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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Struggling To Be Normal

Most people sleep at night, get up at a certain time each day then go about doing their daily activities, be it work, school, play etc. For me, my days and nights are all mixed up. Due to pain I have a difficult time sleeping at night. By the time I manage to do so, it is usually early morning (4 to 6 AM). I may sleep 4 to 6 hours, sometimes less. This goes on for a few days until my body reaches pure exhaustion from lack of sleep and I end up sleeping 12 to 16 hours which means I wake up somewhere around 4PM to 8PM. Now I'm wide awake and there is no way I will sleep at night. This cycle of sleep disturbances can be triggered very easily. One single night awake due to pain, can take me 2 to 3 weeks to get back to sleeping at night. Each additional day/night of inability to sleep or stay asleep only makes it take longer to get back to normal, hence the 2 to 3 weeks.

Right now, I am struggling with trying to get back to sleeping at night since my pain is in good control. I am not doing very well because my body is used to being awake at night (from the weeks spent in bed watching netflix) and only sleeping when exhaustion hits. This means that I have a difficult time sleeping.

I started meditating before bed. Using breathing and visualization to help my body relax and feel sleepy. It helped a bit, but not perfectly. I still didn't sleep until 3 or 4AM, and woke between 10 am and 1 pm. But that at least gave me some daylight hours. Then came the last two nights when I just couldn't sleep until 6AM. (Today was 8AM). Yesterday my alarm clock woke me at 11AM like I had asked it to, and I did not take a nap. I was very tired when I went to bed at 10:30pm. I really thought I would sleep all night. No such luck. I was still awake at 6AM, and then at 7 and 8. Somewhere around 9AM I finally fell asleep. My alarm was set for 12:30 in the hopes it would be just a nap, so I could sleep tonight. No luck, I apparently turned it off in my sleep (when it went off) and did not wake up until 4:30PM. ARRRGGGHHHH!!

This is so frustrating because now I am wide awake and I KNOW that there is no way I will sleep tonight. I've tried forcing myself to stay awake until the next night, but it doesn't work. I end up falling alseep where ever I happen to be sitting (my lay-z-boy, my computer chair etc).  So I end up going to bed trying to take a short nap of 2 to 3 hours. Nope, when someone comes to wake me up I just can not wake up and then I'm out for 8 hours or more and wake up that night or late evening.

I just want to be normal. Like I was before the additional break to my SI joint, back in 2000 through 2003. I want to be awake during the day, sleep at night, and do things. But no such luck, not for me.

Now comes probably being awake tonight and struggling to stay awake all day Friday, so I can maybe sleep Friday night like a normal person. Here's hoping I can do it!


  1. Oh my friend. Know that you are not alone! I have spent years struggling to sleep and trying to control my anger at watching my husband sleep. Silly, isn't it? But when you can't rest, can't sleep, and you find yourself pacing the floors, willing your body to collapse, your emotions becomes totally irrational. I thank our loving God that my RA procedures have given me relief,and I am sleeping through the night for the first time since 1993! You are in my prayers!

  2. I can so relate to this. My sleep cycle is that easily disturbed, also, and I hate it.

  3. hi my name is jeannie i was diagnosed with rsd reflex sympathtic dystrophy chronic pain i to struggle everyday for the last 3yrs of my life with pain and sleeping and being up for days at a time i can git so tired and worn out but the pain i bare makes it impossable for me to sleep

  4. Dearest Missy,

    Awwww heart goes out to you and know that I am praying for you.

    All of us that have pain as a constant companion in life, has also the friendly friend called 'sleep disturbance'. Probably secondary to our pain in itself, not to mention all of the physiological happenings going on in our respective illnesses, that cause our pain.

    We experience many side effects that are life altering, on a daily basis, and losing precious sleep has such a profound effect on our pain. We don't sleep, we havfe increased pain levels.

    We have high pain levels, we don't sleep.

    Good for you Missy on the meditation!!! I believe all the wonderful relaxing techniques work, and are very effective.

    I would like to suggest something for you, look for an email ok??

    Gentle Hugs----<3

    Sweet dreams sweetie!!!!


Thank you for taking the time to read and/or comment on my blog. For people who are chronically ill and/or in constant pain, it can be difficult to socialize as frequently as we would like to do so. Talking with others online is a way for us to socialize, chat with others, make new friends, reach out to others in similar circumstances and many more positive effects.

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