Here it is time to post again, and I haven’t come up with any definitive answers on how one copes with Post-traumatic stress in sleep. As I wrote about in my last post, the constriction of my breathing results in painful neck and shoulder muscles upon waking. I’m still searching for information to help me change this sleep pattern. Some more quotes from Dr. Peter Levine’s book Waking the Tiger are getting me closer to the truth.
“If large areas of our neo-cortex were destroyed, either surgically or by accidents, we could still function. However, one tiny ‘nick’ [of unresolved trauma] in the reptilian brain or any of its associated structures, and animal or human behaviour patterns are profoundly altered. Extreme imbalance will be reflected in changed patterns of sleep, activity, aggression, eating, and sexuality” (105-6).
“Regarding trauma, pathology can be thought of as the maladaptive use of any activity (physiological, behavioral, emotional, or mental) designed to help the nervous system regulate its activated energy” (106).
“It is essential that the unresolved activation [from trauma] locked in the nervous system be discharged. This transformation has nothing to do with memory. It has to do with the process of completing our survival instincts” (215).
When I sleep, my brain mistakenly initiates and maintains constriction in my body. According to Levine, this situation is due to the fact that a trauma process has not been completed. Maybe the “Transformation” chapter will reveal some answers. I’m getting closer. Watch for “PTS While You Sleep – Part III.”