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Fatigue and adequate good quality sleep
Jul 17, 2000

Doc, I am a 42 yr old caucasian male, positive now for almost 15 yrs. Have been taking meds for over 8 yrs. currently zero VL and aprox. 550 T-cells. Presently on a 4 combo therapy. In addition to all the complementary things such as excellent nutrition, exercise, stress reduction exercises, support groups, and a great support network, not to mention a fantastic Doc here in Portland OR. I find getting ENOUGH good sleep to be difficult. Tried all sorts of Rx sleep aids, nothing keeps me asleep long enough. Not getting enough sleep is devastating for feeling fatigued. Find I must nap often to make up for this, which is hard when you work a 40 hour week. Any suggestions for extending sleep times? I get good sleep but not enough. Wake up after 6 hours at most no matter how tired I am. Taking Rx sleep medications heavy enough to keep me asleep means waking at least three hours on work days ahead of work time just to function properly, and this is really potentially bad as I am a commercial pilot and MUST be functionally awake on the job. I have a regular work schedule as a freight pilot. Any help here?

Response from Mr. Molaghan

Well let's see here, since you are a commercial pilot we certainly don't you falling asleep on the job! A couple of things to consider… check all your prescription and non-prescription medications and see if any act as stimulants. Also, with the help of your physician, you could try adjusting the times you take medications to see if this has any effect. Any idea what wakes you up?… a full bladder? Hunger? Noisy environment? Certain types of depression can be associated with early morning awakenings. As a pilot do you spend time adjusting to different time zones? Any difference when you are on vacation? Adjusting the times of meals and your exercise routine might also be beneficial. Relaxation techniques and modifying the type and amount of exercise you do should also be considered. Try all the non-pharmacological approaches first. If these are not helpful you may need to schedule the exact time you take your sleeping pill to get the desired amount of sleep you need without compromising your work.

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