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Less sleep -feel better! Decent sleep -feel dodgy! What is going on?

Wolfcub

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I wish I had an answer to this. It's been happening to me now for 20 months (the length of time I've had ME/CFS.)

It seems if I have a bad night, very few hours of sleep (4-5) I end up feeling NO SYMPTOMS the next day. I feel totally and absolutely NORMAL !
Yes I feel like I haven't had enough sleep, and can hardly keep my eyes open after dinner in the evening.
But I feel wholesome, normal. (apart from the tiredness.) My mind is also in a better condition. I feel much more positive. I have a healthier appetite, and even walking up a slight hill doesn't make me feel bad.

Of course I can't manage to live like that every day! Who would want to?

We all need sleep. I need sleep !

When I sleep naturally, and "healthily" I will sleep through 8-9 hours without waking. And feel quite good when I wake. I am pretty attuned to the natural feel of that, and that I wake up when my body is ready.
(Wow....in the past of my life that would have made me feel MUCH better the next day!)

But the rest of the day , symptoms will often creep in, and I feel much more exhausted just doing small things.

I don't suffer from sleep apnea. I don't have acid reflux, or any sleep problems as far as I'm aware.

I really wish I knew what's going on. It sounds so paradoxical, and I have no clue as to the cause of all this.

Please -if anyone has any ideas -scientific ideas....anything, help me out here will you? :)
 

sb4

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I wish I had an answer to this. It's been happening to me now for 20 months (the length of time I've had ME/CFS.)

It seems if I have a bad night, very few hours of sleep (4-5) I end up feeling NO SYMPTOMS the next day. I feel totally and absolutely NORMAL !
Yes I feel like I haven't had enough sleep, and can hardly keep my eyes open after dinner in the evening.
But I feel wholesome, normal. (apart from the tiredness.) My mind is also in a better condition. I feel much more positive. I have a healthier appetite, and even walking up a slight hill doesn't make me feel bad.

Of course I can't manage to live like that every day! Who would want to?

We all need sleep. I need sleep !

When I sleep naturally, and "healthily" I will sleep through 8-9 hours without waking. And feel quite good when I wake. I am pretty attuned to the natural feel of that, and that I wake up when my body is ready.
(Wow....in the past of my life that would have made me feel MUCH better the next day!)

But the rest of the day , symptoms will often creep in, and I feel much more exhausted just doing small things.

I don't suffer from sleep apnea. I don't have acid reflux, or any sleep problems as far as I'm aware.

I really wish I knew what's going on. It sounds so paradoxical, and I have no clue as to the cause of all this.

Please -if anyone has any ideas -scientific ideas....anything, help me out here will you? :)
Hopefully someone more knowledgable will chime in but I have read certain kind of spinal problems (fluid leak, intracranial hyertention?) I can't remember, get worse the more you lay down so patient will often feel worse in the morning after sleep. However this doesn't exactly fit with that as you say you get worse as the day goes on which suggest the opposite issue.

Perhaps it is something to do with serotonin / melatonin and the Trp Trap?
 

Wishful

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Well, that confusing response to sleep totally fits with ME. :xeyes:

There are too many possibilities for how it's doing that. I think you'd be a valuable research subject. I think we outliers (unusual responses) offer a greater chance of revealing the mechanism of ME. Now, how do we get you snoring peacefully in a lab, hooked up with lots of wires and tubes? :sleep:

One easy thing to try would be extra tryptophan, to see if that affects your symptoms. Another possible mechanism is how sleep affects the lymphatic system (pumps the waste out of your brain as you sleep); I'm not sure how to test that without fancy lab equipment.
 

Mary

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Hi @Wolfcub - well, like everything else with this DD, it's a puzzlement! I'm wondering about a couple of things - do you know why some nights you only sleep 4-5 hours, and other nights you'll sleep 8-9 - do you take certain supplements on certain nights and not others? Or do you do more physically on the days preceding your 8-9 hours of sleep? Do you have any clue why your sleep will vary so widely?

If you do, this might hold a clue as to how you feel the next day. e.g., when I crash, I never know it's going to happen until the day after over doing it and it generally gets worse as that 2nd day wears on. Often when I wake up I'm not sure if I'm crashed or not, and it might be a few hours until I know for sure, because I will get worse and worse, instead of feeling better as the day goes on. so maybe those nights when you sleep better you've overdone things in some way the day before, which leads you to sleep better, but also leads to a crash and ultimately feeling worse.

The idea of lymphatic drainage from the brain made me think of elevating your head while sleeping. I started doing this several weeks ago, I can't remember what brought it to mind, but I read some years ago that elevating the head during sleep can help with sleep. I did try putting my whole bed on a slant once and it did not work out! I would just slide down the mattress :lol: But to my surprise, I am able to sleep with my head elevated at an angle on pillows. I had always thought it would be too uncomfortable but it's not. So it would seem that this position might help with lymphatic drainage from the brain - you might try an experiment just for the heck of it.

eta - the more I think about it, the more your day after 8-9 hours of sleep sounds like a crash to me.
 
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Wolfcub

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do you know why some nights you only sleep 4-5 hours, and other nights you'll sleep 8-9 - do you take certain supplements on certain nights and not others?
I don't think there's a connection with supplements I take. I take a minimal amount of stuff right now -just basic vitamins/minerals at a moderate balanced dose, and I always take them after breakfast in the morning.
(A few months ago I found I was no worse for not trying many different experimental supplements, as nothing I tried made any difference anyway, so just cut it all down to basic maintenance stuff.)

Why do I sometimes get a "bad night" and can't sleep? I have absolutely no idea. I might get one night like that, then for the next few weeks sleep quite normally again (good sleep.)

But yes it is likely that on the day after I have had a good sleep, I could be crashed from the day before (the one after the bad night.)

But....why would I feel so much better on that day when I slept little the night before?
That is the issue which I can't figure out.

I don't know if that has a rational answer.

No I don't sleep with head elevated. I always hate that position. I feel it bends my neck uncomfortably, and my shoulders etc. I always lay flat -have done all my life.
 

Mary

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Why do I sometimes get a "bad night" and can't sleep? I have absolutely no idea. I might get one night like that, then for the next few weeks sleep quite normally again (good sleep.)
Okay, so ordinarily you sleep well, and then feel bad the next day? and then once in awhile you sleep badly, and feel good the next day?

If that's the case, then my theory is probably wrong.

I was thinking you might have been mixing up cause and effect - that perhaps it's not the short night's sleep that makes you feel well, but, rather, whatever is causing the short night's sleep that makes you feel better (e.g., doing less than usual). And then whatever make you sleep well (e.g., over doing it) is what makes you feel like crap the next day
 

Wolfcub

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Perhaps it is something to do with serotonin / melatonin and the Trp Trap?
Could be...Thank you for that idea @sb4

Well, that confusing response to sleep totally fits with ME. :xeyes:
Yes I guess it does :aghhh:
One easy thing to try would be extra tryptophan, to see if that affects your symptoms.
That is do-able, and an idea worth experimenting with.

Yes, maybe it is lying down rather than sleep? During the day, do you feel better or worse if you lie down to rest?
I usually feel quite good if I lie down to rest in the day. It's pleasant, and I like to do that.
 

Wolfcub

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Okay, so ordinarily you sleep well, and then feel bad the next day? and then once in awhile you sleep badly, and feel good the next day?
Yes that's it.
There are some days I don't feel too bad even though have slept well though. But those days when I haven't slept I suddenly notice I feel normal again ! (even though of course, a bit sleep deprived and tired but that doesn't bother me much.)
 

Mary

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Yes that's it.
There are some days I don't feel too bad even though have slept well though. But those days when I haven't slept I suddenly notice I feel normal again ! (even though of course, a bit sleep deprived and tired but that doesn't bother me much.)
Got it! I wonder if it has something to do with your cortisol levels. If your cortisol is routinely low, you're most likely going to be extra tired most of the time. Then if for some reason your cortisol levels go up, that definitely can interfere with sleep, but it could also make you feel better.

Actually I had something similar happen with my thyroid. Something I was doing or a supplement I was taking was causing me to be a little hyperthyroid - well, it interred with my sleep but I definitely felt better during the day! Unfortunately the lack of sleep was too hard to maintain.

Or it's none of the above! :xeyes:
 

Wolfcub

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I was thinking you might have been mixing up cause and effect - that perhaps it's not the short night's sleep that makes you feel well, but, rather, whatever is causing the short night's sleep that makes you feel better (e.g., doing less than usual). And then whatever make you sleep well (e.g., over doing it) is what makes you feel like crap the next day
That's a good investigative angle...but basically I have more or less the same energy expenditure every day. But on the night I don 't sleep well, I can never understand why, as I should be tired as usual and sleepy at bedtime -then I am suddenly not -and don't sleep until near dawn.
It doesn't upset me if/when that happens, as I sort of know now from experience that at least 95% of the time I will feel quite good the next day !
 

Wolfcub

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Got it! I wonder if it has something to do with your cortisol levels. If your cortisol is routinely low, you're most likely going to be extra tired most of the time. Then if for some reason your cortisol levels go up, that definitely can interfere with sleep, but it could also make you feel better.
Yes I wonder....
 

Hufsamor

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I have the same thing, And have been wondering as well....
My guess is that this is the same phenomenon "tired but wired"

I can lay on my couch, absolutely devastated.
Some minor crises arise, and either I can't handle it at all, or I handle it quite well.
If I handle it quite well, I might use the rest of the day cleaning the house or climbing a mountain
(Or I would, if I had any mountains to climb, around here....I don't)
If my adrenaline rises height enough, I'm at the top of the world, I can do anything, maybe for the rest of the day or even for a longer period of time.
Before, of course, the big crash hits.

And I've been wondering, is this the same thing?
The night with hardly any sleep, are they because of (or maybe, are they causing) a rise in the adrenaline level?
Making me feel good the next day?

(Or cortisole level, as mentioned above..they are close, aren't they? Almost the same thing?.)
 

Wolfcub

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The night with hardly any sleep, are they because of (or maybe, are they causing) a rise in the adrenaline level?
Making me feel good the next day?

(Or cortisole level, as mentioned above..they are close, aren't they? Almost the same thing?.)
Yes that makes me wonder too @Hufsamor
I suppose it's possible to have a rise in adrenaline levels, and yet not to feel extremely "wired"? (which is what I feel on those days after little sleep....never really "wired"...just normal) :confused:

Aha,
So, what I'm beginning to see is if there is a sudden rise in cortisol (adrenaline) it might not be enough to make a person feel really "wired".
But if the levels are generally low, as Mary said, and then something stimulates them to rise, they could rise just enough to cause a feeling of wellness? (well at least in my case anyway.)
Wow.....

But....when I look back over time, I noticed that some instances of nerve-wracking things that happened to me (won't bore you all with the details !) that MUST have caused an adrenaline rush....made no difference to how I felt....
So somehow we are back at "sleep" again.....grrr
 
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Hufsamor

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I think does?
Because quite often I feel normal good, like if I was the old me, not the sick one.
(the wired feeling might turn up after 2-3 nights with too little sleep. But that hardly happens those days. More often when I was still working)
 

Wolfcub

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@Eastman That is really interesting !
As far as I know I don't suffer from depressive illness. But the glia/adenosine receptors involved in sleep deprivation could affect far more than depressive illness. Science is a work in progress....
 

JES

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You are not alone, this "sleep paradox" has been discussed before and you'll probably find some of the threads when searching with keywords "sleep deprivation". What is even more curious, the improvement I get from a bad night continue slightly over to the next day after the following night, even if I sleep better the night after.

I thought it could be related to head positioning and the recent structural abnormalities found in ME/CFS. I then observed one night where I laid wide awake for the same hours as I normally would have slept, but still noticed the same improvement. It seems the improvement does not relate to how many hours I spend in bed, but how many of those are sleep.

Anyway, to me the key question here is, are there any possible long-term benefits to derive from this, or is this yet another "temporary remission" method? I'm afraid it's the latter, since the first obstacle would be to adapt into sleeping 4-5 hours every night and the second issue is, the benefits from a short night might no longer be present if your brain gets used to sleeping that way.
 
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