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Old 06-01-2011, 08:48 PM   #1
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Sleep difficulties, dreams, nightsweats

So I've always had trouble sleeping. When I was little and I'd sleep with my parents, they'd be asleep in a matter of minutes, whereas it'd take me at least 30. This has continued, and it's often a problem as it gets worse with stress.

But now I'm 21 and things have been getting worse. During the day, I'm exhausted. Caffeine only makes me jittery, not more awake. If I nap when I get home from work, I find it slightly easier to fall asleep at night. If I don't, it takes over an hour. Once I fall asleep, I alternate between bizarre and depressing dreams. I also wake up 2-3 times a night drenched in sweat. I naturally wake up around 6 every morning, even though my alarm's not until 7:30. When I am awake, I don't feel rested at all.

Memorial day weekend was spent at my parent's house. I'd get 8-10 hours per night, then take a 3-4 hour nap during the day. It was like I couldn't get enough sleep. Yesterday, I laid down for a nap and accidentally slept 13 hours.

My psych suggested I take a sleeping aid. Melatonin and valerian don't work on me, and I had a really bad reaction when she gave me a sample of Ambien. She said to try Sam-e, but I haven't gotten around to getting any.

I've always wondered about sleep apnea, but since I don't snore I don't think it's possible. I've never had a sleep study, as no one's ever suggested it (even though all my docs know about my sleep troubles).

Does anyone have any suggestions, comments, or ideas? I've been thinking the recent change could be a hormonal thing, since my breasts and butt are getting bigger (and I checked--I'm not pregnant) and I've been experiencing changes in my usual health conditions. I haven't changed any medication and I'm on birth control, so my sex hormones should be fairly stable. I'm at a loss.

 
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:17 PM   #2
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Re: Sleep difficulties, dreams, nightsweats

When you 'napped' for those 13 hours were you in your bed or in a different location?

 
Old 06-02-2011, 08:45 PM   #3
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Re: Sleep difficulties, dreams, nightsweats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angela219 View Post
When you 'napped' for those 13 hours were you in your bed or in a different location?
In my bed. Why?

 
Old 06-03-2011, 09:39 AM   #4
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Re: Sleep difficulties, dreams, nightsweats

I just wondered because disturbed sleep can be related to the location. Much of what you describe about your situation makes me think that you may sleep better in a different spot. Have you ever tried reversing your position - sleeping with your head at the foot of the bed, moving your bed a few feet to one side or the other, or even sleeping on the couch?

 
Old 06-04-2011, 04:59 PM   #5
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Re: Sleep difficulties, dreams, nightsweats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angela219 View Post
I just wondered because disturbed sleep can be related to the location. Much of what you describe about your situation makes me think that you may sleep better in a different spot. Have you ever tried reversing your position - sleeping with your head at the foot of the bed, moving your bed a few feet to one side or the other, or even sleeping on the couch?
I mean, I spent Memorial Day weekend sleeping in a bed at my parents house (I don't live with them, I guess I didn't make that clear), which was a whole different bed in a different room in a different city. And in my own bed, I have tried moving and sleeping in different positions, sides of the bed, and angles.

I went to the pharmacy to get Sam-e, but I decided to get Alteril instead. I haven't tried it yet, but I'll try it this week.

 
Old 06-04-2011, 08:25 PM   #6
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Re: Sleep difficulties, dreams, nightsweats

So are you saying that you sleep well at your parent's home but not in your own?

 
Old 06-05-2011, 01:27 AM   #7
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Re: Sleep difficulties, dreams, nightsweats

I would request a sleep study referral. There are many other sleep disorders besides sleep apnea. I happened to have a sleep study just a few days ago and will get my results on Tuesday. This was my second study, as my first one revealed that I did have severe sleep apnea as well as RLS (restless leg syndrome). I found out recently I was having 32 apneas every night, even under treatment...which is very dangerous to my cardiac system. That is when they scheduled me for the sleep study only days after.

Since you are having trouble waking up feeling rested it is possible that you are getting poor quality sleep, which you already know. A sleep study is a very in depth study, that covers many areas of your body. I would highly recommend it, if you can get one.

It will show how many times you go into each stage of sleep, how many times you wake and all your movements at night. It is very interesting as well, and can explain things that no other test can reveal.

Some sleep disorders can be dangerous, so I would try and get to the bottom of this, rather than just look for medications for help. Medications can be very helpful, after you know what the cause of your problems are.
"sleep hygiene" and try all the suggestions there too. Keeping a sleep log can also be very helpful to your doctor as you both try and uncover the cause behind your sleep problems.

Sleep is so important to each of us...I hope you find relief very soon, as I know how difficult these things can be to your everyday life. I wish you the best...

Janet

Last edited by writeleft; 06-05-2011 at 01:29 AM.

 
Old 06-05-2011, 08:28 PM   #8
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Re: Sleep difficulties, dreams, nightsweats

If you can sleep well in one place and not in another you should first try to figure out what the difference is between the two locations.If something's wrong with the location there's not much that a sleep study, medication or therapies can do. There are a lot of things in the typical bedroom that provoke the sleep/wake conflict - noise, electricity, microwaves, light, chemicals. Your body won't let you sleep, really sleep, until you've removed the signals that keep it on alert. Treatments just gloss over the fundamental problem, they don't fix anything.

Last edited by Angela219; 06-05-2011 at 08:46 PM.

 
Old 06-05-2011, 08:34 PM   #9
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Re: Sleep difficulties, dreams, nightsweats

Ya i have the same problem sleeping?

Last edited by Mod-S4; 06-08-2011 at 05:14 AM.

 
Old 06-06-2011, 09:53 AM   #10
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Re: Sleep difficulties, dreams, nightsweats

Try unplugging anything electrical before you go to bed at night - the surge protector, computer, printer, TV, wireless router - anything that's plugged into a socket. And turn off your cell phone, or if you use it as an alarm clock set it to airplane mode so that it's not transmitting. If that doesn't help by itself move your bed to another spot or reverse your sleeping position so that your head is where your feet usually are.

 
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:11 PM   #11
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Re: Sleep difficulties, dreams, nightsweats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angela219 View Post
So are you saying that you sleep well at your parent's home but not in your own?
No, no. I don't sleep well anywhere. Sorry for not being clear. Even if I get 8 hours, it doesn't feel like "restful" sleep. I also slept a lot this weekend, and never really felt fully awake.

This is my 4th night taking the Alteril. I've been taking 1, but I haven't really noticed a change. I still wake up in the middle of the night, though the sweating isn't quite as bad. Tonight I took 2, so we'll see how that works.

And to reply to your other messages, I have great difficultly sleeping if I don't have the TV or something on. I know, it's bad for me, but everything turns off after 30 minutes or so. And I've tried to get used to sleeping without it, but my mind won't stop racing and I feel like I have to move my feet constantly. If I'm watching TV, I can distract myself enough to fall asleep. I probably do have RLS or something.

Last edited by perfectann; 06-08-2011 at 08:30 PM.

 
Old 06-08-2011, 08:21 PM   #12
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Re: Sleep difficulties, dreams, nightsweats

Quote:
Originally Posted by writeleft View Post
I would request a sleep study referral. There are many other sleep disorders besides sleep apnea. I happened to have a sleep study just a few days ago and will get my results on Tuesday. This was my second study, as my first one revealed that I did have severe sleep apnea as well as RLS (restless leg syndrome). I found out recently I was having 32 apneas every night, even under treatment...which is very dangerous to my cardiac system. That is when they scheduled me for the sleep study only days after.

Since you are having trouble waking up feeling rested it is possible that you are getting poor quality sleep, which you already know. A sleep study is a very in depth study, that covers many areas of your body. I would highly recommend it, if you can get one.

It will show how many times you go into each stage of sleep, how many times you wake and all your movements at night. It is very interesting as well, and can explain things that no other test can reveal.

Some sleep disorders can be dangerous, so I would try and get to the bottom of this, rather than just look for medications for help. Medications can be very helpful, after you know what the cause of your problems are.
"sleep hygiene" and try all the suggestions there too. Keeping a sleep log can also be very helpful to your doctor as you both try and uncover the cause behind your sleep problems.

Sleep is so important to each of us...I hope you find relief very soon, as I know how difficult these things can be to your everyday life. I wish you the best...

Janet
I've been thinking about getting one done, but have never really gone through with it. And it's interesting you mention cardiac problems. I have a history of sporadic episodes of tachycardia. It's thought that I have orthostatic hypotension and that it's related. They put me on a beta-blocker and that helps, but no one really knows.

When I was around 10 and I'd sleep next to my mom, she said I'd wake her up in the middle of the night kicking. I've also had other people occasionally tell me I kick, and definitely that I steal covers (I toss and turn a lot).

 
Old 06-08-2011, 08:54 PM   #13
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Re: Sleep difficulties, dreams, nightsweats

The kicking is another symptom of another sleep disorder called RLS (restless leg syndrome), and can be treated with medication as well as be diagnosed by a sleep study. It can also lead to daytime sleepiness as it disrupts sleep all night. I happen to have it too, and was diagnosed at the same time as the sleep apnea.

I would encourage you to go ahead and get yourself in for the sleep study if you can. There is nothing to loose, and so much to gain.

If you have cardiac issues, all the more urgent as the constant energy used to restart you breathing is a big load on your heart, and can set off an arrhythmia, which can be deadly.

While the RLS is mainly a nuisance, the medication taken about 1 hour before bedtime will relieve you of the need to kick and make going to sleep much easier. You will be surprised what a relief if is not to have to kick and if you have a bed buddy, he/she will be able to sleep much better as well.

Please come back and let us know what you find out, I am very interested to know what you think and would be glad to support you while you go through the process of learning to sleep with a cpap. It can be challenging at first, but there are some tricks to make it easier. Once you have the cpap working for you, you will likely be amazed at how much better you feel in the daytime, rested and ready to go. Not to mention the health benefits that the therapy offers you.

The benefits of quality sleep are now being realized like never before, and I understand that next year there will be quite a lot of campaigning for us to realize the importance of good sleep for overall health. It is a relatively new field that will require education for all of us, and we can all look forward to it's new found information and therapies available.

Feel free to ask any questions, I am very happy to share what I know.

Janet

Last edited by writeleft; 06-08-2011 at 08:56 PM.

 
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:55 PM   #14
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Re: Sleep difficulties, dreams, nightsweats

This is an interesting idea that I haven't thought about. Now that I am, I can relate several "undiagnosed" health problems to lack of sleep from a disorder. Definitely my random bouts of tachycardia. But I also seem to get sick (colds, flu, sinus infections, etc) easily and frequently. Freshman year of college I got mono and I didn't even know anyone who had it (I know, the whole communal living thing, but still). I made my docs check for lowered immunity and lyme disease, but nothing came up. I've always had low energy during the day and extreme difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, but I attributed that to my depression. My psych added Welbutrin to my regimen to try to help, but I'm wondering if I'd even need it if I got my sleep problems sorted out.

I'll have to explain this to my PCP and see what she thinks. I can't afford to get a sleep study done if insurance doesn't pay part of it, so hopefully a referral will do the trick.

Oh, and the Alteril hasn't really helped. I'll have to play with the doses more to see if I can get some relief.

Thanks to everyone who has posted. I'll definitely let you know if anything develops.

 
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