Sleep Doctor

I saw a sleep doctor the other day because I’ve been having trouble sleeping.  It’s been weird, for the first 6 months after the stroke I slept excessively.  Then, I had problems with insomnia.  Now, I switch between sleeping excessively and insomnia.  But I’m always tired during the day no matter what.  So I saw a sleep doctor.  She had a statistic on the wall that 70% of stroke survivors have a sleep disorder, particularly sleep apnea.  So she ordered a sleep study.  She said she never would have done this if I didn’t have an unexplained stroke at a young age.  I want the sleep study so I’ll do it but I don’t agree with some other things she told me.  Here is what she said to do.  To tell someone who has a brain injury less than 2 years old to not go to bed until midnight, sleep for 7 hours, and not take naps is incredibly awful advice.  I might be almost 2 years out from the event but I am still very much healing and recovering and I need a lot of sleep.  I had a major, major brain event and it will take me years to recover fully, if I do, and in order to do this I need to sleep A LOT.  I’m not going to do these things.  Oh well, at least she didn’t prescribe me a sleeping pill.  She told me to make a bunch of behavioral changes, I guess that’s a step in the right direction for a Western doctor.

Categories: Health, Recovery, Stroke stuff

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8 replies

  1. She was lazy, she just handed out the standard prescription with no thought expended on what stroke might do to it. My doctor wrote a similar prescription along with a sleep test. I nap whenever I can.

  2. Fatigue is my most severe deficit and I am just two years out. I NEED to nap. I’ve tried to eliminate my nap and it makes everything worse. On days I don’t nap, I can’t sleep at night. It’s horrible. I’m exhausted…too tired I think. When I nap, I feel much better, everything works better and I sleep better at night. I think a sleep study is a good idea. I had one, they found lots of things wrong (almost no REM sleep, periodic leg movements, etc.), but no apnea for me. My doctors didn’t know what to do about the results, so I’m still super tired but trying to listen to my body as far as what to do. Naps are good!! 🙂

    • I agree, naps are good! No REM sleep, do you have dreams?

      • I had no dreams until recently, I’m hoping that means I’m getting better. Now I notice I normally have dreams just before waking, which is better than having none like the past 2 years. I’m guessing my major fatigue is at least somewhat related to abnormal sleep, secondary to brain damage from my brain surgery and stroke. I hope your study provides better insight and potential solutions than mine did.

  3. My insomnia has gotten much better (3 years out from my stroke), but I still go through phases when I have a terrible time with sleep. I also decided that my sleep doctor was just wrong about naps–when I get overtired, I *really* can’t sleep.
    The book “No More Sleepless Nights”, by Hauri & Linde, seems like the most common-sense book about insomnia.
    Good luck.

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