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Sleep Disorders/my brain seems to shut down

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Question
Hello and thanks for your input and expertise!

I'm looking for help in getting a grip on what's going on so that I can help my doctor find answers to my problem.

I'm a 56-yo non-smoking female, in overall good condition, at what my Dr. says is optimal weight, and I exercise with some regularity, doing strength and cardio. I am Dx'd anxiety disorder and am under the care of a psychiatrist who Rx'd fluoxetine (working well)and Sonata. I might drink 5 oz of wine in the evening, but not every day, nothing harder.

At night I usually take hours to fall asleep, so I take Sonata. This usually but not always helps.

The problem is that about once a week I become almost totally useless. I start out well, shower and dress and then sometime during the day, usually in the AM, I feel as if my brain is shutting down like a computer that is updating and needs to reboot. When this happens, I *have* to take a nap. I can feel it coming on and can try to stave it off, but if I am driving, it's dangerous.

I have had a sleep study, and was put on a CPAP. They said some of my problem originated in the CNS and was not just apnea. The CPAP does not help this problem. I've had the CPAP and still needed to take a nap.

I've cut out caffeine, lost weight, tried to discipline my bedtime hours, but it seems no matter what I do, I still have this problem at least once a week. It appears to be unrelated to anything I consume or whether I exercise. Sometimes one nap isn't enough! But often the next days I am full of energy, so I try to get a lot done so that I will have some leeway when the next bout hits. Fortunately, I am an at-home wife.

DO you have any ideas in what direction I should go when working with my doctors?

Answer
PLEASE FORGIVE CAPS.  I ALWAYS FIND ITS EASIER TO READ THAN SMALL LETTERS.  fIRST OF ALL YOU HAVE MULTI ISSUES NOT JUST ONE.  BASICALLY WHAT YOU ARE EXPERIENCING IS A COMBINATION OF BRAIN FOG( WHICH IS DUE TO LACK OF RESTFUL SLEEP) possibly NARCOLEPSY WHICH IS A SLEEPING DISORDER WITH THE UNCONTROLLABLE URGE TO SLEEP AT INAPPROPIATE TIME,WHICH THAT ONE I TEND TO PUT AS LASTLY) MY GUESS IS THAT YOU MAY HAVE NOT OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA BUT CENTAL SLEEP APNEA WHICH COMES FROM THE BRAIN AND IS MUCH HARDER TO CONTROL.  YOU NEED TO HAVE YOUR CPAP SETTINGS CHANGED. WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IS GO BACK TO THE DOCTOR WHO ORDERED YOU THE CPAP, AND TELL HIM THAT YOU ARE EXPERIENCING THIS TROUBLE DURING THE DAY,  THE CPAP SETTINGS MAY BE TOO HIGH AND THE PRESSURES MAY NEED TO BE LOWERED.  THE DOCTOR WHO PRESCRIBED IT GAVE THE COMPANY THE SETTINGS.  MANY TIMES THIS HAPPENS WHERE AFTER A WHILE THE CPAP IS MAKING THE PERSON MORE TIRED  BECAUSE THE PRESSURES ON THE MACHINE MAY BE SET TOO HIGH.gOING BACK TO THE DOCTOR WHO ORDERED HIM THE CPAP. I SUGGEST yOU ALSO BRING THE CPAP MACHINE WITH YOU SO THE PHYSICIAN IF HE KNOWS THE MACHINES AND HE SHOULD BE ABLE TO SET THEM SO THAT IT DOES NOT TAKE SO MUCH EFFORT TO TRIGGER TRIGGER THE MACHINE, THAT MAY HELP YOU BE LESS TIRED DURING THE DAY,BUT UNDERSTAND YOU MAY HAVE CENTRAL SLEEP APNEA WHICH COMES FROM THE BRAIN SO YOU MAY NEED TO BE PLACED ON PROVIGIL WHICH ARE STIMULANTS USED FOR NARCOLEPSY AS WELL AS USED FOR CENTRAL SLEEP APNEA.BUT UNERSTAND THIS IS DUE TO CHEMICAL IMBALANCE IN BRAIN AND MUCH HARDER TO CONTROL.  NOW NEXT THING. NO MORE WINE.  MANY TIMES WITH SLEEP DISORDERS, ALCOHOL HAS THAT EFFECT AS IT MIXES IN WITH THE MEDS AND MANY TIMES WHAT ALCOHOL IS TO RELAX A PERSON, IN YOUR SITUATION IT IS WORKING AS A STIMULANT CAFFEINE, INSTEAD, SO STOPPING THE WINE WILL TAKE A FEW DAYS FOR YOUR BRAIN TO READJUST MISSING THAT CHEMICAL EVEN THOUGHT  . nEXT YOU HAVE TO RESET YOUR SLEEP INTERNAL SLEEP CLOCK, WHICH IS YOUR SITUATION IS SCREWED UP. SLEEP MEDS SUCH AS LUNESTA, OR AMBIEN, OR EVEN SONATA.  YOU MAY HAVE TO SWITCH IT TO THE  TIME OF DAY YOU TAKE IT,  IF YOU ARE TAKING IT AT NIGHT, I WOULD SWITCH IT TO THE DAYTIME, SO IT DOES NOT INTERFERE WITH YOUR MEDS. ALWAYS WHEN YOU HAVE A SLEEP PROBLEM BE IT NARCOLEPSY, SLEEP APNEA, SOME MEDS WHAT WORKS FOR ONE IN THE MORNING, WORKS FOR ANOTHER AT NIGHT.  BASICALLY ALL OF YOUR BODY RESPONSES TO MEDS MAY BE ALTERED BECAUSE OF YOUR SYSTEM.  MANY PEOPLE DONT REALIZE BUT SOMETIMES MEDS ARE MORE WORKABLE WHEN TAKEN AT DIFFERENT TIMES OF DAY. FOR INSTANCE I HAVE NARCOLEPSY. IF I TAKE MY PILL AT 9AM, NO SIDE EFFECTS YET IF I TAKE IT 10AM IT PUTS ME TO SLEEP.  AND YOU MAY HAVE THAT SAME TYPE OF SYSTEM.BUT YOU MUST ALERT YOUR MD FIRST BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY CHANGES .IF YOU STOP THE MEDS TAKING THEM ESPECIALLY SONATA YOU WILL HAVE BRAIN FOG, YOU MUST GRADUALLY REDUCE THE DOSAGE IF YOUR MD WANTS TO STOP IT, MANY JUST DO AND DONT WARN THE PT, THAT THIS MAY CAUSING YOUR PROBLEM. EVEN IF YOU DIDNT HAVE THIS PROBLEM. SONATA AND ANY OTHER MEDS WHICH IS WHY YOU SHOULD NOT STOP IT ABRUPTLY BUT WEAN OFF IT,  CUT OFF A QUARTER OF THE PILL EVERY 7 DAYS UNTIL YOU ARE OFF IT. THIS IS IF YOU HAVE TO STOP THE SONATA, BUT FOR NOW YOU MAY WANT TO ASK YOUR MND IF YOU CAN CHANGE THE TIMING OF IT.  NEXT YOU WIL FOLLOW AS MANY OF THESE NEXT TIDBITS IN RESETTING YOUR SLEEP CLOCK. ALL OF THIS WILL TAKE AT LEAST 6 TO 8 WEEKS.


         

IF AFTER 6 WEEKS, NO IMPROVEMENT IS SEEN YOU SHOULD CALL YOUR LOCAL HOSPITAL AND ASK FOR THE NEAREST SLEEP DISORDER UNIT TO HAVE YOUR SLEEP MONITORED.

YOU CAN ALSO GO TO SLEEPNET.COM FOR MORE SLEEP FORUMS.
TRY THESE TIPS RELIGIOUSLY FOR AT LEAST 4-6 WEEKS BUT MANY HAVE SEEN
RESULTS IN AS LITTLE AS TWO.

3 HOURS BEFORE BEDTIME, STAY AWAY FROM,CAFFEINE, ALCOHOL, CHOCOLATE
EXERCISE,CARAMEL COLORED SODA LIKE PEPSI,COKE, AND GINGER ALE.
ALL THESE MAKE FOR RESTLESS SLEEP.

30 MINUTES BEFORE BEDTIME TAKE A HOT BATH.  LATEST RESEARCH FROM
JOHN HOPKINS IS THAT PUTTING THE HANDS UNDER THE WATER ,PALMS UP, SEND IMPULSES TO THE BRAIN THAT IT IS TIME TO RELAX FOR SLEEP.

15MINUTES BEFORE BEDTIME, DRINK A GLASS OF WARM PLAIN MILK. MILK WHEN HEATED CONTAINS TRYPTOPHAN , A NATURAL AMINO ACID SLEEP INDUCER.

WHEN YOU GET INTO THE BED TAKE A FEW DEEP BREATHS, YOU ALSO CAN SET YOUR RADIO FOR SOFT MELLOW MUSIC HOWEVER, PUT IN ON A TIMER FOR 20 MINUTES.DO NOT TWIST AND TURN FOR MORE THAN 20 MINUTES.  IF SO GET OUT OF BED, GO INTO A DIFFERENT ROOM, AND READ A BOOK OR MAGAZINE, NO TV OR COMPUTER.  WHEN YOU START TO DOZE, IMMEDIATELY GO BACK INTO THE BED. THIS RETRAINS THE BRAIN INTO THINKING THAT THE BEDROOM IS FOR GOOD RECUPERATIVE SLEEP.  DO THIS AS MANY TIMES AS YOU AWAKEN THRU THE NITE.  IT WILL LESSON AS THE WEEKS GO fORGIVE THE LONG LETTER.  FEEL FREE TO EMAIL AGAIN kAREL          ON.  

Sleep Disorders

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Karel Sleis

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all questions on sleep disorders,expert on narcolepsy,its symptoms

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i have narcolepsy since age l6

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past chairman of the american narcolepsy association
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