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Sleep Apnea & Sleep Disturbances

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by onetruedog, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. onetruedog

    onetruedog Newcomer

    Hi. I am a thin, fit male aged 43. The last 2-3 years developed mild sleep issues, culminating in a diagnosis of mild sleep apnea (10-15 AHI). After 4 months of compliant and “successful” (as in 0 AHI) CPAP treatment, I still constantly wake at night, leaving me tired most days. My neurologist has been tinkering with various dopamine meds on the theory of restlessness legs etc (I showed some leg movement in study). None of these work, and next up is a narcolepsy study. Meantime...I dropped my CPAP pressure to 2cm (basically nothing) and the machine says I still have 0 AHI!!! (i.e. I do not have sleep apnea anymore???). Yet the constant waking persists. Have no problem falling asleep, just staying asleep.

    This is all so bizarre, and if it weren’t a non-pain, unconscious sleep scenario, I’d gravitate right to a TMS-based approach.

    2/3 years ago I experienced amazing sleep for what felt like the first time ever. 7-8 hrs solid, total energy and rejuvenation. This was just after I moved out of my ex’s house, ending a long, unhappy marriage (hint hint)

    Guidance or thoughts or experience would be most appreciated.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi onetruedog, and welcome!

    Doing this work is all about changing your brain. That means convincing your brain of something that is the opposite of the fearful negative messages it is constantly bombarding you with, in order to keep you fearful and on edge (supposedly keeping you safe).

    My suggestion is that you start doing a meditation/visualization every night, in which you convince yourself, and your primitive brain, that you can sleep through the night, and that there is absolutely no need to keep waking up and checking for danger, because you are totally safe. When you do wake up, repeat the meditation, and visualize yourself having a great night's sleep.

    Diligently combine this practice with some self-examination into what your brain is trying to repress (ie: doing the Structured Educational Program, or Alan Gordon's Recovery program) and I believe that you will see improvement.

    Remember, of course, that we're kind of designed to wake up a bit about every 90 minutes - but you should be able to train yourself to accept that and fall back asleep again.

    Ellen likes this.
  3. onetruedog

    onetruedog Newcomer

    Thank you Jan!
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

  5. onetruedog

    onetruedog Newcomer

    Thanks so much Ellen. Did you also experience "sleep maintenance" insomnia? Or was it just that every time you woke up in the middle of the night (which I know we all do) you often stayed awake due to tension/anxiety?

    I ask because my case is so weird - I have no latent anxiety that keeps me awake - whether initially falling asleep, or getting back to sleep after waking ~12 times per night. Its the constant jarring out of sleep that is my problem.
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, I also had sleep maintenance insomnia. I was never aware of being anxious or tense when I woke up in the middle of the night. It just happened. When it started happening even when I took sleep medication to fall asleep, I was really in trouble.But I did have trouble falling back to sleep after waking. So my situation may be different than yours. Nothing I did helped until I addressed the issue of outcome independence. I had to become OK with being awake.

    A few things I've found helpful since I wrote that Success Story and address the aspect that @JanAtheCPA discussed above. I use a weighted blanket which helps me feel safe and secure. Also, I darken the room completely and make sure there aren't any intermittent noises during the night that our sleeping brain may be interpreting as dangerous e.g. an AC/heat system that cycles on and off. If our brains are hypervigilant, even seemingly innocuous sounds can cause us to wake up.

    Best wishes and hoping you find peaceful nights....
    JanAtheCPA and plum like this.
  7. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ellen, I hadn't realised until I read your words but for as long as I can remember I love to sleep with a blanket, even over a duvet. I long attributed this to the weight but you've made me reconsider.

    Thank You for that insight.

    Peaceful dreams beautiful Ellen x
    Ellen likes this.
  8. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Here's an article on the benefits of weighted blankets. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317037.php (Weighted blankets for anxiety: Uses and benefits)

    I love mine so much that I drag all 15 lbs of it with me when I travel. :)
    plum likes this.
  9. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

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