Living with a Sleep Interruptions
(Columbus, OH, US)
I used to be a deep sleeper. I could sleep uninterrupted for the entire night, but after the birth of my children, I began to experience problems with my sleep pattern.
About five years ago, I began to have periodic interruptions of my sleep. These interruptions usually occurred 2 to 3 hours after I had gone to sleep and I would be awake for 30 minutes to an hour.
This problem only happened every couple months and would only last a few days, but as I’ve gotten older, the pattern has increased and I’ve been experiencing these interruptions much more regularly.
Obviously, the day after these interruptions were difficult to maintain focus and I was tired. If the interruptions last for several days, I found my work performance suffered.
When they initially occurred, I just waited until the pattern broke and I could return to a normal pattern, but when they became almost constant, I had to try a different approach. I tried Benadryl and other over the counter sleep aids, but they left me groggy into the next day.
I also tried melatonin, but found it had little or no effect. So, I discontinued its use.
I also tried to monitor the problem to see if there were any environmental conditions that added to it, but could see none. I tried eliminating caffeine from my diet and also tried to exercise each day and while this helped, the interruptions continued. This did help some, but the problem still persisted.
I decided to consult my physician and he suggested a sleep study to check to see if I have sleep apnea. The sleep study showed that I did have sleep interruptions, but sleep apnea was not evident.
My doctor did finally prescribed Ambien which really helps on nights in which I have had several previous nights with interruptions. My dosage is 10 mg, but I usually just take halve of the dosage and that does help alleviate the interruptions.
What I like about the Ambien is that it has little or no side effects and does not stick with me into the next day as some other medications have. I can say that if anyone does try Ambien, they need to be ready for sleep very soon after they take their first dosage because it does take effect quite quickly.
I have been using Ambien as a sleep aid for several months now and like knowing that if I need it, I can take one of the pills to help me sleep through the night.
Along with Ambien, I have also worked on adjusting my night time rituals and have established a regular pattern of when I go to bed. I target 10:00 PM as my goal to get to bed each night. This has helped because even if I do have a problem, I have some extra time to get the additional rest I need.