Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

No sleep!

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 12 Replies
  • Posted By: Skyler
  • December 28, 2008
  • 04:36 AM

Hello people,

I am 48 years old and haven't slept well for at least 3 years. As I am writing this today this is my 3rd day in a row with ZERO sleep, I'm toast!

Problem is I am not even tired mentally, but physically wiped out. I have a racing heart, with extreme anixety. When I try to sleep I can hear every sound in the neighborhood...As AM becomes PM...Over and over as my sleep deficit builds up.

I have OCD, but I am on "Medicare" and I cannot get a doctor to do a cat scan, due to my lack of Insurance I assume, I have tried many years.

I have always taken sleep for granted never, drank, smoked, drugs etc...Although, for about a year now I have been drinking about a pint of "Vodka" in the evening to help me sleep...But, unsuccesfully.

I have tried everything under the sun to sleep you name it...herb teas, showers, routine, melatonan...etc, etc. It makes me sad to see the same old suggestions for sleep which unfortunately don't help.

I constantly have a feeling of complete terror and dread. Any help would be greatly apprecited...Skyler :eek:

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12 Replies:

  • Diagnosing sleep disorders can entail rather lengthy evaluation and under certain guidelines, Medicare will pick up the tab for a sleep study. You should locate the nearest state university hospital system with a sleep clinic to discuss options. I think it's safe at this point to permanently shelve the vodka. CNS depressants like this cause changes in neurochemistry and do not improve sleep onset or quality by any means whatsoever. And you can consume all the herbal tea, supplements and other junk remedies you care to without positive effects on sleep onset as well. First of all, it's necessary to understand some basic functions of sleep and how you can use this information to help you get a better foothold on the problem. If you are trying to sleep in a room where light is penetrating to any extent, then you need to take steps to completely prevent it from entering the room. Realize that the reticular activating system in the brain is responsible for regulating sleep/wake cycles and the presence of light within the spectrum of a sleep disorder will go a long way to prevent or disturb sleep onset. If you are not tired at your normal bedtime, do not get into bed but rather remain awake and occupied until you sense any evidence of fatigue. Use the opportunity to go to bed and try to rest. If sleep does not commence, arise and read or watch television until you next feel a sense of fatigue but under no circumstances should you snack or eat a meal of any kind, which increases metabolism and subsequently, altertness. By establishing this practice, you are helping to adjust problematic factors related to the body's circadian rhythm. Many shift workers have this type of problem and it can become quite debilitating if not resolved. Do not eat any sooner than 2 hours before your regular bedtime and stay clear of caffeinated products for the time being. Also, do not use the bed for reading or watching television, but rather strictly for sleep. From a psychological perspective, and the more difficult and challenging task to accomplish, is to mark an ending point for the reflection of the day's residues with a commitment to re-establish activities the following day at a specified hour. Once you enter the bedroom and lay down, you should mentally close the door on issues that generally invoke apprehension, vigilence and forward planning. This type of rumination can go a long way to induce insomnia and clear habits must be established to supplant these patterns with less provoking ones. Lastly, do not worry excessively that you're not sleeping well, ie "I'm toast." Although fatigue can bring about notions of poor health, the body is amazingly resilient and other than some daytime somnelescence and possibly diminished performance factors, you'll survive until matters can be remedied. Work to establish the conditions described and take steps to locate a state university sleep clinic for the purpose of obtaining a sleep study and evaluation. This will provide you with some firm direction and actually move you closer to obtaining some positive results. Incidentally, if you don't mind sharing, I'd also be interested to know why you're on Medicare at 48 years of age. While as a physician, I can presume that you're either referring to Medicaid or are under some type of disability, it'd be more informative to know precisely in that it may be a factor related to the problem at hand. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies
    • December 28, 2008
    • 05:38 AM
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  • Thank-you so much...That is the most enlightning information I have had to date. I am on disability for OCD, which became very apparent about four years ago. I get a bit too much money per month for "Medicaid" so they have me on "Medicare" which I believe is not as comprehensive as "Medicaid." I worked all my life right up to the beginning of my disability. I will try the University route...Good information. Although, people seem to be rather indifferent to my situation. Again,thank-you and any additional information, you can think of would be helpful...Regards-Skyler
    Skyler 1 Replies
    • December 28, 2008
    • 06:07 AM
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  • What is OCD? Just another little piece of advice. If you are waking up from sounds, maybe using ear-plugs could help? They helped me a great deal to overcome a bout if insomnia. Good luck, Skyler! :)
    Felsen 510 Replies
    • December 28, 2008
    • 04:12 PM
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  • Ok, Skler for years, at least four, I have had the same problem. My body physically is exhausted but I can't mentally shut down. First, I'd like to say that the mere anxiety about another night of not getting to sleep keeps me up. The steps I have found to work is one, eliminate caffine all together (even if you feel you need to stay awake throughout the day), two, exersize, even if you walk for an hour in the AM IN FRESH AIR, three, STAY AWAY FROM ALCOHOL, the use will only increase your anxiety and inability to cope with extra stressors, four incorporate enjoyable activities throughout the day, get out! Five eliminate light all together from sleeping quarters, do no other activities in bed except sex and sleep, THAT MEANS NO TV, NO READING. Five, add white noise, a cheap box fan works for me. Six, don't eat two hours before bed. Six, I know you said you tried teas, but a cup of Chamomile tea with lavender everynight before bed will help mentally relax you. I can assume you are on SSI if you receive Medicare for OCD, you may take some medications prescribed by a Psychotheripist, have them re-evaluated, and last but not least relieve yourself regularly, even if you have to do it yourself, I'm not a doctor, but I know what works from experience and research. Maybe you can help me with my bowel problems, lol! Goodluck!
    jenevesss 6 Replies
    • December 28, 2008
    • 05:11 PM
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  • I was sorry to hear of your problem.I have dealt with sleep problems for the past few years.My doctor finally gave me Trazadone that works great.I only have to take a half a pill and most of the time I sleep all night long.Good luckSteve
    stevierayp 9 Replies
    • December 28, 2008
    • 09:50 PM
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  • First,I agree with everything Dr.Cottle said(and wish I could say it as well as he does!).Next,the old saying that lack of sleep never killed anyone is not true.Studies have shown 4-5fold increase in traffic accidents in people who are seriously sleep-deprived.Next,are you on any meds for OCD?If you aren't,you need to be on something.It seems to me that your OCD is playing a major role in your insomnia.I see nothing wrong with your taking a sleep medication now,just when you're so frantic.I recommend Ambien because of its low abuse potential and rapid onset of action.I bet you'll need the 10mg.It is,of course,a prescription.I also know of no reason you shouldn't take it with OCD.I've likely forgotten something,but I'll just add it if necessary.Oh,yeah,the person writing this has had chronic insomnia for42years.I take generic Ambien,10mg,at bedtime as well as 200mg of trazodone,which has already been mentioned.I also practice good sleep hygiene.Too,I take 10mg of diazepam(Valium)at bedtime,and this regimen works very well for me.Anxiety once kept me awake for hours or caused me to stay awake if I woke up during the night,which I usually did.After some serious therapy I learned to turn the ''committee meeting'' in my head off until the next day.I hope you get some sleep!
    richard wayne2b 1,232 Replies
    • December 30, 2008
    • 10:45 PM
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  • You don't need a CT scan for your sleep problem.Also,I had a sleep study done to rule out sleep apnea,but it was normal.
    richard wayne2b 1,232 Replies
    • December 30, 2008
    • 10:50 PM
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  • Blaze is ablaze with zealotry over what she thinks is electromagnetic sensitization.The only thing I agree with her on is the effects on amalgam fillings.Other than that idon't agree with her and her ''junk''science!
    richard wayne2b 1,232 Replies
    • December 31, 2008
    • 01:13 AM
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  • Maybe your OCD explains your obsession with electromagnetic sensitivity,Blaze.
    richard wayne2b 1,232 Replies
    • December 31, 2008
    • 01:32 AM
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  • I wouldn't jump to an irrational assumption and call it cause and effect.
    richard wayne2b 1,232 Replies
    • January 7, 2009
    • 04:37 PM
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  • Blaze,I think one of your compulsions is to state your electromagnetic beliefs over and over and over and...
    richard wayne2b 1,232 Replies
    • January 7, 2009
    • 04:45 PM
    • 0
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  • Blaze,to save me time in refuting you all the time,let me ask you a simple question:is there anything that your so-called electromagnetic sensitivity does NOT cause?
    richard wayne2b 1,232 Replies
    • January 7, 2009
    • 05:05 PM
    • 0
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