Background: Had a sleep study done several months ago, found mild sleep apnea and a high number of intra-sleep arousals. I have bad hayfever and allergies and a chronically blocked nose. No current mental health problems apart from some bad concentration from being tired all the time.
I saw the sleep clinic doctor today about the results of my study and I’m really disappointed with how it went. The doctor admitted that I had sleep apnea, but said it was because I’m slightly overweight and I should lose weight. Gave me a referral to a therapist for CBT for insomnia, even though I don’t have any problems getting to sleep, it’s the waking up and intra-sleep arousals during the night that are really causing me problems. I told her that I don’t think my problems are caused by anxiety, and my sleep problems seem to be linked to my blocked nose, so she gave me an antihistamine to take (on top of the antihistamine and nasal spray that I already take). I also told her that I have to sleep 14 hours per night to feel well the next day (I don’t manage this often) and she told me I should sleep less in order to improve my sleep quality.,
So I think my issues really are:
– The doctor told me to lose weight in order to improve my sleep but I’ve been trying hard for the past year, I already eat a healthy diet and exercise (even though it’s hard when I’m tired and my muscles ache all the time). My weight seems to have crept up after my sleep problems got bad, so I’m wondering if the causality isn’t the other way round.
– I’ve been seeing a psychologist for the past year about my fatigue and sleep problems, wondering if it might be psychosomatic. I’ve had no progress from that and the psychologist thinks there is a physical cause for my tiredness.
– My nose and sinuses are so swollen and inflamed that I’m not sure how much good antihistamines and nasal sprays are going to do. I haven’t been able to breathe through my nose since I was a child and I think I might have UARS because of this.
So any advice would be welcome. I’m considering going to a different hospital and getting a second opinion because I really didn’t feel like I’ve been listened to. I’ve already seen an ENT but I’m wondering if it’s worth going back because the antihistamines/nasal spray isn’t working. Honestly I’m just so frustrated and I’m worried that I’m going to end up stuck in a loop of being told to fix my sleep apnea/UARS with lifestyle modifications. I’m trying as hard as I can, I don’t eat sugar, eat a plant-based diet, walk an hour a day, do yoga and resistance training, don’t drink, limit ,my caffeine, meditate and observe strict sleep hygiene rules. But none of it’s having an effect and I’m just so exhausted and I feel like I just need some sleep. I was really hoping the Dr would let me try a CPAP but I guess not. Apologies this has turned into a bit of an essay, I have a lot on my mind at the moment!