How to recognize if you are getting restorative sleep.
All too often “restorative sleep” is never felt or recognized, simply because if you never had it, how would you know it was missing?
What about the “night-owl” that is unable to fall asleep until the wee hours of the morning?
Not hearing all five alarms, the doorbell ringing, dog barking, or kids yelling in the morning.
Isn’t this normal? You will often hear them say, everyone in our family does this.
I will have to admit the “Night-owl” patient would happen to be a bit personal.
It describes myself as well as most of my family members.
It would have gone undiagnosed had I not had the opportunity to work with Dr. Margaret E. Mike, MD, a neurologist who specializes in sleep health.
She was keenly aware of my ADHD tendencies, as well as my constant complaints of leg aches.
I had always dealt with “growing pains”as a child. then as an adult I would often find it difficult to fall asleep, or stay asleep, I would often wake up several times a night.
I also suffered from night terrors. As long as I can remember I have had the most vivid realistic dreams, most often traumatic events involving family members. I was not aware that “remembered dreams” were actually because of poor sleep quality.
She started me on a medication called Mirapex, starting at a low dose and gradually increasing every seven days.
The medication that is used to treat this disorder is also used for patients that suffer from parkinson’s disease. It is formulated to target the “movement center” in the brain telling it to “turn off” enabling the body to rest as intended so that the body is able to achieve quality restorative sleep as nature intended.
The third week of taking the medication the difference in the way that I felt was drastic, I did not know how sleep deprived I was. There are no words to describe the dramatic change in the way that I felt. I went from “night-owl” to morning person, Jumping out of bed in the morning with a smile ready to take on my day. I no longer felt my bed calling my name as it had my whole life ( usually only in the day, never at night). The lack of sleepiness helped me to erase the stigma and shame that I grew up with, the feeling of self hatred because I felt so “lazy”. My whole life was spent by disciplining myself to push through it, self- medicating with caffeine, finding sweet relief for my RLS/leg aches with what I like to refer as “lobster boil” baths (sit in tub, with lukewarm water while slowly turning up the hot water while turning off the cold) always using Dr. Teal’s Epsom salt.
Most of my life I was sickly, mostly just plain whiney, I suffered from chronic pain.
After having kids I would often end up in the emergency room in an attempt to find what was the cause of the flare ups.
Scans revealed an enlarged spleen, another time gallstones, I also was admitted with kidney stones so on and so forth, needless to say, my twenties happened to be the most unhealthy years.
I often wonder what if I would have had my sleep disorder treated long ago, would I have struggled as much with my health?
My total life transformation was short lived, the medication that I was taking appeared to be causing some congestion, so I started taking another medication that works the same way. Known as Requip.
I thought I was doing ok, until, family members noticed my old tendencies returning, the difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep as well as the difficulty in waking the next morning.
That is when I had a sleep study, which revealed that I had severe periodic limb movement disorder. My legs kicked 109 times per hour WHILE taking medication!
In case you aren’t aware these results are outrageous!
The most fascinating discovery to me was how flawed my perception of how I slept was.
I would have sworn it took me hours to fall asleep, but in fact it only took ten minutes; however it was revealed that the leg movements were the cause of the initial awakenings as well as multiple awakenings throughout the study.
The reason became clear as to why it was often difficult to awaken in the morning.
Data revealed that the leg movements were keeping me in light sleep all night until about 0400, which happened to be my first REM cycle.
Normally we should cycle through each stage of sleep every 60-90 minutes!
No wonder I was a “basket case”!!
I was then taken off the Requip, tried a variety of meds, then ended up taking the Mirapex again since it was the most successful; however there was still the issue with the night terrors not to mention the RLS.
I was then put on another medication as well as had my ferritin levels drawn.
Ferritin levels should be > 65 ng/mL to avoid experiencing symptoms of RLS, mine was 37 ng/mL. I was then prescribed iron supplements.
Needless to say, Iron isn’t easy on the stomach.
I was not able to continue taking them.
I have learned to accept the fact that I’ll always suffer to some degree from the effects of non- restorative sleep.
That is until recently.
I have found myself voraciously reading about CBD oil and all the discoveries found concerning all of its health benefits.
The question I pose is:
WHY HAS THERE NOT BEEN RESEARCH DONE WITH THIS FOR SLEEP HEALTH???
Every health benefit that is listed from the use of CBD Oil targets the same pathways in the brain that would cause RLS/PLMD which would equal non-restorative sleep, causing the symptoms of ADHD, Anxiety, Depression. Not to mention the Inflammation factors among so many other health problems that are intensified by non-restorative sleep.
What is the delay??
How has this not been studied yet?
What will it take to get this studied?
I’m imploring to all the powers that be, please, please, please for the sake of all who suffer with poor sleep quality; put together a study let’s do the research, and perhaps we may discover that quality sleep is as simple as a small drop of CBD oil.
I would love to discover that there is actually a solution to getting restorative quality sleep because once you have experienced its benefits, there will always be that knowledge of how “normal” is supposed to feel.
There is no rest, for the one who has once found it, but has never quite found out how to keep it.