Shift work, sleep apnea and temazepam
For 17 years, I have worked a 24 on 72 off schedule. I have always been a light sleeper, so over the last few years, I have not even attempted to sleep during the 3d shift due to a number of sleep-interrupting factors at the office. So I developed a 4-day cycle that included self-medication (more later). I have always awakened several times during the night and usually went to the kitchen to get something to eat. I was single and thought this was just my lot in life.
A year ago, I got married and for the first time had a "witness" to my sleep habits. She was alarmed by those habits, so I went in for 2 sleep studies. The first determined I have severe sleep-disordered breathing (apnea). The second was a successful CPAP study, assisted by Restoril (temazepam).
My specialist told me he can help with the sleep disorder, but not with the "**** work". Also, he is averse to chemically-assisted sleep, but he gave me a prescription for Restoril 7.5. When I took the bottle to the drug store, they told me there were no refills remaining, so I went back to my specialist, who gave me another 1-month prescription, no refills. I thought that was odd, but just thought I would repeat indefinitely.
The apnea is reduced to almost zero occurences.
OK....back to my new (no self-medicating) 4-day sleep cycle: the morning after my 24-hour shift I go home and sleep about 5 hours. The first night, with the Restoril and CPAP I sleep 10-11 hours beginning about midnight. The 2d night, I sleep about 8 hours with the Restoril and CPAP also beginning about midnight. The 3d (the night before my 24) I sleep again about 8 hours with the Restoril and CPAP.
Now, I'm learning that the Restoril will be less effective and even addictive the longer I take it. Being a light sleeper, and working this crazy shift work, I don't think I'll be able to sleep with the mask without a sleep aid.
I took ambien occasionally early on in my marriage, but learned that I sleep walked and sleep ate. This is what alarmed my wife. She is hard of hearing and sleeps like a rock, so that's why we were both unaware of the apnea. Tonight, I have been reading up on temazepam and learned about dependence and tolerance.
Should I continue with the Restoril? Any other advice?
Sorry if I totally confused you...