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Old 04-16-2019, 01:07 PM
857 posts, read 1,219,889 times
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I'm 39 years old, male, and have had difficulties falling asleep and waking during "normal" hours for as long as I can remember, at least back to elementary school days. It's not insomnia, as if I let my body do it's own thing, so to speak, I'll naturally fall asleep between 1am and 2am every day without issue, sleep fine, and naturally wake up around 8-9am, without an alarm clock.

If I try to go to bed earlier, I'll lie wide awake for hours, until falling asleep around 1am, sometimes as early as 11:30pm, but it's virtually impossible to get myself to fall asleep earlier than than. My bigger issue, however, is that it has been extremely difficult to wake up before 6am. I've gone as far as to put a big stereo in my bedroom connected to a cell phone as an alarm, and I'll sleep right through it blasting at nearly full volume. It's loud enough to be painful when awake, but I'll sleep right through it. I'm not even partially waking up to turn it off and fall back asleep, rather I will literally sleep right through the alarm ringing for hours...

Needless to say, this is very problematic when I'm supposed to be at work at 6am...

Most of my life, I've intentionally taken jobs where I work afternoon or night shift work, and have been fine with that. But my current job requires that I show up at 6am, my boss has noted that I've frequently shown up late, and now I'm getting the effects of chronic sleep deprivation.

Currently, I'm going to bed at 10:30pm, and have alarms set to start going off at 2:30am, where I'll usually wake up by 5-5:30am, and show up to work at 6:30am.

I've felt for a very long time that I have a circadian rhythm disorder, and finally went to a doctor this year. They gave me an at home sleep test, which came back as saying that I have obstructive sleep apnea. But I can't find anywhere where difficulty falling asleep and difficulty waking up is a symptom of apnea. I've never had a problem sleeping during that 1am-9am timeframe, it's only an issue if I try to go to bed/wake up earlier. I also don't wake up tired, or feel tired during the day, if I'm on the 1-9am sleep schedule.

My stepdad has sleep apnea, with the CPAP, so I'm somewhat familiar with it. My mom has also said that she doesn't think I have apnea as I appear to sleep fine, unlike my stepdad (they live on the other side of the country from me, so I sleep there when I visit).

Is there something else with apnea that I'm just not finding that would explain this, or do I maybe need to seek a second opinion from another doctor?
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:13 PM
Location: NYC
15,915 posts, read 23,672,316 times
Reputation: 24360
If you are thinking the doctor is incorrect, get a second opinion. Your mom saying 'you appear to sleep fine' is not a good way to gauge the doctor's accuracy.
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:30 PM
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
4,753 posts, read 1,998,413 times
Reputation: 11305
Sleep apnea usually involves lousy, fitful sleep with easy waking at night resulting in sleepiness all day. Your problem seem to be one of inconvenient circadian rhythm-- You get your 8 good hrs and are rested when you wake up, but the timing doesn't mesh smoothly with demands of your job.

Try going into crime-- They say it doesn't pay, but the hours are good
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Old 04-19-2019, 04:02 PM
Location: Las Vegas
1 posts, read 233 times
Reputation: 10
Most people are familiar with the most common form of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, which displays the symptoms some of the other posters have listed such as fitful and restless sleep.

However, there are 2 other less common forms of sleep apnea (they present with similar but slightly different symptoms): Central sleep apnea and Complex sleep apnea syndrome.

Central sleep apnea happens when your brain doesn't send the right signals to the muscles that are in control of your breathing. Obstructive sleep apnea happens when your throat muscles relax and Complex sleep apnea syndrome is when a person has both.

While what you describe doesn't sound like sleep apnea, it is possible to have sleep apnea along with another undiagnosed sleep condition. It could be that you do in fact have sleep apnea which is so exhausting to your body that when you do fall asleep you are unable to wake up to things such as alarms that you have set.

As another poster suggested, I would get a second and possibly 3rd opinion.

In the meantime, you could try some natural remedies or supplements (if you're into alternative remedies). Eu Natural makes a sleep supplement, Serenity Natural Sleep Aid that works well. It's a blend of Magnesium, Valerian, and Chamomile.

I know you said falling asleep isn't your issue, however natural supplements also help you have a peaceful sleep.
If in fact, you do have apnea, you may be having disrupted sleep and not even be aware of it. Awakenings are usually so brief that you don't remember them.
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:04 PM
2,821 posts, read 1,930,592 times
Reputation: 3537
Have you tried melatonin? I naturally want to sleep like you do but since I go to work by 6 am I take a melatonin at 830 or 9 and am out within 45 minutes. I do 3mg but you may need to experiment. It lets me get around 7 hours of actual sleep most nights according to my Fitbit.
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