- July 12, 2019 at 5:36 am #30747
It’s getting close to three years now of my daily early awakening phase of insomnia. I am on a holiday for the last week and still I wake up around 5 every single day. I go to bed around midnight.
Benzos do not work to put me back asleep anymore, that is unless I take more than I’m willing to take, so my typical sleep time is around 5, 5 and half hours.
Like I’ve mentioned before – add to this the fact that my nervous system is so rigged as to prevent even a light snooze through the day, let alone a solid 20-30 min nap, I am extremely exhausted. I am not saying I have it the worst (I hope we won’t go into this debate again), far from it, but I am still so, so tired.
I’ve given up on hoping that my sleep will get better spontaneously as it did once before, now I just want to try to get to the bottom of this early awakening thing. I want to know why it happens. I can’t explain it and it’s driving me crazy. I’m only 31, yet I sleep exactly my wife’s grandmother, who is 78.
So here’s my question (sorry for the rant above). Is there anything a home polysomnography test might show? It’s pretty pricey, so I would like to know first if there is anything there that I could possibly learn from? I said a home test because I’m positive I wouldn’t sleep a wink in the lab.
I’m not overweight, I do not wake up gasping for air, I sometimes snore, usually in the beginning of the night when I pass out from exhaustion. I have a big nose. 🙂
So, since I doubt that I have apnea (though, you never know), is there anything else such a test could show that I might benefit from? Can it show how light/deep my sleep is?
I know I can technically Google all this, and I have, but there is a lot of differing information out there. Some sources say it’s only good to detect apnea, others say it can show lots of other things.
My sleep diary on holiday:
5.7. – 23:30 – 5:00
6.7. – 23:00 – 4:30
8.7. – 00:00 – 5:00
9.7. – 00:00 – 5:00
10.7. – 23:00 – 7 (1 pill Valium + half a pill of Xanax)
11.7. – 00-5:00July 12, 2019 at 6:16 am #30748
And not not open another post, I have something to say about CBT-I and how it applies to my situation (and others like me).
I feel like all the advice is exclusively for sleep onset insomniacs, the ones who can’t initially get to sleep. I don’t think any of it applies to people who fall asleep (pass out, to be exact) without much trouble, but can’t get enough sleep. Let’s see:
- Trying to force sleep – don’t have to, fall asleep fine. Problem is I wake up too soon and don’t feel sleepy anymore, until fatigue hits 4-5 hours later. Not sleepiness, fatigue.
- Taking daytime naps -not possible, this is where I do get tense very soon because I feel I’m forcing sleep.
- Worrying about sleep – I used to do this and it prevented me from falling asleep initially (onset), but I don’t worry anymore and fall asleep fine.
- Spending too much time in bed – is 6 hours too much?
- Clock-watching during the night – I only look at the clock when I wake up in the morning and can’t fall asleep for some time, about half an hour or so. Then I get up because why bother.
- Conserving energy during the day – I do my best to live like I don’t even have insomnia. I go out, I work, I’m constantly on my feet, if anything I’m more active when I’m sleep deprived because I rather focus on some mindless activity then sit and stare bluntly with my mind not registering half of what’s happening.
- Not having a consistent sleep schedule – as consistent as it gets, sadly
- Sleeping in a place other than the bed/bedroom – can’t do that even if I want to.
- Using the bed for activities other than sleep (or sex) – I don’t follow this advice since I fall asleep fine.
Measuring the sleep hygiene index on this page, mine is 6. I guess this means my sleep hygiene is fine.
Sleep Hygiene Index score is: 6
Is there hope in CBT-I for soemeone like me?
July 16, 2019 at 9:15 pm #30839
- This reply was modified 5 days, 12 hours ago by Edgar.
Martin Reed★ Admin
Unless it’s suspected that you have sleep apnea, a sleep study is unlikely to be particularly helpful. You may want to discuss this with your doctor.
CBT-I is effective for sleep maintenance insomnia as well as sleep-onset insomnia because chronic insomnia is typically perpetuated by sleep drive disruption, circadian rhythm disruption, and/or arousal. CBT-I addresses all three of these factors.
When you wake during the night (which is actually quite normal), what do you think is stopping you from being able to fall back to sleep? If you no longer feel sleepy, it’s possible that you may have simply got enough sleep.
Fatigue is different to sleepiness and is not necessarily a symptom of insufficient sleep. You might find this video helpful:
It sounds as though you are doing a lot of things right, but I can’t offer much more specific advice without knowing a lot more about your history and current sleep pattern.
I hope this helps.July 17, 2019 at 5:08 am #30851
Thank you for your response, Martin.
Yeah, I think I’m doing almost everything by the book,too, but my sleep still won’t come back and last. I don’t know why I can’t fall back asleep, I just lie there for a while until I decide that that’s it for the day and get up. Then around 11 I’m hit with fatigue which lasts the whole day through.
It’s easy to know when one isn’t getting enough sleep, and my fatigue is caused by the sleep deprivation, nothing else. In the couple of days in the past three years that I got 8 hrs of sleep I felt like I could fly! 5 hours of sleep can’t be enough for anybody unless they’re like my mom – 5 hours a night and then a dozen snoozes and power naps through the day. Of course, if you ask her, she’ll say “I don’t need much sleep, I sleep only 5 hours a day”. :/
I think most people are like that, so when I complain that I only get 5-6 hours of sleep a day, they probably think this is what I mean. But it’s not, sadly. I can’t make up for my lost sleep in any way, and it’s this accumulated sleep debt that is killing me.
I will try, as a last resort, to include exercise (bike riding) into my daily routine (and thus get my sleep hygiene to freaking perfect, apparently). If it gets me 10 more minutes of sleep per night, it’s worth it.
Also, I’ll try to take a break from forums and researching insomnia in general for a while, hard as it may be. Forums are the only source of comfort for me since everyone around me sleeps fine, but perhaps they are adding to the problem.
- This reply was modified 13 hours, 27 minutes ago by Edgar.