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Old 03-13-2008, 05:24 AM   #1
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sleep deprivation and seizures

I have had sleep problems for the last 20 years. I recently had a heart attack, which required me to have open heart surgery. The surgery went well, but since then I have had horrendous sleep problems. I will go 3 or 4 days with no sleep at all. I was not overly concerned until I had a couple of seizures. Both seizures came after 4 days of no sleep. Has anyone else experienced this? My wife and I are very concerned, and could use any information anyone can offer.

 
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Old 03-15-2008, 07:51 PM   #2
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Re: sleep deprivation and seizures

I am also an epileptic, so I have had the seizures. My father snores, and my wife tells me that I do, too. So, I had a sleep test. The doctor was not pleased with the results, not because of the apnea (which I have) but because of the small seizures that were preventing me from getting any significant sleep. Although I was sleeping, I never made it into REM sleep for long. So, essentially I was sleep-deprived, even though I was getting 8 hours of sleep a day.
Yes, seizures can be caused by apnea. They can also be caused by lack of sleep. Perhaps you should see a sleep specalist to get this worked out, in conjunction with your other doctors. One word of advice: make sure all your doctors are on the same page, and that they all know what each other is doing, especially your cardiologist. It might be a good idea to have your cardiologist do the referral!

 
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Old 03-16-2008, 06:59 AM   #3
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Re: sleep deprivation and seizures

I have never had a seizure but I'm a bad insomniac- & usually awake till 4am - 4.30am each night- then up for work at 7.30am. My Dr is sending me to a hypnotist who specialises in sleeping problems for treatment, so that I can learn to "switch off" My Dr believes that this is a successful way of managing a long term problem without sleeping pills, & has had success with other patients this way. I have an appointment early April so I'm hoping for a good result.

The best of luck to you- you certainly need some help to get on top of the problem!
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:03 AM   #4
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Re: sleep deprivation and seizures

bubble girl, please let me know how that works for you. I have had chronic insomina for two years now and switch between taking xanax and ambien. I have tried melatonin as well as OTC sleep aids. I feel like i will never sleep again without using something. I am looking into resolving the problem for good. So any ideas will be welcome. Thanks

 
Old 03-17-2008, 07:14 AM   #5
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Re: sleep deprivation and seizures

Sure- I'll come back here & report but it won't be for a while! I'm not seeing him till 11th April- he's booked up till then!
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Old 03-18-2008, 02:50 PM   #6
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Re: sleep deprivation and seizures

Thanks all for the replies. I have tried ambien, but I sleep for two hours, and I'm wide awake again. I just can't seem to control the racing thoughts. I really dont think I am epilieptic, but maybe I should get checked? I think part of the problem is that I worked 3rd shift for 20 years, and my body just cant figure out what the hell I'm doing, in bed at 3 a.m. Part of the problem could be that I'm dasabled now for the last 4 years, and I really dont lead a very active lifestyle. Thanks again.....Rob

 
Old 03-24-2008, 04:27 PM   #7
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Re: sleep deprivation and seizures

thanks and good luck

 
Old 03-25-2008, 08:06 AM   #8
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Re: sleep deprivation and seizures

Quote:
Originally Posted by robigibou View Post
I have had sleep problems for the last 20 years. I recently had a heart attack, which required me to have open heart surgery. The surgery went well, but since then I have had horrendous sleep problems. I will go 3 or 4 days with no sleep at all. I was not overly concerned until I had a couple of seizures. Both seizures came after 4 days of no sleep. Has anyone else experienced this? My wife and I are very concerned, and could use any information anyone can offer.
Well we know what is causing the seizures, severe sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is known to cause serious effects including hallucinations, and seizures when severe.

Have you been to a sleep specialist about this? I see a Pulmonologist(sp) that is ABSM (American Board of Sleep Medicine) and ASIM (American Society of Internal Medicine) certified. He treats those that sleep poorly, do not sleep, and those that have sleep disorders. I am his thyroid rarity autoimmune central case. I started out with a cardiologist because of my heart murmur and chronic high pulse rate, but he moved practices. There are many Cardiologists and neurologists specialize in sleep medicine as well. I would recommend for you to see an ABSM Cardiologist or neurologist given the seizures.

Why? It is possible that surgery trigger a latent sleep disorder or some medication you are on is causing these issues. Sleep apnea can be aggravated or made worse by certian medications and surgeries. Sleep apnea is a nasty bugger. Then you have neurological issues that can arise at any time as well. Surgery is tough on the body, open heart surgery has to be especially rough.

What meds are you on?
Are you suffering from chronic pain?
Many issues can effect how you sleep these are the most common sources for you given the recent surgery. An expert in sleep medicine would be your best bet at getting to an answer you can not continue to go for 3-4 days with out sleep. It will destroy your body.

Sincerely,
MG
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Old 03-28-2008, 03:44 AM   #9
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Re: sleep deprivation and seizures

MKGBROOK,

Wow, very knowledgable person! Thanks for taking the time to speak with me. You are so right about everything you said. I do have a very good cardiologist, who says the meds I'm on would not cause the problems I am having, however he did suggest a condition known as psychogenic non-epileptic seizures. Thes are brought on by extreme psychological trauma. He said that coupled with my chronic pain, and anxiety, and psychological distress, seizures can be fairly common. We are treating all three symptoms, and are taking a wait and see approach. Thanks for your insight................................. .Rob

 
Old 03-28-2008, 07:53 AM   #10
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Re: sleep deprivation and seizures

Your welcome. My son, husband, and I all have various forms of sleep apnea. My husband adds fatty liver disease and allergies to the mix. My son has sinus, low immune issues, dermatological and vasomotor rhinitis issues to learn from. I have cardio, autoimmune, allergies, dermatological, neurological, and .. well it is my endocrine system's fault, you don't need to read all my MDs. But my health insurance company hates me! Add MDs and RNs in the family and other family illnesses and you tend to pick up practicle experience, which can help when MDs have blinders on and do not look at the whole picture. Most look at one set of symptoms and treat that.. getting one to look at everything is difficult. I still think seeing an ABSM ASIM Cardiologist could be beneficial. It will get you a second opinion and they may be able to give you something different that will help with the issue.

Also I am not a practitioner, but my IM husband had back surgery and was having severe pain issues. The only thing that helped in the end was acupunture. Who knows it might help you if you are out of options and forced to wait. It is a proven mode to cancel out pain when one is allergic to anesthesia.

I wish I could help more. But that is about the end of my ideas list. If I think of anything else.. I will pop back in.

MG
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Old 03-29-2008, 02:17 PM   #11
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Re: sleep deprivation and seizures

MGKBROOK,

Thank you tons for your replies. You have really made me feel better and given me some options to pursue. God bless you and your family. I am keeping a daily diary to give to my doctor next time I see him, and trying to include anything I can think of. I am hoping it will help him, help me. Hugsto you..............Rob

 
Old 03-30-2008, 11:10 AM   #12
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Re: sleep deprivation and seizures

Your welcome. Sometimes it helps to help others. I wish I had had someone to shorten my seach for lost sleep. Good luck to you.

MG
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Old 04-23-2008, 05:32 AM   #13
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Re: sleep deprivation and seizures

OK, I promised that I would get back here after I had been for hypnotherapy for insomnia. Sorry it has taken so long! I have now had 3 hypnotherapy sessions & my sleeping has improved a lot! Last week I went to sleep & stayed asleep for 7 hours for 5 out of 7 nights! This is unheard of for me- usually I'm wandering around the house at 4am having not yet been asleep!

I haven't finished the treatment yet- he wants to see me asleep for 7 out of 7 nights regularly before I stop seeing him. I have tried everything for my insomnia & at last I have found something that works! I'm very happy!- feel like a new person!
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:59 AM   #14
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Re: sleep deprivation and seizures

Good deal Bubble! I like to hear that. Unfortunately it is a scientific fact that some people can be hypotomized and others can not. It sounds like a viable treatment in conjunction with good sleep hygiene if you can not / do not want to take pills for insomnia. Keep us posted on how well it last long term and if you need booster sessions once the intial goal is met. Given my families sleep apnea we can not take meds.. we do not want to take them anyway. You may be on to something. I think I got 5 hours last night.

MG
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