Author Topic: Any sleep specialists out there?!  (Read 2193 times)

Geographer

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Any sleep specialists out there?!
« on: April 19, 2019, 05:37:31 AM »
Since I can remember as a child, I've always occasionally sleepwalked or talked. During my college years I continued to occasionally be active during sleep but shrugged it off as a side effect of alcohol.

But now being almost 30 and having significantly cut back on drinking, I'm still having sleep episodes. It's usually just a monthly "sitting up in bed and then laying back down" kind of thing according to my wife, but when I'm going through stressful periods it becomes more frequent. I started a new job last month which has been a stressful change for me, and I've been having pretty frequent intense dreams where I'm trying to jump out of the way of an oncoming car or trying to escape some other sort of fatal event -- to wake up next to or near the bed, incredibly confused and embarrassed. This typically happens just 1-2 hours after falling asleep.

I want to take steps to address, but have always put off medical help due to the cost (high deductible health plan) and time involved. We've tried daily meditation but it seems to have no effect. Where can I start? Should I set up an appointment with my primary care doctor and go from there? I'm wondering if there's a greater underlying stress/anxiety cause. Any help for advice would be great!! Recommendations for books or podcasts would be awesome in the meantime, too. Thanks guys!

StarBright

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2019, 07:11:50 AM »
Have you tried magnesium? It is a muscle relaxant and can also help with anxiety.

My son's neurologist suggested "Natural Calm" supplement and DS's sleep talking and night terrors have been drastically reduced.

It would be a cheap and easy first thing to try.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 07:38:25 AM by StarBright »

Geographer

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2019, 07:27:55 AM »
Have your tried magnesium? It is a muscle relaxant and can also help with anxiety.

My son's neurologist suggested "Natural Calm" supplement and DS's sleep talking and night terrors have been drastically reduced.

It would be a cheap and easy first thing to try.

No, I haven't! This is a great recommendation because I'd prefer trying any natural remedies or supplements BEFORE going through the medical gauntlet. And it makes sense that a muscle relaxant might help... I've had to sleep with a mouthguard the past several years because I clench and grind teeth in my sleep.

Great suggestion, I'll pick some of that up this weekend!

brute

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2019, 07:56:56 AM »
If you haven't tried a weighted blanket, that might help. Not in a restraining sort of way, just that they can reduce anxiety which can then reduce episodes of sleepwalking in some people.

Alfred J Quack

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2019, 08:13:30 AM »
If you haven't tried a weighted blanket, that might help. Not in a restraining sort of way, just that they can reduce anxiety which can then reduce episodes of sleepwalking in some people.
This is what was advised for DS2 too. To increase the feeling of security (like someone is constantly holding you safe and warm). They even have inflatable vests which basically perform the same function while awake.

@Geographer, I have the same problems. As I understand it, stress exacerbates the symptoms as well as lack of sleep. When DW and I were living in a noisy appartment it led me to become sleep deprived and the episodes were a lot worse. Not that I had problems with it myself until I woke up one morning having stuffed the blankets between 2 cupboards in the livingroom...


Cassie

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2019, 10:39:24 AM »
I had that problem until I was 35 and then it went away. Then 25 years later I would be having nightmares and start punched my husband in the head while sleeping. We put up a barrier between us. I asked a sleep doctor about it and he said that the only solution was a heavy duty drug that would knock me out and I said no. It went away about a year later.

MishMash

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2019, 11:31:21 AM »
Get checked for sleep apnea.  DH did this for years, and it just got progressively worse. It culminated with him almost breaking my leg end of last year while completely sound asleep he full on ninja kicked me.

Turns out he had obstructive apnea and if he was dreaming during an episode his brain would start to wake him up to breathe and he would regain muscle control.  He got on a CPAP and no more issues.

brute

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2019, 12:57:16 PM »
Get checked for sleep apnea.  DH did this for years, and it just got progressively worse. It culminated with him almost breaking my leg end of last year while completely sound asleep he full on ninja kicked me.

Turns out he had obstructive apnea and if he was dreaming during an episode his brain would start to wake him up to breathe and he would regain muscle control.  He got on a CPAP and no more issues.

Out of curiousity, did your husband snore from the apnea? I've sometimes wondered about that for myself, but I don't snore unless I've got a cold so I haven't pursued it. Sorry to hijack.

Alfred J Quack

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2019, 01:01:37 PM »
Get checked for sleep apnea.  DH did this for years, and it just got progressively worse. It culminated with him almost breaking my leg end of last year while completely sound asleep he full on ninja kicked me.

Turns out he had obstructive apnea and if he was dreaming during an episode his brain would start to wake him up to breathe and he would regain muscle control.  He got on a CPAP and no more issues.

Out of curiousity, did your husband snore from the apnea? I've sometimes wondered about that for myself, but I don't snore unless I've got a cold so I haven't pursued it. Sorry to hijack.

I know another person with a CPAP and he snored like a logcutter. But his snoring was interrupted by periods of no breathing because his throat closed up which got so bad that his lack of sleep led to heart trouble.
After getting the CPAP his heart trouble was gone too because.

LifeHappens

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2019, 01:09:40 PM »
Get checked for sleep apnea.  DH did this for years, and it just got progressively worse. It culminated with him almost breaking my leg end of last year while completely sound asleep he full on ninja kicked me.

Turns out he had obstructive apnea and if he was dreaming during an episode his brain would start to wake him up to breathe and he would regain muscle control.  He got on a CPAP and no more issues.

Out of curiousity, did your husband snore from the apnea? I've sometimes wondered about that for myself, but I don't snore unless I've got a cold so I haven't pursued it. Sorry to hijack.
You can have sleep apnea without snoring.

MishMash

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2019, 06:08:50 PM »
Get checked for sleep apnea.  DH did this for years, and it just got progressively worse. It culminated with him almost breaking my leg end of last year while completely sound asleep he full on ninja kicked me.

Turns out he had obstructive apnea and if he was dreaming during an episode his brain would start to wake him up to breathe and he would regain muscle control.  He got on a CPAP and no more issues.

Out of curiousity, did your husband snore from the apnea? I've sometimes wondered about that for myself, but I don't snore unless I've got a cold so I haven't pursued it. Sorry to hijack.

He started to when it got bad over the last year, but for the first 10 years he didn't snore often, if ever.

MishMash

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2019, 06:11:32 PM »
Get checked for sleep apnea.  DH did this for years, and it just got progressively worse. It culminated with him almost breaking my leg end of last year while completely sound asleep he full on ninja kicked me.

Turns out he had obstructive apnea and if he was dreaming during an episode his brain would start to wake him up to breathe and he would regain muscle control.  He got on a CPAP and no more issues.

Out of curiousity, did your husband snore from the apnea? I've sometimes wondered about that for myself, but I don't snore unless I've got a cold so I haven't pursued it. Sorry to hijack.

I know another person with a CPAP and he snored like a logcutter. But his snoring was interrupted by periods of no breathing because his throat closed up which got so bad that his lack of sleep led to heart trouble.
After getting the CPAP his heart trouble was gone too because.

Same thing seems to be happening to DH, prior to CPAP he had a heart risk factor of like 16, between the CPAP and some cholesterol meds, he's down to a 4 in 3 months.

Geographer

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2019, 06:22:43 PM »
Thanks for the recommendations guys. The weighted blanket seems like a good idea too, however it gets pretty hot around here so we typically sleep with light sheets. But I DO really like sleeping with a heavy comforter in the winter time and feel like that does contribute to getting a good sleep.

I'm pretty sure it's not sleep apnea. I never snore or have had a closed up throat (that I know of). My parents are heavy snorers, though! So something to look out for.

MishMash

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2019, 06:46:29 PM »
Thanks for the recommendations guys. The weighted blanket seems like a good idea too, however it gets pretty hot around here so we typically sleep with light sheets. But I DO really like sleeping with a heavy comforter in the winter time and feel like that does contribute to getting a good sleep.

I'm pretty sure it's not sleep apnea. I never snore or have had a closed up throat (that I know of). My parents are heavy snorers, though! So something to look out for.

DH didn't snore until the last year, he's apparently had it since child hood.  He recorded almost 80 episodes in a night and only about an hour of actual snoring during it.   There are multiple types of apnea so if you ever get super tired during the day, or wake up with dry mouth get tested.  It had a CASCADE of negative effects on his health when it got worse (heart, lungs, weight, depression, blood pressure etc)

Just keep it in mind, and if you ever start having more extreme physical reactions, get tested immediately.  DH was hesitant too, he'd been acting out extreme for about six months.  It wasn't until I literally couldn't walk for a week that he finally agreed to be tested. 

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2019, 08:49:42 PM »
Iíd invest the money in a therapist to help you address the anxiety and see where thatís coming from. You could also consider an executive coach who can help you address better ways to manage your challenges at work. Also, develop so rules: caffeine stays in your system for 12 hours so no sodas or coffee after 10am. Be mindful of your diet and try to get in some exercise. See if you can develop routines to let go of work after work. Maybe go on a walk with your wife but donít talk about work, or give each other 10 minutes to rant about work but then thatís it for the rest of the night. Another thing that is helpful is keeping a journal. Before bed, each night, write whatever is on your mind and/or make lists of what you want to do at work the next day. This will help you purge those thoughts so they donít keep plaguing you as you sleep.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2019, 10:37:04 PM »
https://www.amazon.com/Sleepwalk-Me-Mike-Birbiglia/dp/B009B8YZ9Y

This guy went through the window of his second floor motel room in his sleep. He sleeps in a sleeping bag now to try to prevent similar episodes.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 08:32:28 AM by frugaldrummer »

jamesbond007

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2019, 10:41:03 PM »
So you'd rather get advise here from fellow mustachians than get a PPO or HMO insurance instead of a HDCP? I am not saying that the suggestions are wrong. They might actually work. But nothing beats seeing a seeing specialist, therapist etc. Sorry not trying to be rude at all.

StarBright

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2019, 07:21:51 AM »
So you'd rather get advise here from fellow mustachians than get a PPO or HMO insurance instead of a HDCP? I am not saying that the suggestions are wrong. They might actually work. But nothing beats seeing a seeing specialist, therapist etc. Sorry not trying to be rude at all.

To be fair - a low deductible "gold" HMO or PPO can also be prohibitively expensive and many companies don't even offer them anymore. My employer only offers high deductible plans.

Geographer

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2019, 08:03:29 AM »
Well it happened again last night. It feels like a self-feeding fear that gets worse the more I worry about it.

So you'd rather get advise here from fellow mustachians than get a PPO or HMO insurance instead of a HDCP? I am not saying that the suggestions are wrong. They might actually work. But nothing beats seeing a seeing specialist, therapist etc. Sorry not trying to be rude at all.

I'm not seeking advice here as a "cure all" or replacement for medical help, but hoping to find methods that may help subdue the issue until I can get to my primary care physician. Due to my new job not being what I had expected, I'm going back to my previous employer next week. So I'll definitely re-evaluate my health plan this time. I agree, there's no substitute for seeking help from a medical specialist.

We've got the Natural Calm ordered and on the way hoping that can help for the time being!

lavagirl

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2019, 09:07:32 AM »
Heavy lifting workouts help me sleep more soundly.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2019, 11:43:02 AM »

One

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2019, 10:28:44 PM »
I donít know but if it was me Iíd try the magnesium, cut out all caffeine, have a hard workout in the mornings so you deep sleep at night.

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2019, 11:37:23 PM »
In brief, I have been a lifelong nightowl with serious problems sleeping for many years:

Melatonin (can cause serious stomach irritation!! Beware!!!)
No screen two hours before bed
Bedroom only for sleep and um .....
Darkness
Quiet
No caffeine after lunch

For me, all of that standard advice combined does not amount to a hill of beans compared to: Getting up at about the same time every day!

For years, I thought I could get away with sleeping stupid late on the weekends and getting up at a normal time during the week. I finally cut it out a few years ago, and resolved to get up at about the same time every day, and it made all the difference in the world. I get up at around 10 or so on days I need to go to work (flexible schedule) and about 11 on weekends (Child-free lifestyle WOO HOO!). It works better than all that other advice combined times a hundred. I rarely have problems sleeping now, and even when I do, I have had enough sleep the previous nights, it does not really affect me that much, if at all.

OH yes, and earplugs!!! I loathe noise, and the gates of hell open up around seven or eight: Revving up the Harley, lawnmower, BEEP BEEEP BEEEP trucks reversing, chainsaw, circular saw, leafblower, screaming kids, barking fleabag dogs, bondo beaters (with the "subwoofer" pounding out sonic turds at 50 Hz), etc. Insert Hearos blue maximum attenuation = back to sweet sweet sleep!
« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 11:46:04 PM by ObviouslyNotAGolfer »

red_pill

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2019, 12:53:28 PM »
Careful with Melatonin. It can give you crazy weird dreams that can exacerbate sleeping issues.   

How is your sleep hygiene?  Any light in your room?  Do you have blackout curtains? How much tv do you watch? Do you have a tv in your room?  If you do, get rid of it right now. 

The weird thing is as I read your description is it sounds like the night terrors my kid went through as a toddler. Always the same time - a few hours after she went to sleep she would ďwake upĒ screaming and being inconsolable.  She would have no memory of it the next day. What we did to get them to stop is to wake her up to take her to the bathroom about a half hour before the night terrors usually hit.  Apparently it has something to do with sleep cycles.  Your thing sounds just like that.  What if you set an alarm to disrupt it and then went back to sleep?  Spit balling here.


red_pill

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2019, 12:55:22 PM »
Weird. What I suggested was actually in that mayo clinic link. Anticipatory wakening.  Didnít know it was actually a thing.

MDfive21

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2019, 08:32:53 AM »
In brief, I have been a lifelong nightowl with serious problems sleeping for many years:

Melatonin (can cause serious stomach irritation!! Beware!!!)
No screen two hours before bed
Bedroom only for sleep and um .....
Darkness
Quiet
No caffeine after lunch

For me, all of that standard advice combined does not amount to a hill of beans compared to: Getting up at about the same time every day!

For years, I thought I could get away with sleeping stupid late on the weekends and getting up at a normal time during the week. I finally cut it out a few years ago, and resolved to get up at about the same time every day, and it made all the difference in the world. I get up at around 10 or so on days I need to go to work (flexible schedule) and about 11 on weekends (Child-free lifestyle WOO HOO!). It works better than all that other advice combined times a hundred. I rarely have problems sleeping now, and even when I do, I have had enough sleep the previous nights, it does not really affect me that much, if at all.

OH yes, and earplugs!!! I loathe noise, and the gates of hell open up around seven or eight: Revving up the Harley, lawnmower, BEEP BEEEP BEEEP trucks reversing, chainsaw, circular saw, leafblower, screaming kids, barking fleabag dogs, bondo beaters (with the "subwoofer" pounding out sonic turds at 50 Hz), etc. Insert Hearos blue maximum attenuation = back to sweet sweet sleep!

that's all good advice.  i'll add my .02 as a life-long light sleeper:

stop the caffeine intake altogether.  this made a big difference once i got over the hump of not having coffee every morning.  takes about a month to realign.
drastically reduce sugar intake, especially near bedtime.  you want your insulin and blood sugar to be normalized before you try to sleep.  reduce (to some degree) total carb intake for the same reason.
cut down on food intake within 2 hours of bedtime.  give your body time to digest your food before you try to sleep.  digestion can have an effect on whether you sleep well.
check out matt walker's book why we sleep.  or find him on joe rogan's podcast.
rhonda patrick on insulin and sleep.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zXks8iePes

hope that helps you find some good info!

danakado

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2019, 09:15:43 AM »
I know you said you've cut back on alcohol but have you eliminated it?  When I was having sleep issues this is what it came down to for me (sadly....). 

partgypsy

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2019, 09:29:40 AM »
All this advice at least won't hurt and might even help. But if you have what is called a parasomnia, you should def get a referral to a sleep specialist to determine what is going on, and also whether it is a sign of some other incipient medical condition.

Almost half of the people who have these it is due to either being on a medication, or withdrawing from certain drugs and medications, including alcohol. So if you have started on a medication like an antidepressant, or varying the amount you are taking of those medications or of alcohol, this could be the trigger. So the suggestion if you do drink alcohol, to wean off it so you eliminate it and then get to that baseline, is not a bad one.  This is definitely a step you can do before seeing the sleep specialist. Instead of alcohol use things like yoga, exercise earlier in the day, herbal tea, to unwind at the end of the day. 

I am not a sleep specialist but I work for one.
https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/rem-sleep-behavior-disorder
« Last Edit: April 23, 2019, 09:35:40 AM by partgypsy »

frugaliknowit

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Re: Any sleep specialists out there?!
« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2019, 09:53:02 AM »
While many of the tips in this forum may work for some people, dude, GET PROFESSIONAL HELP!

This is not a cold, a rash, a bruise, a sniffle, this is sleep, which is critically important, and in your case sleep walking, which could be DEADLY!