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Advice needed on sedation & night time sleep

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My husband has been in hospital since 10/4/13 with a Sah, (clipped then 2nd bleed 2 weeks later). He was transferred 4 weeks ago to the local hospital while we wait for a bed in the specialist rehab unit at the SGH in Glasgow. He is doing really well, standing up with support and marching on the spot. He can understand, speak, read and write although still a lot of cognitive work to be done. Anyway to get to the point, he is not sleeping well at night and is trying to get out of bed and pull out his catheter etc then he is sleeping all morning. The docs are suggesting giving him nighttime sedation as they feel he is turning night into day. I really dont want him to be sedated as he is on heavy anti convulsants meds and he has been basically asleep for 3 months and its lovely to see him getting brighter now. Just wondering if anyone else has this problem and how they dealt with it. Also my husband has always worked in the nightclub/pub business and is a nightowl at the best of times.


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I still have issues with sleeplessness and I am 2year post SAH. In the hospital, I used to wake very early, but I didn't have the same issues of pulling lines/Catheters out when I did wake. I was even on medication that normally knocks others out at night. The decision is up to you what to do next. It will be easier for the hospital staff to keep him from hurting himself as he gets more and more able to stand and such if he is in bed through the night, but on the other hand, you have a very good point about the natural healing process. Maybe his body is getting day and night mixed up, or maybe he is healing more as he is getting more active. Who really knows. Do what is in your gut and it will be the best thing. The hospital may not like your decision, but they will respect it either way.


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Hi Tricia,

It sounds as though the hospital just want to get him back/establish a natural night time sleep rhythm and then I would imagine that they would stop the sedation? Perhaps you need to ask the hospital as to whether they just want to administer a sedative in the short term?

Quite a few of us on here experienced not being able to sleep at night time post SAH. I could often still be awake at 5am in the morning and it was so frustrating, as you knew that you would be absolutely tired out when the rest of the family were getting up and then having to nap through the day.

I didn't take sleeping tablets, but I know that some BTG members have just to establish a routine sleep pattern. My sleep was all over the place for a long time, but it did and has improved greatly.

Good luck xx

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I was put on amytriptaline whilst my anni was undiagnosed & it was the only thing that allowed me to sleep relatively pain free.

Since then I have taken amytrip every night as I've lost the knack of natural sleep, I am reducing the dose & hope to get rid of it all together but whilst I'm taking it I know I will get some sleep . I think most of us will say that if we don't sleep well or enough our symptoms get worse -headaches, blurred vision, slurred speech, memory problems.

I think if your husband is not getting decent sleep it will slow his recovery down, if its on offer for a short period of time I really think medication can be useful/ It is really up to the Cons so discuss your concerns with them & see what they have to say.

Fingers crossed hubby continues to improve xx

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My doctors in the past have agreed nothing is worse to your body than not having a good sleeping pattern. I have dealt with this before SAH and we are not talking heavy duty drugs but gentle sleep aids. I have a high tolerance but I firmly believe we must sleep at night. I now sleep great at night. It sounds like it will be awhile before he returns to work so sleeping at night may be in his and yours best interest.? Just my thoughts.

I would like to add it tickles me in a way to see the young mothers at work that are 4 years into their sleep deprivation and how it makes them act as silly as I am on some days! They are forgetful and make mistakes, cannot recall a name or say something completely wrong etc. They think they are losing their memories but they have not slept in 4 to 5 years well. It makes me feel so much better!


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good morning Tricia

this is a complex situation for hubby the anti convulsant's are or maybe affecting him I know lin was prescribed them in very large doses with the problems that entails.

lin can still sleep for England one question I would like to ask has your hubby had any fits since the bleed I know lin was on very heavy doses of keppra and others even though she had never suffered from any fits I know its very common and always normal practice for the hospital to prescribe it as a normal precaution after an sah , but it could be due to where the bleed was located.

I think you need to sit down with the neurosurgeon or the dr looking after hubby and discuss the situation and the anti epilepsy drugs do make lin very sleepy in the morning at one time they did use a sedative to help her sleep of a night time which can throw the normal pattern out of the window if hubby hasn't had any fits then maybe just maybe the hospital. can review the situation but this again needs to be discussed with the drs treating hubby and needs to be looked at in its full entirety and only the drs can make that choice. it is still very early days in hubbys recovery and it will take time to get everything right before life settles for him .

lin is nearly five years down the line and all her medication has been stopped lin is now sleeping normally so please talk to either the neurosurgeon or the dr treating hubby I know its very tiring and stressful for you but hold in there things will get better. if I can be of any help please pm me take care get some you time and rest please I've been there and got the tee shirt make sure you get plenty of rest as well wishing you and hubby well

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My sleep pattern was all over the place for a long time. I'd often be awake until 4 or 5 am and then I'd only sleep until around 8 am. I wasn't napping during the day either. My doctor wouldn't give me anything to help as he said the more interventions put in place medically, the worse it would get. I couldn't see how my brain was supposed to heal if I didn't sleep!

I think the problems started in hospital because they woke me up every 4 hours for the medication to prevent vasospasm and yet I has vasospasm twice regardless of the meds. I tried Nytol, Night Kalms and Valerian tea all of which would help for a night or two and then go straight back to the insomnia. When I went back to work, things improved as I had a daily routine, but I find the more exhausted I am, the less sleep I get. I have a back-to-front brain!

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Hi Tricia,

I had an SAH which was coiled.

I also had trouble with catheter (cannot spell it ).

I used to pull mine out also as I was so out of it I could not let people know how much it burnt me.

I had a UTI (infection) I am not saying that is what hubby has as I am no medic.

You could ask though?

Had to fight to get mine out phew thank goodness my family did.

Hope hubby gets better soon xx

WinB143 xx

Edited by Winb143
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