Thanks for the replies so far! I’ve had three sleep studies done. All the doctors were all neutral and never felt I needed treatment. One picked up mild sleep apnea, another picked up mild upper airway resistance syndrome, and another said no treatment is required. It was only through my request that I’ve been through multiple sleeping medications, muscle relaxers, anti-anxieties (I’m not anxious), and anti-depressants (I’m not depressed). All of these had made my sleep worse. As a note, my minimum oxygen saturation levels of the sleep studies were 89%, 93%, and 89%. I’ve also tried CPAP for a week and it also made my sleep worse. I’ve tried several sleep apnea mouth pieces and they also made my sleep worse. Given all of this, I believe I don’t have sleep apnea and that in fact it is another medical condition that is causing my wake ups (I describe it below).
Just to give a brief summary:
I have no problem falling asleep, usually within 5 to 15 minutes.
The first four hours of the night, I mainly do not wake up. It is only the last four hours that are the most destructive and cause me to wake up about 30 times. I’m conscious of all of these 30 wake ups, then change sleeping positions and fall asleep in two seconds, only to have this cycle repeat again in another 5 – 10 minutes later until I get out of bed feeling completely unrested.
When I wake up, I am not choking or gasping for air. My sleep studies also indicated that my total snore time is around 1 to 2%. To the best of my knowledge, when I am waking up, it feels as if my neck is numb is numb (no pain) and I have to reposition my neck on the pillow and/or roll over to the other side.
I’ve been through about 20 different pillows ranging from $30 to $120 over the past 3 years.
I don’t really remember any of my dreams possibly because of the interrupted sleep.
Any and all sleeping aids including prescriptions have made my sleep worse.
I’ve read sleep books on proper sleeping hygiene and have tried them all. Nothing even remotely has helped.
I have absolutely no problems staying awake during the day, driving, or other activities. My “Epworth Sleepiness Scale” is generally very low like a 1 or 2. However, my major major major problem is that I cannot last beyond 9 pm. This has severely impacted my social life over the past five years because I can’t hang out with friends or family past this time. I am just too tired and have to go to bed. I cannot live a normal life like this and I am looking for help.
The reason I believe I am waking up is due to a medical condition called thoracic outlet syndrome. I was diagnosed with this recently and I will be having surgery hoping that this will hit the root cause of my sleep disturbances and my mysterious numb neck at night time. Unfortunately, when I go to sleep doctors and describe this condition and how it might cause sleep disturbances, they all look at me cockeyed. After further reading on the forum, it is my opinion that since I do not wake up choking or gasping for air and do not snore (less than 2% of sleep time), the 30 sleep disturbances that I’m conscious of are unlikely to be due to sleep apnea. I just wanted to see what everyone’s thoughts were to help rule out sleep apnea to make sure it is not the root cause of my sleep disturbances.