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Unrefreshing Sleep / REM Cycle / Circadian Rhythm / CBD:THC

Discussion in 'Sleep' started by Howard, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. Howard

    Howard

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    I hope this isn't too unfocused, but these are a few potential pieces of the puzzle I've been mulling over for some time, and to me, are seemingly interrelated.

    Generally speaking, I’ve only experienced restful, fatigue-reducing sleep, approximately 8 to 10 times per calendar year over the past seven years. I typically fall asleep around 10 p.m. and then awaken between 3 and 4 a.m. due to being overheated and/or experiencing tooth related pain.

    I'm usually up for one hour before falling back asleep again, waking up fully between 5:30 and 7 a.m.

    The only time I feel some amount a recovery, meaning, my muscles muscles don't ache, my body feels rested, and the tension disappears, comes as a direct result of my utilizing the 5:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. sleep window.

    Sometimes I experience this result from sleeping a mere 15 minutes during this specific time frame, or the sleep duration can last up to one hour within this specific time frame.

    And when I awaken after these pseudo naps between 5:30 a.m. and seven, it's almost always in the midst of a vivid dream state, which I'm assuming is a partial REM sleep cycle.

    This may equate to nothing …… but any theories?

    Additional Information

    Immediately prior to my becoming ill I worked the graveyard shift, technical support, for seven years (roughly 7 p.m. until 5 a.m.). I thought it possible that my circadian rhythm never reset once I switched back to the day shift, possibly causing these difficulties, but I've never found any literature to support this theory.

    I also considered the fact that my digestive processes were permanently offset, complicating the digestion (peristalsis) and affecting my ability to properly utilize nutrients… some form of gastroparesis. An eventual “emptying test” seemed to disprove this theory.

    Mostly Unrelated

    Since April 2018 I've been experimenting with nightly CBD oil / THC vaping. Initially I started with a 3:1 CBD to THC ratio and experienced refreshing sleep 10 out of the first 14 nights!

    Ever since that initial burst of refreshing sleep the effectiveness has diminished, however I do get refreshing sleep at least once a week now, which is an improvement.

    After two months at a 3:1 ratio, I increased the THC to make a 1:1 ratio (resulting in slight, but fleeting sense of relaxation immediately after ingestion) which has seemed to have no effect whatsoever on my overall sleep quality at night.

    The lasting benefit of vaping has been that I am now able to take occasional 10 to 20 minute naps during the day, which are typically refreshing and typically involve waking in the midst of vivid dreams.

    Prior to this experimentation and despite being exclusively bed bound and physically exhausted for the past three calendar years, I'd never been able to nap even once.

    Lastly, and this part isn't sleep related, but ever since I've begun utilizing the CBD / THC I've had an appetite. If I don't eat, I actually get hungry. My body, or my brain, craves food. It's a weird sensation. This is the first time I've been hungry or felt hunger in the past seven or eight years.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope my words make grammatical, and perhaps even logical sense. Up until nine months ago I was unable to read more than a paragraph or two per day, much less form and dictate meaningful sentences into my phone...

    Kind regards,
    H
     
    mattie likes this.
  2. Wolfcub

    Wolfcub Senior Member

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    Such an interesting post @Howard Thank you.

    I don't know much. I am pretty new to all this myself. But I send you my kind thoughts.

    That is very good that you have discovered some ways and things to help you get more refreshing sleep!
    I know what CBD is but I'm not sure what THC is...(?)

    I also feel better somehow when I have remembered dreams/woken at the end of an REM cycle. But that's not a new phenomenon. I always did feel that even when I had no issues. Better energy for the day.

    For a completely different reason, I was experimenting with Theta wave cycles a few years ago, and found that if I slept a few hours, woke up, mooched around gently for a little while (30-60 minutes or so) then went back to bed I entered a whole different kind of sleep which was conducive to lucid dreaming and other odd things! (I won't go on about that as it's a bit off-topic here)
    Someone I know who is interested in deep meditation told me that they may have been Theta brain waves occurring then.
    Just a thought.
    But I also felt energised after that last sleep early morning. That happened even when I was 100% well.
    There has to be something in it....but I am not sure what.

    All the very best to you.
     
    Mary likes this.
  3. InitialConditions

    InitialConditions

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    My usual sleep cycle is around midnight - 9 am, or 9:30. I often wake feeling awful - groggy, lots of muscle soreness etc. I've noticed several times that when I wake at say 7 or 8 am, I can often feel much better - that unrefreshing sleep feeling seems to be somewhat reduced. There is definitely something going on.
     
  4. Wishful

    Wishful Senior Member

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    For me, eating a high-fat meal in the evening (even late afternoon) will make me wake up feeling overheated, as if my internal furnace was blazing away. Check whether your meals correlate with the overheating effect.

    I too often wake up in the 2-4 AM period and take an hour or so to fall back asleep. This insomnia is usually the result of easily-digested carbs (sugar or starch), particularly if eaten in the middle of the day; early or late seems less of a problem. If I do fall asleep again after this carb-insomnia, I often have vivid dreams too.

    I don't think that my sleep is unrefreshing. It's just that I experience ME-induced fatigue that isn't reduced by sleep. Is it possible that your 'feeling refreshed' is a side-effect of whatever allowed you to sleep that morning, rather than from the sleep itself? I can't remember the last time I woke up feeling refreshed/energetic.
     
    Wolfcub likes this.
  5. Howard

    Howard

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    @Wolfcub

    Thank you for taking a few moments to respond.

    THC is the active ingredient in cannabis that causes a user to feel “high” and may also have additional health-related benefits .. I was apprehensive about adding THC into the mix, but fortunately I don't receive much of a “high” sensation based on the ratio I'm utilizing.

    Sleep

    Based on my limited knowledge it sounds to me like you’re entering into Stage 5 sleep (REM cycle) during your “second sleep.” That's what I believe is happening to me after 4 a.m. … although the quality and duration is unknown.

    Sometime ago I read an interesting article explaining why humans woke up in the middle of the night, explaining that it used to be commonplace in days of old. Perhaps it served an evolutionary purpose, but I don't exactly recall.

    My suspicion is that I am seriously lacking in REM sleep quality and / or duration due to any number of factors.

    For whatever reason I awoke yesterday with incredible amounts of energy and mental clarity. I almost felt as though I could get up and walk around. It was by far the most energized and unquestionably the best I've felt overall in four and a half years.

    I have no idea why or how it happened. Everything I do and everything I eat is exactly the same every single day. And as far as I am aware, there were no anomalous events involved.

    Of course, today that feeling of being energized has now passed.

    Meditation

    In regards to meditation, it always helps me to varying degrees. I'll take a look at the theta wave cycles more closely.

    Kind regards,
    H
     
  6. Wolfcub

    Wolfcub Senior Member

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    Yes that's exactly what I feel. Most times I sleep well 8hours, feel alright when I wake up, and stretch and get up, get on with the day...
    And it's nearly always within one-two hours that the fatigue starts to hit. That unnatural fatigue that should have been (and always used to be) healed by a good night's sleep.
    Every day it's the same feeling as if I only got four hours' sleep. Or rather like in the past when I'd had no sleep for two nights (say) and then it takes a few days to "catch up". That same zonked exhaustion and weakness.
    Only now there is no "catching up", and it happens even when I have had 8-9 hours a night healthy consistent sleep.
     
  7. Howard

    Howard

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    @InitialConditions

    I apologize for not including a specific link, but I've read that the perfect amount of sleep for an individual may range from 7.25 hours to 8 hours total (previously thought to be 8+ hours). This amount of sleep allows for the sleep stages to be completed in their entirety.

    To the best of my understanding, sleeping an additional hour beyond the recommended sleep amount may lead to re-initiation of the sleep stage cycle, and then waking up in the middle of a stage.

    Apparently, waking up during different sleep stages yields differing results, in regards to how you will feel … more restful versus awful.

    Of course, who knows how that works with us, the ME/CFS gang. So you may wish to take this information with a grain of salt.

    Again, I apologize for not having the specific study/studies to reference.

    Kind regards,
    H
     
    Wolfcub likes this.
  8. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    These circadian issues have many threads here. I have had big issues with circadian problems for decades. When I talk to patients I rarely see it in patients sick less than three years, and mostly see it in patients sick over ten years. Ron Davis announced earlier this year that the closest expressed gene match for ME/CFS is African Sleeping Sickness. Contrary to popular belief these patients do not sleep too much. They sleep the wrong hours. Eventually its fatal within years if untreated, so there are differences with ME and CFS.

    Right now I have limited shattered sleep and quite a few years ago my sleep times started wandering around. I have gone weeks with less than an hour per day of sleep. I usually wake up feeling horrid. However sometimes I wake up with enough energy to easily get dressed and make a drink, and occasionally even start making breakfast, without any pacing. I currently attribute this to sleep restoring my stored muscle energy, and I am OK until it runs out. It runs out in just minutes.
     
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  9. Howard

    Howard

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    @Wishful

    Thanks for the food for thought... pun intended!?

    My simple diet remains exactly the same each and every day. The times in which I ingest the food is nearly exact, but there's surely some variance involved. I will keep closer track to see if I find any correlation (overheated vs. non-overheated waking).

    Note: ingesting carbs causes me to immediately feel overheated and physically weakened, so I do my best to avoid them.

    Fatigue / Good Question

    I understand what you're saying about “feeling refreshed.” For me there's a notable difference. If I have a rough night, sleeping only 4 hours or so, I wake up feeling like I was hit by a truck. Everything hurts, aches, and I have difficulty thinking clearly.

    When I sleep 7 hours or so, I'm typically fatigued / exhausted, the normal everyday ME symptoms that keep me bedridden 24/7.

    And then there are the rare occasions when I wake up not immediately assessing my physical situation, because the muscle fatigue is more subdued. And by coincidence or not, I feel more calm on these rare mornings (when I wake-up mid -dream between 530 and 7am).

    Sorry for the long answer, I'm mostly thinking out loud. But nothing really changes in my routine that would directly impact my sleep routine, outside of my mindfulness and meditation practice, which seems to have variable levels of day-to-day success.

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention, there may be something here related to meditation practice, or non-practice worth investigating.
    H
     
  10. Wolfcub

    Wolfcub Senior Member

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    @Howard , That must be the reason why I will feel awful if I sleep 7 hours (worse than six!) Eight is okay but never feels right. Flat. Nine hours, and I will remember dreams, feel more rested....etc Six hours or six and a half and I can feel not too bad. Nine, even better. Seven -yuck. I'd never understood that before.
     
  11. Wolfcub

    Wolfcub Senior Member

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    I'm sorry to have to "like" this, @alex3619 If there's one thing I'd like to ask for, it's for sleep to return to you...no matter what time of day/night it is. Just that you may sleep. Kind thoughts. :tulip:
     
    alex3619 likes this.
  12. Wishful

    Wishful Senior Member

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    I find it very useful to change things occasionally, to see if there are any correlations with symptoms. If you do things exactly the same every day, you're missing out on the opportunity to discover things that help or hurt you, or which did help you but then stopped working at some point. Keeping a diet/activity/symptoms journal is vital for such experiments, because we're so terrible at remembering such things accurately. I also include oral temperature when I feel that it might be abnormal, which turned out to be a good indicator for some factors.

    One example for me was fats. At one point I started having worse symptoms from meat. I gave meat up for a year or two. Then I went for dinner with some friends and had some beef, which I expected would make me feel worse the next day. Those expected symptoms failed to appear. That led to more experiments with meat, and the findings that I could tolerate ~180 g of beef, maybe 30 g of pork, and not even a mouthful of chicken without triggering symptoms. Then I stumbled across a list of foods containing carnitine, and beef had lots, pork had about 1/6th the amount of beef, and chicken had trivial amounts. Based on that, I bought some l-carnitine, and it allowed me to eat even half a chicken without triggering symptoms. I'd never have learned that if I hadn't changed my routine and given meat another try. I'm reasonably sure that I was responding to the palmitic acid content of foods, but the effect disappeared before I could verify it. I think taking carnitine daily altered something in my body which fixed the problem long-term.

    Maybe there's something in your diet that is causing you problems, and you won't realize it without changing your routines. Even if you continue with a low-carb diet, just switching the time of day you have certain foods (bacon in the morning and beef in the evening) might show some effects on symptoms.

    I've certainly appreciated what I've learned by changing my daily routines, and by experimenting with new things.
     
  13. Howard

    Howard

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    For a time, my motto has been “no change in variables, no worsening of my condition.” But you are also correct in that there can be no improvement either (your l-carnitine example), unless occasionally rearrange some of the deck chairs, or perhaps even, reupholster them.

    As an example, this past Tuesday I nearly forgot to drink my daily dose of tart cherry juice. Instead, I drank it in the evening right before it was time to go to sleep.

    I awoke Wednesday morning having more energy and feeling better than I had any time in the past 4 and 1/2 years. I almost felt as though I could get out of bed, and perhaps walk. I was giddy with excitement, but that's the type of crazy refreshed painless energy I experienced.

    The only variable that changed was my drinking the tart cherry juice before bedtime, as opposed to mid-morning. So this evening, I intend to replicate the tart cherry juice experiment.

    So your commentary is very timely, as well as encouraging. I can't fear change, although it's easy to do after so many failed supplements, vitamins and changes in diet.

    And for anyone who doesn't know this already, tart cherry juice may have myriad nutritional benefits related to sleep and muscle recovery.

    Please see the following link:
    https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-tart-cherry-juice-benefits#section3

    My doctor originally prescribed the tart cherry juice six months ago to help resolve/dissolve my kidney stones.

    So thank you, I appreciate your input,
    H
     
  14. Wishful

    Wishful Senior Member

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    Even if the giddiness of the cherry juice proves hard to duplicate, at least you've learned that it is possible to feel better, and that your symptoms aren't permanent. I think that's important to remember when you're feeling down.
     
  15. RuralRick

    RuralRick

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    Have you been tested for sleep apnea?
     
  16. Howard

    Howard

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    Actually, I have a home test with my name on it, as soon as I come up with the cash.

    Thank you for asking
     

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