Maybe it’s just me, but there is nothing worse than being completely exhausted, uncomfortable and not being able to sleep. Add on top of that, symptoms of CI, and now you have a big helping of a whole lot of no fun.
Yep, I have read the studies and the writings by numerous medical professionals that tell you in, oh so many ways, the importance of sleep. How sleep is vital to healing and without proper sleep, you become even more ill. I get it, and I agree with them. But several of my chronic illnesses come with a “side-effect” of insomnia. Woo hoo! Now what?!
It’s not that my brain doesn’t want to sleep, because it really does. In fact, I fantasize about curling up in bed with my cozy blankets and lying in my cool, dark room with my white noise machine and sleeping for a full 8 hours without interruption. But my body doesn’t want to cooperate with my brain, it’s frustrating and exhausting. I know funny…..oh course it is exhausting, because I am not sleeping!
So what is a person with CI to do? I have read the……………What to do when you can’t sleep articles and tried many of the suggestions. Unfortunately, I have found that most of the suggestions just don’t work for me. So here is my very short list of things that I have tried to do to help (with a side of realism):
Reading – I have found this only works if I am really interested in finishing the book.
Essential oils – I have yet to find a scent that doesn’t make me feel sick to my stomach after 20 minutes or so. This results in me having to spend more time out of bed, washing the smell off myself or changing the pillow case I put some drops on.
Music – Relaxing music that plays softly in the background………..I have used YouTube many times for this only to be scared out of my sleep by voices across the room as the YouTube video is over and a commercial is now playing.
Tea – A nice cup of hot herbal tea before bed – up all night peeing.
Milk – a warm glass of milk – I am allergic to dairy.
Movie – Watching a movie that will make me smile…………During the movie I am sad to realize that I will never be able to do any of the fun things the actors are doing that make this such a fun movie for me to watch. This only increases my anxiety about all my dashed dreams making it even more difficult to fall asleep.
Exercise – exactly the opposite of what sleep experts tell you to do but I have tried to ride a stationary bike at night to wear myself out. This leads to sadness as I am out of breath and super tired way too quickly into the ride and I am so sad that I can’t exercise like I use to and……………..I still can’t sleep.
As you can read I really don’t have any good suggestions to give you except…………..maybe trying to finish a really good book.
How about you? Do you have any suggestions of what works for you…………or better yet, what doesn’t work!
Until next time……………YOU are a superhero! Who else could do what you do with so little sleep!