, creating a dark environment, and eliminating outside noise are all components of good sleep hygiene.
Living with DID simply means putting in a little extra effort to get the good night’s rest you deserve. One component that is critical for me on a personal level is medication. There may be medication options available to you through your mental healthcare provider if you are interested in tackling your trauma nightmares head-on.
But addressing DID symptoms doesn’t always have to translate into taking a prescription drug. In the case of sleep, you can give yourself a better chance of getting rest by winding down a few hours before you’re going to lay your head down. Think about curling up with a good book or even meditating to ground yourself and your personalities.
Finally, don’t underestimate the benefits of comfortable pillows and sheets. Even soft pajamas can help you get in a better mind frame to unwind, relax, and get some shuteye.
Vermes, K. (2020, November 3). I Have DID. Will I Ever Get a Good Night’s Rest?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, September 22 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/dissociativeliving/2020/11/i-have-did-will-i-ever-get-a-good-nights-rest
Author: Krystle Vermes
I have a friend with DID who never gets a full night’s sleep because her alters have varying sleep times, and often an alter will get up and do housework during the night while she thinks she’s sleeping. I don’t see any suggestions for how to negotiate with alters to better synchronize sleep schedules.