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Suffering from severe insomnia. Why do I directly move to REM stage? Next?

lately I ve been suffering from severe Insomnia, the last 3 nights I aint got to sleep until least 6-7am then sleep 3 hours, wake up and repeat until midday, when I do sleep I always seem to go right in to REM sleep and have vivid dreams. I m really scared I have Fatal Familial Insomnia , I know it s probably the rarest disease in the world affecting something like 40 families world wide, but I also hear there is a sporadic form that can happen to anyone at any time. Now I should add I m only 21 and was on Zopiclone for 2 months to help me sleep, Zopiclone was great at first but in the end I was taking way too many a night to sleep over 8 hours, was given 28 tablets that I used up in under 1 week (bad I know) so now the last few days it s been a nightmare to sleep. Question is, is it possible I m having withdrawal even tho I was only on them for a few weeks? I feel tired all day, which is new to me used to sleeping 12 hours+ with never waking up, it seems ever since I started Zopiclone, my sleep has been messed up. Also why do I enter REM sleep so quick? that is what is scaring me, as in REM sleep the brain doesn t rest, so I ve convinced myself I have this terrible Fatal Insomnia :(
Asked On : Sat, 25 Aug 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  112
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Neurologist 's  Response
Thanks for posting this question in this web site
First of all let me tell you that your symptoms are not suggestive of fatal familial insomnia, a very rare disease. I hope that (as you have not posted and the duration of insomnia ) you donot have any other symptoms which can suggest this rare diagnosis. This rare disease is also accompanied by other neurocognitive, autonomic and psychiatric disturbances which you donot have (which how ever you have not posted).
The approach to patient with insomnia is basically to find out if it is due to any other cause like change of place, any medical or neurological illness or psychiatric illness. If these causes are excluded then the diagnosis o.
f primary insomnia is entertained and the treatment begins
Lots of medicines advised for insomnia can result in sleep architectural disturbances and he medicines which you have taken can result in such problem, i mean sudden REM onset.
The treatment of primary insomnia is basically is a good sleep hygiene ( go to bed at correct time, donot take coffee after 6 pm, donot exercise after 6pm, no hot bath in the evening, avoid stress and do relaxation). If these fails you may try a small dose of clonazepam.
As you are so grossly preoccupied with the idea of fatal familial insomnia, my explanation may not be satisfactory to you. If so, go and meet a sleep specialist and undergo a polysomnography test and see a psychiatrist to rule out any cause which can present like this.
Hope this clarifes
Answered: Thu, 10 Jan 2013
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