Posted 1/24/2010 3:34 AM (GMT -7)
I wasn't really planning on diving in quite this quickly, but, as it happens, this subject has been heavy on my mind today.
I live on the sleep rollercoaster. And I'm getting a little tired (ha ha) of the ride. Since my biggest problem is falling asleep, I'm usually up until 2 or 3 am (if I'm lucky, 4 or later if I'm not). My alarm goes off for work at 8 am. Even though the hours I've slept have been uninterrupted, I know it hasn't been deep sleep because once I'm out of bed, I'm awake and moving. I have to be since by the time my husband has pushed me out of bed, I usually only have 30 minutes to get to work. The rare nights when I manage to get some good sleep are the mornings when I don't make it to work on time or at all.
Of course, the opposite side of the coin is not the shiny, happy dreamland one would expect. Weekends are when, even if I can't fall asleep until 4, I can still sleep 8 or more hours without worrying about oversleeping. Problem is, this kind of blessedly deep sleep leaves the whole body too stiff to move. Even getting out of bed is torture. Forcing myself to stretch (when I do) does help, but even once the muscles are loosened, they still feel bruised and sore. As if this weren't enough to ruin anyone's day, more and more I'm noticing that the deeper I sleep, the harder it is to pull myself out of it. No matter what I try, I can't seem to wake myself up and am usually back in bed after a few hours. So now I've spent the majority of Saturday asleep and my schedule is completely switched with only one day to flip it back before the ride starts all over again.
There are a lot of reasons I have trouble falling asleep at night. I've always been a Night Owl by nature, even as a child. And I have struggled with bouts of insomnia for a little over 10 years. Also, much as I love my husband, when he moved in two years ago the double bed that was big enough for me suddenly became too small, a situation that became a serious problem when the Fibro symptoms started ramping up a few months later. Now I know that when I lay down, even if I can find a comfortable position, it isn't going to stay comfortable for long. Either my arm, or leg, or both are going to start hurting and I'm going to have to move.
I've always resisted taking a sleep aid, even when I had insomnia, because my problem is falling asleep, not staying asleep. Once I'm out, I'm out, and I was afraid the med would make me sleep too deeply and not be able to get one when I needed. But when I was taking Cymbalta last summer right after my diagnosis and it triggered my insomnia, I agreed to take a sleep aid out of desperation. I told the NP about my concern and assumed she gave me an anti-anxiety, Ativan, instead of a regular sleep aid because of that. Well, whatever she expected to happen, what did happen was my biggest fear. While it worked to put me to sleep for about a week, I had trouble getting up and moving the next morning. After that, it fell into the pattern I had expected. It didn't put me to sleep, but once I was asleep, I was dead to the world for 10 or 12 hours. Needless to say, this is not conducive to maintaining employment.
I don't have a clue what I'm going to do and (as with everything else this has caused in my life) don't know that I am capable of keeping it together long enough to figure it out. This is why I constantly feel like I'm just barely keeping up and can't seem to regain control.
Here's hoping we all manage to find a solution and start sleeping like normal people soon.