Sleeping Struggles

minion

In recent posts, I talked about sleeping issues. I love my sleep. I love getting my 8 hours every night after a long hard day at work. Ever since I was younger, I’ve always had a sleep schedule. I remember in school I had to be in bed by at least 9pm in order to be up and ready for school by 7am. My dad was the boss when it came to instilling a sleep regime into me. I briefly remember my mom telling me that I was somewhat of a night owl. I still am! I prefer the nights and tend to sleep during the day. I don’t know why my sleep schedule is like weird and nocturnal like that, but it is.

When I grew up into adulthood, I had to instill and had to enforce a regular sleep schedule in order to function not only at school, but also at work. When you’re working long hours at two jobs and going back and forth to college, plus studying for exams is tough. My sleep schedule went hay wire. Working in retail really doesn’t help at all. Mainly because you don’t work 9-5 everyday. It doesn’t work like that. Most days, I would work a mid-shift, the next day would be a closing shift and then turn around to a morning shift. This really messed up my sleeping patterns and I was pretty much running on empty. But I sucked it up and did what I had to do because college isn’t going to pay for itself. My first car wasn’t going to pay for itself either, so I needed to work.

I will not lie when after my “breakdown” in 2005, I had to adjust to so many changes that were occurring in my life. Dealing with the death of my grandfather, slowly losing my grandmother to Alzheimer’s, going to and from school, working two jobs; all of these events were reeking havoc on my body. Typically, when I go to sleep, I get in my pajamas and immediately clear my head. I try not to think of all the stress that occurred in the day and take some deep breaths and relax. When I close my eyes, don’t expect me to immediately knock out really fast. My chihuahua will zonk out immediately when you say: “Get in your bed.” This girl will immediately hit REM sleep and starting snoring like a chainsaw. (Must be nice to be a dog! Without a care in the world!) Some nights, I will immediately knock out and other nights, it will take a few hours longer. When I go to bed around 11pm (I usually work until 10:30pm), I will go to sleep (or try to!) and sometimes, I can sleep throughout the night and other nights, I can’t sleep at all. I’m also a tosser and turner when I sleep. I will start on my back and then end up somewhere on the floor or hanging off the bed. Thankfully, I don’t sleepwalk or have more serious sleep issues like that. Some nights when I can’t sleep, I will stare at the clock over and over again. Isn’t that so annoying? How you sleep really depends on what’s going on in your life. If you’re going through a lot of stuff, then you’ll have a tougher time sleeping and staying asleep.

Just recently, I finally admitted to myself that I have a problem with my sleeping. I know that I snore because both my parents snore. I know that sleep apnea is something that occurs on my dad’s side of the family. I’ve had insomnia mostly during my college and during my early years working in the workforce. But recently, I’ve noticed that I’m sleepier during the daytime vs. nighttime. Granted, I don’t eat anything after 7pm and drink mostly water, but some days my body just doesn’t want to sleep. It was a few months ago during my mom’s ECT treatment when the doctor on duty performing the treatment noticed that she stopped breathing a few times. They put the oxygen mask on her so her brain wouldn’t lose any of that precious oxygen that our brains need. After the treatment, the doctor told me that she needs to be tested for sleep apnea because she stopped breathing a few times during the procedure.

So my mother and I are going to get tested for sleep apnea as well as insomnia or hypersomnia. I wouldn’t be surprised what the diagnosis is because all of them are treatable and depression can cause this. Both my mother and I noticed that when we don’t sleep well during the night, we tend to sleep during the day time. We will both be very tired during the daytime and could spend the entire day sleeping. That’s not good! So getting a sleep study done is probably a good idea so we know what we’re dealing with.

I know that I may have sleep apnea because I snore, and I’ve woken up with a dry/sore throat because snoring will do this. Sometimes, I will wake up by gasping for air (not all the time, just sometimes!) But my main concern is sleeping too much and sleeping too little. If you’ve been deprived of your sleep than you know how it affects your body. I will not lie when I say that I can be a real “bitch” (Excuse, my language!), I’m irritable, and I can’t concentrate or function at all. I will be at work or out in public and I will stop dead in my tracks and ask myself : “What am I missing let alone looking for?”

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But if you look at the picture above, it’s scary how lack of sleep can affect your body. Irritability is something I get a lot from no sleep! Memory lapses or loss or as I like to call “brain farts or brain failure” are something that I get a lot of. Everything else in the picture, I’ve experienced at some point.

43-Sleep-Apnea-12-04-2016

For the most part, I can relate to this: I do wake up with an occasion sore throat, headache and drowsiness, snoring and waking up. But will see what happens during my doctor’s visit.

sleep-related-breathing-disorders

But then again, it could be something like this, as well. I’m overweight, I do get congested after a night’s sleep. I pretty much experience all the symptoms of SRBD, but again I don’t want to make any assumptions until I get the official diagnosis from my doctor and sleep specialist. Living with depression is no easy task, but always remember that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. There’s help everywhere! But in order to get help, you need to stop living in denial and admit there’s a problem. I will you tell that I will be relieved as soon as I find out what’s causing my sleeping patterns to be goofy.

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