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4 years of poor sleep is really taking its toll on me..

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  • 4 years of poor sleep is really taking its toll on me..

    Every single day, I have a blocked nose, and for the life of me I can't figure out why. I've been primal for over a year and have eliminated any questionable sources of discomfort, including dairy. I even tried removing nightshades for a few weeks with no improvement. I feel that this is interfering with my sleep, because I never wake up feeling refreshed anymore. I sleep all the way through the night without fail, but I never seem to hit the 'deep' phase of sleep anymore. I've recently been taking Magnesium Citrate supplements (about half an hour before bed, 400-600mg) and a Multivitamin (during the day) to try to help me sleep, but I can't say that I've had any distinct, noticeable improvements. I've only started taking these 2 days ago though, so it's still early days.

    No matter how much exercise I do (light or heavy, but never in excess) per day, and regardless of how consistent I am with my food choices, the following symptoms are always there - never changing, yet never worsening either. My throat feels completely fine, aside from when I wake up in the morning - it feels a little dry then, but a couple of cups of water helps straight away. My nose tends to ease up during the day, but always seems to become blocked overnight without fail. I always have a very minor, consistent headache during most days, as well. All of this adds up to a constant sense of fatigue and lethargy which is seriously interfering with my life, as I'm always in a mental fog and feeling drained. My memory and concentration have deteriorated to the point where it's really worrying me.

    I can guarantee that if I could have some restful sleep once again (I used to be a damn good sleeper before all this started happening about 4 years ago), that all of these symptoms will alleviate. I just can't understand why my sleep has been so unsatisfying for a while - all I know for certain is that my sleep quality has been in an incredibly gradual decline; none of this happened abruptly or out of the blue. It's literally taken years to get to this point, but I'm running out of ideas and solutions. I eat right, I exercise well, and my sleep habits (turning off all electronics an hour before bed, keeping a consistent sleep schedule, etc) are all consistently spot-on.

    Can anyone throw me a bone here? This is all amounting to depression now, and it's obvious why. I wake up every day feeling tired and fed up with everything, despite my life actually being incredibly good. There's no stress or other external factors which could be interfering, either. Also, my depression has resulted from the poor sleep, not the other way around - I can say that with certainty.
    Last edited by KG; 04-09-2011, 01:31 AM.

  • #2
    Random thought - are you reacting to something in the bed? Feathers? Dust mites? Fabric conditioner? What happens if you sleep outdoors?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Hilary View Post
      Random thought - are you reacting to something in the bed? Feathers? Dust mites? Fabric conditioner? What happens if you sleep outdoors?
      Right after I posted, I actually thought about the possibility of allergies. I haven't slept outdoors in years (live in London, and I haven't gone on holiday in ages), but I have actually tried sleeping in other places around the house - same symptoms. However, I think it's entirely possible that I may actually be allergic to my two dogs. I just have no idea of confirming this without getting rid of them or moving out (I'm still in school, so this isn't happening. I don't run this household either, my parents do. :P), both of which are just not possible nor practical right now. We have two cats as well, but I'm definitely sure that I'm fine with them. I've never had any bad reactions to cats, and we used to have one for about 4 years with no issues at all.

      Thing is, we got our dogs about 6-7 years ago (both are boxers). Like I mentioned before, my symptoms were very gradual, and only proceed to slowly get worse. However, is it even remotely possible that I'm allergic to them if I only really started suffering 4 years ago? Surely a 2-3 year delay in allergic symptoms is just far-fetched?

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      • #4
        Get an allergy test and figure out what is causing it? I started taking a quercetin/bromelain pill (also contains some herbs, iHerb.com - iHerb.com) a few weeks ago when I started getting some hay fever symptoms, and it resolved it on the first day pretty much. Theyre sold out atm, but I'm sure you can find something similar.

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        • #5
          How's your vitamin D status?
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          • #6
            KG,

            Don't even consider allergies to your pets. Pet allergies result in ASTHMA - something you clearly don't have.

            I agree with Dragonfly. You are very likely to be extremely deficient in Vitamin D3, which in turn SEVERELY affects all of your body systems. D3 is far more than a vitamin, it is a required HORMONE that we normally get from direct sunlight. Our immune system requires Vitamin D3 to function properly.

            Please see the Vitamin D3 report below this message.

            One last thought. Are you getting enough sex with orgasms? We human creatures sleep much better after a good romp under the sheets.

            Best to you,
            Grizz
            Last edited by Grizz; 04-09-2011, 03:26 AM.

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            • #7
              I'm sorry, I should've mentioned this in my first post - keep bloody forgetting everything - but I supplement with Vitamin D3 every day at 5000iu without fail. I've been doing this for at least half a year now, too. That also goes for my Omega 3 fish oils. This is the brand that I use:

              Healthy Origins, Vitamin D3, 5,000 IU, 360 Softgels - iHerb.com

              Surely I can't be deficient after the supplementation? I haven't had any formal tests, mind...

              Grizz, you're right about the asthma part - I've never had that in my life. I just thought that allergies could have some potentially subtle symptoms on a low-grade, chronic level.

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              • #8
                Have you ever tried nasal irrigation? A neti pot might help. I've never used one but I've found that a saline spray helps immensely when my sinuses get bad. I have vasomotor rhinitis, basically the nerves in my sinuses are hyperactive and think everything is an allergen, including strong smells, every pollen, dust, etc . . . Saline irrigation flushes out a lot of the gunk that gets built up and soothes the irritation.
                Buy house, Demolish house, Build house.

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                • #9
                  You might want to get checked for sleep apnea. I have atrial fibrillation and that goes hand-in-hand with apnea. I started magnesium supplements a couple months and find that I do sleep better. I take 2-3 caps of 200 mg chelated magnesium during the day and Natural Calm(mag citrate) before bed. I've heard that mag can be a stimulant when taken in large amounts before bedtime. I also take 300-600 mcg of melatonin some nights to help with sleep.
                  Beware of fake meat.

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                  • #10
                    Maybe look into adrenal fatigue. It can cause all kinds of wacky symptoms

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                    • #11
                      How long has it been since you had new pillows? Are you using a down/feather duvet?

                      Consider replacing both pillow and duvet for hypo-allergenic versions.

                      Wash all your bedding (and draperies) and vacuum/damp mop in your bedroom. See if that helps.
                      Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!
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                      F/49/5'4"
                      Jan. 1, 2011: 186.6 lbs PBSW Mar. 1, 2011: 175.8 lbs
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                      • #12
                        I have struggled with sleep for the last ten years, and have tried everything--I do not exagerate. Here are my tools: butterbur for the stuffy nose (tests in Germany showed it performed as well or better than zyrtec, claritin, etc); do quiet things in the hour before bed or in bed--no computers or gadgets or tv, read,write, or meditate; try herbal sleep aids, plus magnesium in the eveing before bed; get a prescription for Lunesta or Ambien to have on hand if you go more than a couple days without sleep. At the height of my stress-filled career, I was lucky if I got 4 hours of sleep, and around year five I nearly caved in; plus, I craved sweets constantly which is how the brain signals adrenal stress. I still don't get 7-8 uninterrpted hours, may not need them now I'm retired, but I look back and marvel at what an impact lack of sleep had on my weight, my attitude, everything. You are not apt to find a single sure-fire solution, so try several. Like my partner wears a mouthpiece which keeps his mouth closed and so he sleeps better. Also, consider having a sleep study done.

                        Forgot to add: I avoided sleeping pills out of some fear, but used wisely, the new types are pretty safe, and I wished I hadn't waited so long to accept I needed them to avoid crashing completely.
                        Last edited by Digby; 04-09-2011, 06:00 AM.
                        This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

                        Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
                        Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism

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                        • #13
                          My sympathies are with you. Sleep problems are hellish. I would consider supplementing with melatonin, starting with 1 mg. Also, try to keep all of the animals out of your sleep space and keep it clean and free from dust. Perhaps, try to get an air filtration system or air out your room daily if you don't already. Serenite Plus and Sleep Tonic could be helpful. I've personally used the sleep tonic and it really helps me when I'm stressed and having trouble sleeping. Good luck figuring this out.
                          True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington. ~Anonymous
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KG View Post
                            I'm sorry, I should've mentioned this in my first post - keep bloody forgetting everything - but I supplement with Vitamin D3 every day at 5000iu without fail. I've been doing this for at least half a year now, too. That also goes for my Omega 3 fish oils. This is the brand that I use:

                            Healthy Origins, Vitamin D3, 5,000 IU, 360 Softgels - iHerb.com

                            Surely I can't be deficient after the supplementation? I haven't had any formal tests, mind...

                            Grizz, you're right about the asthma part - I've never had that in my life. I just thought that allergies could have some potentially subtle symptoms on a low-grade, chronic level.
                            Unfortunately, yes, you could still be deficient in D. It can take up to 10,000 IUs for several months to get some folks to sufficiency and then 5,000-8,000 to maintain. Living in London and not having a holiday for years (I lived in Scotland for 7 years) means that you were likely very deficient when you started supplementing D. NHS can be difficult, but do whatever it takes to get your D tested. Make sure to take it early in the day, as D can have a stimulatory effect.

                            Actually, you can have pet allergies that do not show up as asthma, (I know this from personal experience!), but given your history, it's probably unlikely.

                            Definitely keep up with the magnesium--try 600 mg consistently for a couple of weeks. It can take awhile for this to build up too, IME. I would avoid melatonin until you sort out you immune system reaction.

                            Your symptoms remind me of when I visited a friend who had recently had new carpet put in. I couldn't sleep all night because I was so stuffed up.

                            Did your parents do some remodelling? Did you get some new furniture? Outgassing of glues and new foam can trigger the symptoms you describe.

                            And finally--I assume you are gluten-free? Nightshade-free? Dairy-free? You really want to focus on reducing inflammation and all of these foods can trigger the symptoms you describe.
                            Last edited by Dragonfly; 04-09-2011, 07:39 AM.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Blackcatbone View Post
                              Have you ever tried nasal irrigation? A neti pot might help. I've never used one but I've found that a saline spray helps immensely when my sinuses get bad. I have vasomotor rhinitis, basically the nerves in my sinuses are hyperactive and think everything is an allergen, including strong smells, every pollen, dust, etc . . . Saline irrigation flushes out a lot of the gunk that gets built up and soothes the irritation.
                              I haven't tried nasal irrigation - I don't really think that tackles the root of my problems. It may be beneficial in the short-term, but unless the real cause of my symptoms is tackled, I'll never find true relief. Thank you for the suggestion!

                              Originally posted by Curmujeon View Post
                              You might want to get checked for sleep apnea. I have atrial fibrillation and that goes hand-in-hand with apnea. I started magnesium supplements a couple months and find that I do sleep better. I take 2-3 caps of 200 mg chelated magnesium during the day and Natural Calm(mag citrate) before bed. I've heard that mag can be a stimulant when taken in large amounts before bedtime. I also take 300-600 mcg of melatonin some nights to help with sleep.
                              I would get checked if I knew where to go. How would I go about getting the test organised? I have a feeling that my GP would just dismiss the idea completely and try to prescribe me something first (I do realise that they can't actually stop you, but still). Although sleep apnea may be the cause, it seems unlikely at face value. I'm lean, I don't snore, and I never wake up in the night for any other reason than to use the toilet.

                              It's interesting to hear about magnesium being stimulating if taken in large amounts, though. The majority of sources I have read (on this forum and in articles) have the general consensus that magnesium is best taken before bed to take advantage of its calming effect.

                              Originally posted by Mldami View Post
                              Maybe look into adrenal fatigue. It can cause all kinds of wacky symptoms
                              I have, but as far as I'm concerned, the only real solution for adrenal fatigue is optimal nutrition and an emphasis on rest. I highly doubt that stress is behind all of this, though (unless we're talking about stress from unrefreshing sleep).

                              Originally posted by belinda View Post
                              How long has it been since you had new pillows? Are you using a down/feather duvet?

                              Consider replacing both pillow and duvet for hypo-allergenic versions.

                              Wash all your bedding (and draperies) and vacuum/damp mop in your bedroom. See if that helps.
                              To be honest, I have no idea what types of filling are inside my pillows and duvet - however, they have been changed regularly. I vacuum and mop my room every Saturday, and the bedding is always washed at least once a month. I don't have draperies, either.

                              Originally posted by Digby View Post
                              I have struggled with sleep for the last ten years, and have tried everything--I do not exagerate. Here are my tools: butterbur for the stuffy nose (tests in Germany showed it performed as well or better than zyrtec, claritin, etc); do quiet things in the hour before bed or in bed--no computers or gadgets or tv, read,write, or meditate; try herbal sleep aids, plus magnesium in the eveing before bed; get a prescription for Lunesta or Ambien to have on hand if you go more than a couple days without sleep. At the height of my stress-filled career, I was lucky if I got 4 hours of sleep, and around year five I nearly caved in; plus, I craved sweets constantly which is how the brain signals adrenal stress. I still don't get 7-8 uninterrpted hours, may not need them now I'm retired, but I look back and marvel at what an impact lack of sleep had on my weight, my attitude, everything. You are not apt to find a single sure-fire solution, so try several. Like my partner wears a mouthpiece which keeps his mouth closed and so he sleeps better. Also, consider having a sleep study done.

                              Forgot to add: I avoided sleeping pills out of some fear, but used wisely, the new types are pretty safe, and I wished I hadn't waited so long to accept I needed them to avoid crashing completely.
                              I'm in the same boat, excluding the stressful career part. I've tried blue light therapy, herbal remedies, calming music - they're not having any effect. Magnesium seems to be the only thing that's having some effect (feeling calmer, etc.) but this could be down to placebo. Nothing significant has happened yet, but I'm sticking with the Magnesium regardless.

                              I'd also like to avoid sleeping pills - I'm not afraid of the side effects or anything, but it just seems like a band-aid solution to something that has slowly been causing my health to decline over a period of years.

                              Originally posted by shat View Post
                              My sympathies are with you. Sleep problems are hellish. I would consider supplementing with melatonin, starting with 1 mg. Also, try to keep all of the animals out of your sleep space and keep it clean and free from dust. Perhaps, try to get an air filtration system or air out your room daily if you don't already. Serenite Plus and Sleep Tonic could be helpful. I've personally used the sleep tonic and it really helps me when I'm stressed and having trouble sleeping. Good luck figuring this out.
                              I tend to keep the window open every day to air out the room. My pets do come into my room now and then, but I have kept them out for a couple of weeks before - it made no difference.

                              Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
                              Unfortunately, yes, you could still be deficient in D. It can take up to 10,000 IUs for several months to get some folks to sufficiency and then 5,000-8,000 to maintain. Living in London and not having a holiday for years (I lived in Scotland for 7 years) means that you were likely very deficient when you started supplementing D. NHS can be difficult, but do whatever it takes to get your D tested. Make sure to take it early in the day, as D can have a stimulatory effect.

                              Actually, you can have pet allergies that do not show up as asthma, (I know this from personal experience!), but given your history, it's probably unlikely.

                              Definitely keep up with the magnesium--try 600 mg consistently for a couple of weeks. It can take awhile for this to build up too, IME. I would avoid melatonin until you sort out you immune system reaction.

                              Your symptoms remind me of when I visited a friend who had recently had new carpet put in. I couldn't sleep all night because I was so stuffed up.

                              Did your parents do some remodelling? Did you get some new furniture? Outgassing of glues and new foam can trigger the symptoms you describe.

                              And finally--I assume you are gluten-free? Nightshade-free? Dairy-free? You really want to focus on reducing inflammation and all of these foods can trigger the symptoms you describe.
                              Wow, I never thought that my dosage wouldn't be enough. I honestly thought that 5000iu for 6 months would be enough to get me back on track. I've heard about the stimulatory effect, so I have been taking Vitamin D only with my breakfast.

                              We've changed the furniture many times over the years, but it's been like that my whole life. I had no reactions to new furniture back then, so I doubt that it would become an issue now. No remodelling has been done, and we have absolutely no carpets - all of our floors are either tiled or laminated.

                              I'm very vigilant about staying away from the common culprits of inflammation, and I supplement with Omega 3 fish oils to make up for the absence of them in grain-fed meats.

                              Thank you all for your suggestions. They are really helping.
                              Last edited by KG; 04-09-2011, 07:56 AM.

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