Sorry to be posting non-related content, but this is truly one of the most helpful places I go on the internet so I hope this is alright...

I don't sleep well. I toss and turn and wake up exhausted and sometimes feeling like I've got a hangover. I've been a lifelong snorer and I've been told I stop breathing sometimes. I'm not falling asleep at the wheel, but I'm only 23 and I have to fight myself to stay awake most days. Then going to the gym or work are there waiting as well. I dislike going to sleep now, which doesn't help.

I cannot afford a sleep trial and my parents treat me like I don't know what I'm talking about. "Have you tried sleeping with your head elevated?" I cannot stay still when I sleep. "How long do you sleep for" Between the time I get in bed to the time I wake up averages 6-8 hours, but I wake up constantly throughout the night.

They throw skepticism after skepticism at me and I don't know what to do. They're paying for me to get Rolfed, as my mother is ever the new-age type, which I'm trying, since its the only thing they'll pay for. I'm getting more and more frayed as things go on (to the point where its hard for to even focus on knitting) and I don't know what to do.



Cosmo's picture

Sounds like you should visit a doctor real soon. There should be a low-income clinic in your area where you can at least talk to someone about your issues.

I dated a guy with similar problems but it may be different for you. I wish I had more advice to offer, but that sounds very serious and you should be listening to a professional.

Crafty Andy's picture

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There are many reasons why you cannot sleep. Here first of all I am not a Doctor, but I am very experience in manythings. SUpplements is one.

You may have an energy imbalance or serotonin imbalance. Either you are lacking some vitamin , amino acid , or you have too much. Rolfing is not a bad idea if it works, somehow either because of diet or chemical imbalance your energy channels are blocked. Acupuncture is an alternative, talking with trust friends..

I would do a complete blood work and make sure all your chemichals are checked. Thyroid functions, serotonin, If serotonine is unbalanced, melatonin or tryptophan may help you. You may also try meditation. Personally when something like that strike me I try to meditate and see why am I not sleeping. Are you eating well, are you drinking enough water, are you drinking too much caffeine or too much nutrasweet or phenylanaline based drinks. . At 23 you should not have problems sleeping. It can be stress!

Read and educate yourself about
DHA , DMAE, Acetyl- Choline, Acetyl- Serine, SAME, Camomile, Calms-Forte, 5-HTP, Time-release melatonin. A glass of warm milk before going to bed with a dash of nutmeg, and I am sure there are lots more. Look at what you don't eat and what you eat. Hope this helps you and directs you a good source of information.

MasonM's picture

Sleep Apnea is a serious problem and is a highly likely cause. See a doctor, soon.


Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste


Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste

RCC's picture

In addition to sleep apnea you may have symptoms of narcolepsy, which also affects sleeping patterns. Get yourself to a doctor or clinic for some testing. You shouldn't have to go through this "unkown" caused behavior at your age!

PaganCub's picture

the constantly tired thing MAY be CFS/Epstein-Barr (cfs= chronic fatigue syndrome). it ain't fun. it very well could also be a blood sugar imbalance. I would go to a Dr., even with the costs, and have blood work done, seriously.

in the meantime, I am healing the division in myself that has created this in you; i am asking asking love to transmute it into pure light!

Change your thoughts; change your world.

YugiDean's picture

I feel like I'm an expert in insomnia. From my first year of college back in 1998 until about three months ago, I suffered from chronic insomnia. This was accompanied by me doing the whole "rotisserie chicken" sleep where you basically just spin around all night long and never really sleep, as well as many ocassions of waking up gasping. I tried every sleep medication on the market that wasn't a narcotic (I won't take that shit), did the new age stuff, went to counseling, bought a new (and amazing) bed, and just about everything I could think of. Back in September, I got a new job, and after only a few weeks, my insomnia vanished completely. My body still feels the urge to revert slightly every few weeks or so, but it is minimal and not persistent.

This, to me, was incontrovertable evidence that insomnia really DOES have a root in psychological problems much of the time. For me, my finances were a mess, and my job from the last three years was the cure for that, but the job itself was taking its toll on me, too, and even when I felt happy and genuinely believed I was happy, I discovered that I wasn't. My friends could see this but didn't say anything (damn them!). I kept putting myself out there, though, and fought to find something that suited me, even if it meant finding 10,000 jobs that DIDN'T first. And it paid off!

I'm not saying to forgo medical assistance, but when finances do not allow for medical consultation, the best route to take is a heavy HEAVY dose of self-reflection. Figure out where you're at in life and gauge whether it's in-line with where you want to be right now and where you hope to be in the future. Then try to actively pursue change that will make your life fall in line with your goals...or re-evaluate your goals to determine whether they're reasonable or, at the very least, what you genuinely want. It's soooooooo much easier said than done, but it can be done with time and persistence.

"Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread." --Richard Wright

PaganCub's picture

also, just know what it is that you want. that will immediately put you back in alignment with where you're supposed to be, with where you want to go, what you want to be..... check out "The Law of Attraction: the Basic Teachings of Abraham" and "the Power of Your Intent".

Change your thoughts; change your world.

Andy's picture

Yep, like the other guys say, see a doctor. You could take any number of non-prescription medications and try all sorts of exercises and diets, but it could all be a waste of time and money. See what the "expert" says first and take it from there. And hey, let us know how you're doing.

"Midnight shakes the memory as a madman shakes a dead geranium."

RickMartin's picture

Based on your comments if I was voting I'd say sleep apnea. And I agree - you really need to see a doc for this. It can be very serious and you should see a huge improvement in quality of life once it's taken care of.


albert's picture

Definitly see an M.D.

crmartin's picture

You should definitely see a doctor. Sleep apnea is nothing to ignore. I have always had trouble sleeping, but I do not have apnea. My doctor prescribed trazadone, which is actually an antidepressant but is also used for insomnia. I have been on it for several years now and it has made a world of difference. It is very inexpensive if you get the generic version.



Sleep apnea I bet too. I think I have it. I also have a persistent post-nasal drip that makes me cough at night so I do not sleep well.

Yes like everyone else, see a doctor. Apnea can cause heart issues. I did buy a "medical brand" cushion that slowly elevates the body from the waist to the head...then I crunch up my pillow...and have not had much apnea problems.

I know how you is stressful going to bed and knowing what may await you...a sleepless night. I would recommend elevating yourself in the interim. It is suppose to help with the passages staying open.

Good luck and relax as all you are doing to working yourself up before bed.

ksmarguy's picture

yup...apnea....sleep study. check with your local sleep centers....many of them have payment plan options. Also...check with a local Independent Living Center (if you need more info, contact me, I work for one in KS) Alot of times they can help find additional funding for peple of lower income...and don't think that you have to be destitute to be considered lower income for alot of the programs. Ind. Living centers provide this (or should be) service for free. If you are unsure about this one, let me know, I can use my resources here out of state as well.

Izzi's picture

Fellow Nasal sufferer -

I noticed that the heat and humidity definitely play a roll in expanding my membranes in my nasal passages. I don't know how cold it gets there but it seems like the cold weather helps shrink the membranes in my nasal passage giving me more airway. So at night even in the dead of winter I open my windows a crack to keep my room around 68 F and that seems to help that part of my insomnia.

My breathing is a bit better now that I take ascorbate Vitamin C on a daily basis and my Dr told me to take Magnesium Citrate for my insomnia.

I have noticed that now that I don't eat so much sugary things or drink caffeine or little as possible I don’t crash like I used to in the afternoons and evenings (except for the holidays I broke all my good habits and now feel the side effects again). When I get hunger pains I reach for nuts – great source of good fats and proteins that curve that need to feed.

I know that a Holistic Dr isn’t for everyone but maybe you and the parents will give it a shot.

Any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.


scenter's picture


Although I'm not a Doctor, I'll agree with the others, it certainly looks like it could be sleep apnea. I have a friend who has apnea, and it is scary when he 'stops breathing' (I've seen it during our anime-a-thons) his chest heaves up and down, but there is no air getting in because the pathway is blocked.

Do you have insurance at your job? Something like this should be covered by any basic healthcare plan.

My friend is seeing a doctor, and they have given him a machine that forces air onto his nose and mouth when he sleeps, and it has improved his condition immensly - he is no longer constantly tired. His doctors tell him that it stemmed from his high blood pressure (he was only 25 when they diagnosed him with HBP and apnea, he's about 31 now), and being obese (from your photo, it doesn't look like that's a factor in your case).

I wasn't familiar with 'Rolfing' before your post, so I did some googling - It activated my quack meter - it seems to me that a rolfing 'massage' will be of dubious help here- get some real medical advice from a certified doctor, please - Apnea is life threatening - one morning you may just not wake up.

kylewilliam's picture

obviously we're all concerned for you - my first thought was not sleep related, but rather either diet (eating or drinking too much before bed) or possibly diabetes... please do set a dr. appointment and see if they can help you out. If it's to the point that you're not sleeping and it's affecting your day, then it is clear that it's time to attend to the issue... and while this is a private matter, I do hope you let us know what you find out.



Like Yugi Dean, I would not rule out the possibility of it being at all depression related. It may well be related to sleep apnea, but once some of my living conditions changed I got less depressed (on the whole) and slept much better as a result. There was a period of four years when I only had three nights unbroken sleep...that's pretty well over now...

Hmmm...sounds like people care!

ManMadeKnits's picture

An Update: I've been to the Rolfer... Rolfist... whatever, and he basically said he's pretty sure anything structural (that he could treat) would be secondary. He gave me suggestions like cutting dairy and wheat out of my diet to see if there's an allergy at play, as well as sleeping in a recliner if it opens up my airway. Ultimately, he agreed with my dental hygienist who said that having my tonsils out might be a good step.

I'm not sure where I'm going from here, honestly, but we'll see. Thank you everyone for all the advice so far. At the very least, I'm feeling more supported and less crazy from all of the things you've told me. (Parents are FINALLY jumping on board now that the Rolf Technician is telling me he can't help all that much--I appreciate an honest doctor) This is a good place and I'm eternally grateful for the kind words.

Sleepily Yours,

Benjamin "Skip" Walker

"The only sin is mediocrity." --Martha Graham

Asplund's picture

That's good news! I do hope this turn for the better is just the start and that you'll recover completely soon! All the best, Asplund

MMario's picture

Tonsil removal did it for me.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Shoot, I wish i could get mine out. I am just too....preserved shall I say.

MMario's picture

it wasn't very pleasant at age 42 I can tell you!

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

PaganCub's picture

just a heads up, i didnt have sleep apnea (more like semi-consciously holding my breath....and in my dreams i KNOW i'm doing it) until after my tonsils and adenoids were taken out.
if you decide to go under the knife, ice cream is too cold & sugary, soup is just too hot.... pudding snak paks are f*ckin GREAT! LMAO

but until then: i am healing the divisions in myself creating this in you; i am asking divinity to forgive, and for love to transmute these unwanted energies into pure light.

Change your thoughts; change your world.

NeoYankee's picture

OK, not to pile on, but the symptoms you describe sound like a classic presentation of apnea. Several things can contribute - yes to dry air, yes to stress, yes to allergies, yes to tonsil/adenoid/septum issues.

The machine an earlier poster referred to is called a C-PAP, or Constant Positive Airway Pressure machine. It does work, although it generally is more useful with those who suffer apnea due to either overweight or organic issues with the sinuses. However, it's a *bitch* to get used to sleeping with it. If there's something else non-mechanical that can be done, I'd go for that first.

In order, I'd suggest

•Humidifier if the air is dry
•Back off on caffeine and alcohol (I know, I know, easy for me to say.)
•Get a wedge pillow that will slightly elevate your head and shoulders, sometimes even just 2 or 3 inches in elevation can make a difference if the problem is biomechanical
•Finally, I would echo earlier posters who suggest seeking out a facility that can perform a sleep study. I know it sounds stupid to pay people to watch you sleep, but in many cases it's the only way to figure out what particular issue is affecting you. If insurance is an issue, maybe there's a university or university-affiliated hospital in your area who could work out a deal with you.

Best of luck!

frazom's picture

i'm 23 too and i've problems sleeping since i was 15, i can't sleep and when i do it i can't woke up (once i slept for almost 48 hours!) but i tried with meditation for a while and it worked for me! maybe you should try it...