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Steelcase Migration SE (Pre?) Review & AMA

Hey folks!
I promised a while back that when I finally received my Steelcase Migration SE, I would post a thorough review and answer questions, because as someone who obsessively researches products before making a purchase, I found it incredibly frustrating looking up this desk before buying because the information simply isn't out there.
Furthermore, I am committing to answering any questions about this desk either in this thread or via PM in perpetuity. So if you read this post 2 years from now, and want to ask a question, just PM me- I use reddit actively, and I will respond.

Background Information

The reason this is being called a "pre" review is I cannot adequately review the desk at this time, as the controls to raise/lower the desk arrived damaged (totaled). As such, although I have put the desk together, it is stuck in its lowest position. I sent photos of the damage to Steelcase this morning and requested they send me a replacement via next-day air. Who knows if they'll actually do it 🤷‍♂️. I'm getting what information I can out now as I know some of you folks have been anxiously waiting... I will edit this thread in the coming days to add more information/additional context.

Why did I choose the Steelcase Migration SE?

I almost went with the UPLIFT Desk, but ultimately went with the Migration SE for a few reasons:
  • This might sound vain...but I hate logos on products. When shopping for electronic accessories, I will always go with whatever doesn't have logos plastered all over it. For me, the idea of FURNITURE with logos crosses the line, and it's not making its way into my house. A lot of available standing desks such as the UPLIFT have a massive logo plastered on their legs, the touch controls, and elsewhere. The only logo this desk has is an extremely tiny and low contrast "Steelcase," and only on some models of the touch controls.
  • Steelcase is an extremely established brand in the office furniture space, known for high quality products. A lot of the hyped up newer brands' products are made in China, have low quality motors/controls, etc. I also read some concerning reviews, and one that particularly scared me was BTOD's review of the UPLIFT which claims it is "excessively greasy." I know BTOD isn't necessarily the most trustworthy source, but I wasn't about to spend $700 to find out if they were telling the truth.
  • 12 year warranty.
  • It can price match other available desks if you get a promo code for the Steelcase online store. Most Steelcase authorized dealers have them. I believe Steelcase gives better codes to better performing partners. You can use the promo code daWaldner10 for 10% off.

My Configuration

I ordered the largest desk available: 29" x 58" with extended height, C-shape frame, miltered edge legs, and 4-preset controller.

Shipping Experience

Steelcase's online store estimates that it ships within 15 business days. It's a pretty accurate estimate. I ordered the desk on 8/13/2020. It was delivered to me on 9/9/2020.
Unlike the Steelcase Gesture I also ordered, which shipped via FedEx, the desk was shipped by ground LTL freight. I don't know much about shipping but I assume this is because of either its size or weight.
This means you will be at the mercy of whatever local courier becomes responsible for your delivery. Unfortunately, I didn't luck out here...
The desk ships partially assembled in 6 boxes: https://i.imgur.com/YLBJG66.jpg
When I looked into my courier's truck, he had the table top box hanging off the edge of a wooden pallet, with other boxes on top of the unsupported side of the box. This had the effect you think it did: https://i.imgur.com/gLqEgGB.jpg
Thankfully, the table top wasn't warped too much and as of right now, having finished assembly, it IS sitting completely level.
The table top did sustain some minor scratches and bruises as well, but all stuff I can live with: https://i.imgur.com/aBJUp7Z.jpg | https://i.imgur.com/rHTiADg.jpg
The controls were packaged in something similar to a FedEx padded envelope and sustained significant damage. It actually does not function: https://i.imgur.com/vK1S91a.jpg | https://i.imgur.com/pLXfRky.jpg | https://i.imgur.com/SSRYGcd.jpg | https://i.imgur.com/tb8xLMi.jpg | https://i.imgur.com/r7WZ0Dm.jpg
I wish Steelcase had shipped this envelope separately, but it was unfortunately just thrown in with the rest of the heavier and denser packages, to (I assume) save costs, where it clearly went through hell: https://i.imgur.com/V5D73xt.jpg This is the envelope as delivered. I didn't have to open it further to take the controls out.
I did take a while to try and fix the touch panel with pliers, just to get the desk to a basic usable height as I wait on replacement controls, but although I did get it to plug into the control box, and did get it to turn on, it didn't work: https://i.imgur.com/TS4P09y.jpg | https://i.imgur.com/tpuyF5v.jpg
The other packages were extremely dense, and were received fine.
I'm giving the shipping a D, with a note that it wasn't entirely Steelcase's fault.
9/15/2020 Update:
The replacement controls were delivered yesterday. For whatever reason, Steelcase again sent them in a mildly padded envelope: https://i.imgur.com/tgcjErP.jpg
The new controls do work (I think? More on that later.) but the glass screen has a tiny chip in it. It's only noticeable if you look at it at certain angles and with certain light conditions, plus I don't want to wait another week for another replacement, so I'm dealing with it: https://i.imgur.com/4Tcyek6.jpg
They REALLY ought to consider shipping these controls in a padded cardboard BOX.
I thought I was being harsh for giving them a D for shipping, but now I don't.

Customer Service Experience

I won't give Steelcase customer service a score as we're in the middle of a pandemic, but there are some things you should know:
  • If you call their customer service number during business hours, it goes straight to voicemail.
  • If you send them an email, I've found the average response time to be 2-3 days.
  • All that being said, they have responded competently to all inquiries so far.
9/15/2020 Update:
I sent photos of the damaged controls to customer service and requested a replacement on 9/9/2020. They responded on 9/10/2020- didn't ask any questions, and agreed to put in a replacement order and expedite it. The replacement controls were delivered to me on 9/14/2020.

Build Quality

After unboxing all the components it was immediately clear that these are high quality components. As theorized in the earlier thread, the OEM is indeed Actiforce. Their labels are on a few parts.
The metal parts feel solid, the paint job is great, and there was no odor or leaking lubricant.
The controls don't have any physical buttons, and seem to be a glass touch screen.
The table top is nothing special, just your typical laminate table top. That being said, I've seen worse laminate table tops.
I'm giving build quality an A.
9/15/2020 Update:
The controls do have a thin glass layer on top of them, but it isn't a "touch screen" in the traditional sense. Each region of the controls has a click behind them when pressed in. I originally called the controls a "touch screen" because my damaged controls had no click and it just felt like a solid object.
Now that the desk can be raised, I checked the columns for grease. There is definitely grease, but you have to look for it. It's very thin, low odor, and totally transparent.

Assembly Experience

The first thing you should know is Steelcase does not include your typical hex/allen key or any other tools, but you will need tools to assemble this desk. The assembly instructions suggests the following:
  • A drill. You can definitely get by with a screwdriver, but having a drill was helpful.
  • A 5mm allen wrench. If you have a 3/16 size allen wrench or drive bit, that will work too.
  • A #2 square drive bit. The 4 square screws are used for optional cable management, and to mount the basic 2-button controls. If you get the 4-preset controls, you won't use the square screws. As such, if you don't have a square bit, you'll be fine.
  • A level.
  • Safety glasses.
Although the instructions don't explicitly mention it, you will need:
  • A Phillips head screwdriver or drive bit (#2 size worked well for me).
The assembly went...okay. Nothing special. The first page of the instructions list all the parts you should have, but it's just photos of everything. It doesn't give everything a letter, or number as you see in some other furniture assembly instructions. It does give measurements, sometimes. This means while assembling, you need to pay very close attention to the diagrams: https://i.imgur.com/ZM4Mo9T.jpg
Additionally, the instructions overwhelmingly use photos of the T-shape legs, so if you order the C-shape legs you need to pay extra attention to the diagrams, and use the pre-drilled holes on the table top as a guide. If you've assembled furniture before you'll be fine.
I found putting the legs together before attaching them to the table top to be a bit clunky. I recommend laying everything out and thinking about what the desk should like. You don't have to worry too much about lining everything up. The holes for the threaded hex screws are very precise and have countersinks, so as you tighten the screws on the legs everything kind of just comes together and automatically lines up: https://i.imgur.com/p4Yvd0N.jpg | https://i.imgur.com/O3hxsq9.jpg | https://i.imgur.com/mKZjxpv.jpg
Most of the holes needed in the table top were pre-drilled. The table top had holes drilled on both sides so you can place the controls either on the left or the right. The holes that weren't drilled are pretty much optional. These were:
  • The holes for the included cable clips to run the controls cable to the control box. I drilled some arbitrary holes and used them, but you can really manage that cable however you want: https://i.imgur.com/33EvyxR.jpg
  • In the instructions it asks you to screw in two plastic pieces that help guide the cross bar section: https://i.imgur.com/xh636ue.jpg The instructions suggest that these pieces are only needed for desks larger than 52" and that the holes are indeed pre drilled. For that reason, I believe the fact that mine weren't pre-drilled to be a fluke. I just lined everything up and drilled the holes myself, but quite frankly, I have no idea why these pieces are included. As far as I can tell, they add nothing to the structural integrity of the desk 🤷‍♂️
There were some holes here and there that I drilled a bit more before using because I was paranoid, but overall I was very impressed with the pre-drilled holes. Having put a lot of furniture together, I have seen a lot of messy pre-drilled holes, but these were measured correctly and I found them to be very precise. As it IS a laminate table top, you don't need to worry too much about causing a crack.
Also, fully assembled, this thing is heavy. Depending on what size you order, have someone help you.
I'm giving Assembly a B+. It wasn't bad, but I've seen better.

Desk Usage Experience

I'll obviously need to update this section once I get working controls...
The desk feels very stable, but as you know, it's in its lowest possible position, so it better feel stable.
9/15/2020 Update:
The raise/lower controls work as you expect. Hold down the up arrow to raise the desk. Hold down the down arrow to lower the desk.
The preset buttons work a little differently than other standing desks I have seen- You need to hold them down until they reach their programmed height. In this way, they function more like "height limits" than "presets." If you let go of them at any point, the desk stops moving. Steelcase actually claims this is a safety feature. I can see how it could be- imagine you have something in the path of the desk, hit a preset, and don't have time to move the object out of the way. Some other desks will keep moving the desk and possibly damage the object, but this desk could be stopped immediately. Maybe I'm giving them too much credit and it's just marketing trying to sell around the fact that the presets don't work on their own after being pressed. I thought it was going to be pretty annoying, but got used to it pretty quickly and didn't mind it. The desk IS advertised as having collision detection though, so this "feature" might be unnecessary.
According to the manual, the controls allegedly have a feature to lock movement, by swiping across the screen. I have not been able to get this to work, but perhaps I'm doing it wrong. Either way I don't have any kids or pets.
I took a tape measure and compared actual heights to the height displayed on the controls screen and found the screen to always be accurate.
The desk has dual motors and is officially advertised as <55 dBA.
I found the noise to be low and unbothersome. I didn't take any actual readings with a meter, but I can share my opinions:
  • If you spoke to someone on the phone who had this desk and was adjusting its height, you probably wouldn't hear it.
  • The actual sound is very similar to a paper shredder, albeit one at a third or a half of the volume.
  • The desk might wake up a light sleeper but wouldn't disturb an office.
Edit: Here's a video to hear what the desk sounds like per the request in the comments on this thread: https://i.imgur.com/lsCTegz.mp4
I tested the desk at 4 heights, in the middle of a room, then again with the feet against a wall.
My wobble test included shoving the desk from the front and then pressing down in the center of the desk.
  • At the desk's lowest height (22.6") there was no wobble.
  • At standard desk height (29.5") there was no wobble.
  • At my personal preferred standing height (46") I started to notice a little wobble.
  • At the desk's max height (48.7") the wobble was about the same as it was at 46". When shoving the desk, it would quickly tilt back, forward, and then immediately settle/stop in the center. It was clear the desk wasn't going to be falling over. I think a lot of this strength comes from the sheer weight of the desk.
  • With the legs of the desk against a wall stability improved even more. There was little to no wobble at any height.
Overall I found the desk to be suitably stable.
I'm giving desk usage experience an A.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • The legs of the desk sit on threaded metal/plastic feet. Originally I had planned to figure out the thread size and order some casters, but the desk glides smoothly enough across hardwood floors for me: https://i.imgur.com/LPEMbGP.jpg | https://i.imgur.com/wM9IGqm.jpg Steelcase did sell casters for their desks at one point, but as far as I can tell they've stopped.
  • The included cable clips can barely hold the excess length of the cords coming from the motors. Don't plan around using them as part of your cable management strategy: https://i.imgur.com/GpYKJRI.jpg
  • The cross bars underneath the desk don't sit completely flush against the table top, so you can weave things in between them. For example, I used a lot of cables ties weaved through them to get my cable management started: https://i.imgur.com/lTAn1Al.jpg | https://i.imgur.com/nnn2cnJ.jpg The reason I bring this up is because one of the reasons I considered the UPLIFT desk is because of their "patent-pending" mounting holes in the frame of the desk. I was worried I was going to have do some drilling to get cable management going on the Steelcase desk, but that wasn't the case.
Overall, I'm happy with the desk. (Steelcase still needs to re-evaluate its shipping decisions.) I finished the majority of my cable management (I must've used 20 or 30 velcro ties 👀) and my desk is still a bit barebones but I find the desk to be high quality and I'm on my way to building my perfect setup. I've been thinking about getting a standing desk for years...who knew a global pandemic would be what finally got me to bite the bullet 🤷‍♂️.
Hope this helps anyone considering this desk. Let me know if you have any additional questions.
submitted by chrish162 to StandingDesk


SEVERE sleep anxiety and insomnia for ~2 weeks, now finally sleeping daily -- what worked for me.

I'm writing this to help anyone who might be going through something similar. NOTE: This is not directed towards people who suffer insomnia where their sleep rhythms are extended or delayed and/or simply aren't tired at normal times of day. This is for insomnia sufferers who ARE TIRED who want nothing more than to sleep, but simply can't or have trouble crossing over due to anxiety, fears, and worries related to sleep.

BACKGROUND: I'm a 30 year old, bodybuilder, never had problems with sleep outside of NOT being sleepy at the right times and being an occasional night owl. Long story short, did a huge diet switch to keto (which, due to the lack of carbs, causes a large reduction in water weight, and a huge loss in minerals), and eliminated pretty much all vegetables. I went mostly carnivore and planned to slowly introduce foods back in to experiment and see if I had any food intolerances. At the time I had no idea how important electrolyte balance was and wasn't focusing on them. Ultimately I became severely magnesium deficient to the point of developing heart palpitations, unexplained irritability, and severe muscle cramps. At the time, I wasn't working and ostensibly had no major stresses in my life. I saved up a ton of money in my graphic design job in the previous year and was essentially "coasting" after being laid off to focus on myself and rebalance mentally. Ironically enough...it lead to the darkest, most traumatic experience I've had thus far in my life (more on this later).
My big mistake was underestimating the stresses I was putting my body through. For starters, the ketogenic metabolic change is a HUGE stress. Imagine eating the standard American diet (high carb) for 30 years and suddenly stopping... Now, I don't wanna get into the science because there are plenty of resources detailing this already, but a massive metabolic shift occurs when switching to low carb, which depletes a lot of minerals and can cause you to feel awful for a few weeks. It's called the "keto flu" and is extremely common with first-time keto dieters. I went through this, but on top of that, I kept up with my heavy workout regiment. This was borderline overtraining. The kicker is this: a lifetime of playing high-stress competitive games, working out all my adult life, and barely eating magnesium-rich foods meant I was already low magnesium, but the recent keto change seemed to be the final nail in the coffin that pushed me into severe deficiency and caused more serious symptoms.
This eventually triggered a panic attack that came out of nowhere. My guess is that the heart palpitations (which I had for about 3-4 weeks) constantly worried me and eventually triggered panic attack symptoms. Normally I'm emotionally resilient, and very stoic. I've had short bouts of depression through most of my adult life, but nothing I'd called "clinical". other than that I've had no mental health issues, no anxiety, nothing. And yet somehow...a panic attack snuck up on me. This is when I learned how important minerals were. When it came, I thought I was having a heart attack and that I was going to die, so it was traumatic. Went to the ER, did an overnight stay, and the typical panic attack rigamaroo where you think you're dying but the doctors say you're 100% fine and that it's all in your head. At the time I resented that, but when I got home, after the doctors found nothing, I started having panic and anxiety symptoms at home, and after a few hours of research, I realized, shit, this is actually a thing. My personality went from masculine, sarcastic, and stoic, to fearful, panicky, constantly ruminating in negative thoughts, worried, needy, emotional, etc. Absolutely NO LIBIDO, NO HUNGER, just constant fear and being way too deep in my own head to enjoy anything. That entire first week was nothing more than severe chronic anxiety. I mean, SEVERE....I was in fight-or-flight from the moment I woke up, 'til the time I fell asleep. The entire week I was getting horrible sleep 1-2 hours at best, then waking up from shortness of breath and elevated heart rates. My heart would start racing every time I went to sleep, or even thought about sleep, and this eventually developed into a form of sleep anxiety where my brain learned to associate sleep with fear.
This is when the real problems started. A full week later, after a week of awful sleep, I was severely deprived, so I attempted to go to sleep, and for 16 hours straight, the same thing kept happening. I'd lay down, heart would start racing, body would go into full panic and fight-or-flight, and I'd be wide awake from the stress hormones, and eventually calm down 15-20 minutes later to be SEVERELY EXHAUSTED, rinse and repeat. This has never happened to me before, and I legitimately thought my brain was broken. I couldn't fall asleep for the life of me. Even lying in bed for 2-3 hours straight, perfectly still, my brain just couldn't shut off. This is when I found out what ACTUAL insomnia was. I desperately wanted sleep more than anything, but couldn't get there no matter how hard I tried, and the worse it became, the more nervousness and anxiety I built up around it...which of course works against you. I used to think I was an insomniac when I stayed up all night playing video games 'til 6am and had to wake at 8am, but NOPE, not even close... now I knew what real insomnia was. The 16 hours ATTEMPTING to sleep eventually drove me crazy, and sent my panic and anxiety into overdrive. I ended up calling 911 begging and pleading with them to find a way to put me to sleep.
If you told me two weeks prior that I'd be pacing back and forth, sleep deprived, panic-ridden, talking to myself, ruminating, catastrophizing, and slowly becoming suicidal, I would have laughed in your face, yet that's exactly what happened. This taught me that ANYONE could become "crazy" under the right circumstances. I was eventually released from the hospital with a trazodone prescription the next morning around 8am (been up for roughly 40 hours now) and eventually ended up passing out around 12pm for about 1-2 hours of awful sleep.
The trauma of everything spiraled into insomnia and severe sleep anxiety for the next few weeks. I lived my life in 30 to 40 hour panic-ridden "phases" with maybe 2-3 hours of sleep in between for the entire first week. It was awful. At the same time I decided I needed to beat this, despite feeling like total shit, panicky, fearful, etc. I had enough presence of mind to go on a strict protocol to fix everything and return back to normal ASAP. Below is what worked for me.
NOTE: The panic attacked happened December 21st, second ER visit with the insomnia freakout was December 28th and today is January 20th, so it's about a full month later. Chronic anxiety, heart palpitations, and insomnia are pretty much gone. I'm sleeping every night for 5-7 hours, which compared to before is amazing. Even bad sleep is better than no sleep. My life is mostly back to normal and I can function and do my daily activities fine, and after 3 weeks, I can actually laugh again and enjoy life. WOW. It's still a bit fresh so it can still take me up to 2 hours to fall asleep at times, but I eventually always pass out, so I no longer worry about it. I've made big changes however and I'll detail them below.
1. It is absolutely crucial to make sure your magnesium intake is very high. If you have anxiety, your appetite probably isn't the greatest, and even if you're eating a healthy diet, you're likely to be magnesium deficient simply due to soil depletion and the fact that none of us really know if our foods are growing in mineral-rich soils. This is why I highly recommend supplementation of this crucial mineral. I use 'Natural Calm', and take 300-600mg daily. Why so much? Because I'm also a bodybuilder and am using what you'd call a "therapeutic" dose to recover from the traumatic panic/anxiety episode a few weeks ago caused by a severe deficiency, and many expert think the USDA RDA of 400mg is way too low, ESPECIALLY if you're going through a high stress period. This helped TREMENDOUSLY the first two weeks. You literally can feel a calming sensation take over you, and your thoughts become "lighter". Magnesium pushes calcium out of cells and nerve tissue so you're less reactive to stimuli, if that makes sense. The biochemistry is explained, but there's no real way to explain it to most people other than it feels like magic and takes effect very quickly. It felt like my body was so starved for this nutrient that it gobbled it up and put it to work immediately. My palpitations disappeared in a day after I started supplementation. It took a bit longer for everything else (because it's also partly psychological) but it helped tremendously with being clear minded enough to take a more objective look at the anxiety and insomnia.
Go on Amazon and look at the countless reviews for the various magnesium products and you'll see thousands of people raving about magnesium's positive effect on their mood, insomnia and anxiety. If you can't supplement, add a few mag-rich foods to your diet. These include bananas, avocados, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, spinach, etc.
There's boatloads of clinical and anecdotal evidence out there on the associations between magnesium deficiency (which is extremely common) and stress, anxiety, insomnia, sleeplessness, irritability, etc. so don't overlook this mineral when you're having these symptoms. There are numerous lectures, articles, interviews, and talks as well. Hit up YouTube, and do some searching. If you want a comprehensive overview, I'd start with Dr. Carolyn Dean; a well renowned and highly sought after expert on magnesium. Magnesium Deficiency 101 - Dr. Carolyn Dean: https://youtu.be/3td7_91UwrU

2. Force yourself to eat at the same times "daily" (obviously you're living your days in phases with insomnia, hence the quotes, but try to eat regularly) and try to go to sleep around the same times daily. Absolutely no stimulants for obvious reasons. Yes, you'll be tired, you'll have brain fog, you'll be hallucinating, and getting through the day will be rough, to say the least, but you'll be ruling out any deficiencies, as well as working on your circadian rhythm so that you naturally get tired around the same time daily. With constant eating of nutritional meals, you'll be setting a good nutritional base for your body to produce what it needs to produce in order to relax and eventually fall asleep. Do not trust your hunger because it's impaired right now. You NEED FOOD. Do not allow yourself to degenerate any further nutritionally. You will NOT be hungry, but you can chew and swallow, and as long as you can do that, you can't give up on yourself.
Also, note that "relaxing" isn't just an automatic thing, or a "lack of" action. You will need to feed your body the right foods so that neutrotransmitters, and various cofactors involved in the parasympathetic nervous system can become active and in balance with your sympathetic nervous system again so you can rest peacefully and get further and further away from the anxious states.

3. Do all the generic sleep hygiene stuff; switch devices to yellow light, only go to bed when you're tired so your brain associates sleep with your mattress, restrict your sleep to specific hours, don't obsess about the time or obsessively track hours slept, make sure your room temperature is comfortable, etc. I don't need to expand on this because it's repeated ad nauseum here, but the goal is to stack every possible card in your favor so you can wind down and fall asleep.

4. THIS IS VITAL. Do not convince yourself that you have "insomnia" or go into bed thinking you're going to have trouble sleeping. Even if you've been professionally diagnosed. Doctors don't care about you the same way you care about yourself, so keep this in mind. You're one of many patients to them so you need to take control of your own health, and sometimes that means completely rejecting their advice and diagnoses. You need to tell yourself that you're simply going through a rough period and sleep might be difficult, but you're fine. I can't stress how important it is to psychologically believe that things are fine and/or will get better. A major component of insomnia for people who suffer from anxiety is the very anxiety around not being able to sleep. The anxiety compounds the issue and it thus becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's one of the many cases in humans where if you believe it's a problem, it WILL be a problem.
You need to find a way to, over time, decouple the association between sleep and whatever negative delusional spin you're putting on it. Do not predict the future with false and irrelevant evidence from the past. A bad night of sleep, or no sleep the day before does not mean it's going to repeat in the future. This is highly ILLOGICAL, but your brain won't care about this, it will force those thoughts on you. Be aware of your own cognitive behaviors and beat them out with clear, logical thinking. Obviously, this will be difficult since emotional states cause us to think delusionally, and insomnia along with the accompanying sleep deprivation will make it worse, but the big takeaway is to realize that you can't really trust your brain at this time because it isn't functioning properly and is under a lot of stress. This process can take time, be patient with yourself, especially if you think nutrition might be a factor. It's vitally important to remember that YOU CAN FALL ASLEEP. EVERY HUMAN HAS THIS ABILITY unless you have extremely rare genetic disorders or severe nutritional deficiencies that can EASILY be corrected.
You need to realize that it's ENTIRELY NORMAL to have problems falling asleep for days, weeks or even months at a time. Your case is likely NOT UNIQUE, and many millions of people over millenia have suffered and successfully recovered from this disturbance. It is scary because it is happening to YOU, but take comfort in the fact that it is also common and treatable. This is not blind hope, or lying to yourself, these are FACTS THAT YOU NEED TO CONSTANTLY REMIND YOURSELF OF because your brain will already be doing a great job of bringing you down with negative thoughts. You must truly believe that you're going to get better and fix the problem, while taking every possible step you can to move the dial in the right direction towards progress.
Take comfort in the fact that many people have sleepless periods like this for various reasons. Stress, nutritional deficiencies, terrible diets, anxiety, grieving, depression, breakups, divorces, etc. It's crucial to remember that all psychological stresses will diminish over time and you will return to normalcy. Your brain is constantly adjusting towards homeostasis, so YOU WILL HEAL IN TIME. YOU MUST KNOW THIS. Don't get obsessive over how long your recovery is taking, or set arbitrary goalposts (e.i. "I should be fine in a week"). Take things one day at a time.
Also be aware that stress depletes magnesium, which is responsible for reining in ruminating thoughts and relaxing you. Again, I urge anyone with insomnia and/or anxiety to do ample research on magnesium. It is absolutely a life safer. Here's a really good video emphasizing some of the points made above: https://youtu.be/ZGFVxQiLH8k

5. Last part is to remember that falling asleep is an automatic and passive act. You can't force it. This is the biggest mistake I made when I first encountered insomnia. You need to simply achieve a relaxed state while drowsy, and your brain will do the rest. Think back on previous times you fell asleep and note how you didn't do anything special. You closed your eyes, perhaps started thinking about the day or fantasizing, and eventually fade out. I had the biggest trouble with this for what seemed like an eternity, but eventually learned to simply stop worrying about getting sleep. Close your eyes, relax, let your thoughts wander to daily stuff; sex, work, social interactions, family, future plans, women, men, wherever your natural fantasies lie, and it eventually happens...you wake up, and the next thing you know it's a couple of hours later.

IN CLOSING I know this is difficult, and this is probably oversimplified, but it's important to not get frustrated if you don't get instant results. You will get better a little bit at a time. If you slept fine in the past, there's absolutely no reason to believe that you won't sleep fine in the future. There's a reason why cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is so effective, because truly, for many of us, it's in our own heads. The human brain is an amazingly powerful and complex organ, and its power is such that it is also amazing at self sabotage. Keep this in mind when dealing with negative thoughts. I've also found it helpful to not AVOID negative thoughts. Write them out and or follow them through to their endings in your head. At times you realize how hilariously delusional many of your thoughts are, and how unrealistic they are. If you can find humor in them, the fear lessens, and they end up as "processed" thoughts. That thought can no longer bother you. Hence why facing your fears and confronting your negative thoughts works so well, because, in truth, the vast majority of our worst fears NEVER COME TRUE. At the same time, it's important not to over obsess and be in your head all the time. DO seek out distractions and ways to get your mind off your issues, but not to the point of total and complete avoidance, as avoidance reinforces fears.

submitted by Lumixian to insomnia