RE: Benadryl and REM sleep
JJJ, I have the same problem with frequent awakening that you do. I get up at least 6 times a night. I haven't found a medication that helps. APAP hasn't helped that ,even though my AHI is 1 or less. Furthermore, I don't see any relationship between my awakenings and the few break-through events that show up on SleepyHead or Rescan. Fortunately, I generally don't have any trouble falling asleep, after awakening. While I definitely feel more rested since starting my APAP 2 months ago, it would be even better if my sleep were less interupted. Hopefully, in time it will get better.
Most sleep medications will help you to fall asleep. They just don't help to keep you asleep. Melatonin is a natural subtance released from the pineal gland in our brains. It is released like clockwork, usually at the time of the evening when we are most accustomed to falling asleep.
Some people make less of this hormone as they get older and either need a medication to stimulate its release from the brain, or take actual Melatonin. Otherwise they can't fall asleep. But Melatonin won't keep them asleep, especially if something else is awakening them. Therefore, I would doubt that a sustained released form of Melatonin will be any more affective in keeping most people asleep than a shorter acting form of it. However, should one awaken and then not be able to fall asleep, then a longer acting form might help. I have tried a sustained released Melatonin myself. It was purchased from GNC. It did not end my awakening, although I thought, perhaps, I fell back to sleep a bit faster.
I guess what we both have to figure out for ourselves is what is awakening us, if it isn't a apnea or hypopnea. In my case, I thought I was awakening to urinate from my prostate problem, which is mild to moderate at most. If I wake up and don't try to urinate, I can't fall back to sleep, even though the amount I urinate is usually a rather small volume, under 60 cc. Prostate medication helps avoid hesitency but doesn't help my waking up. Bladder emptying studies, during the day, have showed that I am emptying my bladder. So the reason for my frequent awakening to void only a small amount remains a mystery at this point. They say that nocturia, alone, could be a sign of OSA, but my OSA seems to be treated effectively, and nocturia persists. So If it doesn't get better, (maybe I need to give it a couple more months with my APAP, I may need to seek another urologic opinion. Or I may have an anxiety problem that awakens me. (At this point I am certainly anxious about my bladder.) Although I don't feel depressed, it may be that my sleep would benefit from an antidepressant. The point of all this discussion is that there can be a variety of reasons for awakening. Unless you can figure what is awakening you, it is unlikely that you can fix the problem with a single shot gun, do all, medication. That medication has yet to be invented, or I would be taking it.
(This post was last modified: 06-29-2012 11:52 AM by BabyDoc.)