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I normally ignore all the advertising on television for medications, but I have a lot of trouble sleeping, and the sleep aid commercials sometimes get my attention. A couple of months ago I saw one for Belsomra. It's different because instead of increasing the sedation effect in your brain, it supposedly switches off the "be awake!" activity. I won't lie, the ad was also cute. But it sounded like it might be worth a try. I asked my VA psychiatrist about it. She looked into it and learned that it's still not on the VA formulary, but since I'd been on almost every drug they have, the VA agreed to let me try it. I started at 10mg, which did very little, so she bumped me up to 20mg per night. It really helps. Now it can cause sleep paralysis in some people, and I did have one episode of it my first night taking 20mg. It was terrifying until I remembered that it was the Belsomra causing it. That was the one and only time I experienced that. Since then, I really think it's been helping drop off to sleep more easily. I'm still waking up to nightmares, but by then dawn is usually coming and it's not so bad. Maybe this will help someone else?
Good Evening Team HadIt and the Community Members, It has been a LONG TIME since I've posted or commented. Been staying busy and trying to Live "One Day at a Time" Question, this past June I applied for a Few New Service Connected Disabilities and to re-open a Claim for Sleep and Hemoroids. Well, the Great News is that (1) one of my Disabilities has increased from 10 to 20, received a New Rating for one @ 10% and another @ 20%. Honestly, I didn't think either one of those would get rated and that the Sleep and Hemoroids would. I was Denied Service Connected for Sleep and Hemoroids and when I originally Filed in August 2005, I was denied after receiving my Rating in 2006 - BUT, I did not appeal the Decision during that (1) one year period due to "Lifestyle" Choices I made - i.e. Drug & Alcohol Abuse, Homelessness, etc. So, I had no idea how to appeal, couldn't get to a VA Facility if I could, and Honestly, never received a Letter to Appeal. I just finished combing through my Military Medical Records, because I knew I had been seen for Sleep and Hemoroids/Rectal Bleeding while in Service - and wouldn't you know it, I found at least (1) complaint of me telling the Doctor I had problems sleeping and Mulitple about Rectal Bleeding. I'm going to make copies and HIGHLIGHT those notes on my Medical Records and send in my Letter of Disagreement. Is there anything else I need to do or anything else I need to know about? Do I need to get a Service Representative? This will be my first appeal and have had Success with all my other Claims and Increases. I'm currently rated at 90% - and I believe the Sleep & Hemoroids would put me over the Edge and at 100% - for me, it's not about the $$$, but the VA and Military Recognizing that this is a Service Related/Connected Issue. Thoughts?
I'm asking for help on behalf of another veteran who just got SC'd for adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood at the 50% rate based, in part on, "chronic sleep impairment". He already has had for years non-service connected obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and uses a CPAP machine. The question is: can his non-service connected obstructive sleep apnea, (a respiratory condition), be aggravated by the "chronic sleep impairment" from his SC'd mental health condition...thereby getting his OSA SC'd?
While this isn't particularly new news, there is a large story in USA Today 07/23/2014 page 6B by reporter Nanci Helmich mentioning solid medical research that links sleep deprivation to weight gain: "Losing sleep doesn't just leave you tired--- it can make you fat." This is due to how sleep deprivation affects certain hormones namely increasing ghrelin and decreasing leptin. Therefore, the connection of sleep apnea causing weight gain and even diabetes should be a no brainer and service-connecting weight gain/obesity or perhaps diabetes and hypertension as secondary conditions to a sleep disorder could be claimed. I realize that this is sort of a what came first issue: the chicken or the egg? However, if you started out thin/normal weight and then developed sleep apnea which led to weight gain, it would seem that there may be the basis for a well-grounded claim in the absence of other weight causing factors. Remember, not all sleep apnea is OSA / obstructive...there are also central or complex/mixed types as well. More info on this issue at: http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/sleep/disorders/sleep-apnea.htm Also see slide #19: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CCMQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fweb.stanford.edu%2F~davesv%2FWeight%2520%26%2520OSA.ppt&ei=-krQU9ydIs6iyATHiIHwCg&usg=AFQjCNFnDNcnaMb34bJh1yZoccIA9kQB7Q&bvm=bv.71667212,d.aWw