Is a Sleep Study for You? The Fibro Hope Messenger, Dec 2014, Issue 33
December 21, 2014
Dedicated to Helping You Recover from Fibromyalgia
Is a Sleep Study for You?
And could it bring you some answers?
I wanted to share with you my experiences around a Sleep Study. I was quite surprised at the outcome, thinking my fatigue was always related to fibromyalgia, so I urge you read on and see if this could solve a piece of your puzzle, too.
If you don’t have a lot of time, here’s the short version: I went for a sleep study and the results were not at all what I expected. I found out I have had Narcolepsy since I was about 17 years old. And the medication has really helped my quality of life! (Yes, medication can help--especially to jump-start your recovery in the short term.)
Read on for the whole story: Last spring, I decided to cut out sugar. I read the book, The 100: Count ONLY Sugar Calories and Lose Up to 18 Lbs. in 2
Weeks, (which I highly recommend) and was trying to stay under 100 calories of carbs/day. Honestly, when I was doing this diet, I was usually at 150-200 calories of carbs/day, which was a big improvement on carb intake for me (I'll admit, I can be a sugar addict), and I was losing weight. But, I started falling asleep at my desk, while working at the free clinic. Hmm, that’s not good. I was also working another job, and always had to take a nap in between jobs. Plus, I wanted to work on my business during the evenings, but I felt so tired that I could hardly make supper, let alone be productive. I often ended up on the couch. I was irritated a lot, depressed a little, and truthfully, not doing very well.
I thought this fatigue was part of my fibromyalgia and I had a
lot of tricks that I used (besides a nap every day) to stay awake. I watched very carefully what I ate and drank, because I noticed that certain things would really put me 'out' on the couch. I used the Allergy Testing Techniques that I teach my clients, to know if something would affect my energy in a negative way. This took vigilance, to avoid triggers that would make me tired. And constant vigilance can be tiring, too, right?
What I started to realize was that without the sugar/carb rush that I had eliminated on this diet, I couldn't stay awake when I normally would have been able to. As I'm sure you have done, I thought, "If I could just get a good night's sleep" I would be OK.
My Deeper Sleep Supplement Program gives me 6 or 7 hours of good sleep and consists of a full serving of
, 1 or 2
, and a half serving of
Shaklee's Soy Protein
before bed. This allows the body to relax and nutritionally supports the brain chemicals that promote and regulate sleep.
But 6-7 hours of sleep did not feel like enough. I was still tired during the day. Maybe you can relate? I figured, since my husband said I had taken to snoring in recent years, that maybe I had developed sleep apnea. I went to a Sleep Specialist, and during the initial appointment, my Sleep Score was 14 (a score of 10 or more is considered 'sleepy'). After speaking with the doctor, he suspected that I had Narcolepsy. I had considered this diagnosis many years ago, but because I was not falling asleep in the middle of a conversation, I had totally discounted the idea.
During this first interview, it came out that I started falling asleep in class my senior year in high school. I fell asleep and went in the ditch the following year. I continued to fall asleep in college (before I developed fibromyalgia
and was in so much pain that sleep was impossible). I remembered that my annual review at my first 'real job' noted that I was sleeping during my half-hour lunch every day (and the boss didn't like it much). As a stay-at-home Mom, I took a nap every day. But now that I was working 40+ hours/week, and my fatigue was affecting my work again, it was time to find out what was going on.
I did the overnight Sleep Study. The second half of the night (no supplements before bed) I was tossing and turning; it felt like I was in that zone where you are half-way between sleep and awake. I felt like I had slept terribly! I figured I had only slept about 4 hours and that all the wires hooked up to me would reveal this lack of sleep and all my problems would be solved, right?
To my surprise and shock, they said that I had slept quite well. I had slipped into REM sleep, suddenly, more often than normal but I had only stopped breathing (apnea)
about 10 times during the night, so this was not something they needed to treat. (If I had stopped breathing 80 times or more, this would have been a sign to treat the interruptions in breathing that cause of the poor quality of sleep in sleep apnea.) It did not feel like I had slept well at all!
And because the technicians in the Sleep Lab did not find the cause of my 'sleepiness' during the overnight test, I had to stay at the Sleep Clinic the whole next day. The daytime wakefulness testing has you again hooked up to many of the same wires as the night before. Every two hours, they darken the room, eliminate stimulation (no books or TV, etc.), and leave you like this for 15 minutes and see if you fall asleep. If you don’t fall asleep, they turn the lights back on after the 15 minutes. If you do fall asleep, they wake you after 20 minutes. Then, it’s an hour and forty minutes where you must stay awake (which took serious effort on my
part) and they repeat the darkened-room-without-stimulation scenario again. They do this 5 times during the day, beginning 2 hours after you wake up, and repeated every two hours.
After two rounds, the nurse commented that if testing continued in the same fashion, I would be scheduled for an appointment with the doctor as soon as possible. I managed to fall into REM sleepwithin about a minute and a half, each time they darkened the room. Actually, I had a pretty great day in the Sleep Lab. Five naps in one day; this was the best! I was scheduled for follow-up with the doctor within 4 days.
Turns out that no matter how much sleep I get at night, the doctor told me I would still be tired during the day. No matter how carefully I tried to regulate my thyroid, I would still be tired during the day, and whatever tricks I was using to stay awake, I would still be tired during the day.
I was diagnosed with
Narcolepsy and the doctor wondered why I didn't seek help earlier. I really thought it was just a leftover part of the fibromyalgia, that I hadn't quite solved yet.
As an adult, I have always struggled to muster the energy to function daily, and I always related it to the fibromyalgia. Now I realize the fatigue started about 4 years before I developed the pain of fibromyalgia. I wonder if Narcolepsy was a factor in my body developing fibro or totally separate? Interesting question. I am not sure of the answer--maybe not.
If you can relate to my story, I highly recommend a Sleep Study. If you never feel rested, even when on vacation and can sleep as much as you want, then get to a Sleep Clinic and find out, scientifically, if you are actually sleeping well or not. In fact, in the past I have thought that if you are dreaming, you are getting deeper sleep, but I've learned that there is one phase of sleep that is deeper than dreaming, that
is actually the most restorative.
The medication that I am taking has helped jump-start me. My sleepiness score has fallen from 14 to 3! I am still working on a combination and dosage of medication that is right for me, yet as low as possible. My ultimate goal is to not need these medications either, and my reference books outline that some of the feelings buried when Narcolepsy is present are:
*Wishing you were somewhere else or wanting to get away from it all
*Don’t want to cope anymore or can't cope
*Weary of responsibilities or wishing responsibilities would go away
*Not wanting to be here
I have to admit that some of these relate to my experience. You see, at age 16, I took over the complete running of a household. I bought the groceries, cooked, did the laundry, ironed the clothes—everything. This early start to responsibilities could very well have made me weary of same.
write this newsletter, I see where I will be focusing more of my own healing efforts, moving forward. The Narcolepsy medication has tamed my irritability toward my family when they ask me to do things for them, because I have the energy to do it now. But get this: the weary-of-responsibility theme is showing itself and I didn't really realize this is still an issue for me. (Wow, it is so hard to see ourselves, isn't it?) If I had not been writing this newsletter--a great testimonial for keeping a journal--I would not have put my irritation at having to cook a meal together with the Narcolepsy and emotions that lie buried beneath this diagnosis. I really do have more to work on--yikes--haha!
But I am thrilled to be feeling energetic again, really for the first time in over 30 years. The medication has helped me get back into the swing of life, having the energy to clear my own blocks, and I can also concentrate on the business of helping you heal, too.
If you are looking for help in seeing your own underlying issues that you need to address, schedule a set of Energy Healing Sessions with me. During a package of Energy Healing Sessions, I start by giving you a baseline routine to get the ‘stuck energy’ (as in emotions), moving. Then, we work on other tools to address recurring themes in your life, really getting to the core of the issues.
For instance, if you always get irritated when someone criticizes or corrects you, the core issue could be tied to an event or events in your childhood that made you feel worthless. The pain from childhood is triggered in these adult situations. While your adult self knows it is constructive criticism, your pain from childhood is stuck and getting triggered every time you are in a similar situation. This is the type of stuff I help you deal with, and clear, during Energy Healing Sessions.
As you and I journey together . . . let’s get you back to the health you deserve, so you can pursue your passion and fulfill your purpose, while generating the abundance you are meant to enjoy.
All for now,
Energy Healing Instructor
Life Hope Health and Wellness, LLC
1004 S. 10th Ave.
Virginia, MN 55792
Get started with the program below, that I recommend to all of my clients:
Great Taste No Pain
for a diet that will help you garner more nutrients from your foods, because you are able to more fully digest your foods when eating this way. Just sign up for the free report called "Pain Free in 1 Day", follow the menu plan for a couple weeks (there's multiple options each day) but stick to the rules and see how you feel. This is the easiest, healthy diet I know of, because you are still eating 'normal' foods that you probably already purchase.
Add movement, after following the instructions on my
Yoga Introduction Page
, into your routine, because your muscles will not call nutrients to them, without movement, nor will your body be able to remove toxins through your lymph system, without movement. Follow the directions on the linked page, to prevent ending up on the couch for two weeks after you exercise. Been there, done that, right?
To accelerate your progress, add my
Basic Fibro Supplement Program
from Shaklee. This is essentially the same program that I began over 20 years ago--with a few added nutrients to make it even more effective today. You are guaranteed to feel better in 30 days, or your money back, so you really have nothing to lose in trying. Be sure to get your membership to save 15% off every order.
Monitor your symptoms with the Fibro Symptoms Checklist that you should have received when you first signed up for this newsletter.
What I want most for you: to put fibromyalgia behind you and for you to be able to realize your dreams. No matter what your challenges, my mission is to help you regain your health and learn the lessons you came here (on earth) to learn, so that you can live life to the fullest, abundantly. I am so excited for you and I to take this journey together!
If you think something in this newsletter may benefit a friend, please do them and me a big favor and "pay it forward".