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Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 10777
Experience:  20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
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Could this be a sleep disorder? I am a 52 y.o. female.

Customer Question

Could this be a sleep disorder?
I am a 52 y.o. female. Only medical problem is Barrett's esophagus. I take pantoprazole 2x/day for that and Tagamet at bedtime. I also take lamotrigine 100mg at bedtime (been taking that for the past 8 years).
Sleep issues:
Cannot fall asleep without: background noise (racing thoughts prevent me from being able to relax) plus a sheet or blanket (partly for it making me feel safe and also because I always feel too cold to sleep when I get in bed, regardless of actual temperature.)
Average 6 hours sleep per night. I do not snore or grind my teeth. My husband says he has never seen me hold my breath or anything. I'm a side sleeper and switch sides occasionally.
About 3-4 years ago, I started getting headaches that wake me up. Usually the headache pain wakes me around 6 am and I feel really, really hot, and my skin is hot to the touch but no sweat. The headache feels tight with intense pain like an icepick going into my ear. Ear pain is always a major factor. I do not have TMJ and my ENT found no ear problems. The headache and ear pain can be on either side or both. It lasts from 4-12 hours, averaging around 6 hours. I have never gotten one of these headaches in the middle of the day, only during sleep.
I'm starting to wonder if I have a sleep disorder that is causing/contributing to these headaches. Is there a disorder that affects the body's ability to regulate temperature during sleep? Should I get a sleep study done or would it be a waste of time?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.
Hi. My name is***** and I am online and available to help you today. Thank you for your patience.
Question and answer is just one of the services I offer. I can also provide you with additional services, such as live telephone or skype consultation, at a small additional cost. Let me know if you are interested.
Do you have any other medical problems or take any medications?
Have you had a sleep study done?
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I already put this in the question but here it is again:
Only medical problem is Barrett's esophagus. I take pantoprazole 2x/day for that and Tagamet at bedtime. I also take lamotrigine 100mg at bedtime (been taking that for the past 8 years).
My question is really whether I should have a sleep study done. The headache neurologists in Boston are booked way ahead so the more information I have for them when I go the better, but I just can't figure out whether I have a sleep disorder or not.
I can't figure out my headaches either. They seem to be atypical.
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.
From what you have posted, I believe a sleep study would provide a lot of good data concerning your symptoms.
The good news? I very much doubt that you have anything terrible, such as a brain tumor. Also, there are medications that can help to dampen down the racing thoughts you are having when you try to get to sleep.
Does this make sense to you?
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Dr. Rick MD FACS