Sleep Question

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by KJ2003, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. KJ2003

    KJ2003 New Member

    How do you KNOW if you get stage 4 sleep or not? I mean, when I sleep, I don't know what stage I am in or anything else because I am sleeping.

    Short of getting into a sleep study, how do we figure out if we get to stage 4 or not?


  2. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    I am curious about it also. Isn't stage 4 right before morning REM? If I remember right. I guess we'll find out from someone here. And I would like to know which stage is the most restorative.
  3. abbylee

    abbylee New Member

    There are numerous sleep clinics all over the country so you shouldn't have a problem finding one.

    I don't know of any other way to find out. Delta is restorative sleep and doesn't need to get interrupted with alpha waves.

    I got the following information from the talk about sleep site.

    Fibromyalgia - Sleep Stages

    Research has identified five distinct stages of sleep. During the course of an eight hour sleep period, a person should cycle through the various sleep stages every 90 minutes or so.

    Stage 1 sleep is a transition period between wakefulness and sleep. Sometimes you may have a sudden dream onset. You may still be connected to the awakened world and could easily be aroused into wakefulness.

    From Stage 1, you will descend into Stage 2 where your breathing and heart rate will begin to slow down. During the continuous sleep cycles throughout the night, you should spend almost half your sleep time in Stage 2.

    Next comes Stage 3 and 4, which are somewhat similar. This is sometimes referred to as Delta Sleep because of the slow delta brain waves which have been recorded during this sleep stage.

    Delta sleep is a regenerative period where your body heals and repairs itself. Sometimes during illness, your body may fall immediately into Delta sleep because infection fighting antibodies are produced in greater numbers in this sleep stage.

    The first episode of Stage 3 and 4 sleep lasts from 45-90 minutes. Progressive episodes of Delta Sleep have shorter and shorter time periods as the night goes on. After several complete sleep cycles earlier in the night, your body does not re-enter stages 3 and 4 any longer, but enters the 5th Stage also called REM (rapid eye movement)

    Stage 5 is also called REM or "rapid eye movement". It is during REM periods that we dream. Your body creates chemicals that make you temporarily paralyzed. Your mind is extremely active, and your eyes are moving as if you were awake.

    In REM, your heart and breathing rate increases and becomes irregular. Your eyes move from side to side.

    As the end of your sleep period approaches, your body temperature begins to rise. Your breathing and heart rate normalizes. You may awake suddenly, perhaps remembering a dream, as you have just ended a REM period.

    [This Message was Edited on 09/15/2005]
    [This Message was Edited on 09/15/2005]
  4. spasco

    spasco New Member

    As far as I know, and I am far from being an expert, if you reach REM sleep, you have recuperative sleep. Most FM'ers cannot reach REM, or stage 4 sleep. That is one reason for the constant exhaustion.

    God bless! Stephanie
  5. KJ2003

    KJ2003 New Member

    I'm not interested in getting into a sleep study. There's no way I could find the time for it right now, anyway, but thanks for the suggestion.

    I just want to know how we know if we have had stage 4 sleep.

    Thanks again for any and all responses!

    Chin up,

  6. abbylee

    abbylee New Member

    REM and delta 4 restorative are not the same. Please see my above post.

    Thanks - abbylee
  7. abbylee

    abbylee New Member

    Kim, I went for my study at 8:30 one night and left the sleep clinic at 7:00 a.m. the next morning. It really doesn't take long at all.

  8. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    Thank you for your clear and concise explanation of the
    stages of sleep. Now I know why I am so exhausted most of the time. Once a doctor told me that people with FM have so much pain because of a lack of restorative sleep. I know it is more complicated than that, but he had a piece of the puzzle right.
  9. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    I've had two sleep studies. In the first, I had REM sleep equal to a normal amount for a person my age; however, I had deep (stages 3/4) sleep only about 4% in the entire night -- way, way, WAY under what was appropriate. Basically I drifted between 1 and 2 and REM all night long.

    So it is *not true* that you can assume you've reached deep sleep (and have enough if you do) just because you have REM. REM is no longer considered 'Stage 5' on most up-to-date sleep charts I've seen. If your doctor is telling you differently, it is time for him/her to head back to school.

    To the original poster -- the only way you'll know if you've reached stage 4 is 1) if you have a study done or 2) have anesthesia, where your brain wave lengths are monitored for how far 'under' you are. In essence, the anesthesiologist is putting you into deep sleep and keeping you there.

    Incidentally, the most energy I've had in the last seven years was the day after I had a D&C and spent 25 minutes 'under'. I think I cleaned my whole house and was ready to do another. For Christmas, I keep asking Santa for my own anesthesiologist, but he never delivers!
  10. KJ2003

    KJ2003 New Member


    Thank you so much for the information as I am going to look into a sleep study now. I didn't know you could go in at night and leave early the next morning. This would be perfect!

    Oy! I also didn't know we could flip-flop into REM sleep without going into Delta sleep. I know I go into REM a LOT because I've woke up during REM sleep and could not move, which freaked me out a bit. I, also, have intense dreams.

    I'll ask my doctor about the study during my next appointment.

    Thanks so much for all of the responses. What an eye-opener!

    Chin up,

  11. Christinawensell

    Christinawensell New Member

    Only from my own experience I noticed that before I started using a CPAP for sleep apnea (which I do have) I did not dream. After using one I do dream at night.

    My problem now is not so much the sleep it is the pain that I am having and the worst dreams ever that wake mw up because I am hurting so bad. I try going back to sleep then and I can't because of the pain and I can not tak emore meds because usually it was just an hour or so that I took the last max dosage until 4-6 hours.

    Sorry about your issue with sleep.
    Here's to restful sleep for both of us.

  12. abbylee

    abbylee New Member

    Please let me know how your sleep study goes. I suspect you'll find that you're not getting enough stage 4 sleep, but please keep me posted.

  13. razorqueen

    razorqueen Member

    is there any particular medications that help achieve stage 4 sleep? I know I get plenty of REM as I dream alot. But I am always exhausted and NEVER rested!
  14. abbylee

    abbylee New Member

    Kim - when I had my sleep study I was in delta for 20 minutes and alpha waves interrupted it 38 times. Therefore I got no delta sleep!!

    REM and other stages were fine.


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