5-htp and sleep apnea

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5-htp and sleep apnea

Postby BrianM » Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:11 pm

5-HTP is a chemical in the brain whichs lead to the increase in seratonin levels which will allow you get more REM sleep. This helps one of the symptoms of not getting restful sleep for us "apneacs(?)".

I was wondering if anyone has tried this and if it was effective? I have seen several articles/blogs that say it is but I was looking to see if anyone has had any luck with it? Did it help improve your sleep quality?

I am still adjusting to my CPAP and am awake 15-20 times a night moving my hose or adjusting my mask or rolling over because of the pressure on the bridge of my nose from it and was wondering if trying this could help in the interim till I get fully acclimated

Thanks
Brian
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Re: 5-htp and sleep apnea

Postby Daniel » Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:31 pm

BrianM wrote:5-HTP is a chemical in the brain whichs lead to the increase in seratonin levels which will allow you get more REM sleep. This helps one of the symptoms of not getting restful sleep for us "apneacs(?)".

I was wondering if anyone has tried this and if it was effective? I have seen several articles/blogs that say it is but I was looking to see if anyone has had any luck with it? Did it help improve your sleep quality?

I am still adjusting to my CPAP and am awake 15-20 times a night moving my hose or adjusting my mask or rolling over because of the pressure on the bridge of my nose from it and was wondering if trying this could help in the interim till I get fully acclimated

Thanks
Brian


Brian,

REM Sleep doesn't necessarily give you restful sleep. During REM Sleep there is considerable brain activity and dreams are very vivid...........you can also dream in Non REM Sleep, but these drerams are not vivid. During REM Sleep your body also becomes 'paralysed'.......

Your deepest sleep is during Stages 3 & 4 of Non REM Sleep (also called slow wave sleep). While a certain amount of rest is achieved during REM Sleep, the most restorative and restful sleep is achieved during Stages 3 & 4 of Non REM Sleep.

I believe that seratonin is a naturally produced item, but haven't heard of it being brought on by drugs.

The fact that you are awakening 15/20 times per night will disrupt your sleep architecture. It is so important to get the mask right and cut out leaks.

If you are having pressure on the bridge of your nose, either your mask is a bad fit or your straps are too tight and uneven........or both. Can you post some detail on your pressure, type of machine, make and model of mask, whether you breathe through your mouth or nose or both.

Daniel.
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Unlike his three passengers who died screaming !


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Postby BrianM » Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:56 pm

5-HTP

Researchers have determined that decreased serotonin levels can lead to sleep apnea. The nerves that control breathing require an adequate supply of serotonin. Also, serotonin receptors control the release of hormones such as cortisol. One role of cortisol is to help control the muscles needed for breathing. It was further suggested that the disturbed breathing in sleep apnea is a result of a malfunction in the serotonin system. Scientists have concluded that, the use of serotonin precursors such as 5-HTP may be of value for people suffering from sleep apnea.



This is from the article that I have read. I don't know how much credence to put into it.

Let me elaborate to say that I have sinus issues that cause any pressure on them to hurt some but I cant use a nasal mask either, my nostrils don't fit them right. I can take the straps completely loose and lay on my back and it hurts so I roll over quite a bit from it.

I know I'm a pressure 10. I dont remember the other info I'm at work. I'll post it on my profile later on

I also have no problems with leaks that I can detect. I know my CPAP doestn not show leak rate only humidity, altitude, average hours used and total hours used
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Postby Mrs Rip Van Winkle » Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:07 pm

In regards to increased REM..another thing to know is that for many..A Typical...apnea sufferer's, the largest amount of apnea events take place during REM...therefore, to me, increased REM means more apneas. I am very familiar with the claims of 5HTP...have been on xPAP for over 5 years and would be taking if it would help me. I have talked to my Dr's about it and was told do not touch it. It was formulated to replace another thing that was banned due to causing death. I can not recall the full details.....

Daniel is correct in saying the first thing is to get that mask working right for you. I will add that prior to taking anything..be in a supplement, natural claims etc..I would talk with my Dr about it...especially when it concerns the chemicals in the brain.
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Postby BrianM » Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:22 pm

Thanks for the input !! I have a Dr. appt on the 8th and I'll bring it up.

I dont like pharmaceuticals (drug company created) I much prefer natural remedies so that is my first response is to look on that side. Though I do take Ambien I much prefer Melatonin to help me sleep when I can
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Postby CrohnieToo » Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:16 pm

You might try buyng some Mack's Silicone Ear Plugs. Take one, roll it in the palm of your hands to form a rope or tape and place that on the mask cushion in the bridge of the nose area. It can serve as both a bandaid/cushion over the bridge of the nose and a seal to prevent eye leaks.

You might also look into purchasing Padacheeks for your mask. They are made for various masks and various areas on various masks, not just the cheek straps. There are some for protecting the bridge of the nose.

Loosening the top straps and tightening the lower straps can also help as can starting your mask a little lower on your nose than idea then once you've turned your CPAP on and the cushion has filled w/air lifting your mask slightly and sliding it UP into place. This turns the edges of the cushion or cushion cover UNDER so they aren't cutting into the bridge of your nose.

Hanging yuor hose above your head can also help. It prevents the hose dragging down on your mask and encouraging that cushion edge to turn up and cut into the skin at the bridge of the nose.
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Postby BrianM » Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:03 pm

Hi all. i got back from the sleep doctor and asked about 5-htp. He advised that this is mainly for insomnia but he has had patients take it and it reduces their arousals per hour some if that is part of thier problem. He told me to go ahead and take it and that it is not dangerous at all and wont hurt anything.
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Postby RAM_Sleep » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:15 pm

BrianM wrote:Hi all. i got back from the sleep doctor and asked about 5-htp. He advised that this is mainly for insomnia but he has had patients take it and it reduces their arousals per hour some if that is part of thier problem. He told me to go ahead and take it and that it is not dangerous at all and wont hurt anything.


Thanks for creathing this thread. I think that a lot is still unknown with sleep, especially slow wave sleep and REM sleep. Is it possible that Sleep Apnea will be controlled by drugs someday? Maybe. It is a fascinating field that is just beginning to unfold.
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Postby BrianM » Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:06 pm

Thanks for creathing this thread. I think that a lot is still unknown with sleep, especially slow wave sleep and REM sleep. Is it possible that Sleep Apnea will be controlled by drugs someday? Maybe. It is a fascinating field that is just beginning to unfold.[/quote]

No problem at all ! I went over a lot of stuff with the doctor and he told me that after all the chemicals this is truly just a physical issue that can't be controlled with drugs wholly. However he gave some interesting numbers

my AHI 25.7

By qutting smoking I can take it down to about 18 AHI in the long run. He said that would take awhile though. I quit two months ago.

By working on cardio it can come down even further but it varies highly depending on the person. He said however you can expect another 3-6 AHI so now I am in the 12-15 range which is now half of what I was experiencing.

I have struggled mightily with insomnia over the years and if this can drop it further I wonder if I can get to the covetted <5 rating we all strive for.

He told me not to get to optimistic about that and that I would most likely still need a CPAP but I can improve my symptoms if I can use by CPAP by doing these things.

Also found out I am a good candidate for an oral device though they are very very expensive and my insurance will not cover them up front for me but its still an option. So for now I am really encouraged and have something to work towards. I may never be therapy free but CPAP free is a possibility in the future I would just be using the oral application. I had one 12 years ago for grinding my teeth and didn't have an issue adjusting to it so maybe

Funny thing hope..Its fragile but when you have some it makes a world of difference.
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Postby Mrs Rip Van Winkle » Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:41 pm

Good for you Brian. I am also happy to read that you are aware that though other things make claims that xPAP is still the goldstar treatment..that in combo with all of your other efforts that you may see a day without it..and you are looking at all with a positive and intelligent approach. That you are not out there searching for the quick fix (the get rich quick scheme).

Thank you for posting your converstaion with your Dr and the findings...it is good to hear the information from other sources :-)
Last edited by Mrs Rip Van Winkle on Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby RAM_Sleep » Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:42 pm

BrianM wrote:Thanks for creathing this thread. I think that a lot is still unknown with sleep, especially slow wave sleep and REM sleep. Is it possible that Sleep Apnea will be controlled by drugs someday? Maybe. It is a fascinating field that is just beginning to unfold.


No problem at all ! I went over a lot of stuff with the doctor and he told me that after all the chemicals this is truly just a physical issue that can't be controlled with drugs wholly. However he gave some interesting numbers

my AHI 25.7

By qutting smoking I can take it down to about 18 AHI in the long run. He said that would take awhile though. I quit two months ago.

[/quote]

Hmm. I wonder how he figures that you can drop to an AHI of 18. Its almost as if he thinks there is some mathematical equation involved. In any event, nothing that you mentioned can hurt, it can only help!

Good luck!
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Postby BrianM » Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:54 pm

He told me that based on past studies the average person with sleep apnea loses about 7 points off their AHI after they quit . I haven't read the study so 'shrug' ..Ill take his word for it ..for now. My doctor has been a sleep specialist for 13 yrs and told me that sleep medicine is not an exact science so a lot of what he told me he said comes from experience with his patients as well. Again..I'll take his word for it..for now.

If anyone knows anymore let me know.
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Postby Daniel » Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:36 pm

He told me that based on past studies the average person with sleep apnea loses about 7 points off their AHI after they quit . I haven't read the study so 'shrug' ..Ill take his word for it ..for now.


I have never seen such a study.......and I subscribe to quite a few medical publications.
Quitting smoking will help your breathing (I'm off them just over 25 years now, was a 2 to 3 pack a day person), which helps enormously with XPAP, but has for reducing your AHI ?????

My doctor has been a sleep specialist for 13 yrs and told me that sleep medicine is not an exact science so a lot of what he told me he said comes from experience with his patients as well. Again..I'll take his word for it..for now.


Every time I hear about sleep doctors 'personal experiences'.........I cringe a little. Sleep medicine, as with all types of medicine is not a totally exact science..........but so much of it is 'exact' that properly controlled and executed studies seem to stack up result wise (in the main) whether carried out in the US, Europe or Asia. The 'fairly' constant findings (when like is compared to like) in these studies usually end up giving us guidelines............unfortunately in private medicine (not in all cases), a number of medics prefer to ignore them.

IMHO.........it is the exact science part of sleep medicine that protects the patient.

Best of luck.

Daniel.
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Unlike his three passengers who died screaming !


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Postby ApneaKiwi » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:24 pm

BrianM wrote:Hi all. i got back from the sleep doctor and asked about 5-htp. He advised that this is mainly for insomnia but he has had patients take it and it reduces their arousals per hour some if that is part of thier problem. He told me to go ahead and take it and that it is not dangerous at all and wont hurt anything.


5-HTP is a potent compound and is known to have serious risks for some people, especially those on SSRIs and other antidepressants. it may be ok for you, but i think it is dangerous to say it is a harmless product because so many people are on SSRIs and may use 5-HTP without proper consideration. it can lead to serotonin toxicity which is life-threatening and has very nasty symptoms. you won't find an ER in the USA that is unaware of the link between 5-HTP, SSRIs and the risk of toxicity.
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