Months and years have gone by as I unsuccessfully struggle to find something to help me fall asleep. I have blogged about it various times, the latest here: I never did the Ketamine Therapy for various reasons.
Over the years, Ihave undertaken several steep studies, the results of which say that I have apenea and need a CPAP. But, I say to them “Once I manage to get to sleep, I sleep. I just can’t FALL asleep. A CPAP will not do anything to help me fall asleep.”
Last night I did an at-home sleep test, which required that I wear a strap around my chest so that a sensor was where my heart is, a tube around my ears and into my nose so that my breathing could be tracked, and a sensor on my finger to gauge my oxygen levels. Even though I took some of the mariijuana gummies that often help get me sleepy, I was awake all night. Well, I might have dozed off now and again, but mostly I watched the hands of the clock move through the night. All of the paraphernelia I had to wear did not encourage sleep.
I know that we are advised not to get medical help off the internet, but the various doctors I have been to can only advise me to use a SAD light in the morning and go and sit before it. That’s the standard way to fix a Circadian Sleep Disorder. But I am so tired in the morning that I just can’t get myself out of bed until almost noon.
I have a theory that I can’t seem to get the doctors to consider, so I have been researching the way neurotransmitters have to work in order to support sleep and stave off depression. Severe, chronic stress, sleep deprivaion, and some drugs can cause neurotransmitter depletion. Some researchers believe that insufficient levels of neurotransmetters could lead to feels of sadness, depression, and sleep problems. One of the therapies that specialists use is Amino Acid Therapy, which provides the specific nutrients that the body needs to built its own neurotranmitters and rebalance the brain. I have been taking supplements, but apparently they are not enough.
Without an amino acid infusion for neurotransmitter balancing, it’s not unusual for patients to deal with an absence of dopamine or GABA, which means that they have difficult time resting, relaxing, and sleeping. Most importantly, neurotransmitter balancing reduces stress. With these natural chemicals, patients return to the point of equilibrium and feel more in control of themselves.
There are other theories that I am researching, including one that involves the brain producing an enzyme when under severe stress that diminishes the effectiveness of the “happy” hormones that the neurotransmitters send out.
My Circadian Sleep Disorder began during the five traumatic years I spent caregiving my mother while we lived with my brother in his house. I slept when she slept, forced myself to stay awake when she was, and had to survive abuse from my brother. When I finally moved out into my daughter’s house, I spent two years healing the best I good, but my sleep never went back to anything near normal.
I have always been a night person, but I still was able to fall asleep on a dime. Not any more.
My plan is to discuss all of this when my doctor calls me with the results of the sleep test. A Neuropsychiatrist is the specialist who can test for neurotransmitter functioning and prescribe a treatment. There is one locally, and my goal is to get an appointment with her.
I desperately need to knit up my raveled sleave of care.