Posted 11/13/2013 9:41 PM (GMT -7)
I've found that if my body is thrown into a phase of impaired sleep, it can be hard to get out of! Its a bit of a paradox and kind of ironic because you'd think that the more exhausted a person was, the easier it would be to get to sleep and sleep soundly, right? I've found the opposite. The more exhausted I am, the more impossible it is to get to sleep.
My unconfirmed theories are:
A - A lot of the hormones needed for sleep (and normal daily body processes) are created and constructed during sleep, especially deep sleep, stage 4 sleep. So if you don't sleep one night, your body is low on some of the chemicals needed to help you get to sleep the next. In other words, good sleep breeds more good sleep. Bad sleep breeds more bad sleep. Its hard to break the cycle. This is my impression given my experience.
B- After a phase of sleep deprivation, our body really struggles to keep us awake, alert and living after so little sleep and it probably uses some crazy processes to do so. For instance: putting us into overdrive, giving us natural adrenaline rushes(?), doing whatever it can to keep us awake and living on so little sleep. I think these survival processes may prevent us from "cooling our jets" so to speak when its time to rest again. I always feel 'hyped up' after a long day in a state of sleep deprivation.
Some other thoughts about meds:
Unfortunately, a lot of the sleep meds and meds they give out for other issues don't actually improve *deep stage sleep*. For instance, ambien is a popular sleep drug, but it increases light sleep, not DEEP sleep. And so a person who already has inhibited deep sleep may not find much help with ambien, although I understand that light sleep is better than no sleep. But unfortunately these kinds of meds are not addressing the main issue: impaired deep sleep.
In my case, even BEFORE I had FM, I found that Ambien made me wake up feeling like I'd only gotten 3 hours of sleep even though I'd gotten 7. Now I understand its because it can inhibit good, quality sleep. And, unfortunately, a lot of meds that might seem like they'd help sleep actually hurt it for this reason.
The person with FM or CFS has an especially difficult challenge, in my opinion, because some of the meds we may try to help ourselves with pain, or even with sleep, or with anything, might not actually help our sleep, and in some cases may worsen it.
And, yes, to answer your question, there have been times the only thing I could do was lay in bed, or flop over the computer. Being in a cycle of disrupted sleep and sleep deprivation is just really frustrating and debilitating.