I've chronicled my battle with insomnia in this blog probably more than most people care to read. Needless to say, it's a problem, and one I've never really gone to a doctor for.
After answering a bunch of questions about the way I sleep, my sleep doctor told me I probably have sleep apnea, which would explain why I wake up so much during the night. It doesn't explain why I have so much trouble falling asleep, but he thinks that might be a behavior issue.
To confirm his suspicions, he wants me to do an overnight sleep study, which should be interesting. I'm pretty sure it will prove I have sleep apnea, particularly given what I discovered the first night after my doctor's appointment.
My doctor had told me to go to bed an hour later than normal, since it usually takes me an hour to fall asleep, anyway. He also said that if I didn't fall asleep within 15 minutes, that I should get up and do other things, like read or watch TV. But I needed to change the fact that my body no longer considered my bed a place for sleeping.
I probably failed at that. After lying in bed for twenty minutes, I felt like I was on the verge of sleep, and the thought of getting out of bed wasn't appealing. I probably laid there for another twenty minutes before I actually fell asleep, though.
It's what happened after that which has opened my eyes.
I know I wake up a lot during the night, but I don't keep track of how often. When my doctor asked me, I guessed that it was four or five times a night. But since I was very aware of the problem after having gone to my first appointment, I decided to actually keep track.
That first night after my doctor's appointment, I woke up 9 times during the course of 7 hours. That averages out to waking up every 46.666 minutes.
It is no freaking wonder that I'm exhausted all the time if I don't sleep more than 46 minutes at a time.
This also means that the sleep I'm getting generally isn't REM sleep. I decided to look up what that meant, and basically it means that I'm a crazy person.
The list of issues that can be caused by a lack of REM sleep is ridiculous, but there are quite a few that apply to me. And while it's kind of depressing to think about, it's also kind of comforting. I mean, it's entirely possible that a lot of the difficulties I have in every day life can be fixed.
Furry happy monsters, indeed.