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I want to sleep!
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #1
I want to sleep!
I went to my GP today and one of the things we talked about was my sleeping patterns. I have had insomnia long term but started having problems falling asleep a few months ago. Typically, by the time I know I am ready to sleep, I go to bed, do whatever, lay down, and I am out. But now, I lay down, and my brain is suddenly wide freakin' awake. Not every night, but enough of them that I dread going to bed so am instead up all night and don't go until I am exhausted.

We discussed options and decided to try first Benedryl (diphenhydramine) to see if getting my brain to sleep that way would reset everything. I started it tonight (25mg a few hrs before bed then another a half hour before bed). If that doesn't work, then we'll try melatonin. She doesn't think that will work for me though due to the already existing insomnia. Next up will be Ambien. I hesitate to try that due to the sleep walking/eating/etc that many people experience.

Meanwhile, my AHI is very erratic. It has been driving me nuts trying to figure out how to get it lower.

My questions are:

1 - has anyone tried the Benedryl method of getting to sleep and did it work? how long did you have to use it before you were "reset"?

2 - will Benedryl further mess up my AHI? (I don't think it will)

3 - will getting my sleep time more regulated level out the AHI or is it unrelated?

PaulaO2
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
03-04-2015 12:01 AM
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eseedhouse Offline

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Post: #2
RE: I want to sleep!
(03-04-2015 12:01 AM)PaulaO2 Wrote:  2 - will Benedryl further mess up my AHI? (I don't think it will)

Benadryl is a brand name for diphenhydramine, which is a first generation antihistamine originally developed in the 1940's. Like many of the "first generation" antihistamines it has a strong sedating action.

I have used it and found it made me feel terrible and in spite of the sedation the bad feelings kept me awake anyway.

I think anything that acts as a sedative will likely increase your AHI. That said, you can only try it and see how it works for you. Be really careful not to overdose, though. You CAN die from the stuff.

Ed Seedhouse
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I am neither a Doctor, nor any other kind of medical professional.

Actually you know, it is what it isn't.
03-04-2015 12:16 AM
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quiescence at last Offline

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Post: #3
RE: I want to sleep!
yeah, Paula, benad probably does affect your AHI. I take antihistamine, decongestant, and acetaminophen nearly every night. I do feel dependent on it. I tried melatonin and did not like the side effect (for me it caused confusion, delirium, and indecision). Maybe either will work for you.

If it were me, I would increase magnesium intake and /snip - snip/ CO2. Oh wait, that IS me. UPDATED to edit out discussion of CO2. PM me if you are heading in that direction and need more specifics.

Enough about the CO2, but magnesium, that is a real plus for insomnia! Pay attention to the ratio of calcium to magnesium (most of us are greater than 4 to 1, but we shouldn't be over 2 to 1).

My favorite way to get magnesium is chomp on almonds, but you can pick other things. Almonds (not salted of course) are good for me as they also do little harm to the blood sugar.

QAL

Dedicated to QALity sleep.
You'll note I am listed as an Advisory Member. I am honored to be listed as such. See the fine print - Advisory Members as a group provide advice and suggestions to Apnea Board administrators and staff concerning Apnea Board operation and administrative policies. Membership in the Advisory Member group should not be understood as in any way implying medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment.
(This post was last modified: 03-04-2015 02:33 PM by quiescence at last.)
03-04-2015 09:08 AM
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TiredToo Offline

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Post: #4
RE: I want to sleep!
I just figured I'd chime in on the Ambien, as I take this every time I go to bed. I have had problems sleeping for years, partly due to shift work (rotating between day and night shifts). Aside from the shift work, my biggest problem falling asleep is that I cannot just clear my head but instead my mind jumps around to different things. Not "worries" mind you, but random stupid things.

Anyway, drugs like Ambien can affect people in different ways. For what it's worth, while I don't know that I've technically walked around or eaten while literally asleep, I have definitely had numerous occasions of strange behavior (saying or doing strange things) and I often do not remember it.

BUT... this has only occurred after taking too many. I always take one before bed and most nights that is all I need and I sleep fine. The problem is (was?) that some nights it didn't seem to work so after an hour or more of lying in bed awake, I would get up and take another half. 30 minutes later, another half. This is where my behavior would get strange.

The really shocking part? That last paragraph is apparently what I *thought* was happening. According to my wife, she says I would be snoring for 10-15 minutes then I would just get up, go to the bathroom and come back to bed. I'd do this again 15 or 20 minutes later, and sometimes several times. What she didn't know was that when I went to the bathroom I was taking another half an Ambien. What *I* didn't realize was that I had fallen asleep at all. So in my mind it is 3 hours later, I have not fallen asleep yet, so I'd better take another half so I can sleep! In reality, I had been falling asleep for 10-15 minutes, then waking up thinking I never slept. Then repeat over and over until I finally did stay asleep. It scares me to think how many Ambiens total I may have taken on some nights. I've since taken precautions to avoid this by taking 2 out and cutting one in half and putting it in a separate bottle. This way I would know I have taken 1 1/2 total if I take that half pill.

Another BUT... Since starting CPAP 3 weeks ago this has not happened at all. At this point I am convinced that the machine is helping me stay asleep whereas before I was probably waking myself from snoring or breathing problems and not realizing I had fallen asleep and woke back up.

Regarding Ambien: I know this sounds pretty scary now, but if nothing else works for you or you have bad hangovers from other medications, I would consider trying it. The bottom line is that for me it really does help me fall asleep and when taken as it should be (one pill), I experience no ill side effects and have no hangover symptoms at all in the mornings - something I always hated about OTC sleep aids. Without the apnea waking me up repeatedly, it actually works very well!
03-04-2015 09:56 AM
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OpalRose Offline

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Post: #5
RE: I want to sleep!
Hi Paula,
Reading your post is like reading about myself! Sometimes it takes me over 2 hours to fall asleep only to wake up 2 to 3 hours later, staring at the clock and wondering why I'm awake!
My doctor told me to take a Claritin befor bed. I also suffer from congestion, but that does nothing but raise my AHI. Melatonin does nothing for me either. Oh well, this isn't about me, but when you mentioned Benadryl, I had been thinking of trying it, which I will start tonight. I am curious as to how it will work. Hope it works for you.
OpalRose

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03-04-2015 10:15 AM
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justMongo Offline

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Post: #6
RE: I want to sleep!
Hi Paula,
I used diphenhydramine as a sleep aid about 20 years ago. Long before I was dx'ed with OSA. It worked for me back then.
Diphenhydramine is an anticholenergic; and may suppress dopamine which is not good.

I take presently take 2.5 mg of sublingual melatonin about an hour before sleep. I am so beat by 8PM that I fall asleep within what seems like seconds.

I would be reluctant to use Ambien. It works on 1/2 of the stereo binding sites for GABA -- the same sites used by benzodiazapines. I have to believe it is addictive.

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
03-04-2015 10:43 AM
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Crimson Nape Offline

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Post: #7
RE: I want to sleep!
I too have a problem getting to sleep. It seems that I can barely stay awake until I put on my CPAP and then I'm wide awake.

I have chronic pain syndrome and use Norco (5-325mg). If I take 2 or more in a 24 hour period I start to itch. To combat the itch I use Benadryl and found it to be as effective and a shorter life than Ambien. Also, it doesn't give me the "hangover" feeling that Ambien produces. From my own experience I have found my body adapts to Ambien very quickly (addicted) and then it makes it harder to get to sleep without it. This not the case with Benadryl. I do keep Ambien around for those nights that I just have to get to sleep but I have learned not to take it for more than 3 continuous days. Lastly, my AHI's don't seem to be affected by either medication.

Statistics prove that people who have more birthdays live longer.
03-04-2015 11:33 AM
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Mich Offline

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Post: #8
RE: I want to sleep!
(03-04-2015 12:01 AM)PaulaO2 Wrote:  I went to my GP today and one of the things we talked about was my sleeping patterns. I have had insomnia long term but started having problems falling asleep a few months ago. Typically, by the time I know I am ready to sleep, I go to bed, do whatever, lay down, and I am out. But now, I lay down, and my brain is suddenly wide freakin' awake. Not every night, but enough of them that I dread going to bed so am instead up all night and don't go until I am exhausted.

We discussed options and decided to try first Benedryl (diphenhydramine) to see if getting my brain to sleep that way would reset everything. I started it tonight (25mg a few hrs before bed then another a half hour before bed). If that doesn't work, then we'll try melatonin. She doesn't think that will work for me though due to the already existing insomnia. Next up will be Ambien. I hesitate to try that due to the sleep walking/eating/etc that many people experience.



Meanwhile, my AHI is very erratic. It has been driving me nuts trying to figure out how to get it lower.

My questions are:

1 - has anyone tried the Benedryl method of getting to sleep and did it work? how long did you have to use it before you were "reset"?

2 - will Benedryl further mess up my AHI? (I don't think it will)

3 - will getting my sleep time more regulated level out the AHI or is it unrelated?

Have you tried Chamomile tea? It really does help and it is a natural remedy!
03-04-2015 11:56 AM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Location: western NC, USA

Post: #9
RE: I want to sleep!
Well, the two Benedryl method isn't going to work. Because it worked too well! Dang! I went to bed shortly after midnight and just now got up.

Anytime before 1am is early for me and 11 hrs sleep is way longer than I usually get. I had set an alarm for 9am (which would have given me about 8hrs sleep) but I didn't hear it and don't remember hitting snooze all that time until after 10. I was very tired when I went to bed and I remember getting the mask adjusted. I remember fiddling with it farting at my cheek. But that's it.

Tonight I will take just the one about a half hour before I want to go to bed and see how that works.

Diphenhydramine is the sleep agent used in a lot of these over-the-counter "PM" medications like Tylenol PM.

According to the screen, my AHI was 4.4 which is a little higher than what it has been but not unusual for me lately.

My typical sleep pattern is to go to bed around 2am and get up between 9 to 10am. Part of my anti-insomnia training is to get up at the same time each day, no matter what time I went to bed. I still set an alarm for that time but I usually wake up on my own. When insomnia kicks in, I can be up as late (early?) as 4am or even not go to sleep at all. If I do finally sleep, I make myself only nap for a few hours. Yesterday was one of those days. I didn't go to bed until 4. Fell asleep just before 5, got up at 9. This happens I guess several times a month, sometimes several days in a row before it settles. I've had counseling for it and have tricks I use to combat it. The best thing has been being able to do the 2-10 pattern as I fit that the best.

PaulaO2
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Breathe deeply and count to zen.

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
03-04-2015 12:09 PM
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Crimson Nape Offline

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Post: #10
RE: I want to sleep!
I forgot to mention that I've tried both melatonin and Valerian. DocWils had posted that the medical community in Europe uses Valerian to relax the patient the night prior to surgery. Other than the Valerian smelling like what we call "stink weed" that makes you have second thoughts about consuming it, neither had any effect on me.

Statistics prove that people who have more birthdays live longer.
03-04-2015 12:24 PM
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