Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sleep Combat

Felt ridiculous about my previous post. It was a random idea during my exam today. And I thought I should just be loyal to my thought. Haha.

Anyway let's post something of more content. I have embarked on a journey to combat with my circadian rhythm. Meaning I am trying to sleep at the appropriate time for the appropriate length. For the past my circadian rhythm seems non-existent. I can just go on and on living without sleep, until I see the sunrise, until I force myself on bed and play slow music. Yeah may be you have heard me talking about this before. And yeah you have heard me saying how bad it is going. So yeah.. this is probably my worst stage in life. I started becoming a regular sleeper of 10am - 6pm. Yeah may be my circadian rhythm is not here because it is probably surviving real well in US. SY said I can go US without problem fitting in.

Jokes aside, I do realize the severity of the problem, not just because I am having 2 exams in the morning (actually it seems like even afternoon paper poses great threat), but this faulty circadian rhythm has been making me skip lectures and tutorials and ruin appointments. So one day, I finally decided to overcome my own resistance and surrender my problem to the doctors at medical centre. 

I woke up real early, i.e. at 12pm that day, after sleeping at 8am, to see the doctors. As with what happened last year, the doctor suggested me sleeping pills. This time, I didn't reject. I enquired about the side effects, and the instructions, and took 7 pills and left. The dosage is half a pill half an hour before sleep, half a tablet again if you cannot sleep an hour after. The doctor said the only side effect is metallic taste in your mouth, and if you don't give yourself 6 -8 hours of sleep, you get hangover the next day. That's all.

A check on the internet told me otherwise. Among the list stated, the side effects actually includes:

  • anterograde amnesia (inability to remember new things)
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • depression
  • euphoria
  • palpitations
  • muscle spasm
  • sleepwalking
  • headaches
  • diarrhea
The list went on and on and my heart dropped to the the floor. I am reluctant to surrender myself to such effects. And a reading on my textbook of biopsychology says insomnia can be caused by a dependence on sleeping pills. The doctor actually suggested me to take half tonight and see effects, since I don't have a paper tomorrow. 

But that night I felt naturally sleepy at 12+am which was amazing. So I decided that I can sleep early without the pills and I should use this as a starting point for rebuilding my rhythm.

The next day I woke up at 8am. Waking up when the sky is turning brighter feels magical, for in the past it was usually the cue to sleep instead. I was sleepy still, but I didn't allow myself to go back to sleep. I did take 2 short naps, one in the afternoon and one after dinner. But that night, which was yesterday, I slept naturally at 2am.

The work is going on well, and let's just see what can turn out at the end of this exam period. Hopefully I emerge champion with my 7 pills still on the table. Untouched. Hopefully I get a normal Singapore time circadian rhythm. Hopefully my melatonin level returns to normal and Superchiasmatic Nucleus starts functioning proper. Let's see. At the same time, I am giving myself classical conditioning. I am writing diary before sleep each night, see if I can  pair up the feeling of sleepiness with diary writing, so that everytime I write diary my brain will anticipate sleep after that and start adjusting the body to prepare to sleep.

Lala and I actually agreed that I should instead surrender myself to my biopsy professor or hospital as a study subject for sleep. It may be that my SCN or hypothalamus or pineal gland is really not working. And being a study not just demystifies the entire mystery I've been facing since young, but also helps the public in understanding this issue! And probably, I am a rare test subject. Should I? Would anyone want to test me?

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Anonymous ya ya~ said...

Jiayou dear!!! Dun surrender k!! u can do it de!! =)

11:40 PM  
Anonymous yeaw said...

yup. jia you.

9:54 PM  
Blogger w a n x i n said...

haha thanks thanks! really hard at times huh. almost wanted to give up last night.

12:43 AM  

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