Working On Us Prompt: Sleep Disorders

The past few days have been pretty busy, so even though I did want to blog, I hardly found the time. Now it’s already latish evening too.

Today I’m once again joining in with Working On Us, for which the prompt this week is sleep, insomnia and other sleep disorders.

As a child and teen, I suffered from insomnia a lot. I would often be awake for the whole night or hardly sleep at all. On week-ends, I sometimes made up for it by sleeping in, but I was definitely chronically sleep deprived. Though my parents sometimes suggested, and I don’t know whether they were joking, that I take valerian or melatonin, I wanted nothing of it. In fact, when I was going in for eye surgery at age seven or eight, I refused the tranquilizer they offered us before the operation. I also constantly fought the anesthesia.

When I was 20, I sought treatment for my insomnia for the first time. My GP prescribed temazepam, the most commonly-used sleep medication here in the Netherlands at least at the time. I was very scared when first using it, being that I’d not taken any medication in years, not even paracetamol.

I think that what lay underneath both my insomnia and my refusal to take medication for it, was an intense fear of losing control. I was, after all, pretty compulsive particularly as an older child and teen.

My sleep issues escalated in 2007, when I lived on my own in Nijmegen. Though I didn’t sleep less than I had as a younger person, I did suffer from the effects of sleep deprivation more. When I was admitted to the psychiatric hospital, the first medication I was prescribed was again temazepam. Then followed another few benzos and even levomepromazine (Nozinan), which is normally only used for palliative sedation.

I had to take “twilight anesthesia”, which means high doses of benzos, several more times prior to procedures and chose them over the pain that would otherwise ensue. However, I still had terrible fear when I “awoke”.

Other than insomnia, I’ve had an assortment of other sleep issues. My husband said at one point that I have hypersomnia, because I slept so much. This was probably down to a combination of medication, vitamin and iron deficiencies and lack of structure.

I am a sleep talker and I snore too. The snoring got slightly better as I lost weight last year. I’m not sure whether it’s worsened again since I’ve gained weight back up again. The sleep talking comes and goes with stress.

Lastly, I suffer from vivid dreams and nightmares. They’ve gotten a little better now that the long-term care situation is more or less settled, but during times of stress, I very often awaken in a state of shock because of vivid dreams. That is, I’m not 100% sure they’re REM sleep dreams or night terrors (which happen during stage 4 sleep). I’ve never had a sleep study done either.

9 thoughts on “Working On Us Prompt: Sleep Disorders

  1. Hello, Astrid! My goodness, you really have gone through quite a lot since you were a child. I agree sleep deprivation is even more frightening. Hallucinations and/or crashing for over 24 hours. You simply never feel well-rested.
    My roommate suffers from hypersomnia…She can sleep for days, 36 hours was one of the longest stints she’s slept. It freaked me out when I first moved in back in 2017. I kept checking to make sure she was alive.
    I also have extremely vivid dreams that have made me jump from the bed in a panic. Once I realize it was only a dream (PTSD), it takes me a very long time to fall back to sleep, if I fall back to sleep at all.
    Thank you so very much again, for participating in Week #13 of “Working on Us” It’s always a pleasure hearing for you. Now that it’s late in the evening by you, try to get some much-needed rest. Take care of yourself. 💚

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Astrid:

    it is scary to go under when you are not conscious.

    You don’t know whether you’ll come back as yourself again – or your selves in this instance.

    Also there is a sense of passivity induced.

    In 2016 I had a lot of hyperinsomnia and in the earlier part of 2019 until early May.

    “My sleep issues escalated in 2007, when I lived on my own in Nijmegen. Though I didn’t sleep less than I had as a younger person, I did suffer from the effects of sleep deprivation more. When I was admitted to the psychiatric hospital, the first medication I was prescribed was again temazepam. Then followed another few benzos and even levomepromazine (Nozinan), which is normally only used for palliative sedation.”

    I hope you didn’t think you were going to die – unless palliative sedation – more like calming/gentling?

    Yeah – the effects of sleep deprivation do tend to tell as you get older. Especially in your 20s – the first half of them anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment. Re Nozinan, no I didn’t think I was dying. I didn’t know at the time that Nozinan is normally only used in palliative care. Though I did suffer with a lot of health anxiety at the time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very relieved for you, Astrid. And the anxiety is acknowledged and understood.

        When did you first learn that Nozinan was normally used in palliative care?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh that sounds like you’ve had a whole lot of experiences with sleep issues! I’m glad things are a little better now that your situation with long term care has become clearer. As a control freak myself, I get the fear of being sedated to the point that you can’t control yourself or things that affect you, it’s not quite as much of a problem for me now as it used to but I get it, hence I’m happy that thee have been only a few instances so far that I had to be under anaesthesia. Vivid dreams can be really draining and overwhelming, sometimes even after you do realise it was just a dream, so it’s good you have less of them now.

    Liked by 2 people

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