Friday, July 24, 2009

My Routine: Trying to Get a Good Night's Sleep

Awake Is the New Sleep album coverImage via Wikipedia

To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream:
ay, there's the rub...

~from Hamlet by William Shakespeare

I used to love to sleep, put my head on my pillow each night, drift off to dreamland and enjoy a restful slumber. I loved sleeping in on the weekends. I had no problems going to sleep and getting a good 8 hours in every night. Insomnia was a rare occurrence. Dreams were my refuge from the world...

Not any more.

Chronic illness changed my life in so many ways, and one surprise was the development of not just one, but multiple sleep disorders! Now I have problems falling asleep, staying asleep and being a light sleeper. I have gone from needing 8 hours of sleep to 9 to 10 hours a night. I was finally sent for a sleep stu

insomniaImage by babblingdweeb via Flickr

dy in 2006 and was diagnosed with sleep apnea and problems getting enough deep, stage 4, sleep. I also have something called delayed phase sleep disorder, where my body clock is set incorrectly for time zone I am living in: check out the widget in my blog sidebar to the right and you can see what I mean.

I treat the sleep apnea by using a CPAP machine. The CPAP fixed the sleep apnea, but the other sleep problems persisted. When I was diagnosed with dysautonomia and started treating it with a beta blocker in 2007, my pounding heart stopped waking me up in the middle of the night. But I still had problems so I was prescribed a medication to help me get more deep sleep.

My current sleep doctor

A typical CPAP machine houses the air pump in ...Image via Wikipedia

has suggested a few other medications to try too. He also recommended trying gradually going to bed 30 minutes early each night over a period of time to get back into a schedule that fits the Pacific Time Zone. He also mentioned that some people just stay up 24+ hours and reset their clock by not going to sleep one day and waiting for the next night to go to be at a more appropriate time.

So guess what I did Thursday?

You'll find the answer in my next post...

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