Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sleeping with Chronic Pain

Insomnia - "habitual sleeplessness; inability to sleep" (Google dictionary)
Hypersomnia - "characterized by recurrent episodes of excessive daytime sleepiness or prolonged nighttime sleep" (National Institutes of Health)

Most people with fibromyalgia/chronic pain deal with sleep pattern problems, particularly sleep that is disrupted by pain and waking up still tired. This poor sleep leaves one feeling sleepy/exhausted during the day. 

It is hard to function throughout the day without enough sleep at night. This is especially tough if one is able to, or has to, work. Without restorative sleep, the body feels more sore and the brain is foggier. 

Source: Fibromyalgia Wellness Center
Driving can be dangerous, especially for those whose job is a distance away, because reaction times are slower and the lull of the road makes staying awake hard. I am acutely aware of this myself, because my father died as a result of falling asleep while driving.

In a prior post, I have mentioned my insomnia, primarily due to a noisy upstairs neighbor. I am happy to say, he no longer lives there, and it is now quiet at night. Getting my body to realize I can sleep at night is another story.

I also need to learn how to sleep in my bed again. Since I was awake all night, and most of the day, the sleep I did get was in my (very comfortable) recliner. The bed seems very hard/rigid in comparison, and it is impossible to sleep on either of my sides because of the hip trigger points.

I have heard that catching up on sleep does not happen. I really want to find out, though, that this is not true. In the last week, I slept eight hours in my bed one night, tried to sleep in my bed another night, and spent a few nights wide awake. I also slept 8.5 hours one night, 4 hours the next night, and 8 hours last night, all in the recliner. 

Despite the eight hours last night, I am fighting sleep now, and have been for several hours. I am trying hard to stay awake so I get to sleep at a reasonable hour and stay asleep all night. 

Given the amount of back pain I have had today, I will probably sleep in the chair again, as I have not figured out how to be comfortable in my bed. If you have any ideas for making a bed more comfortable, I would love it if you would post them in the comments.

I wish you restful sleep and pain-free days.



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