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hard to fall asleep, wake up 20+ times a night, always tired. Help?
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hard to fall asleep, wake up 20+ times a night, always tired. Help?

Here's the deal:

1)Always have had a hard time falling alseep. Average is 30-45 minutes to fall asleep but have had less and more sometimes.
2)Wake up on average 10-12 times a night, some days less, some days more (and those are bad nights)
3)Always have been an "owl". tend to work and think better at night, daytime sluggish until i get a "second wind".
4)i am now 39 and the quality of sleep is continously crappy. I wake up every morning feeling tired and exhausted, even after a "Good" night.

I've been to a sleep clinic to evalute for apnea and the doctor's report to me was the following:

*you have extremely mild anapea that only appears during REM sleep. This should not be affecting the rest of your sleep.
*You only REM for 30m total for all cycles per night.
*You wake up 40+ times a night usually every 10 to 15 minutes.
*You fell asleep within 2 minutes but woke up after 5 minutes and felt as if you hadn't fallen asleep.
*We don't know why you wake up so much. Could be anything.
*Try loosing 20 lbs.

that was it. the doctor couldn't think of any other disorders or problems that would be causing this for so many years. I am healthy otherwise.

Some notes:

I occasionally get to a point where i'm so exhausted that I fall asleep at 5pm for example and sleep for 12 hours. again, still waking up throughout and feeling tired when i wake up eventually.

I also have noticed over the years that i do tend to sleep "better' during the day then at night. i.e. if i'm on vacation and am allowed to sleep in during the mornings, i tend to feel a little better though I still wake up frequently and still feel tired, just a little less as if i'd only woken up a few times.

Used to think it was partially due to a caffiene addiction but in the last 4 years have reduced caffiene beverages down to only a few a week (as opposed to lots per day). I've reduced salt and sugar intake (to see if blood pressure was a factor) and generally don't eat processed foods. I make most of my food from scratch so I know what is going into it.

I have had this issue for at least 25+ years. When i was younger and in excellent physical shape (daily exercise, healthy eating, more free time to sleep and relax), I had the same problems which were attributed to being young and active. Now that i am pushing 40 and I can longer go with 36 hour days and 18 hour nights, the exhaustion is affecting my life to a point where I am barely functional on some days. My family and friends just attribute it to me being and owl and the more I read and the more I pay attention to the symptoms to more I feel there may be a legitamite problem that just hasn't been diagnosed yet.

Any help or pointers to research online would be greatly appreciated.


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6 Comments Post a Comment
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757137_tn?1347200053
Have your adrenals checked.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

Understand your predicament. But your sleep study is normal. You could be having an entity called delayed phase syndrome, where in the biological clock is reset and occurs late. It is a circadian rhythm disorder. There is a circadian rhythm for all living organisms. It is a 24 hour cycle rhythm and the biological clock within that individual adapts to this rhythm. This can be reset by bright light therapy, sleeping pills and sometimes by sleep debt. In sleep debt, though you happen to sleep late, you condition yourself to get up early; this in turn will help you to sleep early. So, try this, but if your symptoms still persist, I would advise you to discuss your symptoms with your primary care physician who may then give you sleep aids to promote good sleep temporarily.

Hello and hope you are doing well.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.
Understand your predicament. But your sleep study is normal. You could be having an entity called delayed phase syndrome, where in the biological clock is reset and occurs late. It is a circadian rhythm disorder. There is a circadian rhythm for all living organisms. It is a 24 hour cycle rhythm and the biological clock within that individual adapts to this rhythm. This can be reset by bright light therapy, sleeping pills and sometimes by sleep debt. In sleep debt, though you happen to sleep late, you condition yourself to get up early; this in turn will help you to sleep early. So, try this, but if your symptoms still persist, I would advise you to discuss your symptoms with your primary care physician who may then give you sleep aids to promote good sleep temporarily.
Hello and hope you are doing well.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm no doctor and I don't have the answers but I have this and was recently diagnosed with ADHD-PI. I've always had some form of sleeping difficulty but just waking up suddenly and way too much time dreaming (nightmares mostly) and barely any deep sleep are the main things that happen. I do wonder if the sleep disorder could be the cause of the ADHD but then I've always seemed to be quite 'odd' compared to others so i turn back to, no it's likely just part of it or a coincidence. I'm also up most up the time, especially if i become to focused on something that 'must be done NOW' ... which usually doesn't need to be at all. I believe as you get older this gets much harder to keep up with, especially if you're long term sleep deprived. I often wonder if this 'stubborn' behaviour will be the death of me. I also suspect this behaviour is caused by the general unhappiness created by lack of focus and success in every other are of life and a means to control something. uh.. i hope I haven't been too presumptuous but i hope this may help others in some way.
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Avatar_f_tn
I feel exactly the same as you the exact same symptoms of constantly waking up. Working is unbearable its torture to get through the day. Im constantly tired worn down and exhausted. Im not functioning properly my focus is all over the place. Some nights I actually have insomnia this probably only occurs once every 2 months. Where I don't sleep at all, wide awake all night through!
Its affecting me so very badly now im sick of feeling like this. I want to enjoy my day be able to perform tasks at the best of my ability but lack of sleep absolutely kills my motivation. Sometimes I cry because im sick of the feeling of being constantly tired. I hope things work out for you, I and others that are experiencing sleep difficulties. I am 29 and now its affecting my looks. :(
I would always get told that im ten years younger than my real age now im getting 27 and 26 ive aged so much because of it. :(
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Avatar_f_tn
I have this too, I'm 27. I wake up every 5 to 15 minutes and it's a struggle to even get up, do normal tasks like showering, reading, etc. I have to drag myself through the work day and my face is aging rapidly now. Just last year, people thought I was a teenager but now they think I'm 30+
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