100 lb. Club - Better Sleep?

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10-16-2010, 02:24 PM
For those of you who've lost a significant amount of weight, did the quality of your sleep improve?

I snore loudly! Hubby has been sleeping in the guest room. I usually wake up with sinus congestion and I wake with a headache 2-3 times a week. Although I don't wake often during the night, I never wake up in the morning feeling refreshed. I crave carbs all day and my thinking is not as sharp. I find myself forgetting the names of things or lose my train of thought. Basically, I feel like I'm not as smart as I used to be!

I've googled the subject and I know what the studies show. Financially, I'm not in a good place to have the sleep studies performed. But, I want your personal experience. I find that the experiences of my friends here on 3FC carries more weight with me.(No pun intended. ;)) You've usually shared the same experiences in life that I'm experiencing.

10-16-2010, 05:04 PM
I went through all the same things. I've been sleeping with a machine since August of 2007. The first morning after sleeping with the machine, my blood felt almost carbonated. I was rested, refreshed, up, showered, dressed, and ate breakfast all before 10am on a Saturday. This hadn't happened in 30+ years. And it hasn't happened since. We are working on that.

The doctor said I did not develop sleep apnea because of the obesity. I became obese because I had sleep apnea. I am a stomach sleeper and the doctor said I most likely learned to sleep on my stomach because rolling over onto my stomach would have pushed air out of my lungs & forced me to breathe.

The sleep study was not that bad. There was a movie on Comedy Central & the nursing staff watched a little bit of it with me. It was in the basement of the hospital & cameras in the room. They glued leads onto my head, chest, neck, hips, legs, ankles, etc. The glue won't come out of your hair for 2 weeks. If your condition requires it, they will come wake you up & put a mask on you. They didn't have to wake me up, which was good. When the results came back, it showed I wake up 12 times AN HOUR while sleeping on my back & 6 times PER HOUR on my stomach.

I've been through 2 machines. The CPAP was ok, but not great. THe mask I had at that time was like a horse's bridle, only it had holes to go up into my nose. I now have an autoPAP machine that adjusts to my breathing in the range chosen by my doc. Both machines have a water reservoir that takes distilled water so your passages don't dry out. If you don't use distilled water, the minerals will crud up the machine. In 3 years I've only been in a pinch for water ONCE at midnight. Most gas stations have distilled water, drinking water or spring water is NOT the same.

I've also been on a couple types of medication. I am currently on Provigil, 400mg and Ritalin, half a pill per day. The doctor warned me at my first visit that some people have a "sleepy brain", and that just the machine would not be enough to treat me. It is thought that Ritalin, in people with a sleep disorder, can have the opposite effect it has on kids with ADHD. And a whole pill per day was too much. It affected my personality in a very negative way. So half a pill a day is what I've been on for just over a year. They did try me on Nuvigil, which was great at first but after 10 days I spent an entire Saturday in my chair in the living room, too depressed to move. So back to the Provigil it was.

It is now being thought that my body has become used to the combination of medications because I kinda slog through the day, not really awake. Because of my kidney disease, I have some insomnia as well. So I will go back to the doctor on 11/10 to talk about some other solutions. My nurse at the sleep doctor's office has been AMAZING.

In regard to your question about weight, I was able to take off weight easier when I had more energy. My weight has also stabilized, but when I am regular about exercise, it does go down. It's just that if you are too tired to do household chores, chances are you're not going to get a workout in. That's how I knew I needed a meds check.

Good luck in whatever you decide. I have found that in regard to paying medical bills, most places won't accept the payment plan I wanted to make ($10/month) but if I had to do it all over again, I would just start sending them $5 or $10/month to avoid THEM calling ME.

10-16-2010, 05:12 PM
Forgot to mention I am now on the kind of mask that goes over the nose AND mouth. Works better because you're not worried about opening your mouth & the air going out it instead of into your lungs. :)

10-16-2010, 06:06 PM
I used to snore like a bear and would wake up two or three times during the night. No more! My snoring problems completely disappeared when I lost weight. And I sleep the night through like a baby now, unless my bladder gets too full.

I sometimes have the same problems with names and with feeling I'm not as sharp as I used to be, but I think that just comes with getting older and having more stress in my life in general! :lol:


10-16-2010, 08:46 PM
I sleep much better!

10-17-2010, 06:43 AM
I know you said it's not a good time financially to get a sleep study done. I'm not a doctor, and even if I were, I wouldn't diagnose you by reading something you wrote on the internet. But what you have written sounds like textbook obstructive sleep apnea to me.

I started being treated with a CPAP machine in May, and my entire life and perspective have changed very dramatically. I have lost 54 pounds and have nearly LOST food cravings. I eat my healthy, planned meals, then really don't think about food again until it's almost time for the next. Which is polar opposite to how I used to be motivated by food. I am really starting to believe as a PP said, that I do not have sleep apnea because I am obese, I am obese because I have sleep apnea. I am on my way down to goal weight, and there isn't a shadow of a doubt in my mind I will get there -- which I have NEVER been able to say. The weight loss isn't even the best part of how I feel now, just completely excited for the future and all the possibilities of life.

If you can find a way, I would highly recommend getting it checked out. Knowing what I know now, I would take a second mortgage to get the benefits of this therapy!

10-17-2010, 11:53 AM
I didn't sleep good when I was close to 340 pounds. It felt like all my fat was pushing down on my chest and my neck area, closing off my throat. I'd wheeze and also snore, waking up with a sore throat, congestion and a slight headache. I'd go to bed very early and stay in bed for about 10 hours and still feel like I wasn't getting enough sleep. I've lost almost 90 pounds and no longer snore and I don't get that suffocating feeling when I lay down either. I also found out I don't need to sleep 10 hours anymore...more like 7 hours and I actually feel like I get a good nights sleep now. No more sore throats, wheezing and headaches either.

10-17-2010, 12:05 PM
Hubby has had the cpap machine for 6 years now, his heart is much stronger and he doesn't snore. His weight is stable at 250, he has a lot of muscle from paddling. He sleeps through the night, wakes up refreshed. He brought home a little machine that had a wire and clip for his finger, this gave the doc enough info to diagnose him.

I'd say it would be a good thing to at least rule out the sleep apnea and go from there.
I hope it all works out for you. :hugs:

10-17-2010, 01:02 PM
I almost didn't sleep at all at my heaviest weight. Turning over woke me, the fact that whatever arm I was sleeping on would go numb woke me, my husband woke me when he was trying to get me to turn over so I'd snore less. Losing the weight cured all of it. I now sleep through the night and wake up feeling pretty good every day.

What's important to realize is that all these benefits don't wait to kick in until you've reached goal. Just 30-40 pounds made a tremendous difference.

10-17-2010, 02:44 PM
For me, it took better sleep to start losing the weight. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and I was spending virtually no time in the restorative stages of sleep. I was at a time in my life where I refused to diet (because diets only ever resulted ultimately in weight gain, in my experience). I wasn't even weighing myself, until I discovered almost a year in that I had lost twenty pounds without trying (my pulmonologist had told me that the cpapa would likely help me lose some weight without trying - I thought he was nuts, to be frank because I had never - in decades of dieting, ever lost a single pound without a great deal of effort).

After I had lost about 35 lbs, the sleep apnea disappeared, along with my need to sleep with the cpap. I'm getting better and better sleep the more weight I lose.

So better sleep can contribute to weight loss and weight loss can contribute to better sleep. Start with what you can do.

10-17-2010, 02:48 PM
I guess I was lucky, sleeping at 320 was easy as pie. I could sleep anywhere, anytime LOL and often took a nap! geez. Now i don't nap, don't have time!

DH says I never snored, neither does he unless he's "had a few" ;)

One thing i DO notice, is before when i woke up, it was a solid 5 minutes before i was "up and about". By the end I was getting very creaky, sore hip joints, back sore. Luckily a few minutes of activity put it right, but dropping 150 lbs did a more permanent solution!

I can't help but think that removing so much pressure from your body as you sleep MUST help in some way?? You always hear about sleep apnea disappearing etc., let's just say your sleeping won't be WORSE afterwards

10-17-2010, 04:21 PM
Better sleep is one of the biggest reasons I decided to get my weight back down. At 160 I slept great. Already it is improving.

10-17-2010, 06:22 PM
Reading this post gets me excited to work on the weight. I hate not feeling refreshed when I wake up and I was told I make strange breathing sounds as I sleep. Not like a snore but like a really obscene phone call. Lately I think it has gotten worse...I am looking forward to getting that part of my life in order.

10-17-2010, 06:27 PM
I suffered from sleep apnea and insomnia and sleep walking (along with sleep eating as well) but I sleep much better now. I can not say that it was just changes in my weight that helped out with my sleep issues because before, I was under a lot of emotional/mental stress and abuse.