Sleep Apnea

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    Are your sleep patterns affected by the change in seasons? If so, how?

    One thing I know about the change in seasons is how the decreased number or light hours affects my sleep. For me, I realized that because it’s usually colder and dark in my room for majority of the day, I feel more inclined to take a nap or go to bed earlier even if I don’t fall asleep right away at night.

    What about you? What are your sleep patterns like in the fall and winter months compared to spring and summer?

    #Insomnia #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #SleepApnea #Depression #BipolarDepression #Anxiety #MentalHealth #Disability #MultipleSclerosis #CheckInWithMe

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    Why Can't I Sleep? Why Can't I Wake Up?

    Often in the past, I went to bed at my usual time but woke up at 4:45 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep, no matter what. It was like I had a hamster on a wheel inside my brain.

    Other nights I would go to bed early and couldn’t get to sleep for hours. I tried reading, but sometimes I read till 2:00 a.m. with no sleep in sight.

    Then again there are days when I feel the need to nap in the early afternoon. I try to resist, but if I give in, there are no refreshing catnaps for me. I’m down for two and a half hours typically. Then the whole sleep-wake cycle gets off course.

    And when I’m in the middle of a depressive episode, I’ve been known to stay awake all night, obsessing and catastrophizing. There are also days I can’t get out of bed in the morning, or all day in some cases, though I don’t usually sleep well after them.

    What is it with all the sleep disturbances? Well, I have bipolar disorder 2, so that may have something to do with it. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3321357 (NIH) says, “Sleep disturbance is a core symptom of bipolar disorder. The diagnostic criteria indicate that during manic episodes there may be a reduced need for sleep and during episodes of depression, insomnia or hypersomnia can be experienced nearly every day.” They also note that insomnia and hypersomnia are early warning signs, or “prodromes,” of a bipolar episode occurring. In fact, sleep disturbance is the number one prodrome for mania, and is recognized by approximately 80% of those suffering from it as an indication of an impending episode.

    www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/bipolar-disorder-and-sl... discusses a number of ways that bipolar disorder is associated with poor sleep: either insomnia or hypersomnia; decreased need for sleep; a circadian rhythm sleep disorder; REM sleep abnormalities which can affect dreaming; and co-occurring sleep apnea (around a third of people with bipolar also have sleep apnea, which is associated with excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue). Bipolar meds have also been known to affect sleep-wake patterns, as well as co-occurring substance abuse disorders.

    What are the consequences? Sleep deprivation has demonstrated detrimental effects on cognitive functioning, particularly in teens and young adults. This has been observed in performing psychomotor vigilance tasks, working memory tasks, and cognitive processing tasks. No wonder a series of sleepless nights can result in a foggy or fuzzy-headed feeling!

    Unfortunately, the advice given for how to counter the effects of sleep disturbance in bipolar disorder is almost indistinguishable from the advice given to the general population, such as incrementally moving bedtime and waking time until the desired period of sleep is reached; and not using electronics such as computers, cellphones, and TVs near bedtime. Some preventives that have worked with bipolar patients have included bright light therapy in the morning and the use at bedtime of supplements containing the naturally occurring hormone melatonin that the body releases in response to darkness.

    My own experiences with sleep deprivation and #BipolarDisorder have been a mixed bag. For many years before I was diagnosed, I was subject to the difficulties caused by shift work, either third or second shift. Third-shift work made me too tired to drive safely, especially if I was also working first shift the next day, which sometimes happened. My husband pitched in and picked me up on those days. My friends knew never to call me before noon.

    For a while I took a prescribed sleep aid, but sometime during the last year realized that as my sleep-wake cycle was regulating to a more “normal” pattern, and that the sleep I got without the meds was more refreshing and conducive to clear thought in the morning. So I quit taking it, with the approval of my psychiatrist. Even though I work at home and make my own hours, my work schedule has become predictable as well. Now I wake around 6:00 or 7:00 a.m., check my emails and timeline, have some breakfast and start my work (when I have some). I break for lunch, then resume work in the early afternoon.

    As for getting to sleep, it’s usually not a problem (except when it is). Any more, I take my nighttime meds, read for about 30 minutes, and drift off to sleep normally.

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    636 members and no dialogue on this page.

    So where to begin. I can’t help but think we are missing a great thing here. A resource, in fact safe resource, that we in the UK are missing.

    Ok so what do I mean? We can be more specific on this page about British "stuff". On other pages we can, and I have, get information about various health issues. Myself, I learnt more about my bipolar and the various effects and affects this has had on my life and will have in the future. I’ve also learnt to self diagnose to a certain degree. It’s helped me focus on my own triggers and see them for what the are. No site is perfect but hey I’ve learnt more on here than I have in any other place, both physically and cloud based. I’ve learnt why some of my certain behaviours have influenced my life choices…….ok so you get the point. I have acquired many labels and wear my badges well.

    But my point here is we can share resources available here in the UK.

    Such as in my area we have ‘shine’. They have a plethora of information regarding what is going on around mental health in my side of Lincolnshire.
    Steps to change. Ok so overall I haven’t found them a great deal of help…….however in there defence CBT was never going to be a great thing for me as I formally taught relationship theory and SDI. But it has helped others I know immensely.

    I’ve had various medications over the years and found after a year or two they need tweaking. Someone just coming out of the stocks for the first time could probably do with information like this.

    I have spent time in the Boston, Lincs unit and whilst noisy, (I hate noise as there is already enough in my head), but the staff where generally really nice and competent. The place was clean and the food awful lol. But other than sedation and being locked away, it wasn’t to bad and nothing to be scared of.

    I’ve found the services in my area woefully inadequate. It sometimes, in my experience, take 6 months for a call back when your in crisis. Even my own GP, or group of GPs as you never get to see the same one have very little time or patience for mental health. I know our services are at breaking point, overstretched, underfunded, understaffed…..but when your in crisis this isn’t helpful. Unless your family feel your at risk then make that call to have you locked up. Just as stressful for them to make that, right, decision.

    So……it’s up to us to write up or ‘helpful hints’ , make new rooms on this part of the forum…..and generally help each other.

    Currently I’m not in any bad way and the meds are keeping me quite level. I have a good routine and meds to help me sleep. The company I work for is great with my mental health but not so good with others. I’ve found that many people don’t know what financial help is available to them. Such as PIP. People seem to know about Universal credit but I read something somewhere about PIP having a mental health availability now. I won’t get it as I already believe I get maximum payment for a different mobility issue. CAB should be able to signpost you. Maybe someone knows better or more. If so please share.
    With this current cost of living crisis then any help may go a long way to help someone else.

    Then there is the legal side of things. When I was first diagnosed I didn’t know you had to declare it to the DVLA. Also some of the medications are not conducive to driving. I’m screwed anyway as I also have sleep apnea on my list of favourites.

    So please please share with all of us your experiences, hints and tips.

    If you have managed to stay awake and get through this far, to the end of my ramblings you need a medal lol.

    Thank you, stay safe and best of luck…..someone has to have some luck amongst all of us. Maybe it’s your turn. X

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    Do you use sleep apps? If so, do you find them helpful?

    Have you ever tried a sleep app before? If so, what was your experience like? Did you find it to be helpful?

    #Insomnia #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #SleepApnea #Depression #BipolarDepression #Anxiety #MentalHealth #Disability #MultipleSclerosis #CheckInWithMe

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    Dealing with thoughtless people during grief

    My foster mom has been out here visiting me in alaska from Indiana. I posted yesterday ( I think) about how she's running me ragged using the loss of my boyfriend as an excuse for her to have a vacation. I got really aggravated with her this morning and told her off and hung up on her. Maybe not the best way to communicate my needs, but the only way she would listen. This part of my life is NOT a vacation for me. I lost the love of my life and all she wants to do is play and screw around when I'm trying to contact people about rent assistance because my boyfriend was unable to pay rent for October before he passed suddenly. I'm in Danger of losing my home and all she wants to do is go sightseeing all the time. She's also wanting to go all the places I went with my boyfriend or places we wanted to go and that's not helping my grief. AT ALL. What I want and need right now is to start working so I can afford therapy. She makes every tragedy about her. I have constant headaches and fatigue and dizziness. It's all the time. Plus I have sleep apnea and insomnia. Not to mention my Major Depressive Disorder, PTSD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder which makes everything more difficult to process.

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    How do you feel about daytime naps?

    The past month has been a doozy in terms of going to bed late and not getting enough rest at night. But, what has helped me tremendously as I trudged through each day was taking daytime naps.

    What are your thoughts on taking naps during the day? Do you find them helpful? What times during the day do you find are best to take naps? How long do they usually last? 💤

    #Insomnia #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #SleepApnea #Depression #BipolarDepression #Anxiety #MentalHealth #Disability #MultipleSclerosis #CheckInWithMe

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    #SleepApnea and #Anxiety

    Any ideas on how to get used to wearing a CPAP while dealing with anxiety that is usually worse in the evenings?

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    #Narcolepsy Diognosis, I’m handling it worse than I thought I would

    In 2019 I did a sleep test and they said I had mild sleep apnea and I was borderline for narcolepsy, but I didn’t have to treat them as neither was bad. It always sat in my head, but I didn’t really have narcolepsy so I didn’t think too much of it.
    Flash forward a few years, my other health conditions got worse, I moved cities, and COVID happened. I forgot about it until my primary doctor brought it up. I found a new sleep doctor, did another sleep test.
    This time, they said I don’t have sleep apnea, but I do have narcolepsy. I’m honestly a bit bummed out. With sleep apnea, there’s a solid treatment option. Narcolepsy can only be helped with some medications, and those only fix the symptoms. I don’t really want to start any new medications, I’m on so many already. I guess I’ll talk to my doctor about it at my next appointment.
    Every other diagnosis has made me happy to finally have answers, but after #EhlersDanlosSyndrome #Gastroparesis #PosturalOrthostaticTachycardiaSyndrome and a few more, I’m so tired of incurable issues. Literally tired of it, get it, it’s a sleep disorder?
    Anyways, I didn’t expect to find myself so bummed out by this. Especially since I’ve known it was possibility for years. But now I know what sleep disorder I really have.

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    Fibro exhaustion

    Im 58 & struggle with unrelenting depression, Sleep apnea (currently untreated due to Ins problems) Fibromyalgia 17 years. I am affected by Degenerative Disk Disease, Osteoarthritis & severe Spinal Stenosis. I am just now 3.5 months post-op a large neck surgery. 8 level laminectomy & 2 titanium rod and screw fusion. Fusion from C2–T2. I have little side to side turning ability for my head but I am in nowhere near the pain I was in before.
    My issue I am So tired of being so tired. But it’s beyond tired. I’m exhausted. I’m depressed that I’m so exhausted, which makes my depression worse. I literally wake up most of the time more tired than before I went to bed. I wake up with barely enough energy to get dressed. My hygiene has taken a nose dive. My depression is soaring. I’m almost too tired to care anymore.
    I’m tired.

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    A Vital Truth

    I’m pretty sure that I posted this image before, but it is so helpful to remember—especially with chronic illness, I think. For my various ailments, I continue to learn so much from reading about what other sufferers experience. This is from someone who has health issues of different sorts for over 25 years. The unknown is so much more difficult and uncomfortable than the known. This is why it can be easier to walk in the boot prints someone else has already made in new snow.

    In addition, my strength, patience and determination to survive seem to get a significant boost in growth when my symptoms are validated by others who are making the same journey. It’s like magic to recognize myself in a description of someone else’s symptoms. Then I feel like saying, “Oh good. Other people experience the same thing. My case is recognizable to the experts. Not unknown.”

    Something else that feels magic is when I reach out to encourage and validate others, or when I share part of my story. When we give back to a community of our fellow sufferers, we have no idea how many we may have helped. The ripples of our sharing might keep going and going. It is a lovely feeling to experience feedback that part of my story resonated with others. So kudos to you if you know this kind of happiness and satisfaction already. And gentle encouragement to others to stretch yourself a little farther out of your comfort zone to reclaim your day/life from apathy.

    Hey, don’t let your symptoms isolate you more than you can bear. Once you let yourself get too used to lack of socialization, it can be a struggle to go back. I speak from experience. Keep challenging yourself to claim or reclam more of the life you want for yourself. You deserve it!

    #apathy #BipolarDepression #Depression #Anxiety #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #PTSD #ChronicFatigue #SleepApnea