Have you ever had a night where you can’t fall asleep and next thing you know it’s 3 a.m.? I experience that nearly every night.
I have had a sleep study done, it showed what the doctors all suspected, lots of leg movements and insomnia. I wasn’t reaching the deep sleep and I wasn’t in REM sleep for that long. This is very typical in Fibromyalgia. I was one episode away from having to have a cpap machine. So for now I am grateful I don’t need one.
We didn’t really get a whole lot of guidance from that sleep doctor which was unfortunate. Both of my rheumatologists had copies of the sleep study so they were able to help me a little bit more. They didn’t want to put me on sleep medications yet because of some of my other diagnosis. This summer it got really bad. It was almost 4:30-5:00 till I fell asleep. So after my appointment this summer my rheumatologist decided it was doing more harm to not be on a medication. I got put on a sleeping medication, it’s used more to help you relax but at different doses it is like a sedation pill. It’s not addicting like some can be.
For the first few weeks it was working really well. I would take it around 8-9 p.m. and I would be asleep by midnight.
Then recently it was 3-4 till I was falling asleep. I started taking the medicine earlier and that wasn’t helping. I am going to talk to my doctor to see what the next step is. My guess is we will up the dosage but who knows.
I felt so different when I was getting a “good” nights sleep. I was actually dreaming during my sleep. My body felt more rested. I still had all day fatigue but I felt a little bit refreshed. I also wasn’t waking up with a pounding headache, just a dull ache. I was waking up better and was actually waking up by myself before 10 am.
I used to not wake up well. I couldn’t hear my alarm and Mom would wake me up but it would take a few tries. Usually it was because I had fallen asleep 2 hours ago. In the past I was lucky to get 5 hours of sleep. I sometimes only got 2-3 hours of sleep a night. My doctors were concerned with this. Sleep issues are very common with chronic illnesses. So my doctors know that sleep is important but hard to fall asleep. They wanted to find a way for me to get some type of sleep so my body could actually rest and repair a little bit. I was just in this never ending cycle. We tried a few different things along the way.
I do sleep with the TV on. I know how bad it can be, but I need it. I am in constant pain and when you are ready to go to bed and everything is silent and you’re just laying in bed, all you can think about is how am I ever going to fall asleep and how much something hurts. The TV was a way to distract that and calm me down. I do diffuse essential oils also at night. Last year I was prescribed anxiety meds to take at night also which helps me calm down.
I did get a sound machine as well and that helps drown out any background noises. I don’t hear the train at night or dogs barking etc. I also got rid of clocks in my bedroom. I have a tiny clock that sits on a shelf but I can’t see it at night. I check my sleeping time on the fitbit app the next day.
I know sleep is something I took for granted when I was healthy. Sleep plays a part in your overall health and when other issues are going on and you add poor sleep to that it’s not a good mix.
So I am grateful for medicines that can help with sleep. Although sleep will always be a struggle for me, if I can have a few decent nights here that would help a lot.
“Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” -Matthew 11:28