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Old 05-13-2019, 01:56 AM #1
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Question Opinions please, anyone...?

I'm not the healthiest person, but, I am trying to make improvements and build on this. I have had sleeping problems since I was a teenager. In my 20's, I went back n forth to my doc, stating, I have sleeping problems. I've been diagnosed with anxiety, OCD, and (although not diagnosed) I believe I've other problems. I only wish that more of my friends/family shared same view. I don't believe my story is uncommon, I'm sad to say. I've heard similar accounts, it's awful.

What I'd love advice on, is, do any of you believe you are hard wired, only to getting in a certain amount of sleep each night? I'm not exaggerating, when I say, I've never had more than 4/6 hours of sleep, in any one night, in 20 years plus. I have (do) meditate, exercise, following eating plans. What works, what helps you? Sorry, this is a bit of a rant, but people think I'm lazy, and act like this is something within my control. All I know is, I'm out of ideas.....anybody relate?
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:36 PM #2
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Default Re: Opinions please, anyone...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss P View Post
I'm not the healthiest person, but, I am trying to make improvements and build on this. I have had sleeping problems since I was a teenager. In my 20's, I went back n forth to my doc, stating, I have sleeping problems. I've been diagnosed with anxiety, OCD, and (although not diagnosed) I believe I've other problems. I only wish that more of my friends/family shared same view. I don't believe my story is uncommon, I'm sad to say. I've heard similar accounts, it's awful.

What I'd love advice on, is, do any of you believe you are hard wired, only to getting in a certain amount of sleep each night? I'm not exaggerating, when I say, I've never had more than 4/6 hours of sleep, in any one night, in 20 years plus. I have (do) meditate, exercise, following eating plans. What works, what helps you? Sorry, this is a bit of a rant, but people think I'm lazy, and act like this is something within my control. All I know is, I'm out of ideas.....anybody relate?
Sorry you are struggling Miss P. Sleep is so important and the lack of it can really exacerbate mood problems. I've never been a great sleeper. I think there is likely a genetic component to it though I am not trained or educated in sleep disorders. A good sleep night for me is 7 hours though typical would be 6. Sometimes I can only get 4-5 and I can function like that but it does not feel great. At one point when I was going through a major trauma, I could only get 2-3 hrs a night and that was brutal.

I know from friends who are older than me that sleep cycles can naturally alter with age....friends have told me they would wake up earlier and earlier in the morning whether they wanted to or not....even folks who used to get 8 hours could not get more than 5/6 (or less) no matter how hard they tried. I don't know your current age, perhaps that is one factor for your sleep troubles?

With regard to people judging you as "lazy" etc that is simply a reflection of their character. Judging others for things that have no impact on us is strongly correlated with personal insecurity. Take a random example. Let's say a very overweight person is walking down the street. You hear a stranger make a snide comment about their size. Why? What's the point? Why does the stranger care about somebody's shape or size? All you can know is that stranger being unpleasant is likely insecure and unhappy. Similarly, people giving you grief about your sleep problem are not so happy themselves. And in general, I think it's much easier to see what other people "should" do rather than focus on what one should do for one's self. Does that make sense?

I take a somewhat fatalistic approach to my sleep issues at this point. I used to worry about it which naturally made it worse. I admit that sleep is still quite a mystery to me in many ways. Lately I have nightmares each night which is tiresome. I approach my general health from a holistic perspective. It sounds like you have already tried that so I don't have much to add for options. Just want to offer my support
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:00 PM #3
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Default Re: Opinions please, anyone...?

Anxiety messes up our sleep patterns, it always has. Work on resolving your anxiety with a therapist.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:36 AM #4
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Default Re: Opinions please, anyone...?

Dear Miss P:
I am a newbie here, and I share problems sleeping (very vivid early morning dreams). To make a short-story long, I am literally a 1000 miles away from home getting some expert opinions on this problem. It is at a multi-specialty Medical Clinic. Perhaps you would consider this direction. I don't have any results/improvements yet, just a novel plan to address this long-standing problem.
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:56 AM #5
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Default Re: Opinions please, anyone...?

This is a subject near and dear to my heart. The first thing I'd urge you to do is to get a sleep study. Go see a sleep specialist. Many people say they have insomnia or another sleeping issue and leave it at that without investigating it further or figuring out how to deal with it. I will share my story...

All my life I had insomnia. I also have bipolar but it wasn't just when I was manic that I had sleep issues. I had problems falling asleep and early waking or I would have nights I was up all night. I was always an early riser but also a night owl-you can see the issue. When I was in my early 30's even though I had a p-doc that treated me for sleep issues I decided to see a specialist about it and had an overnight sleep study and the results were telling.
Of course when I was there I fell asleep not too late but they found some interesting things. First I moved around a lot when I sleep and talk when I sleep-restless. More importantly was what they found with my brain waves.

(if I remember this right..) When we are awake or our minds are in an active state we exhibit Alpha brain waves. It doesnt necessarily correlate with how hard we are thinking or what we are doing, just that the brain is "awake". As we move through the sleep phases those waves basically move towards Delta waves which are during the deepest phases of sleep-stage III and IV. (stage II is REM and despite what people think, it is not the deepest most restful stage). Well they found that when I was in the deeper stages of sleep my brain was showing alpha waves at certain points when it should have been all delta waves. Meaning, my brain was in "active" mode even though it was in the deeper stages of sleep and when it was supposed to be resting. I did have delta waves but I fluctuated between the two. So I wasn't getting the right balance of deep sleep and my brain wasn't resting as much. This screwed up my circadium rhythm, my sleep schedule, caused delayed sleep phase syndrome and early waking.

The other thing I learned was despite the 8 hours of sleep a night mantra we are used to hearing there are actually people that do not need that amount of sleep. Most do, but biologically there are some who need less sleep. It was explained to me like this: As people age and become elderly or senior citizens many times they wake up super early- sometimes they will go to bed early but often they go to bed at a certain time and wake up really early. This is because as we age we need less sleep, physically. So in a sense my body was sort of hardwired to need less the way an older person needs less. This is not to say my body is like a senior citizen, only that it was working in that fashion when it comes to sleep.

How I treated it: I took benzos and hypnotics on and off for years. They were not good for me. I would stumble up to bed and have to be assisted. I would do stuff I couldn't remember. I would sleep walk and my short term memory suffered. Plus I am an alcoholic in recovery so I avoid those meds now. I had read online about sleep hygiene and made my own sleep training program. I go to bed and wake up in the same windows of time every single day no matter what. For me that means going to bed between 10-12 and waking up between 4-6 depending on what I have going on. To do this I had to go to bed at the same time. I would lay there and if I was still awake after half an hour I would get up and pee or have a cup of tea or drink, maybe read and get back into bed and try again. I had to repeat that multiple times a night in the beginning. I had to set my alarm and even if I went to bed at 1am I was still up 4-6 hours later. My alarm went off and I got right out of bed-no snooze. I had to repeat this routine over and over and it took about 9 months and now it works like a charm. I do not watch anything intense or active before bed- I am in the bed by 10 and usually am asleep by 30 minutes. I often wake up before my alarm but I still use my alarm.

I had to not take naps. No matter how tired I was I forced myself to not lay down during the day. I promise you this works. But you have to be consistent and willing. I cant guarantee it works for everyone but I have had many people tell me they tried it for a week and that it doesnt work and I have told them to give it more time. When they haven't given it more time they just chalk it up to not working for them. I suspect at least trying longer than a week would help determine if you are on the right path or not. But I cant stress enough the importance of a sleep study. It is vital to rule out things and shed light on whether there are biological reasons for your sleep issues.
Hope this helps. Sorry it was long.
-sweets


Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss P View Post
I'm not the healthiest person, but, I am trying to make improvements and build on this. I have had sleeping problems since I was a teenager. In my 20's, I went back n forth to my doc, stating, I have sleeping problems. I've been diagnosed with anxiety, OCD, and (although not diagnosed) I believe I've other problems. I only wish that more of my friends/family shared same view. I don't believe my story is uncommon, I'm sad to say. I've heard similar accounts, it's awful.

What I'd love advice on, is, do any of you believe you are hard wired, only to getting in a certain amount of sleep each night? I'm not exaggerating, when I say, I've never had more than 4/6 hours of sleep, in any one night, in 20 years plus. I have (do) meditate, exercise, following eating plans. What works, what helps you? Sorry, this is a bit of a rant, but people think I'm lazy, and act like this is something within my control. All I know is, I'm out of ideas.....anybody relate?
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:14 AM #6
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Default Re: Opinions please, anyone...?

I think a sleep study like sarasweets suggests might be a good idea as is any sort of reading/studying about sleep. I'm almost 70 and recently learned we all wake 3-5 times a night so "continuous" sleep is not something one needs but quality of the 7-8 hours most people need. We should go through the stages and then wake; the reason some people think they don't wake is because they "forget" (like some people never remember dreaming), just roll over and start on Stage 1 again. I had been puzzled because I was getting 2-4 hours at a time, two or three times between going to bed and getting up and it was adding up to about 8 hours sleep and I wasn't tired/didn't nap or anything during the day and thought that odd because sometimes I'd be up in the middle of the night for a couple hours. Turns out that's okay.

Which leads me to the biggest thing I recently learned. If you think you are not sleeping well, guess what? You won't sleep well. Once I understood about sleep and my particular pattern (at this time -- I pretty much slept "all night" until about my 50's :-) I quit stressing/worrying about it and relaxed and now just go-with-the-flow; stress/worry about other things instead
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:27 AM #7
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Default Re: Opinions please, anyone...?

I tried tons of alternatives to meds - meditation, aroma therapy, massage, guided imagery, melatonin, relaxation breathing, new mattress, new pillows, etc. etc. I am diligent and methodical about proper sleep hygiene. I finally gave in and started taking Ambien. It's not a perfect solution, but it is the only thing that works for me. I get a pretty solid 7 hours with it, sometimes more. But, keep in mind an important rule with Ambien (to keep yourself out of trouble - i.e. social media, ordering stuff, eating, etc.) - right after taking Ambien - Lay Down, and Stay Down!!
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