Joined: 07 Feb 2010
|Posted: February 08 2010 Post subject: funky sleep cycle
|First off: Hello! As I'm sure you know, I'm new here.
It's been years since I slept really well. Three years ago I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, and now I sleep with a CPAP machine. That helped a LOT for quite a while, but in the last few months I have been getting more tired during the day. I bought a Sleeptracker watch to wake me up at a good time. That helps me feel better in the morning, but after a few hours I'm tired. I'm ready for a nap around 10:30, and have trouble staying awake at my desk.
Besides waking me up, the Sleeptracker keeps track of near-awake moments (based on movement) throughout the night. Looking at that data, I have concluded that my sleep cycle is somewhat backward...
I understand a "normal" sleep cycle to be deep sleep, then less deep, then deep again for a shorter period, then increasingly lighter until you wake, with the lightest sleep and most dreams coming in the hours before waking.
My data show that I sleep very lightly until about 4 AM. The longest period between "almost awake" moments according to my Sleeptracker is around 22 minutes on average. Then, starting sometime between 4 and 5 AM I'll have 1 or 1.25 hours between "almost awake" moments. I hypothesize (not having an EEG to prove it) that this is my only delta sleep period, and it's coming shortly before I wake up - which is between 5:30 and 6.
Two weeks ago I purchased some SleepPhones (www.sleepphones.com). (I love them - I recommend them if you want to listen to anything in bed without worrying about earphones or headphones staying in/on all night.)
I have been trying to use binaural beat tracks played from my iPod to make my sleep cycle better. I put on the SleepPhones, then my CPAP mask, and listen all night. So far, no dramatic changes, but two days ago I had a deep sleep period that started around 3 AM and lasted 2.25 hours. That morning I woke up around 5:15 (before my alarm) feeling GREAT! I didn't get tired during the day until early evening. It's amazing what even 1 more hour of rest can do for you. Aside from that night, I haven't had any longer deep sleep periods, but I think my sleep overall is more restful, because I'm not quite as tired during the day on average. Even if the binaural beats help is only placebo effect, at least it's something.
So why am I here?!
Well, I wonder whether any of you have similar bad sleep cycles, and whether you have any advice on getting it put straight? Also, do you have any good binaural beat tracks to recommend?