Another sleepless night, is now 8am and I’m wondering who else here suffers from insomnia and what do you do about it? Mine is the result if chronic pain and the use of lots and lots if narcotic pain meds. Funny thing, the pain meds sap all of my energy and make me lethargic, but the side effects also include insomnia! Argggggggggggg. Try as I may sleep won’t come. I always go to bed around 11pm when my wife does. Within minutes, she is sounds asleep and i find myself starting at the dark ceiling for hours. Usually around 6am I’m so exhausted I finally sleep, but then I waste the day, not waking until noon. This morning I’m forcing myself to stay up trying for the hundredth time to “reset” my internal clock, although it never works.
My doctor gave me a sleeping pill to try and help, it worked great the first night I took it, but hadn’t worked since. That is quite common with all the medication I take. Being in pain meds for so many years seems to have given me a very high tolerance for everything. Mostly though, it’s the pain that keeps me up, the morphine and percocet combo fills the worst if it, but it doesn’t go completely away. The dull ache in my back extending down my legs keeps me from ever relaxing.
So, any advice how to beat this? I’m so exhausted and truly miss dreaming. I know I’m not the only one. And, no, the sheep don’t help. They just bleet constantly and won’t stand still long enough to be counted. Thanks for listening, it helps to have somewhere to vent!
I know you have physical issues, but is there any kind of exercise you can do? If so, start doing it regularly, until you reach your limit. I have a sleep disorder that includes primary insomnia (difficulty falling asleep). I find that regular exercise to tiredness (or better, exhaustion) helps a lot with ability to fall asleep at an appropriate time at night. It may also help raise your energy levels during the day.
I have segmented sleep screwed up by the misc. drugs I take [3 of 4 heart meds I take are also used as light sedation sigh] so I sort of swoop around the clock - it combines the segmented sleep with added insomnia. with taking my normal 5 am wake up meds which then trank me until around 11 am. I am fine until I take my 1 pm meds, and am tranked until 4 or 5 pm. I am awake until 9 when I take my evening meds, and I struggle to stay awake until bedtime at 10 pm. The only med time that doesn’t have sleepy drugs is my 5 pm meds. So I sort of drift in and out of sleep all day. I haven’t tried to take sleep aids at 1 am because I understand that their effectivity is something like 25% or less.
I deal with my pain by making my bed a comfortable nest - a soft base surrounded by bolsters to hold me in a comfortable position. I use a heated bedpad in winter and an air conditioner in summer to get me into a comfortable temperature range, I use TV to amuse me in the daytime and music at night - I have a playlist of ‘comfort music’. [and of course I take my meds] And for days I feel up to sitting at my desk, I have a comfy desk chair.
My roommate is in a very similar situation to you- chronic back and leg pain, on tons of pain meds, insomnia at night, sleeps during the day, etc. He is just about to get a spinal stimulator, which doesn’t take away the pain so much as override it by sending new signals to the nerves. He had a temporary one in for 5 days, and during that time, he was a different man. He slept at night, and was able to do things during the day that he hadn’t been able to do in a long time. Have you looked into this?
Most of the time I can get to sleep, but I wake up many times during the night, and often wake up in the morning tired. I would say on average I wake up about three times a week feeling refreshed. I have anemia, so that probably is also part of my fatigue. I have read that about two hours before bedtime, it is best not to think about anything “heavy” such as taxes, bills, work, etc., in other words, let the brain wind-down for the evening. Also, it’s best not to look at the clock after one has gone to bed, as that causes more thinking, and we want the brain to relax. In addition, caffeine is a major culprit. It is best to limit caffeine intake, and try to have an early dinner. It is a very hard process for the body to process a meal, especially a heavy one, and eating earlier can help with sleep. Alcohol is the worst for sleeping. I don’t drink now, but when I was younger I drank some (not to excess) and alcohol can cause “broken” sleep. Lastly, I have read recently that melatonin may not be that great, as it can interfere with serotonin levels, which in-turn may cause depression.
Thanks to all for your responses. No sleep is no picnic, that’s for sure. As far as the spinal stimulator, I use an external TENS unit that does provide some temproary relief, but it doesn’t always work. Sometimes I think it is a miracle and other times I think it must be broken. I have investigated a spinal stimulator implant, but I’m not sold on its effectiveness as of yet. I’ve talked to about ten people that have had it done and only a few have said it works as advertised. The others find either no relief with it or sometimes relief. I’ve already gone through three major back surgeries and have only gotten progressively worse with each one. I guess this makes me very shy when it comes to any additional surgeries. It isn’t off the table, but I’m just not convinced as of yet.
I hope my spelling and grammar are okay above. I’ve re-read it several times, but hell, I’m so tired right now I can’t concentrate.
Okay, but just keep in mind that they don’t just put it in- they put in the temporary one first so that you can see if it works for you before putting in a permanent one. So you could investigate it with minimal aggravation and no commitment, if you wanted. I know it must be hell not to sleep- if I even have insomnia for one night, I get really exhausted and cranky. I hope that you find something that works better than the pain meds for you.
I not only have insomnia, I have hypnogogic hallucinations… Can’t sleep and when I do I get visitors. Hitler, Stalin, Meinhof, a serial killer, the Wicked Witch of the West, and at least once Old Horny himself.
My normal sleep cycle is 7.5 hours long. For the past couple of months I’ve been waking early every so often, between 2:30 and 4 am, and unable to get back to sleep (my usual wake-up is 5 on work days, so that short 1 to 2.5 hours). Thank goodness it’s not constant, just a couple nights a week and usually not consecutively. Usually.
Apparently it’s connected to menopause. I’m getting this instead of hot flashes. :rolleyes:
I’ve been using melatonin during the worst week of the month (why, yes, it IS worse just before my period, another indication it’s hormone-related) and it seems to help although it’s not 100%.
Of course, the various stressors in my life don’t help either. I try very hard to relax the hour or two before bed although my spouse still has a bad habit of wanting to start serious conversations just about when we turn off the lights. >sigh<
The upside is that this has not seriously impaired my ability to function. It’s just frackin’ annoying.