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Avatar universal

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.


12 Responses
757137 tn?1347200053
Have your adrenals checked.
1 Comments
I am 38 and have also the exact same thing. I would be watching TV or reading at night and then start to doze off At 11pm. As soon as I go to bed I would doze off for a few min then would suddenly wake up again as if someone injected 10 cups of coffee in me. I then can't sleep again till 5am. My brain is racing and I can't shut it down. When I finally sleep at 5am I would be half asleep waking up every 30 min and then finally wake up at 7 or 8. I feel like I'm being tortured with this condition. I've tried all the usual BS medical treatments like cpap, oral devices, light therapy, sleep diet, not to mention sleeping pills including melatonin at various doses, zolpedium, ...etc. I'm extremely fit, work out allot during the day, sleep study indicates moderate apnea but I'm doubtful as this still happens to me even with cpap. Also some days (2-3 times a week) I sleep fine even with no cpap. I just feel that Doctors are so behind in terms of understanding and treating sleep disorders. It's like the expression if all you have is a hammer every problem looks like a nail. This is the situation with cpap and sleep studies. Every sleep problem is diagnosed as apnea :-(
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
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.
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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. :(
Avatar universal
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+
Avatar universal

Check your vitamin D levels with 25OH vitamin D blood test. Low D and low magnesium cause cause insomnia, anxiety, depression, fatigue, dizziness, body pain, headaches, etc.

You want you D levels above 50ng/mL. You can supplement with D3 and magnesium
Avatar universal
1. Subclinical Sleep Apnea may be good enough to start you on Auto Titrating CPAP therapy. You can use a nasal interface. Why you are waking up all the time? You have to consider whether you have pain or anxiety. Whatever the case, it needs to be figured out and treated. I hope that helps.
1 Comments
Restless Leg Syndrome?
Avatar universal
I know you posted this over a year ago but I feel like I need to comment anyway. I'm a 29 year old female and you described my life to a T. I am always so sleep deprived that I can't function or even do my job properly. I've been through several sleep studies and countless medications to help me sleep. Specialists and Therapists. I've even had just about every blood, saliva and urine test available done to check my bodies functions. No one has an answer and it's terrifying. I do have sleep apnea and I do use a cpap but continue to wake up every few minutes all night long. Somedays not even so much as falling asleep once. Our bodies require sleep to survive and it scares the crap out of me that I may just have to feel this exhausted for the rest of my life.
Avatar universal
I have been having insomnia for about a month now and it *****. Some weeks I get decent 6-7 hours of sleep and others I get less. Just recently I have been waking up so often when I try to sleep that nights feel forever and I could not get a uninterrupted sleep. I wake up every 15-20 minutes. I also get these adrenaline/brain shocks right about when I'm drifting off to sleep and I'm right back awake. This cycle occurs throughout the night and in the morning I feel dizzy and a slight headache behind my ears.
2 Comments
This is happening to me too! Whenever I start nodding off, my brain wakes me up. Over and over again as though purposely not letting me sleep. Were you able to get some answers for this or figure out what's going on?
This sounds like it's definitely sleep apnea. When breathing is temporarily obstructed, it initiates the body's fight or flight instincts which will jolt you awake. Often you'll feel breathing difficulties but this can be masked by the chemicals associated with the jolts. You should be evaluated in a sleep study if possible to properly diagnose this.

This is all from my experience. I've had periods of time where it has been excessively present and periods of time where it is not at all an issue. Depression, anxiety, and/or even vitamin/mineral balance may also be a contributer to insomnia and related sleep disorders, although little is known about them as a whole.
Avatar universal
I am 38 and have also the exact same thing. I would be watching TV or reading at night and then start to doze off At 11pm. As soon as I go to bed I would doze off for a few min then would suddenly wake up again as if someone injected 10 cups of coffee in me. I then can't sleep again till 5am. My brain is racing and I can't shut it down. When I finally sleep at 5am I would be half asleep waking up every 30 min and then finally wake up at 7 or 8. I feel like I'm being tortured with this condition. I've tried all the usual BS medical treatments like cpap, oral devices, light therapy, sleep diet, not to mention sleeping pills including melatonin at various doses, zolpedium, ...etc. I'm extremely fit, work out allot during the day, sleep study indicates moderate apnea but I'm doubtful as this still happens to me even with cpap. Also some days (2-3 times a week) I sleep fine even with no cpap. I just feel that Doctors are so behind in terms of understanding and treating sleep disorders. It's like the expression if all you have is a hammer every problem looks like a nail. This is the situation with cpap and sleep studies. Every sleep problem is diagnosed as apnea :-(
Avatar universal
all ailments are caused by the same thing - dirty blood. try to clean out your system with fasting - and then gradually switch to a clean diet of mostly fruits and veggies. try fasting by missing dinner and then try to get to noon the next day - and that is one day of fasting already. try to do those however often your will power can accomplish it. it aint easy. but this is the hero;s journey
2 Comments
I haven't read any studies that proved cleansing works. Here is a quote from one. "There is no scientific evidence that any of these so-called cleanses really benefit a person's health, according to Stella L. Volpe, professor and chair of the department of nutrition sciences at Drexel University in Philadelphia."


This notion is pseudoscience and following through with any advice promoting such ideas is ill-advised.
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