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Alpha intrusion

Discussion in 'Sleep' started by Yellowblue, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. Yellowblue


    Hi, I am new here. I will first state that I have not been diagnosed with CFS/ME I just have been diagnosed "chronic fatigue" along with unexplained mild muscle and joint pain. I have had every test come back normal except my sleep study that showed I have what they call Alpha intrusion 7.4 times an hour. Doctor said this was common in people with chronic fatigue and pain disorders. So they put me on a anti-depressant to help me sleep. I just wondered if any one here has this condition and if medication helped or not? I have not seen much of a different on the medication and cannot find much information online about it either. Just multiple articles on its possible connection to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Thought I would ask here if that is ok. Thanks everyone :)
    skiesareclearing likes this.
  2. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem All Good Things Must Come to an End

    If you added "Alpha Intrusion" to your title it might attracted the attention of the people you would like to reply.
    alex3619 likes this.
  3. skiesareclearing


    Berkeley, CA
    @Yellowblue Hi, I'm new too. I'm just saying hello-- I don't know anything about this issue, but wanted to reply anyway. Hope you get some help.
  4. Never Give Up

    Never Give Up Collecting improvements, until there's a cure.

    When we observe the electrical activity of the brain, like during a sleep study, we see that it comes in waves with frequencies that are specific to wakefulness, sleep, and different stages of sleep. Alpha waves are characteristic of wakefulness, they're fast, 8-13HZ. When you go to sleep the electrical activity slows down. Stages 1 and 2 sleep have a little bit of alpha, but stages 3, 4 and REM should have none.

    When they say you have alpha intrusion, what they mean is that you have little bits of wakefulness intruding into your sleep. Most likely because pain is disturbing your sleep all night long. Alpha intrusion 7.4 times per hour, over the course of 8 hours is 59.2 times! Imagine being awakened by a noisy neighbor 59.2 times per night, night after night, week after week, for months and years on end. You'd be pretty tired and fatigued.

    There are no great answers to this problem. Getting rid of your pain would probably fix it, I would keep looking for a cause of the pain.

    Some anti depressants can reduce pain and improve sleep, some antidepressants just make you sleep through it a bit better.

    It is also possible that your alpha intrusion is not caused by pain. The alpha intrusion could instead be causing the pain and fatigue. There is no treatment for that at this time. Maybe some day...
    Lyratic likes this.
  5. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

    Left Coast
    you also may want to find a sleep forum or pain forum. Something specific to that since chronic fatigue is not chronic fatigue syndrome
    Valentijn likes this.
  6. Yellowblue


    Thanks for the information. I don't have a lot of pain it just shows up every couple of days and lasts a few minutes to a couple of hours. It annoying more than anything and normally is pretty mild. The fatigue is more constant but it even changes in intensity and type. So I am more incline to say that the alpha intrusions is causing the pain not because of the pain.

    I have always had problems with sleeping and have taken sleep medication off and on for years. I not sure why now I am having fatigue and pain. Mysterys of life I guess.

    Yes I know. I stated above that I have not been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. I will look into a sleep forum since I doubt I would belong in a pain forum.
  7. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

    Xyrem is a sleep drug that treats alpha intrusions, but in the U.S., it's only approved for narcolepsy and cataplexy. Sleep doctors used to prescribe it off label for fibro patients.
    helen1 likes this.

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