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Anxiety and sleep patterns
#1
Anxiety and sleep patterns
I did not want to hijack a similar thread so here is my story. My wife and I have recently moved from the city to a small country town, in Australia, a distance of just over 400ks. As anyone can imagine it has been a stressful and very busy two months. And we have both thrown ourselves into being part of our new community, with me taking up an offer to do a community radio program. I am already a long term anxiety sufferer and I have a tendency to overthink situations and plan down to the last detail. I have had extended periods of depression as well. Mostly all under control. Rolleyes  Since the big move I have had a few nights of fairly interrupted sleep and vivid dreams and as a consequence my AHI has had a few spikes up to a max of 1.6, although my average over the last two months is .7 and over the last year it is .48, so by any measure I am doing pretty well. Anyway, my general question is there anyone else who sufferers from anxiety/depression who has AHI  spikes? Oh, the spike nights are all central/hypo's. I am sure it will all settle down, but I would be interested to hear anyone else's thoughts.

JamesW
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#2
RE: Anxiety and sleep patterns
Here is what I can offer you, me a former stress counsellor and workshop host as part of my many duties while in the Canadian Armed Forces (military psych):

When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras. 

By that I mean the most likely or common scenario is going to be what you are dealing with, not the rare and esoteric ones.  You have freely admitted to some upheaval, and now you've added EVEN MORE 'change'.  Is it likely you have incurred a bit of a debt to your health, maybe due to heightened levels of cortisol over the past four or five months during which you considered your options, elected to pursue one of them, and then began the grind into some uncertainty until you found yourselves surrounded by all those piled cartons at the new place?  When we are stressed we get elevated levels of cortisol in our blood, and while it might be good for short term and acute problems, it is deleterious for protracted or extended ones because the cortisol begins to break us down.

This is just me, a person who has lived for 65+ years, but I have occasionally bitten off more than I can chew, or as me granny used to quip, "Your eyes are bigger than your belly."  My own father has cautioned me once or twice, "Sin in haste, repent at leisure."  I think your brain might be running along one of those three lines.  Rolleyes 

To me, this is all rather expected and natural.  If you begin to fret over your subconscious' reaction to all this piling-on, you'll just.....umm.....pile on.  Let it go is my advice.  When you consistently get AHI in the 4-7 range and above, it's time to review some aspects of your health, your PAP treatment, or your personal circumstances with a view to improving that number.  You're a few country miles away from there yet.  Natural variance from night-to-night has me with two consecutive nights showing an AHI of "0" this past week, but three nights previously I was at "1.1".  My average is similar to yours, about 0.5-, so you can appreciate that I have quite a range there.  But, keeping a lid on the perspective, it's all well below the upper limit of 5.0.

Maybe you need a beer?
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#3
RE: Anxiety and sleep patterns
Ex Australian Army and long term Defence civilian employee myself. Old habits tend to die hard I have found in retirement, even after a few years now.  I have been having a few beers and the occasional rum, in moderation.  Bigwink  It's been a very hot summer down here. Thanks for the kind and considered words. I am sure things will settle down with time. Country life will do that to a fella I hear.

JamesW
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#4
RE: Anxiety and sleep patterns
A nice cold beer is probably the best advice, but if you want to look into things further, you might want to try watching this video:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FMkBatUVu7s

It’s a great way to learn how to spot flagged events that aren’t occurring during sleep at all but are happening while you’re awake, waking up, or trying to get back to sleep. On restless nights you might be having more of this “sleep/wake junk.” That would be one less thing to be anxious about.

Best of luck settling into your new home and community!
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#5
RE: Anxiety and sleep patterns
Just a bit of an update. My AHI has settled back down and for the last two weeks has been .28 with three zero's. I have no idea why it altered so quickly although I did alter my chinstrap back to a tried and true type. Maybe it's just that I have finally settled into new surroundings after the big move from the city.  Dont-know  As an anxiety/depression sufferer I do overthink things when life goes off the boil. I am sure that there are a few on the forum who do likewise. Thanks to the people who offered a different perspective on my situation. Much appreciated.

JamesW
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#6
RE: Anxiety and sleep patterns
Great to hear things are going so much better! Many thanks for the update.
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#7
RE: Anxiety and sleep patterns
Hello JamesW

Thank you for sharing your news with us. I have a relative who suffers from anxiety/depression, albeit not on top of sleep apnea, and I always want to know more so it really helps when others share.

It is good to know you are settled now. Long may it continue.
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