The hands on the clock ticked away dutifully.
The seconds turned to minutes, and the minutes turned to hours. Yet, I was still there squeezing my eyes shut like it would trick my body into falling asleep.
Grrr… I’m exhausted and annoyed.
No sleep, and I have work in the morning.
It’s challenging enough having to cope with chronic pain, but always having problems falling asleep and staying asleep affects my mood, makes me more achy, and exacerbates my already debilitating exhaustion. Then, factor that into the cognitive problems – my poor memory will suffer a blow, and I’ll probably have air in my brains today.
It’s a vicious, ongoing cycle.
I’ve had insomnia (and chronic exhaustion) since childhood, and like all fibromyalgia patients, I have wondered which came first – was it the insomnia then the beast fibromyalgia? Or the fibromyalgia then insomnia? Not that it matters in the end but still, I wonder.
Which Causes Which?
But this doesn’t mean that sleep deprivation causes fibromyalgia – fibromyalgia is so complicated and researchers are still trying to figure it out.
Previous research had also found that a lack of snooze also reduces the body’s ability to deal with pain. So we know that sleeping difficulties is a huge contributing factor to fibromyalgia.
I’d give anything for a night of proper sleep, and the chance to wake up feeling refreshed. I’ve never, ever, not once in my life experienced that.
So Called Solutions
Apart from my prescribed sleeping aids, I’ve also followed the advice that the rheumatologists, therapists and internet have offered.
Establishing a regular sleep pattern (is it even possible for us? I’ve tried anyway), avoiding caffeine before bed, avoiding day naps (by force as I have to work), a warm, relaxing shower/bath before bed… yet sleep continues to evade me.
A fellow fibromite had mentioned that a foam mattress had aided her, so I plan to try this.
I’m yet to get to the point of exercising regularly, which doctors insist will help me sleep. I don’t doubt it, I just find it difficult to adequately relate the stresses of exercising regularly with such debilitating exhaustion and pain. With much discomfort, I can exercise for 9 minutes with a break in between.
It would be remiss of me not to mention that when I work, my sleeping meds seem to be more effective, (though they don’t keep me asleep) and this is perhaps due to pushing my body through the fatigue.
My complex relationship with sleep is annoying, yes. It evades me but when I really need to stay awake the sandman decides to visit (damn you Sandman!). I end up bopping my head rhythmically everywhere in the most inopportune of times.
I have no more shame left where that is concerned.
Does anyone out there have a remedy that could actually help with sleep? I’m desperate enough to try anything (almost).
Gentle Hugs 🙂