Sleep Deprivation: The Bubble Effect

I’ve had sleep issues since I was a teenager. I’ve sought out help from various sleep specialists and psychologists. At times, I’ve waited out my insomniac periods whether it be days, or weeks.

Yet, nothing compares to my recent bout.

Sleep deprivation (and I’m using Wiki as a guide here) is when you don’t get an adequate amount of sleep. This can be an acute or chronic condition, and adversely affects brain and cognitive function.

I first embarked on this sleepless road back in April, when I first found the lump on my neck: https://momarock.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/lymph-nodes-to-lymphoma-my-slippery-slope-to-becoming-a-hypochondriac/

It was a gradual progression after that. I’ve been existing on roughly 3 hours of sleep a day, for the past month or so. This sounds extreme and harsh, but after a while, you start to adjust to it. After a while, your body starts to believe that all it needs is 3 hours of sleep, but what happens when you are unable to get even that?

Well, here’s what happens:

aching muscles[8]

confusion, memory lapses or loss

depression[9]

hallucinations[9]

hand tremors[11]

headaches

malaise

sensitivity to cold

bloodshot eyes

periorbital puffiness, commonly known as “bags under eyes” or eye bags

increased blood pressure[12][13]

increased stress hormone levels[13]

increased risk of diabetes[13]

increased risk of fibromyalgia[14]

irritability[6]

nystagmus[disambiguation needed ] (rapid involuntary rhythmic eye movement)[15]

obesity[13]

temper tantrums in children[6]

yawning[6]

Since my insomnia has been ongoing for so long, even after my fears had been alleviated by doctors in regards to my health concerns I was locked inside this vicious circle of sleeplessness hell. It got so far as to start causing severe burning and pressure in my chest and upper back, and the fire sensation laced down my arms to my hands.

When I called my doctor this morning to ask her what she felt about this, she said, “You need to go to the ER.”

So, I went. I was admitted right away due to my chest concerns. Thankfully, after tests and a chest xray, everything looked fine, other than my mental and emotional state.

The doctor told me I have severe sleep deprivation and exhaustion. He said as far as the burning chest pain was concerned, he wants to give me a sleep aide to assist in sleep, and he’s hoping after some time of getting proper rest, I’ll be back to normal. He also prescribed Zantac to see if the burning I’m experiencing is coming from my stomach acids due to stress and anxiety.

Not sleeping is quite painful. It affects you physically, mentally and emotionally. Your body is in constant pain. You can’t think clearly. I’ve noticed I’ve been more closed off lately and not wanting to do as much as I’d normally do. I just don’t have the energy. Not sleeping can lead to diabetes. Heart issues. Mental illnesses. Many motor vehicle accidents are caused by those who are not getting adequate sleep, and it’s comparable  to driving drunk.

You feel as though you are some sort of strange bubble. You just aren’t very aware of what’s going on around you.

I waited out my bout as long as I could. Last night, after dealing with severe burning and pressure in my chest for hours, I decided enough was enough, and sought out help. I have this problem with asking for help, yet there are times you need to. I have come to realize that I am putting my health, and the health of those around me at risk. I mean, would you want me behind the wheel of a car, and you as my passenger?

If you are experiencing issues with sleep, seek out help. Go so your doctor. Many of us have insomnia from time to time, and that’s normal. Yet, when you start experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it’s time to get help.

Get out of the bubble.

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