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How do you know if your sleep is "unrefreshing"?

Discussion in 'Sleep' started by Wishful, May 19, 2017.

  1. Wishful

    Wishful Senior Member

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    When I see that symptom listed as a diagnostic criteria, I don't really think it applies to me. I go to bed at night. I eventually fall asleep (I always took a long time to fall asleep, even before CFS). I usually wake up several times in the night, sometimes requiring an hour or more to fall asleep again. Then I get up and don't feel like I need more sleep. I just don't know whether that qualifies as refreshing sleep or not. I'm wondering if it's just so long since I had normal sleep that I don't remember what refreshing sleep feels like. Sleep quality seems to be one of those qualities that we can't measure properly or compare to that of other people. Do sleep clinics actually measure sleep quality?

    I don't think I'd actually bother to go to a sleep clinic, since they wouldn't be able to do anything about the root cause (CFS), and I don't feel so dreadful by lack of proper sleep that I want to get into sleep drugs with side-effects and addiction potential. I'm really just wondering if I should mentally check that box marked "unrefreshing sleep".
     
    merylg likes this.
  2. Diwi9

    Diwi9 Senior Member

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    @Wishful - I can only speak for myself, others may have a different experience.

    When I wake up, there are a few seconds when my brain thinks "oh, that was a good sleep." Then, as I come to being fully awake and aware, I feel like I get smacked by a bus. Hmm...like I haven't slept at all...a hangover-like feeling. I'm tired, dizzy, and disoriented. It normally takes a few hours for this feeling to dissipate.

    Sometimes it does not resolve and my sound and light sensitivities increase until I eventually have to shut everything down and nap.

    Everyday is like Groundhog Day. It seems like if you have this symptom...you KNOW you have it. If you don't have it, you are very lucky and I hope you do not develop it!

    Sleep studies are expensive and almost useless except for ruling out sleep disorders like apnea. They do not provide too much insight into our sleep patterns, which are troubled and under-studied.
     
  3. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Compared to when I was healthy, my sleep is unrefreshing. Compared to not getting any sleep, my sleep is deeply refreshing!
     
  4. lnester7

    lnester7 Seven

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    You will be as tired or more tired when waking up. As if a truck hit you.
     
  5. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @Wishful - I've always thought the term "unrefreshing sleep" was somewhat meaningless. If I feel crappy when I go to sleep (e.g., from PEM or other ME/CFS symptoms), when I wake up after sleeping (if I'm fortunate enough to sleep well), I don't feel better, I think that may be what is meant by "unfreshing sleep".

    Whereas if a normal healthy person feels tired for whatever reason (and I'm not saying ME/CFS is feeling tired!), sleep will refresh a normal healthy person. But sleep itself does nothing for ME/CFS symptoms, although I generally (but not always) feel a bit better if I manage to sleep well.

    I think the problem with the definition is that the medical profession doesn't really grasp the reality of ME/CFS, that we are not sick from lack of sleep or lack of exercise, etc.

    I do think that PEM (post-exertional "malaise" - I hate that word!) is a much more accurate barometer of ME/CFS.
     
  6. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

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    When my ME was worse I had months of unrefreshing sleep - I would get up feeling absolutely awful, stomach problems, same headache I had gone to bed with, slumped at the kitchen table hardly able to bear the normal sounds around me, and welcome to another day of ME. My ME was just as bad or worse than it had been when I went to bed the night before.

    Now I've improved I feel quite well after a good night's sleep. Yesterday I had to get up at 5:00 am and drive 2 hours to work, so I was tired. But it was lack-of-sleep tired, which is a completely different kind of tired to ME tired. So I can have a poor night's sleep, an interupted night's sleep, and wake up feeling tired, but I don't consider that to be unrefreshing sleep ME style.

    For me ME unrefreshing sleep is when I go to bed with ME symptoms and wake up to find that they are all still there and completely unremitting, I wake up feeling like crap and completely exhausted before the day even starts.

    These days if I go to bed with ME symptoms, I might wake up feeling improved after a good sleep. So that's refreshing sleep.
     
  7. Jessie 107

    Jessie 107

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    I usually sleep quite well, but when I wake up for a minute I think I feel ok, then it hits me and I feel ill again no matter how well I have slept. It also takes me ages to come round in the morning, almost like I've just come out of a anaesthetic. If you're sleep is unrefreshing you will be aware of it.
     
  8. PatJ

    PatJ far and free I gaze

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    I think of feeling refreshed as feeling more energetic, clear headed, decent mood, 'restored' from the energy used in daily activities.

    I went for a period of years where I would fall 'asleep', toss and turn all night, then wake up feeling exactly the same as when I went to bed. No extra energy, no change in mood, no sense of having had a good refreshing/restorative night of sleep.

    I never had any sense of sleep grogginess. It was like a switch flipped between full consciousness and full unconciousness. When waking up to change position in the night I would be fully awake, roll over, then immediately switch back to unconsciousness.

    The degraded sleep gradually worsened over a couple of years so I had no idea how bad it was until I started taking supplements to help improve sleep. My sleep is much better now but still not normal.
     
    MEMum likes this.
  9. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    When I first became ill (26yrs ago) I slept fine. I woke up feeling refreshed, but within a few minutes I felt as though I was hit by a truck. I believe I had refreshing sleep but something else unrelated to sleep was causing me to feel terrible.
     
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  10. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    Unrefreshing sleep just means the CFS doesn't go away after a good night's rest.
     
  11. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member

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    I think there needs to be another term for actually feeling worse after sleep. "Unrefreshing" just suggests that you're no worse off than when you went to sleep. In my experience, "recovering from sleep" back to the usual baseline impairment took an hour or two.
     
    arewenearlythereyet and *GG* like this.
  12. PatJ

    PatJ far and free I gaze

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    When I sleep at night I don't feel miserable when I wake up in the morning (as long as I use a bunch of sleep supplements). But if I sleep/nap/doze during the day then I often wake up feeling drugged for the next hour or several hours. I agree that we need different terms for these various sleep effects.

    * Unrefreshing describes my sleep without the aid of sleep supplements.
    * Light but not normal describes my sleep with supplements.
    * Drugged, disoriented zombie hit by a truck describes how I sometimes feel after a nap.
     
    arewenearlythereyet and *GG* like this.
  13. Wishful

    Wishful Senior Member

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    I'm glad that I bothered to post the thread. I did experience what I would describe as unrefreshing sleep (see thread 'Unrefreshing Sleep and Iodine'). However, I think my confusion over the term is mostly due to it being a really confusing term chosen by someone who doesn't have CFS. For diagnostic purposes, it should be changed to something along the lines of: 'fatigue that isn't reduced by sleep'.
     
  14. sharks

    sharks Senior Member

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    Same thing with me I felt like a constant hangover. Which makes sense, because when I drink my blood sugar goes crazy when I sleep and I wake up at 3 am/6 am and 9 am.
     

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