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Waking up after REM
sleepdeficient posted:
I can't seem to sleep more than a few hours a night. It's been almost three months and I'm completely physically exhausted all the time now. When I do eventually fall asleep, I'm up after only 2-3 hrs, sometimes less and some nights I can't sleep at all. I dream when I sleep, rather vividly actually, so I know I'm hitting REM but it seems like I'm not cycling...I wake up after dreaming and can't go back to sleep. I have researched causes and ways to alleviate insomnia and implemented many of the caffeine, dark and quiet room, proper diet, etc. all to no avail with getting more than a few hours of shuteye. The only time I've been able to "sleep" more than 4 hrs is if I consume massive amounts of alcohol and literally pass out cold (no dreams even!). I don't like to do this for obvious reasons but I'm getting desperate...I don't have med insurance right now so no Rx or possibility of doing a sleep study unfortunately. I'm pretty certain it has something to do with my circadian rhythm malfunctioning and just wondering if there is a specific disorder that fits the symptoms, one in which people can't get from REM back to NREM sleep? Thanks in advance for any responses.
jce1978 responded:

Be aware that you are not alone. I have many of the symptoms that you describe and--with much experimentation--have found several medications that might be beneficial to you. Like you, large amounts of alcohol can help me sleep through the night, but we both know that is not the answer. The meds that are effective for me are not expensive. As I understand it, you might be missing slow-wave sleep, which is not the same as REM sleep. Please post more of your background; I might be able to help.

sleepdeficient replied to jce1978's response:
Thank you John. I just did a bit of research on slow wave sleep and that is exactly what I am missing! I think I'm in a temporary prolonged REM rebound state, which explains why I dream so much, and why when I wake up I can't get back to sleep. I'm waking from the REM stage because I'm not able to reach deep sleep. At least I now I have a better understanding of what's happening and I think I even know why, which is beautiful because that's the first step to fixing the problem! I atook note of a couple of things in the articles I researched that my shift my SWS patterns to a healthier level. Thank you so much for the response. Much appreciated!!!
sleepdeficient replied to sleepdeficient's response:
Oops...that should say "I took note of a couple of things in the articles that I researched that MAY shift my SWS patterns..." see what sleep deprivation can do to a person...

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For more information, visit the Duke Health Sleep Disorders Center