Hypersomnia, sleep apnea, nightmares, and insomnia.

Lionheart

Sponsor
About once per week, for a couple of days, I am oversleeping. Last weekend I slept for 32 hours and had 25 to 30-some apnea events per hour. An apnea event is when one stops breathing in their sleep for at least 10 seconds. A normal number is 5 events or under and mine was in the 20's and 30's. The interruptions in breathing keep one from getting the deep REM sleep that is needed to feel rested. So there's that.

Then I have PTSD nightmares. That is where a memory or some other thing triggers me in my sleep and the resulting adrenaline rush causes disturbing and vivid nightmares. I take a medicine called Prazosin that helps a bit with that. Then I have the awful awakenings every two hours when I do sleep and some nights I can't get to sleep at all. Needless to say, the combination of these problems leave me feeling physically exhausted.

If you struggle with any of the disorders mentioned please share with me how you cope. What helps you to get to sleep and to stay asleep? Do you use a C-pap or Bi-pap machine? Is it helping you? How do you deal with mask leaks? Do you have disturbing anxiety dreams, ie; PTSD nightmares? If you do, how do you deal with those? Are there medications that you take for sleep? How is that working out? Do you struggle with insomnia? etc.
I think you get the idea...

Thanks in advance.
 

Rumors

MyPTSD Pro
I have terrible insomnia. I usually sleep about 4 hours a night 6 at the most. However, I would go a couple days with no sleep so I feel like I have improved. I do have nightmares. I tried Prazosin and it didn't work well for me. For the nightmares/anxiety dreams, I just work on it in therapy. Those things that wake me up I think need some attention. It has helped. I do take a Xanax before bedtime. I don't have to do it every night, but probably 5 days a week at the most. Anxiety is a huge cause of my sleep disturbance. I meditate a lot and try and make sure that when I go to bed I have cleared my head and am ready for sleep. I meditate forgiveness for myself and that allowing my body to rest is good and healthy and normal. I hope this helps....
 

Changing4Best

MyPTSD Pro
Hey LH, I can relate. Some of my apneas last for over a minute! I know this, because the sleep lab folks told me. I use a CPAP machine, I take prasosin and some of this still happens. Leaks I deal with by tightening the headgear. I also get it replaced as often as possible.

Nightmares I do get, sometimes I remember them and sometimes not. I got one not long ago that went like this: we were all sitting in a huge circle in a mental hospital. I was tired. I complainingly asked where my bed was. Then everyone started complaining saying the same thing. We were all complaining loudly and I woke up then. I was really upset when I woke too. I had flashbacks of that dream all that day. I don't believe I got back to sleep either.

One thing I noticed with the CPAP machine also, just the strong air currents it uses to help me breathe sometimes wake me. I usually can't get back to sleep right away, so I try to read the Bible or something to help me feel calm enough to sleep again.
 

Lionheart

Sponsor
I meditate forgiveness for myself and that allowing my body to rest is good and healthy and normal. I hope this helps....

Yes @Rumors it is all really helpful, thanks for posting!!! ?

Leaks I deal with by tightening the headgear. I also get it replaced as often as possible.

Thank you @Changing4Best , I appreciate it. I have new headgear on its way to me. I am gonna have to change the seals more often too. I think I can make a few adjustments to the headgear and get my apneas back down to a more normal level. That's my hope anyway.

Thank you for posting!!!
Lion
 

Lionheart

Sponsor
I slept for 38 hours last weekend, awoke every two hours (approx), and I had difficulty getting to sleep as well. Seasonal affective disorder (hypersomnia), major depression, (insomnia), and chronic fatigue syndrome (difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep) are a few of the reasons while others are PTSD (nightmares, difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep), and Fibromyalgia (insomnia and disruption of sleep), I also have sleep apnea (causes me to wake up for brief periods several times per night).

So it is no wonder my sleep is non-restorative. I don't know what type of sleep aid would help me but I have tried Trazadone without any luck and there are many sleep meds that I cannot take due to low oxygen at night and sleep apneas.

I have found that in the afternoons, I often have a sudden need to lie down for 20-40 minutes or so to rest, (not sleep). I suppose I need to gather my information about the sleep disturbances I am experiencing and take it to my psychiatrist and PCP. I don't know if they can help me or not, but I sure do struggle with sleep.
 

RussellSue

Not Active
I have sleep apnea and used to use a C-pap machine. It helped a lot. I can't really breathe through my nose and had to wear the full face mask. I had surgery on my nose and was no longer able to use my mask, so I tried to get one of those dental
appliances but insurance wouldn't cover it. I am waiting for my new clinic to get my sleep study results, so we can figure out what to do from here, a few years later.

I have a lot of medical trauma from facial surgeries, so I was not sure if I would be able to use the mask but I did. I never bought a C-pap pillow but probably will if I get another machine, just to keep from pushing it off my face in the night and shooting pressurized air at my eye. That happened a lot from side sleeping but the pillows look like they could help. Even with the awkwardness of the thing and no special pillow, I feel like I slept a lot better with it.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
If you struggle with any of the disorders mentioned please share with me how you cope. What helps you to get to sleep and to stay asleep? Do you use a C-pap or Bi-pap machine? Is it helping you? How do you deal with mask leaks? Do you have disturbing anxiety dreams, ie; PTSD nightmares? If you do, how do you deal with those? Are there medications that you take for sleep? How is that working out? Do you struggle with insomnia? etc.
I use a c-pap (although the program - or whatever you call it - was changed to an a-pap last time I saw the sleep specialist). I was having apneic episodes 55-60 times an hour and with the c-pap, that is down to less than one (they tell me, but I don't know how you can stop breathing less than 1 time). Before this last time, the pressure was just way too high and I was waking up gasping for air, so they switched it from continuous pressure to automatic (I think that's what it's called) - they set it at a range and the machine decides what kind of pressure you need. It's much, much better now.
the strong air currents it uses to help me breathe sometimes wake me.
I'm assuming you've had your pressure checked recently? That was happening to me all the time, and a switch really made a difference for me.
and Fibromyalgia (insomnia and disruption of sleep), I also have sleep apnea (causes me to wake up for brief periods several times per night).
Do you get your pressure evaluated often? Seems they should be able to find a pressure that corrects most of the apnea.

I also have fibro, and I wake a lot with a tremendous amount of pain.
I have found that in the afternoons, I often have a sudden need to lie down for 20-40 minutes or so to rest, (not sleep).
When was the last you saw your sleep doctor?

I used to sleep really well, but in the last year, I started having issues with my machine. That was corrected, but now I can't get to sleep and wake early. I think that is because my cats both died - June and October. I sometimes take an OTC pm before bed or Melatonin. I really like the latter because I don't wake up groggy or hung over.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
I'm on a new medication that causes me to have insomnia. I'm accepting that this is so, and getting up when I feel like it and sleeping when I can. This works for me. I also have anxiety, PTSD means you will have anxiety, and I need to be in my room alone for a period of time every day. I moved in to help my mom, and I help her every day, but she can say really nasty and cutting things for no reason so my anxiety is almost out of control. Between that and the med, I don't get a lot of sleep right now.

I have nightmares too. My latest was people who had been hit with machetes in the head, chasing me. Mine are really violent.
 

Lionheart

Sponsor
Hi @Lionheart, I've been having terrible violent nightmares about my abusers recently. It really sucks.
Yes, it sure does @Survivor3 and I am sorry that you are having to contend with those, they can be quite disturbing. Have you talked to your doctor about Prazosin, it is a medication that has been said to help with PTSD nightmares. I take it and it helps with mine, but I still have them on occasion.

I have nightmares too. Mine are really violent.
I do understand, the worst of my nightmares leave me feeling disturbed for days. I am sorry that you are experiencing them. Also, have you tried Prazosin? it is a blood pressure med that seems to work for some people to stop or reduce PTSD nightmares.
 
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