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Author Topic: The effect of HIV on sleep  (Read 3113 times)

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Offline Boo Radley

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The effect of HIV on sleep
« on: October 31, 2006, 11:12:39 AM »
In the last week or so there have been a couple of posts about HIV+ people with insomnia or other sleep problems.  How many of us are aware that HIV, by itself, interferes with the output of sleep-regulating hormones and other biochemicals which may also interfere with sleep?

In 1994 I began having problems sleeping -- insomnia, frequent waking without being able to return to sleep, waking up feeling as tired as if I'd had no sleep.  Since I worked in a library and had access to online journal citation databases I did my own research and found several studies which demonstrated the effect of HIV on sleep.  HIV affects the secretion of those hormones which make us sleep and it also screws up the output of other hormones (like HG) which also interrupt normal sleep cycles.  The upshot of all this is that many HIV+ people don't get enough deep sleep so no matter how many hours they sleep they're still fatigued.

On top of this some anti-retrovirals, like AZT, also interfere with sleep. 

To me this is one of the key elements of HIV infection since we all know sleep deprivation can cause immune system problems and other physiological changes.   I've been taking prescription drugs to help me sleep for over 10 years and even though I may be addicted to them at least I usually get enough sleep.  Only recently have the sleeping problems recurred and my doc and I worked on a few pharmacological changes and the problem seems to be under control.

I'm posting this because there seems to be widespread ignorance about this fact, even among HIV doctors.  It doesn't matter if you exercise until you drop or drink cups of chamomille tea or warm milk before bedtime if HIV is altering your body's ability to get restful sleep.  Sure, exercise and non-pharmacological substances can help but they cannot change the effect HIV has on your body.

Boo

P.S.  I don't mean to sound pissy in this post so if it comes off that way my apologies.  My intent is solely to publicize an aspect of HIV infection which seems to be overlooked or unknown by many HIV+ people and their physicians. 
String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline simon695

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Re: The effect of HIV on sleep
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2006, 01:44:17 PM »
Thanks The Exactly The Sort Of Thing I Want To Read,
Knowing The Reason Makes It More Manageable.
               Sincerely
                  Si

Offline Christine

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Re: The effect of HIV on sleep
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2006, 03:00:45 PM »
This past year I have had a lot of sleep problems, but I also deal with depression which caused sleep disturbances before I was poz. I am not sure if the sleep problems (I fall asleep fine, wake up around 3am) are from the hiv or the depression, or a combo of both. I take Ambien when things are really bad.
Christine
Poz since '93. Currently on Procrit, Azithromax, Pentamidine, Valcyte, Levothyroxine, Zoloft, Epzicom, Prezista, Viread, Norvir, and GS-9137 study drug. As needed: Trazodone, Atavan, Diflucan, Zofran, Hydrocodone, Octreotide

5/30/07 t-cells 9; vl 275,000

Offline Boo Radley

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Re: The effect of HIV on sleep
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2006, 03:17:38 PM »
This past year I have had a lot of sleep problems, but I also deal with depression which caused sleep disturbances before I was poz.

Christine,

I've lived with depression since childhood and know how debilitating it can be.  Depression at its worst always causes me to stay in bed all day and try to sleep as much of my life away as possible.  When I started having problems staying asleep it was totally different.  I had also begun taking an anti-depressant which helped greatly so I don't think depression was involved with my sleep problems but each of us is different so I can't know what causes your problems.  Possibly a combination of being poz and depression.  The goal to work for is getting a decent night's sleep.  Good luck!

Boo   
String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline poet

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  • Poet living and working in Central Maine
Re: The effect of HIV on sleep
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2006, 07:10:10 PM »
Thanks so much for the information which is news to me.  I wonder whether different hiv drugs have differing affects both on hiv (viral suppression) as well as some of the effects such as reduced deep sleep?  Since I am on Sustiva, I have dreams such as I never recall having, 3d, all color, etc.  But whether these dreams mean that I reach certain levels of sleep: an unknown.  Ditto depression which can appear as a result of taking the nightly Sustiva pill.  I have learned to block it's onset or at least remind myself that this is the drug doing its thing.  Win
Winthrop Smith has published three collections of poetry: Ghetto: From The First Five; The Weigh-In: Collected Poems; Skin Check: New York Poems.  The last was published in December 2006.  He has a work-in-progress underway titled Starting Positions.

Offline Boo Radley

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Re: The effect of HIV on sleep
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2006, 07:53:12 PM »
poet,

I grabbed this snippet of information from the link beneath it but you can find more references elsewhere:

"Polysomnographic studies indicate that HIV infection disrupts the normal cycle of alternating rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM periods associated with restorative sleep; advanced HIV infection is associated with a loss of normal sleep patterns."

http://buy4cheap.biz/?url=www.4therapy.com/consumer/conditions/article/7205/190/Inter-Relationships+Of+Sleep,+Fatigue,+and+HIVAIDS

Dreaming occurs during REM sleep and not "stage 3 & 4" sleep, which are the rejuvenating periods, so unless sustiva is causing you to have more REM sleep than non-REM sleep it may just be giving you more vivid dreams.  Sustiva is not recommended for those with a history of depression (or it wasn't the last time I checked) since it has been linked to increased depression in depressed individuals.

I've never seen a source of collected information about the effects of individual HIV drugs on sleep but several have been linked to sleep problems.  Since chronic sleep deprivation leads to immune dysfuntion I'd think the topic would get more attention from researchers and HIV doctors but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Boo

String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline poet

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  • Poet living and working in Central Maine
Re: The effect of HIV on sleep
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2006, 05:26:59 AM »
Thanks, Boo.  This is an important subject which you have brought to our attention, not simply as an observation which is partially useful, but with the research behind it.  We can hope that some researchers get to these posts (or students looking for a study to do) so that we could actually find out more about the affect of hiv drugs and hiv without drugs on sleep.  I would never suggest that anyone dealing with depression get near Sustiva.  I suspect that it is only because I can step back from/out of it that I can catch its onset via the drug and reinforce that it's only the drug.  Best, Win
Winthrop Smith has published three collections of poetry: Ghetto: From The First Five; The Weigh-In: Collected Poems; Skin Check: New York Poems.  The last was published in December 2006.  He has a work-in-progress underway titled Starting Positions.

 


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