Asperger's and Sleep disorders / insomnia?

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Meow1971
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26 Jun 2011, 7:55 pm

There are several types of sleep dysfunction too. I wrote a blog article on a study where males with ASD displayed impaired Cortisol Awakening Response (Impaired Cortisol Awakening Response).

Neurodiversity.com has a number of articles on sleep disorder issues with ASD folk too: http://www.neurodiversity.com/sleep.html

I myself have presented with RLS and take Mirapex for it. Not sure if that is ASD related or simply present at the same time.



kotshka
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27 Jun 2011, 3:10 am

Do any of you get sleep paralysis? I get that all the time. I also frequently have lucid dreams where I know I'm dreaming, am afraid that I've overslept, and spend what feels like ages trying to wake myself up and have repeated false awakenings. I call it "coma sleep" because sometimes I think I'll never be able to wake up for real again. Does that happen to anyone else?



Meow1971
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27 Jun 2011, 9:13 am

I started getting that soon after I started on tricyclic anti-depressants when I was 15. Freaked me out.



Mummy_of_Peanut
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27 Jun 2011, 9:26 am

I always had trouble sleeping as a child. When I was old enough, I learned about the effects of caffeine on the body. It seems obvious now, but my parents really didn't have a clue about such things. In the 70s/80s in Scotland, kids were given tea without anyone batting an eyelid. Since I stopped taking any tea, coffee or chocolate after about 5.30pm, I've had very few problems sleeping. I'm really sensitive to its effects, so it's not surprising that I suffered so much. My husband can take a cup of coffee, just before bedtime and it has no effect - I would be up all night, if I took one at 8pm.


Kotshka

I used to get sleep paralysis as well. It sounds like I have terrible parents, but it stopped when I got married and moved out. I discovered the cause had been a regular late evening snack of cheese on toast, which my husband and I never have. I've only had one episode since then and it was because of cheese, on holiday. It might not be the cause of your sleep paralysis, but a change of diet has completely eliminated it for me.



kotshka
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27 Jun 2011, 9:44 am

It's been happening for years and I've changed my diet several times since then. I think it's more closely related to stress and hormones, and my general mindset when going to sleep. It seems to happen more often during PMS and when I'm really stressed at work. It also happens most of the time when I've already woken up, realized that I didn't need to get up for another 20 minutes or so, then gone back to sleep. I think the fear that I will oversleep straight through my alarms (as has happened many times in the past) keeps me from getting normal sleep, but my physical and mental exhaustion from not sleeping enough overall keeps me from waking up all the way and just getting up early. The result is sleep paralysis and false awakenings. That's my theory anyway.

I also always wake up from these sorts of things feeling somewhat dehydrated. I wonder if that's a factor, or just a coincidence?

There have also been many instances where I felt myself fall asleep, started dreaming instantly (lucidly, but without any real control over what was going on), then continued dreaming (constantly questioning whether I really was awake, since it was going on for so long and the events were so mundane) until I woke up - so no "deep sleep" at all. Some people say this is impossible, but I swear it really happens (thought not very often, and the sleep doesn't last longer than an hour or so). I always wondered if it was related to my AS or just another strange thing that my brain does.



hartzofspace
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27 Jun 2011, 10:47 am

kotshka wrote:
It's been happening for years and I've changed my diet several times since then. I think it's more closely related to stress and hormones, and my general mindset when going to sleep. It seems to happen more often during PMS and when I'm really stressed at work. It also happens most of the time when I've already woken up, realized that I didn't need to get up for another 20 minutes or so, then gone back to sleep. I think the fear that I will oversleep straight through my alarms (as has happened many times in the past) keeps me from getting normal sleep, but my physical and mental exhaustion from not sleeping enough overall keeps me from waking up all the way and just getting up early. The result is sleep paralysis and false awakenings. That's my theory anyway.

I also always wake up from these sorts of things feeling somewhat dehydrated. I wonder if that's a factor, or just a coincidence?

There have also been many instances where I felt myself fall asleep, started dreaming instantly (lucidly, but without any real control over what was going on), then continued dreaming (constantly questioning whether I really was awake, since it was going on for so long and the events were so mundane) until I woke up - so no "deep sleep" at all. Some people say this is impossible, but I swear it really happens (thought not very often, and the sleep doesn't last longer than an hour or so). I always wondered if it was related to my AS or just another strange thing that my brain does.

The things you are describing here happened to me quite a bit in my 20's and 30's. I remember vivid dreams of getting up and getting dressed for work, only to realize that I was still asleep and not able to pull myself out of it and really get up for the day. I also had quite a few incidents of night terrors where I would injure myself because I would try to get out of bed during it, and fall. Now I get the occasional nightmare or lucid dreaming, but it has calmed down quite a bit.


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