Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Disordered sleep

I have had two sleep studies now in an attempt to get to the bottom of my "disordered sleep." From the first one, I found out that while I do not suffer from sleep apnea, I have an insane number of episodes of hypopnea, or periods of 10 seconds or more when my breathing becomes especially shallow or slow. I also woke up 12 times during the night for absolutely no discernible reason. (Though if they'd asked I would have explained that I start to ache anytime I'm in one position for too long and tend to wake a little whenever I have to move around.)

The second study was to try me on a BiPAP, which is a machine that creates positive airway pressure by blowing air down my throat. It's supposed to let up the pressure on the exhale. I managed to fall asleep with it on by meditating, but the second the nurse began to turn up the pressure (the goal was to adjust the level until my hypopnea frequency went way down) I woke up and had a panic attack. I tried to fall asleep again, but became very aware of the lag between when I would start to exhale and when the machine's pressure would let up. I spent the rest of the night sleeping without it.

At some point I will have to address the sleep issue and probably figure out a way to deal with the sleep mask, though I'll be trying some other methods first. Losing weight is always at the top of the list, though there's a good chance it won't be enough since I've had trouble sleeping since I was a kid.

Coinciding with my attempts to work on my own sleep issues, Scooter has experienced a bit of backsliding. Usually I'll talk about his sleep problems in the past tense, thinking of the years when he needed one of us with him to fall asleep and it would still take at least two hours. We did eventually get him to where he could fall asleep on his own, decently quickly too.

That's been eroding little by little, though we did not consider it all that significant since he still was falling asleep on his own. It took longer and frequently required several visits from one or both of us. But he was staying in his own room and mostly staying in bed.

Then we hit summer. As every child before him, he complains about going to bed before the sun goes down, but he still fell asleep not much after his usual time. We tolerated the sneaking out to his playroom to get "just one more thing."

And then he said he didn't want to sleep in his room anymore. The first night, he got into the Ikea tent he had set up in the playroom and said he would sleep there. He had brought a pillow and blanket. We figured it wouldn't last, given that the tent lay on a thin mat over hard tile. But he fell asleep quickly, even with us in the next room watching TV. This continued a few more nights, though I brought in floor cushions as a make-shift bed. We then successfully shifted the whole thing back to his room until he got tired of it.

At this point, he declared that he didn't like his bed anymore. Given that we don't possess any spare beds we could just haul out in the middle of the night, we worked with him to figure out what is so awful about his bed. Well... the pillow. I showed him our spare pillows and found one that would be acceptable if only it were blue. Pulled out a blue pillowcase. Then a blue sheet to serve as a blanket. The whole production.

So we've at least got him in his bed, which is acceptable again. But the sneaking out and general resistance to falling asleep in a timely manner continues. I fervently hope that the new school year will restore a sense of schedule--or at least tire him out enough that sleep comes quickly.


Aliki2006 said...

You know I feel your pain!

Kids just don't seem to mind where they sleep--even on a hard floor! When L. used to drag his sleeping bag into our room at night he'd just lie on the hard wood floor--we never could figure out how he found it comfortable, but he did.

No advice for you--we tend to just weather all the sleep problems he throws our way...unfortunately his anxiety comes out in sleep problems, and cracking down seems to compound the stress.

Lisa b said...

I feel for you. Lack of sleep or interrupted sleep is the worst.
I swear I have brain damage from the sleep deprivation of kids.

Too bad the bipap was so difficult as it might really help. What about adenoids?