welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Friday, April 22, 2016

alzheimers news-sleep is


when she gave me the prescription five years ago
i didnt realize then that it would change my day to day life

i read up on aricept (donepzil) since i had ordered it several
times over the years for alzheimers
reading the side effects to my patients
not realizing what they really mean
now i have experienced many of them
but most of them i have developed a tolerance to
adjusted when i take it and how i take it
to minimize the side effects

the one side effect that i have fought daily
is the one of it affecting my sleep
i do take it first thing in the morning so its less likely
to cause problems at night

when i took it at night
i did not sleep
i felt like i had just drank a pot of coffee right
before bedtime

now over the last 5 years i have tried lots of things otc
and prescriptions for sleep
but nothing works
they almost make me agitated at night
so i stopped them

now my mom and brother took it at night without any
issues with it
my older brother takes it now in the morning
he says he has no problem with sleep

but not me

last thursday i slept 5 hours
couldnt nap on friday
last friday i slept 5 hours
my body needs 7-8 hours to function properly
now i have been compensating the last 5 years by taking naps
in the afternoon
how long is determined by how much sleep i had the night before

so as i gave my talk i was going on 5 hours of sleep and
a lot of coffee

i told my wife she this weekend
i cant keep functioning this way i have to do something
maybe even stop the aricept (donepezil)

but if i have alzheimers disease i know what that may mean
it the aricept (donepezil) may be the reason my memory has improved
stopping it may make that memory loss return
i am reluctant to stop the aricept (donepezil)
but am sure tempted to do so when the lack of sleep
is at its worst

ive found that i plan my life around taking my afternoon naps
even when i get them i still feel fatigued when i wake up

so this weekend
i met someone who was at the talk i did
she like me
goes to the same alzheimers disease center at ut southwestern
she like me
has mild symptoms and her memory has improved
she like me
is on meds
she like me
is on a version of the reversal of cognitive decline regimen
she like me
has an issue with sleep

so what does she do i asked since our cases were so similar
she takes melatonin
now ive tried that at various doses
i felt agitated all night and didnt sleep well
well she says i get mine in a dissoluble dose
a tiny dose
one i had not tired

so this weekend i spent some time researching again
what medicines to use that may help with the insomnia
i dont have trouble going to sleep
i have trouble waking up two hours earlier
like real wide awake

all the meds i found that were used i had tried
none really worked and i had intolerable side effects

there tucked away in the comment section of a nih article
on sleep issues with aricept (donepezil)
was this comment
i tried a tiny dose of melatonin
0.3 mg at night
it helps me sleep

so i thought
its worth a try
so i started searching where i could find that tiny dose
couldnt find it
but i did find a liquid melatonin
which has instructions 4 ml to get 1 mgm using a dropper
i tried the recommended dose
i absolutely slept a full eight hours
noticing a slight increase in vivid dreams
remember the aricept (donepezil) makes these vivid dreams
the melatonin makes them more real
i felt a little groggy
something that a cup or two of coffee fixed
i felt no need to take a nap
felt rested all day

the next night i tapered it down to 2 droppers then 1 dropper
now i am at 3/4 dropper
which is about 0.2 mgm melatonin
not a big dose at all

so this week as i told my wife she
i feel like a new person
i feel like i have returned to the real world
i feel like i have add all day long
getting all this work done around our property

i wished i had met this person months ago and had this conversation
tried this low low dose of melatonin for sleep

i know when i was in practice when i treated an elderly patient
i always used small doses to begin with
a dose i would use on a 5 year old child

thats what i am
an elderly child

but sleep is so refreshing to get enough of every day
i just hope it lasts

i know you do develop a tolerance to melatonin so the dose
may have to be adjusted some later

now then dont go and suddenly start taking melatonin for sleep
you have to be careful
just because its otc doesnt mean its safe for everyone

dont try it without discussing it with your doctor
i have talked with my doctor about this in the past

so sleep is
what i dream about every day

the organicgreen doctor

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