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Does Anyone Have Morning Wake Up Tips?


KareBear
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When I wake in the morning I am so weak and faint feeling (as I am sure most all of you are also). On the mornings I HAVE to get up just to walk to another room of the house (I'm home bound) or have to take care of my puppy who is full of energy and wants attention, does anyone have tips on how to function easier? Anything to help me be more mobile even for a little while.

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Hi Kara,

The only things that have been suggested to me regarding sleep and wake are to sleep with the head of your bed raised 6 inches and to wake up an hour earlier than I normally would. Though that's not something a lot of people would like to do. During that hour I am suppose to slowly change positions and stay in that position for a bit until I finally get to my feet.This I'm guessing isn't a huge amount of help, but I thought I'd just through it out there just in case.

Fainting Goat

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I haven't raised the head of my bed yet. I use several pillows to prop my head. I do get tired of trying to sleep in that position but it seems to help. When I have to get up during the night I sit up a few min before starting for the bathroom. I also leave small light burning to help keep me oriented. I also have Meniere's disease & have no balance without a light to keep me focused.

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Hi KareBear,

When my son was first diagnosed with POTS, I got him a wedge pillow. He does not sleep on it but rolls over on it in the mornings to get his head elevated. He is very slow moving. So after I know he has tried to wake up, I turn on the hall light and open his curtains to let in natural light. I also bring him Gatorade and 3 thermotabs. His blood pressures tend to run low. If you live alone it might be hard to do some of these things. However, some cold Gatorade in a small ice chest and a bottle of thermotabs beside your bed might help. My son also has a fan light in his room, so I put an extra long chain on it so he could turn light and fan on. What about music? Setting a clock alarm to wake up to soft music. At MAYO, they told him to elevate his head for 20 minutes before attempting to get out of bed. My son is wheelchair bound but it takes this long before he is ready to transfer to his wheelchair.

Rachel

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Do you take your meds prior to getting out of bed? I keep mine by my bed with a glass of water and take my "get up and go" meds prior to rising (propanolol/midodrine/adderall). I wait about 20-30 minutes then get up. I notice if I wake up and really have to go to the bathroom and can't take the meds prior to getting out of bed for the first time, it is rough!

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Hi Kara,

I have found that moving along slowly and in stages is what works best for me. I put on compression garments, eat a small meal, take medications, salt/fluid and I do indulge in one cup of coffee that my husband makes for me. I sit up with legs elevated and wait for everything to take effect before I move onto the next thing. It was also recommended to elevate the head of the bed 4-6 inches which can be achieved by placing blocks or bricks under the upper feet of the bed. Trying to prop yourself up with pillows for sleeping isn't quite the same thing. I do notice that I feel somewhat less symptomatic upon waking if I can get in longer periods of unbroken sleep at night which is sometimes achievable and sometimes not. I hope you find something that is helpful for you.

Janet

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Kara,

I soo wish I had great tips to share! Dexter looks like such a sweet dog!! :)

Mornings are such a struggle for me too. I need a huge glass of water and to be awake for at least an hour before I'm ready to function upright and even then it's at a sloth-like pace until I have breakfast and my morning coffee (EP prescribed). My puppy wakes up ready to hit full speed, too! There have been times when I've had to tie him to my wrist when I take him out for a pee because I feel soo presyncope and I'm afraid he'll get loose, if I pass out. I hope your parents are able to help you out with the puppy, especially in the mornings.

I usually give the puppy a 'morning only' toy or a plastic bottle to crunch up just to buy me some time.

Re: your question about shorter sleeps vs longer ones. For me it makes no difference at all. Although if I've had a bad night with not much sleep my body feels more ready to get up in the morning, but then I'm a write off for the rest of the day...

Janet, you just gave me an idea about compression garments. Recently (and finally), I've started using an abdominal binder and I find it helpful, but I don't usually put it on until I get out of bed. I wonder if it would speed the process up if I put it on as soon as I wake up/ still laying in bed ??

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Everyone has given me some great tips and I cannot thank you enough. I am going to try everything until I find what works. I am so grateful for everyone here and that comes from my heart. It's so nice to have such caring and helpful friends to lean on here, I feel like I at least have some hope now and am ready to try these tips. Thank you all and I will let you know how it goes.

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My solution is to avoid mornings all together.

I take my Florinef with a glass of milk around 10AM, and go back to bed for one more sleep cycle and get up around noon. I used to take it at 6AM but didn't notice any difference in how it affected me and I hated getting up to get the milk that early. I can't take it on an empty stomach. I don't set an alarm, I always wake up enough in between sleep cycles to know what time it is.

When I get up at noon I drink some caffeine and stumble around feeding the dogs and letting them out and stuff like that.. Takes about an hour for me to feel as good as I get. It is better if I am moving around to get the old circulation going.

I feel way better at night.

When I have morning appointments that can not be moved, I just know i won't be able to drive to them, and will be super dizzy the rest of the day. I actually feel like throwing up when I have to get up in the morning. And it doesn't matter what time I went to bed the night before, I just can't seem to get the blood flowing in the AM. AND I usually get a migraine the day after I had to get up early.

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Jan, what you described is exactly how I feel. I cannot function at all before noon or later but I feel closer to human very late at night so I end up staying up til about 4am every night because I feel better later. Even when I have forced myself to sleep at normal bedtimes I still cannot function the during the mornings no matter what I do. I seriously feel like a vampire lol. Thank you for sharing your experiences, I feel like this is just how my body is going to always handle each day and nothing much I can do about it.

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I have children that I have to drive to school so I'm up between 5 and 6. It's easier for me because I have other people depending on me but I've developed a routine and some habits that have helped me.

Mayo clinic suggested a v8 when I wake up but before I stand. I put a can on my nightstand before bed.

I also keep an glass of water handy. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I drink.

I don't shower in the morning and I have clothing ready the night before.

When I get out of the bed- I sit on the sofa with my feel up for about 20-30 min. I drink a cup of coffee. If I didn't like coffee I would take a caffeine pill.

It's also is a bit obvious, but I also don't stay up late. Even if I can't actually fall asleep, I'm usually in bed between 8:30 and 9:30.

I sleep with a sound machine in a cool,dark room. I am considering replacing my blinds with blackout shades. I struggle to get good sleep so I am big in my pjs being comfortable, great pillows, and I don't let the dogs sleep in my room. :)

We also don't have a tv or other electronics in our bedroom.

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AllAboutPeace,

I think the sooner the abdominal binder goes on in the morning the better. I have never tried to put it on while still laying down as I need to look in the mirror to line the velcro up properly. I have found it to be so helpful though that on bad days I just sleep in it so I already have it on when I stand up in the morning. I think I also sleep better when I leave it intact as it reduces what feels like supine abdominal pooling. I have a high supine NE level as well as a high standing level.

Kara,

Another thing I do that helps improve my sleep is wear soft earplugs and I also sleep with a fan on just for the constant white noise it emits. I have it facing away from me because it gets too cold otherwise.

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Thank you Psalm 23. Where do you buy an abdominal binder for people like me that cant leave the house? And how do you know what size? It's something I never tried before but would like to. About the earplugs, it's a great idea but luckily I am deaf so no need for those lol. I appreciate your help!

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AllAboutPeace, your comment about your puppy's "morning toy" made me laugh because I do the same exact thing. Dexter loves an empty water bottle to crush. It's a little loud but sure does buy some time :) Thank you for all your help.

Ha ha :) It is a lot cheaper and easier to pull a bottle from the recycling than to get out to buy a toy! I do try to find something quieter on my bad headache days.

AllAboutPeace,

I think the sooner the abdominal binder goes on in the morning the better. I have never tried to put it on while still laying down as I need to look in the mirror to line the velcro up properly. I have found it to be so helpful though that on bad days I just sleep in it so I already have it on when I stand up in the morning. I think I also sleep better when I leave it intact as it reduces what feels like supine abdominal pooling. I have a high supine NE level as well as a high standing level.

Hmmm, that's interesting! Thanks! I might try that too. I had no idea that I even had abdominal pooling (I have bad pooling in hands and legs/feet) so it took me by surprise how helpful the binder is. It makes sitting much more comfortable - I always sit with my feet up, but still had to switch positions quite a bit to keep orthostatic symptoms at bay. I should have tried it a loooong time ago.

Kara,

I got my abdominal binder at my local pharmacy (with a home health care section), but I know that people have posted links on here in the past with recommendations and places you can buy them online. If you do a forum search of abdominal binders you should find some links. (Let me know if you don't find any and I'll help you look) My husband ended up getting mine and he guesstimated size based loosely on sizing on the box. It gives waist sizes. I could have probably used the next size down from what he got, but I can still use it because there is a wide overlap of Velcro. More accurate sizing would be necessary if you wanted it to look as smooth as possible under form fitting clothing.

Kayjay,

I've had v8's before because I know it's good for me (not because I like the taste ;) ), but the thoughts of drinking one first think in the morning makes me feel ill! Does your body handle that well?? In hindsight though, I never would have guessed that I could handle chugging salt and water either...so, maybe...

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I have issues with waking up, too. What I've found is early mornings are really bad for me. I turn the lights out at 10 and usually get up around 7. The hours between 4-6 are like a switch flips in my body. I have slept bad for many years, so I wake up 3-4 times a night, sometimes taking up to an hour or two to fall back asleep(not all the wakings, just the worst 1). I get up to go to the bathroom around 1-2 and I feel "normal", almost in a totally awake state, and then toss and turn to go back to sleep. If, however, I have to get up around 5 to go to the bathroom, that's when I feel like the switch that flips in my body. I feel like I am soooo weak and faintish, my heart is racing and I'm hurrying to get back to bed. I usually fall STRAIGHT back asleep, more like into a "coma" state. I then let myself wake naturally, no alarms. I can do that as my kids are grown.

So, I've always wondered if I don't have enough cortisol in the early morning hours. And, if I have too much earlier in the night, and that's why I'm so alert when I wake up. It is perplexing to say the least.

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Kara,

The brand of abdominal binder I wear is a Gabriella Breathable Elastic one. I order them from Amazon.com. My only two complaints about them is that they do stretch out over time and need to be replaced and they do not come in an extra small. That said, I can not imagine life without one.They do come in all the other standard sizes. I think the website posted a size chart. Another potsie on this forum expressed how much wearing an abdominal binder helped her and mentioned the Gabriella binder as being one that she used. I will be forever grateful to her for sharing that information as it has helped me immensely.

Well earplugs does definitely sound like something you can cross off the try it list.

Dexter looks like an adorable companion. I'm sure in spite of the care involved Dexter rewards you with great joy.

AllAboutPeace,

I think it's always so exciting to find a non pharmaceutical thing that helps alleviate symptoms. Like the abdominal binder. Do you wear compression stockings ? I find that keeping my legs elevated as much as possible makes a big difference as well.

KJay,

Thanks for bringing up the V8 juice. I will have to give that a try myself.

Janet

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I have issues with waking up, too. What I've found is early mornings are really bad for me. I turn the lights out at 10 and usually get up around 7. The hours between 4-6 are like a switch flips in my body. I have slept bad for many years, so I wake up 3-4 times a night, sometimes taking up to an hour or two to fall back asleep(not all the wakings, just the worst 1). I get up to go to the bathroom around 1-2 and I feel "normal", almost in a totally awake state, and then toss and turn to go back to sleep. If, however, I have to get up around 5 to go to the bathroom, that's when I feel like the switch that flips in my body. I feel like I am soooo weak and faintish, my heart is racing and I'm hurrying to get back to bed. I usually fall STRAIGHT back asleep, more like into a "coma" state. I then let myself wake naturally, no alarms. I can do that as my kids are grown.

So, I've always wondered if I don't have enough cortisol in the early morning hours. And, if I have too much earlier in the night, and that's why I'm so alert when I wake up. It is perplexing to say the least.

Sue,

I think maybe we have talked about this before, but when you describe this I can't believe how similar it is to my experience. Has there ever been a poll or anything on that specific pattern you describe to find out how common this is among us?

A few nights ago I was up at 2am then again at 4, so I've recently experienced the difference between the two times. At 2, I was potsy-normal (tachy), and lay awake for at least half an hour; but at 4, it was just like a walking coma. I was very weak and felt like I was going to just drop at any second. It's very different from a presyncope/syncope feeling. My heart doesn't race at this time though, it stays in a slowed, sluggish state despite the fact that I had to go outside (with the puppy). It seems that my body has zero ability to adapt (to wakefulness) during those times. All I could do was get back to bed ASAP and, like you, it's immediate sleep (maybe because our bodies havent really woken up?) I soo wish we could get someone to study this and figure it out - I miss mornings with my son before school (my husband gets up with him). I could force myself up in a comatose state, but then I'm less functional all day.

Janet,

Yes, I agree, it is great to find something helpful that has no side effects! I do have compression stockings, but I've never found them as helpful as the ab binder. I feel like I've expended my whole days energy just getting into the stockings :D . They do help me stand for a few minutes longer, but I find them really uncomfortable for sitting and it just doesn't seem worth the effort, in my case. Do you wear the stockings, as well as the binder?

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AllAboutPeace,

I actually wear 20-30 mmHg compression leggings unless the weather has turned unbearably hot. I have reddish purplish mottled discoloration to my feet and legs when I am upright so one would think that leggings would make the pooling in the feet worse but they don't in my case. They do however help the pooling from the ankles on up and improve stability in my legs. My feet get discolored but not swollen so I guess that's why they seem to be okay. For me they seem to make such a significant difference in terms of symptom reduction that I put up with a bit of a battle in getting them on. I have a system worked out. Lol. I think compression hose though would be more difficult to get on. Everything is such a case of trial and error. I do have to say though that the abdominal binder would be harder to get along without then the compression leggings.

Your puppy is adorable too.

Janet

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Kara,

I would say you now have many friends in addition to Dexter :)

Janet

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