Before my trip-and-fall, before the fibromyalgia diagnosis, before my life with chronic illness, every once in awhile I'd have problems sleeping at night. Now it's become an almost a daily occurrence.
At first I tried all the things you're supposed to do when you have problems falling asleep.
I kept a regular bedtime routine, including going to bed at the same time each night. If I couldn't fall asleep right away, I meditated or counted sheep. I didn't get too upset if I couldn't fall asleep. I was patient and waited until I got sleepy. That meant sometimes turning the light back on and reading a book until I felt more sleepy.
Then turning the light back on became the norm.
Now I know, whatever I do, falling asleep at a "decent" hour just isn't in the cards for me. I've given up fighting to fall asleep on a "normal" schedule. My life is ruled by an altered sleep schedule, my delayed phase sleep disorder.
Every night I'm able to fall asleep before 6 a.m. I consider myself lucky.
I've tried sleeping pills. When I took Lunesta on a regular basis I wound up with horrible rebound insomnia. I tried antidepressants to help me sleep better, but I haven't had such great luck with those kind of medications. My last attempt was using an anti-psychotic medication, Seroquel, which was prescribed off-label for me. I stopped it a few months back because it was contributing to poor control of my type 2 diabetes.
I had a sleep study done and was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I religiously use an auto CPAP machine which is effectively managing this disorder. I wish I could tell you that I am getting better sleep and have more energy, but I do not. (In case you were wondering, I did not snore or have other tell-tale signs of sleep apnea.)
It is interesting to note that I suffered similar shifts in my sleep pattern in 1988 when I was being treated for the blood cancer leukemia and in 1995 when I injured by back and spent three months on temporary disability because of the pain. Apparently there is something to physical illnesses causing sleep disorders.
So how many of you are up all night like me? Better yet, what have you discovered that has helped you battle sleep disorders? Please share that valuable information with me here and everyone else over on the Oh My Aches and Pains! Facebook page.
A flock of sheep that leisurely pass by,One after one; the sound of rain and beesMurmuring; the fall or rivers, winds and seas,Smooth fields, white sheets of water, and pure sky;I have thought of all by turns, and yet do lie,Sleepless! And soon the small birds' melodiesMust hear, first uttered from my orchard trees;And the first cuckoo's melancholy cry.Even thus last night, and two nights more, I lay,And could not win thee, Sleep! By any stealth:Soon do not let me where tonight away:Without Thee what is all the morning's wealth?Come, blessed barrier between day and day,Dear mother of fresh thoughts and joyous health!