NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

TMI Tuesday: You Won’t Believe This

February15

I don’t have anything TMI to share today. I am wracking my brain and it’s come up empty, y’all! WTF?! Ha-ha!

I could tell you about my non-v-day last night; I was frankly too tired to care. I felt that my husband was trying, but I cannot put in words the amount of tired I had. And this got me thinking that I may be getting that tap on the shoulder from Mister Depression. Fuck that, but I’m also too tired to fight it. I mean, well, I’ve had insomnia since I was twelve years old. It’s evolved over time and is much more manageable now thanks to so many years of experience and a great mattress (tempur pedic, but not for everyone). Combine this with running my own business and trying to stay in the fat-o-sphere loop and have a social life? I’m pooped! Ha!

So, shit! Let’s go with this as the TMI topic: Sleep Issues!

I do not believe that I have sleep apnea. My husband however thinks it would be “fun” to get tested. When I explain to him that A.) we can’t afford to even use the insurance we have and B.) that shit freaks me right the fuck out and I woudln’t be able to sleep without sedation outside of my own bed anyway, what the hell is the point? My insomnia began with the inability to fall asleep. This still crops up from time to time but is usually stress/anxiety related. Usually my sleep pattern is something like this: fall asleep fine, wake up 2 hours later due to noises outside or some other bullshit, wake up 2 hours later to turn over/pee/etc, wake up one hour before alarm goes off, just start a fantastic dream and the alarm goes off. Sometimes I have a hard time getting back to sleep oonce awake,  but not often. The noise issue has been greatly reduced since we m oved last February, but ear plugs are horrifically uncomfortable for me and I have an ear comfort issue already (I once woke up in the night because a bug flew into my ear hole and it’s left me very insecure in bed, so I usually cover them with the blaket).

Now I’ve tried every over the counter thing in creation. I used Meletonin for many years and even bought some again recently to see if they’d work; they did not. I tried somne prescription meds back in my teens, but they didn’t want me on them and insisted my growth had been stunted by the OTC ones by that point (I was 16 and they were full of shit). I used to drink to help me sleep when I was 19 and 20. That lead to some pretty bad stuff and I knocked it off. Sometimes I’ll have a glass of wine, but that’s usually with dinner now anyway. I try not to drink too many fluids before bed so I don’t have to get up. I steer away from any caffeine after 4pm. It sounds severe, but it works for me. I also only go in my room for sleep, dressing or sexy times. We no longer have a television in our room either.

The new prescription meds I have not tried because they freak me out. I have friends who would do things and not remember them. One would have out of body experiences while another would email or text or call people and speak nothing but gibberish. I just have too many trust issues to even consider taking a quarter of a pill of that shit. I can’t handle not being in control of my actions or body. No thanks! I know it works for some and to them I say hooray! I know how shitty it is to almost never get a good night’s sleep. My favorite thing is to wake up in the exact position I fell asleep in knowing that I did not move at all in the night. This happens about once a year. Ha!

So, what are your sleep issues? Do you use a CPAP machine? Did it take you awhile to get comfortable sleeping with it? How has your sleeping issues affected your relationships? What works for you? Tell me all about it!

Thanks,
<3
S

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posted under TMI Tuesday
26 Comments to

“TMI Tuesday: You Won’t Believe This”

  1. On February 15th, 2011 at 11:44 am Arpita Says:

    S., have you tried traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) such as acupuncture or herbs for your sleep difficulties? Either modality might be worth a try; there usually are no side effects. Most TCM is not, unfortunately, covered by insurance, but practitioners might have sliding scale fees.
    My sleep difficulty is a cat who insists that breakfast should be served at 4 am. Perhaps I need to try acupuncture on her?
    A.

  2. On February 15th, 2011 at 11:55 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Hmm…I’ve used acupuncture for my back when I had this terrible job with a crappy chair and it worked. I hadn’t thought about it for mys leep issues. Thank you! I actually have a school nearby that only charges $25 a visit I believed. Awesome! =0)

  3. On February 15th, 2011 at 1:52 pm Torquemada Says:

    I have had a CPAP for several years, and it was a life changer. The sleep studies (two of them!) I did were very weird, but very eye-opening — having trained professionals actually study and evaluate how I really slept, instead of relying on my and my (first) wife’s anecdotal history, gave me a very different understanding of what my sleep was like and how badly my health was affected. It took me a couple of weeks to get used to wearing the mask, and it took my first wife longer to get used to how _quiet_ it was at night, but after just a week my skin colour was greatly improved, and after two weeks I had noticeably better mental focus.

    Having the machine helping me breathe definitely affects sleeping beside someone else — Ladymeag would have to speak to how she feels about it, but it does get in the way of night-time cuddling, since the mask blows out cold air constantly. There are ways to get around it, though (I got used to putting a towel over my face so I could spoon with her), and between the health benefits (namely _not dying_ — I’m not kidding) and having an understanding partner, it’s not a difficult choice whether to wear it.

  4. On February 15th, 2011 at 2:05 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Thank you for explaining your experience with your machine so succintly! I don’t think I’ve heard anyone describe it so well. Rock on!

  5. On February 15th, 2011 at 2:55 pm Cynthia Says:

    An unrecognized sleep issue that some people have is how much stray light there is in the environment. It screws up your sleep cycle. Words can not express exactly how much easier it is for me to stay asleep now that I wear a soft sleep mask. It’s better than earplugs. My neighborhood is quiet at night (my cats, not so much) but there is a ton of stray light in the middle of the city.

  6. On February 15th, 2011 at 2:56 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Great point! The first thing we bought after moving into our new apartment was to get blackolut curtains. They are magical!

  7. On February 15th, 2011 at 5:19 pm rachel m Says:

    I’ve had chronic insomina since my early teens. I used to wake up several times a night. At the worst I would wake up every 90 minutes. UGH!

    i’m deaf, so noise isnt the problem for me, ha! My issue is threefold–tactile, optical, and biological. Tactile–anything I can feel will wake me up. Touch, strong vibrations, etc. I like heavy blankets cuz they muffle things. optical–flickering lights, strong lights, whatever lights, will disturb my rest and make me sleep lightly. best sleep ive ever had was in a pitch black room. never been able to get anything as nearly pitch black as then. and biological–im extra sensitive to caffeine. once I cut that out of my diet (for the most part, I CANT seem to kick my chocolate addiction), I stopped waking up every 90 minutes.

    Nowadays ive only been waking up once a night. Always at 3 pm. I ahve NO idea whats that about. Im considering a sleep study, myself.

  8. On February 16th, 2011 at 8:18 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Hmm, this is interesting because I, too have some of these issues. And yes I love heavy blankets! I sleep better with a big heavy comforter for sure. And light is probably one of my biggest issues. I often wake up thinking we’re having an earth quake (being in CA that’s hardly an abnormal thing), but I’ve only ever felt one real one so it is a little strange. I do find that when I wake up it’s at the same times, usually, throughout the night. At one point I kept a journal of this, but I soon found that writing it down made me stay awake longer (being a writer it just woke up my creativity and got my brain a-stirring). I’ve read a few people say to cut out caffeine completely, but y’all? I own a cafe! This cannot be done right now. Perhaps when I’m done with the cafe (and that’s sooner than ya think) I can work on this. Thanks so much!

  9. On February 15th, 2011 at 5:22 pm Kate Says:

    I had symptoms very similar to yours, I had issues with insomnia and staying asleep, and getting up to pee a lot. And I didn’t snore. I did have horrific nightmares and I frequently (one to three times a week) woke up and puked, which is not a lot of fun. Finally, my sweet husband insisted I get a sleep study.

    I had a very hard time falling asleep, and after about an hour, the sleep tech came in and put the cpap mask on me, which I hated because it was the nasal pillows and I have a very small nose, but in those brief three hours, I had the best night’s sleep I’d had in years, no nightmares, no puking, no next day napping. It was bliss.

    I got a cpap the following week and I even though it took trying a few different masks, to find one that fit my face right and really get the full benefit of the cpap, even from day one I was sleeping great. I gave up caffeine nearly completely and honestly, I was different person. You will have to pry my cpap from my cold dead hands.

  10. On February 16th, 2011 at 8:31 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Luckily my nightmares have subsided over the years and I do have dreams (just never remember them). Puking is never good. I’m so sorry you had to go through that.

  11. On February 15th, 2011 at 6:19 pm ladymeag Says:

    Sleeping next to someone with a CPAP isn’t a huge adjustment, actually. I do get a little crabby about the cold air sometimes but I’m also one of those people that can’t have a fan pointed at my side of the bed, no matter how hot it is. The few times I’ve heard the full volume snore and STOP BREATHING it was alarming and scary as hell, I’m really glad for the CPAP, honestly. (Do you snore? If you don’t snore, the CPAP is likely not going to be a help for you.)

    Other things that may be affecting your sleep:
    Computer/TV habits. Lots and lots of studies show that folks who watch TV/read on a computer screen right up to bedtime have more trouble sleeping soundly or falling asleep. You don’t get the slow-down and your eyes stay hyper-focused. You might check out a program called f.lux for your computer – it changes the warmth in the color of your screen at sunset, which I find makes it much easier to recognize several hours later that I should just go to bed. For TV, try switching to reading OR listening to music (but not both) half an hour before bedtime.

    Vitamin D. You may think that in this sunny state you can’t possibly have a deficiency, but you might! Women are apparently especially susceptible to vitamin deficiencies. You can pick up some hefty-duty vitamin d at a health food store and try it out (I take 10,000 IU Vitamin D three times a week, it makes a huge difference in my mood, sleep and feeling rested.)

    Iron. If you are slightly anemic, you will often feel less rested _and_ not sleep as well. Up your intake of leafy green veggies, your favorite iron supplement, foods that are rich in iron (Niall loves a hummus we get at Whole Foods that is packed with iron.)

    Lack of routine. Some folks require a routine to go to bed and stay there and get rest. It could be as simple as a face-wash-and-stretch routine but just something that you don’t do any other time of day to signal to brain and body that it’s bedtime now.

  12. On February 16th, 2011 at 8:31 am Not Blue at All Says:

    The routine I have down and the tv/computer thing no worries…Iron is a great point! Thank you for the tips!

  13. On February 15th, 2011 at 6:46 pm Regina T Says:

    AH….sleep issues……I completely relate. I’ve been diagnosed with Sleep apnea for 6 years now. The sleep study was no biggie for me, but I didnt have much trouble FALLING asleep as I did staying asleep—-and waking up unrested. My husband never said I stopped breathing during sleep, but I snore, or used to before the CPAP. The sleep study was a breeze once they got all the electrodes hooked up to you. They’re everywhere, including your scalp. So basically you get hooked up and try to fall asleep. The electrodes tell them whether you are truly sleeping or not, so you won’t be able to fake it. They then record your leg movements, respiration, how many times you stop breathing and for how long, heart rate, etc. for 2-3 hours. Then, if it’s determined that you have sleep apnea, they fit you with a mask and adjust the pressure to find the right level that keeps you breathing as you try to sleep again. My sleep study lasted about 7 hours and I left early enough to be home in my own bed by 7 am.

    Today, I don’t tolerate my mask very well. I have a nasal pillow mask which blows are through your nostrils and there is very little on your face. Being clausterphobic made other masks impossible. The trouble I have with it has more to do with my asthma and depression medication. I am continuously taking my mask off in the night and getting up to get a drink of water and go to the bathroom. It’s only been within the last 2 weeks or so that I’ve had this issue, so I’m pretty sure it’s the meds. Im trying melatonin to see if that helps, but I have a nasty cold with lots of sneezing, coughing and mucous that pretty makes sleep almost impossible.

    That said, a sleep study would definitely give you information about your sleep patterns or the lack thereof. It monitors brain activity as much as breathing, so there could be something going on in other areas that could be explained through monitoring. I hope you have the chance to have one done. It’s only one night, so what have you got to lose?

  14. On February 16th, 2011 at 8:12 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Could I afford it I might consider a sleep study, but like I said, we can’t even afford to use the insurance we have and that sucks! And yes, I was worried about my claustrophobia. It’s not severe, but stuff on my face? NO! So it’s nice to hear that there is another option.

  15. On February 15th, 2011 at 7:47 pm Jackie Says:

    My Dad had really bad sleep apnea that never got treated and probably contributed to his heart problems. Thinking that how he was (falling asleep in a chair, taking naps, not getting a lot of sleep, snoring and jerking awake) was what sleep apnea was I thought my doctor was crazy to want to get me tested. I thought I was just having panic attacks at night. After all, I’m a total insomniac. Once I’m asleep I’m out.
    Well, it turns out I do have sleep apnea. Not as bad as my dad, but enough to matter. I just got the CPAP in late December and I’m still getting used to it. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night holding the mask, meaning I must have tore it off in my sleep. I haven’t noticed huge differences, but when I do sleep all night with it on, I usually have a lot more energy later in the day. I also fall asleep WAY faster. I think it might be that the apnea was actually part of what was keeping me awake subconsciously.
    Who knows.
    I somewhat dread introducing a new partner to the device, but I think that’s kinda stupid. I mean, assuming they’re sharing my bed, they probably don’t want me to die young, right? So I figure they’ll be down with the mask.
    just my two cents.

  16. On February 16th, 2011 at 8:09 am Not Blue at All Says:

    I think cpaps are pretty common these days anyway, I know a few thinner peeps with them, too. Anyone sleeping with you would most certainly be cool about it. =0)

  17. On February 15th, 2011 at 7:52 pm maggiemunkee Says:

    I can’t handle not being in control of my actions or body.

    that right there sums up one of the reasons i think i can’t sleep. my brain doesn’t want to give up control.

    i’m currently working on starting all sorts of therapy. woo!

  18. On February 16th, 2011 at 8:07 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Yes! My brain used to keep me up and prevent me from falling asleep. I worked on this a lot. And now luckily I can get to sleep fairly quickly (for me), but it’s the staying asleep that does me in. Congrats on the new therapies, I’d love to hear how things progress for you. Do stay in touch! =0)

  19. On February 15th, 2011 at 7:58 pm Lauren Says:

    Well, I am on a CPAP machine now, and it has really done wonders for me. I actually have trouble sleeping without it now; tried taking a nap this afternoon but kept waking up in panic as I wasn’t getting as much air.

    As for the sleep studies, I actually got to do mine at home! I went in for a training session where they taught us how to rig ourselves up (two stretchy bands around the chest, one doohickey on the finger, and the stupid in the nose things that are used for oxygen masks.) and then got to take it home and sleep in my own bed. I didn’t even have to sleep the whole night with it on, just a few hours of readings were all they needed.

    When I first got it, it took me a few weeks to get used to the nose piece, and would often take it off in the middle of the night. Now I don’t notice it at all! Though if I’m really sleepy I sometimes have to be reminded to put it on.

    It’s amazing how quiet my machine is compared to some older models. I’ve heard stories of hummings and pumpings and grindings and worse! It’s also light weight so I can take it with me when I travel.

    I hear you on the insurance thing though. Without insurance, my machine would have run me a smooth $700 retail. Worth every penny, but luckily I only had to pay a fraction of that cost out of pocket.

  20. On February 16th, 2011 at 8:06 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Wow, sounds like you got off easy on that study then. I hadn’t heard of doing it at home before. That is pretty rad. And it sounds like you have a fab machine! Woo!

  21. On February 15th, 2011 at 8:11 pm jessidehl Says:

    I’ve had my CPAP for a couple of months shy of two years and I cannot believe the difference in how I feel.
    I had a hard time during the actual sleep study because I panicked a little when they put the mask on my face. There is a delay button on the CPAP that gives you 20 minutes to fall asleep before the blower starts. However, I find comfort in having the blower on right away because I can feel myself breathing (plus I use a fan for white noise anyway).
    My husband spoons me from behind so I don’t have issues with snuggling. He tolerates the stream of air while sleeping because my snoring doesn’t wake him up.
    Has your husband noticed that you stop breathing during the time you are sleeping? Do you snore? Because both of those things were the reason I went for a sleep study (plus steadily gaining weight when nothing else in my life was different).

  22. On February 16th, 2011 at 8:04 am Not Blue at All Says:

    No, I don’t snore (except when terribly congested) and no one has ever noticed my breathing stopping. I usually wake up from simple noises, last night it was the rain! Ugh! I used to talk in my sleep as a kid, but haven’t in ages. Thank you for sharing your experience. Glad you’ve found what works for you. Sleep is far too valuable!

  23. On February 15th, 2011 at 8:17 pm Twistie Says:

    Actually, I have the opposite problem in that I have quite literally been known to sleep through earthquakes. I’m not talking the 2.3 ones epicentered thirty miles away, either, but ones ranging in the fours and fives right up close and personal.

    Last night Mr. Twistie and I both had sleep issues, though. Our cat has taken to the amazingly irritating habit of licking our pillows in the night. The combination of woven cloth + sandpapery kitty tongue = GYAAAHH!

    Anyway. Jake started licking Mr. Twistie’s pillow. Mr. Twistie took umbrage. He reached over to throw Jake off the bed, but Jake dived halfway down the bed at the last moment and Mr. Twistie attempted – unsuccessfully, thank goodness! – to throw my left arm off the bed instead. I need my left arm. I’m a southpaw.

  24. On February 16th, 2011 at 8:02 am Not Blue at All Says:

    See, that’s just an awesome story! Our cat certainly plays a role in our sleep issues as a couple, but my sleep issues are generally my own. My husband usually gets up around 4 to feed the tabby and then goes right back to sleep. If I did that I’d be up for good.

  25. On February 16th, 2011 at 10:39 am Lauren Says:

    Just want to chime in again to say that before I got my CPAP machine, I tried several different types of sleeping medication, most recently Trazadone. I still took the Trazadone while I was first getting used to the machine, to help me get over the mask, but now I don’t take anything and I sleep better than ever! Considering I have been snoring loud enough to shake a tent since middle school, that’s saying something.

  26. On February 16th, 2011 at 10:40 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Yes, that IS sayin’ something! Ha! Again, super glad you found a way to better sleeps.

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