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doglover 04-04-2009 05:06 PM

Please help, I am EXHAUSTED and I NEVER feel rested.
I am very tired all of the time. I never feel rested and I am not sure what to do.

Here is my situation:
I am usually pretty stressed. I have just taken on a new role at work, and we are opening a new division of my company. I am in school getting my MBA. I have a 9 month old kid, and 3 dogs. My kid sleeps through the night, but the dogs make us get up each night to let them go outside. My wife sometimes wakes me up with her snoring, but not that often.
I occasionally take Ambien to get to sleep and do take melatonin every night. I tried Ambien CR, but it made me even more tired the next day.

I feel that my lack of sleep is causing other health problems for me. I get migraines, and feel drained all the time. I feel depressed, but think the feelings may be that I am exhausted and not depressed. I have very little energy.

For medications, I take:
In the morning:
Effexor for migraines, depression, and stress
Omega 3 supplement

At night:
Nexium for GERD
Zyrtec for allergies
Melatonin to help me fall asleep
Fiber con for stomach problems
Metamucil for stomach problems

As needed:
Imitrex for migraines

I do not think any of my medicines are causing my issues, but wanted to include them.

I am about 10-15 pounds overweight, do not exercise, and do not eat that well.

My sleep habits:
I use the blanket that I like the best.
Pillows that I feel are the most comfortable
Temperature that is slightly chilly
I go to bed between 10:30-11:30 and wake up between 5:30 and 6:15 during the week.
I try to sleep in on the weekends, but still feel exhausted on the weekends.
I do not have any light on in the bedroom as I use my phone as my alarm clock. There is a night light in my bathroom, but it is not very bright.
Our dogs do sleep with us in the bed, but are rarely on my side of the bed.

I know that I can sleep more, but other than that, I do not know what else to do.

Please help me with offers or suggestions. I really need to get more energy and to start feeling better.


bethsheba 04-04-2009 05:20 PM

Re: Please help, I am EXHAUSTED and I NEVER feel rested.
Hello doglover,

Welcome to the sleep boards! I'm very sorry about your sleep troubles...I came to these boards because I had a similar problem, although I slept as much as 20 hours per day. I've had a sleep study done, and have been reading about sleep problems ever since.

As far as sleep hygiene guidelines go, I personally think they only serve to inflict guilt on those of us who are already doing what we can to sleep...and besides, I think we all know people who break every sleep hygiene rule there is and still sleep well;).

Listing the otc's and med was very basically you're saying your symptoms are:

Irritible Bowel Syndrome?
problems sleeping

Given you're a dog lover, given dogs get ticks, and given your present list of symptoms, have you considered Lyme disease? It could explain every symptom you are experiencing.

just a thought.


PS Yes, sleep deprivation can cause panic and anxiety, mood disorders, and can lead to many physical problems as well...many of us who have gone years with undiagnosed apnea are now dealing with cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, and other problems as well.

doglover 04-04-2009 05:59 PM

Re: Please help, I am EXHAUSTED and I NEVER feel rested.
Thanks for the reply. I have never been tested for it, but will certainly mention it with my doc.

My dogs have only had 1 tick on them in the 10 years that we have had them though, but you never know.

What was your sleep study like? I have never had one, and am thinking of trying it.

is your sleeping better now?

bethsheba 04-04-2009 07:10 PM

Re: Please help, I am EXHAUSTED and I NEVER feel rested.
Yes, my sleeping is better now. I have reason to believe I had sleep apnea as a child...but multiple doctors and I missed the symptoms for years. It wasn't until a houseguest said I stopped breathing when I slept that I did some research, put my "case" together, and asked my obgyn for a referral to a sleep specialist. I highly recommend "putting together a case" for your primary...IF docs get training on sleep disorders, it consists of about 20 minutes of many, many docs that I've read about on these boards are passing on information that is either out of date or simply not do your homework as you'll need to know more than your primary doc if you approach him/her about a referral (I think the classic myth out there is that you have to snore in order to have sleep apnea--not so!!).

Before I could see my sleep specialist, I had to fill out a comprehensive was 9-13 pages, I think...can't quite remember as my study was done about 5years ago now. The questionare asked about my health history, my meds, my sleep habits, and other stuff....AND (I give credit to my docs for this although it may be a standard question), it asked me what I thought the problem was.

When I went in for my consult, my specialist reviewed the answers on the questionare with me, listened to my heart and lungs, and did a visual examination of my ears and throat. He then told me he would schedule a sleep study to be done (just because you see a sleep specialist doesn't mean you get to have a study done---certain criteria must be met first). My doc told me that he suspected a sleep disorder before seeing my questionare or me, based on the history that my obgyn sent over...he simply confirmed his suspicions with the questionare and the physical exam. Seems if you get up to pee more than once during the night (and the urinary/bladder system is fine), it's a little red flag that you've got sleep problems...the other "flags" were feeling fatigued despite normal thyroid levels, chronic yawning, and falling asleep within 5 minutes of laying down.

My sleep study was a very pleasant experience...and I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and with about 500 periodic limb movements in the course of the night. I was fitted with a cpap machine which helped immensely (as it has dropped my blood pressure if nothing else)...but my sleep problems continued.

I had a great sleep doc...not a pill pusher like some. He tried conservative approaches at first, but they didn't help. He recommended iron didn't work. Then he suggested rx meds, and they didn't work and [I]my condition got worse[/I]. He was honest enough to say he couldn't help me...and I thank him for that...a sign of a good and smart doctor being able to admit they're "stumped".

Despite this, I am cured of the periodic limb movements that interfered with my sleep. I no longer sleep 16-20 hour days and wake up exhausted...I found my own answers and the answers should have been obvious to my obgyn and to my sleep specialists (I actually saw more than 1).

My sleep returned to normal when I stopped taking medication for blood pressure....

As for Lyme disease, we don't have reliable tests for it (many, many, many people diagnosed with lyme have tested negative yet still respond to treatment)..and chances are your doctor doesn't have the knowledge or the training to diagnose do alot of homework. I thought there were a lot of myths surrounding sleep medicine...there are tons more surrounding Lyme.

Pleasant dreams!


doglover 04-04-2009 09:48 PM

Re: Please help, I am EXHAUSTED and I NEVER feel rested.
Thank you for the reply and information. I have gotten to the point where I am too worn out to play with my son and that is too much. I have decided that I need to get thie issue resolved as soon as possible.


bethsheba 04-05-2009 06:37 AM

Re: Please help, I am EXHAUSTED and I NEVER feel rested.
Good luck, doglover...and please remember three things:

1. Doctors don't know everything, and they can make mistakes...that includes specialists, who sometimes, I think are the worst (at making mistakes and "knowing everything".
2. Don't trust any one source of information whether it be your doctor, your specialist, your pharmacist, or government and university resources...some info is out of date, some is inaccurate, and some is controversial/or check out the information yourself before making decisions.
3. Listen to your body and trust your instincts...we have been conditioned to ignore what is going on with us and sometimes our bodies have a lot to say. For several years I heard myself say every morning, "something is wrong, something is terribly wrong", but despite this I was unable to get myself in for help.

Good luck, doglover! And do keep an open mind.


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