Sleep Disorders, Time to get our sleep back

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posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 09:01 AM
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Sleep Disorders, Are you one of them?



Really can't believe I am making this thread but it's not like I have an option. I have seen the volume of sleep disorders threads that are being made on ATS recently. Yet no one tries to do anything to help their disorders and the disorders of the peers.


Approximately 70 million people in the United States are affected by a sleep problem. About 40 million Americans suffer from a chronic sleep disorders, and an additional 20-30 million are affected by intermittent sleep-related problems. However, an overwhelming majority of sleep disorders remain undiagnosed and untreated (National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, 1992).


That's a lot of us. So what exactly is a sleep disorder?

A sleep disorder is something that either hinders or disturbs our ability to sleep. This can either be psychical, emotional or mental. In most cases sleep disorders are detrimental to one's health and should be treated.


During sleep, we usually pass through five phases of sleep: stages 1, 2, 3, 4, and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. These stages progress in a cycle from stage 1 to REM sleep, then the cycle starts over again with stage 1 (see figure 1 ). We spend almost 50 percent of our total sleep time in stage 2 sleep, about 20 percent in REM sleep, and the remaining 30 percent in the other stages. Infants, by contrast, spend about half of their sleep time in REM sleep.

When we switch into REM sleep, our breathing becomes more rapid, irregular, and shallow, our eyes jerk rapidly in various directions, and our limb muscles become temporarily paralyzed. Our heart rate increases, our blood pressure rises, and males develop penile erections. When people awaken during REM sleep, they often describe bizarre and illogical tales – dreams.

The first REM sleep period usually occurs about 70 to 90 minutes after we fall asleep. A complete sleep cycle takes 90 to 110 minutes on average. The first sleep cycles each night contain relatively short REM periods and long periods of deep sleep. As the night progresses, REM sleep periods increase in length while deep sleep decreases. By morning, people spend nearly all their sleep time in stages 1, 2, and REM.

People awakened after sleeping more than a few minutes are usually unable to recall the last few minutes before they fell asleep. This sleep-related form of amnesia is the reason people often forget telephone calls or conversations they've had in the middle of the night. It also explains why we often do not remember our alarms ringing in the morning if we go right back to sleep after turning them off.


The most common sleep disorders are:


* Bruxism: Involuntarily grinding or clenching of the teeth while sleeping
* Delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS): inability to awaken and fall asleep at socially acceptable times but no problem with sleep maintenance, a disorder of circadian rhythms. Other such disorders are advanced sleep phase syndrome (ASPS) and Non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome (Non-24), both much less common than DSPS.
* Hypopnea syndrome: Abnormally shallow breathing or slow respiratory rate while sleeping
* Narcolepsy: Excessive daytime sleepiness, often culminating in falling asleep spontaneously and unwillingly at inappropriate times. Cataplexy, a sudden weakness in the motor muscles that could result in collapse to the floor is also common.
* Night terror, Pavor nocturnus, sleep terror disorder: abrupt awakening from sleep with behavior consistent with terror
* Parasomnias: Disruptive sleep-related events involving inappropriate actions during sleep stages - sleep walking and night-terrors are examples.
* Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD): Sudden involuntary movement of arms and/or legs during sleep, for example kicking the legs. Also known as nocturnal myoclonus. See also Hypnic jerk, which is not a disorder.
* Rapid eye movement behavior disorder (RBD): Acting out violent or dramatic dreams while in REM sleep
* Restless legs syndrome (RLS): An irresistible urge to move legs. RLS sufferers often also have PLMD.
* Situational circadian rhythm sleep disorders: shift work sleep disorder (SWSD) and jet lag
* Obstructive sleep apnea: Obstruction of the airway during sleep, causing lack of sufficient deep sleep; often accompanied by snoring. Central sleep apnea is less common.
* Sleep paralysis is characterized by temporary paralysis of the body shortly before or after sleep. Sleep paralysis may be accompanied by visual, auditory or tactile hallucinations. Not a disorder unless severe. Often seen as part of Narcolepsy.
* Sleepwalking or somnambulism: Engaging in activities that are normally associated with wakefulness (such as eating or dressing), which may include walking, without the conscious knowledge of the subject


I know many members here at ATS struggle with Sleep Disorders. I my self fell victim to it. I attend a university which puts a lot of mental strain on me. When finals get closer I find myself sleeping abnormally. My circadian rhythms lose track of time and I find myself sleeping at odd hours of the night. That coupled with the fact that my girlfriend has seen some other strange things occur to me while I sleep, I am certain that I have some sort of sleep disorder.

This is a quote from myself on another thread about my sleep paralysis incident.




I've had plenty of incidents of sleep paralysis which were all scary. My first experience was when I had 'awoke' at around 2am to a noise. I saw a figure in my doorway staring at me. When my eyes adjusted to the darkness it was a man who I had never seen before. This man had a face which I clearly understood as he was here to kill me. The man took one step closer. Overcome with fear I began to scream. Only thing is nothing came out. I felt my self swallowing, my tongue moving and mouth moving but still no sounds came out. It was like I couldn't even breathe. At that instantly I snapped out of it. I find myself sitting up in my bed, sweaty. I quickly run to the lights and no one is there.



-Continued Below-



[edit on 7-12-2008 by Ign0rant]




posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 09:05 AM
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Funny how i just came across this after a nearly sleepless night AND studying for finals.

More and more students are becoming addicted to sleeping medication nowadays just to get some pillow time.



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 09:32 AM
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My girlfriend has also told me that I had events of sleep walking and screaming while jerking in my sleep. I have no recollection of these events but she swears they are true. She once said I was screaming in horror saying, SAVE HIM, SAVE HIM! I have no idea where this could have happened to me in the past because I was never put into a situation like that in which I had to shout those words. The jerking would be in my arm or leg and would occur as I was trying to fall asleep. Random movements with my arm or leg would wake me up. Also as I am trying to fall asleep, I think I hear things. It's either I am talking to myself or I am somehow listening to another person's conversation. I dream that I can hear things. What's strange is it shouldn't be a dream because it occurs as I am trying to fall asleep.

Well what can we do?

Well most sleep disorders are brought on about by unhealthy lifestyles and lack of sleep. Other cases surface because of past traumas that are buried deep within your memory. Studies show that we should be getting at least 10 hours of sleep. Yet truly how man of you can say that you receive that amount?


Before Thomas Edison's invention of the light bulb, people slept an average of 10 hours a night; today Americans average 6.9 hours of sleep on weeknights and 7.5 hours per night on weekends (2002 Sleep in America poll).


Here's a study done linking lack of sleep with deaths:




A better lifestyle would mean that you are hygienic, exercise daily and eat the proper foods. The intake of carbohydrates are related to the amount of sleep that you get. People on low carb fads are likely to have bad sleep habits.


Remember the Atkins diet which was very popular a few years back? The reason it was popular was because it worked well. Many people lost weight on the Atkins diet which urged it's followers to eat plenty of meat and other protein foods as well as foods high in fat like fried eggs and sausages. On the banned list were bread, pasta and other carbohydrates.

What's all this got to do with sleep? It turned out that some people on the Atkins diet found they were having trouble sleeping at night even if they'd never previously had sleep problems. This is because their carbohydrates were so restricted, they developed a condition called "Serotonin Deficiency Syndrome"

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter formed by the body from eating foods containing the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is found mainly in carbohydrate rich foods like rice, pasta and bread. If your diet is too low in carbohydrates you will probably be low in serotonin.


Foods that stimulate sleep:


Foods for insomnia that contain serotonin include dairy products such as cottage cheese, cheese and milk, soy products, seafood, poultry, whole grains, beans, rice, hummus, lentils, hazelnuts, peanuts, eggs, sesame and sunflower seeds.


Foods that inhibit serotonin uptake:


Foods that keep us awake contain tyramine. Tyramine is an amino acid that causes the release of a brain stimulant called norepinephrine, that can keep us wired all night long. Tyramine foods include ham, bacon, sausages, cheese, aubergines, tomatoes, red wine, peppers, smoked meats, fish and, (unfortunately), chocolate.



Exercise at least three times a week. I don't have to tell you how important that is.

Mental Stress and strain do not have to be treated with medication. Yoga and relaxation techniques have been proven to help you sleep better. Reduce the stress in your life and unnecessary thought instead of jumping for that bottle of Doxylamine.

Find out what sleep disorder you have.

Click on the link provided for a free Sleep Disorder Test.

Sleep Disorder Test

Make sure you live a healthy lifestyle your sleep is ought to get better. When you get your results, if you are suffering from a life threatening sleep disorder like Sleep Apnea please seek medical help!

Since my girlfriend won't be around for a while I have decided to find out what I do during my sleep. Tonight I have decided to put my voice recorder to good use. I will record myself sleeping and post any interesting discoveries here.

It's time to get our sleep back folks.

Sources:


ezinearticles.com...

www.sleepfoundation.org...

www.kintera.org...

www.ninds.nih.gov...

en.wikipedia.org...




[edit on 7-12-2008 by Ign0rant]



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 09:42 AM
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reply to post by Uber Fr0g
 


Yeah, but I know what Sleep Disorders pills do to the body.

I work in a pharmacy and I see all these pills that are meant to aide sleep but instead are detrimental to the body.

-Ign0RanT



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 09:50 AM
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I miss the days where I could easily fall asleep as soon as I crawled into bed, sleep through the entire night without waking up at all and then wake up in the morning feeling refreshed. I can't even remember the last time I experienced a 'normal' night of sleep.

My four daughters sleep soundly and wake up refreshed. I'm jealous. My oldest daughter had 'night terrors' when she was 19 months old but they stopped when she was 22 months old - the same time that my second daughter was born. Her night terrors seemed to be directly related to the changes occurring in her life - I was put on bedrest for preterm labor so she started attending nursery school a few hours a day and she had never been away from me prior to that. As soon as I gave birth to my second child my first daughter stopped attending nursery school and her night terrors went away. I was grateful they disappeared as they were very scary to watch. I was also put on bedrest when I was pregnant with my twins but there didn't seem to be any sleep problems for my 3 year old and 15 month old. Maybe because they had each other and shared a room? I don't know but thankfully there were no sleep problems with any of my children other than the night terrors experienced by my first child.

I experience sleep paralysis as I am attempting to fall asleep and I never know when it will strike. Every night as I crawl into bed I have anxiety wondering if I'll experience sleep paralysis. Worrying about having sleep paralysis has become as much of a sleeping disorder as the sleep paralysis itself. It's a vicious cycle.


Jemison



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 10:40 AM
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I experience sleep paralysis as I am attempting to fall asleep and I never know when it will strike. Every night as I crawl into bed I have anxiety wondering if I'll experience sleep paralysis. Worrying about having sleep paralysis has become as much of a sleeping disorder as the sleep paralysis itself. It's a vicious cycle.


That is bad, are you doing anything to treat it? Taking any medications?

-Ign0RanT



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 11:00 AM
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Sleep is difficult for me, with 2 under 2 I have to wake up quite often during the night.

This can be exhausting of course, and leaves my spiritually frustrated sometimes, because I don't even get into that REM state and often wake up too abruptly to remember my dreams when I do.

I've been told that I sleeptalk, but I don't know for sure, and I have only rarely experienced sleep paralysis.



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 11:07 AM
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It is not as easy as it sounds to "get our sleep back".

I have suffered from a rare, serious form of insomnia for most of my life. About 10 years ago, it was diagnosed as Chronic Idiopathic Sleep-Onset Insomnia.....and you know what can be done about it??? Nothing. Nothing except taking sleeping pills.

If I don't take the pills, I don't sleep. If I don't sleep, I am awake for days. When I finally do sleep, I am so deeply asleep that I sleepwalk and sometimese even sleep-drive. It is dangerous.

My disorder has no mental, emotional, or physical cause (idiopathic).
It is constant (chronic).
It causes me problems with falling asleep (sleep-onset).

It is a never-ending cycle that has messed me up since I was a little kid. So, for me, the pills (Ambien, in my case) are a life saver for sleep. They do, however, make me do things I don't remember and cause me loads of embarassment at times.



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 06:21 PM
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reply to post by asmeone2
 


Yeah A, I have been told that I sleep walk as well. Luckily you didn't have to experience episodes of sleep paralysis. It is truly frightening. How do you manage it?


-Ign0RanT



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 06:25 PM
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My sleep problems started around a few years ago when i first started reading ATS.... but this year its become very bad.

I used to be up at 7am, bed by 11pm..... nowadays its more like bed at 2-4am, up at 10am



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 06:42 PM
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Originally posted by Ign0rant
reply to post by asmeone2
 


Yeah A, I have been told that I sleep walk as well. Luckily you didn't have to experience episodes of sleep paralysis. It is truly frightening. How do you manage it?


-Ign0RanT


I think you misread that, I said sleeptalk not walk, and I have experienced infrequent and frightening sleep paralysis.



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 06:46 PM
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reply to post by asmeone2
 


It seems I did sorry about that. Any idea what you sleep talk about? I will be recording myself tonight to ease my curiosity.

-Ign0RanT



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 06:48 PM
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Originally posted by Ign0rant
reply to post by asmeone2
 


It seems I did sorry about that. Any idea what you sleep talk about? I will be recording myself tonight to ease my curiosity.

-Ign0RanT


No, the friend who was sleeping in the room with me at the time was too sleepy herself to make it out.



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 06:53 PM
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*pulls up chair, sits down*

Hi, im GEL and I have a sleeping disorder.

I have to take something to help me sleep (though I dont take anything prescription).

If I dont take something, what will happen is I will lay there and my mind will never shut off. My body is tired and even my mind is tired, but I think too much. I take something so my mind will not 'think'.

My sleeping issue is not due to any food/drinking, etc. I work out. I dont drink caffeine late in the day. I dont smoke, dont do drugs. And am genuinely exhausted by the time I hit the bed.

Oh also, I have a horrible problem of grinding my teeth and clinching my jaw when I sleep. It affects my sleeping too, obviously.

However, the major issue is my mind and not being able to make it shut off.

I have had this problem for about 10 years now.


[edit on 12/7/2008 by greeneyedleo]



posted on Dec, 10 2008 @ 08:37 AM
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reply to post by greeneyedleo
 



Yeah, you just perfectly explained Insomnia. I struggle with the same things some nights. It's really hard to function in the daytime with this. I always put on soft music to ease my mind into sleep.


Well like I said I would I recorded myself sleeping. I heard myself saying, "What the #$%$, I have a gun I will shoot you now." Hearing me scream that out sort of shocked me. I tried to remember the dream I was having when I could have said this but it was to no avail. It gets even weirder because at least 4 hours into my sleep I could hear some movement on my recorder. I am hoping that this is just me tossing and turning and not actually physically walking around.


-Ign0RanT



posted on Dec, 10 2008 @ 12:02 PM
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I've been suffering from what I believe is DSPS (Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome) for countless years now. I have a hard time going to sleep at 'normal' times, even when exhausted. I tend to just lay in bed for hours before finally falling asleep. I function far better nocturnally, but because of today's social standards, it's hard to exist in a purely nocturnal manner as alot of important things that need to be done can only be done in the day. Some days it's because of thoughts constantly racing through my head, otherdays my mind is completely still and it still takes me hours to fall asleep.

I've tried to get it back on track numerous times, the only thing that works is keeping as busy as possible, but even then my sleeping falls back off track quite often and I find myself not getting to sleep until 3am. I'm not a fan of medication so I refuse to take sleeping pills, though I'm considering looking into it if I can't find another solution. What should I do?

p.s. those seratin foods don't seem to make much difference on me, either. THough occassionally, we never have it in the house enough to get more than one night of good sleep,and even then I still struggle.



posted on Dec, 10 2008 @ 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by Ign0rant
reply to post by greeneyedleo
 



Yeah, you just perfectly explained Insomnia. I struggle with the same things some nights. It's really hard to function in the daytime with this. I always put on soft music to ease my mind into sleep.

I'm no expert, so if you are then excuse my lack of knowledge. But it sounds more like DSPS aswell, rather than Insomnia. To my knowledge, Insomnia is not being able to stay asleep, while DSPS is not being able to fall asleep at planned/desired times.

but I'm no expert, I'm just speaking from what I've read to shed light on my own problem, and noticing a connection between it with the other poster in question.



posted on Dec, 10 2008 @ 12:20 PM
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I have sleep disorders too.

I'm a full time student, suffer from anxiety sometimes and find it very hard to sleep at night, often taking ages to fall asleep and then sleeping through the morning and afternoon.

Sometimes i wake up with heavy night sweats, usually as a result of flashbacks of a road accident i had a few years ago, or bad dreams of falling from a height and waking up suddenly with all the sheets and my bed clothes soaking wet. Very embarassing when i'm with my girlfriend.

Also suffered from sleep paralysis for a number of years on and off. Usually when i'm attempting to sleep i hear voices and strange sounds, sometimes i've had visual hallucinations and very disturbing 'feelings' of being overhwhelmed by some invisible entity or animal.

The last few nights i've been having some seriously strange dreams that have bothered me for days.

Glad to know i'm not alone...



posted on Dec, 10 2008 @ 12:34 PM
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reply to post by Akherousia
 


Well you are somewhat correct but I am no expert either. DSPS is Delayed sleep phase syndrome.


Delayed sleep-phase syndrome (DSPS), also known as delayed sleep-phase disorder (DSPD) or delayed sleep-phase type (DSPT), is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder, a chronic disorder of the timing of sleep, peak period of alertness, core body temperature, hormonal and other daily rhythms relative to the usual norms. People with DSPS tend to fall asleep some hours after midnight and have difficulty waking up in the morning.


So DSPS is diagnosed for people who are unable to sleep to do an impairment in the circadian rhythm. They although go to sleep during the right time every day it would be just much later then others.

Insomnia deals with lack of sleep due for people who cannot to seem to ease their mind. The imbalance causes what seems like a 'racy-like' syndrome in the minds of the people affected.


Insomnia is a symptom[1] of a sleeping disorder characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep despite the opportunity. It is typically followed by functional impairment while awake. Insomniacs have been known to complain about being unable to close their eyes or "rest their mind" for more than a few minutes at a time


The lines between both disorders too aren't thick. I am pretty sure symptoms for one would be diagnosed as the other.

-Ign0RanT



posted on Dec, 10 2008 @ 01:20 PM
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Originally posted by Ign0rant
reply to post by Akherousia
 


Well you are somewhat correct but I am no expert either. DSPS is Delayed sleep phase syndrome.


Delayed sleep-phase syndrome (DSPS), also known as delayed sleep-phase disorder (DSPD) or delayed sleep-phase type (DSPT), is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder, a chronic disorder of the timing of sleep, peak period of alertness, core body temperature, hormonal and other daily rhythms relative to the usual norms. People with DSPS tend to fall asleep some hours after midnight and have difficulty waking up in the morning.


So DSPS is diagnosed for people who are unable to sleep to do an impairment in the circadian rhythm. They although go to sleep during the right time every day it would be just much later then others.

Insomnia deals with lack of sleep due for people who cannot to seem to ease their mind. The imbalance causes what seems like a 'racy-like' syndrome in the minds of the people affected.


Insomnia is a symptom[1] of a sleeping disorder characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep despite the opportunity. It is typically followed by functional impairment while awake. Insomniacs have been known to complain about being unable to close their eyes or "rest their mind" for more than a few minutes at a time


The lines between both disorders too aren't thick. I am pretty sure symptoms for one would be diagnosed as the other.

-Ign0RanT

Correct, so it seems Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome is more having your biological clock automatically set to something different, more of a nocturnal lifestyle whereas Insomnia is an inconsistant habit of falling asleep at different times with great difficulty. If falling asleep at all.

Perhaps the two can be linked, though? Because my sleeping issues seem to show traits from both problems. :S



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