I have been interviewed for the May/June issue of Arthritis-Self Management magazine on an article they are doing about insomnia and pain. Ironically this is also the topic of an article I recently wrote for Fibromyalgia Aware magazine.
And a profound problem it is. I have to say when I was working insomnia and pain were my worst of enemies. You see my insomnia is profound. It simply is not suited to a 9 to 5 job. So you force it to fit and by doing so, get very little sleep. Getting very little sleep is a migraine trigger. So they became more frequent. Having an acute migraine before bed made it very difficult to fall sleep… and so the cycle goes on. There were days I did not sleep at all. Days I worked with only a couple of hours of sleep. And as a result a Lot of status migraines. That is, migraines that lasted more than three days… or days and days… weeks. The mental impact of status migraines should never be ignored. They are powerful indeed. To be in that sort of pain from the moment you get up to the moment you fall asleep, assuming you can, for weeks.
All of that because of Insomnia. That is how powerful insomnia is. For a brief window I am still not working and for that I am thankful, but when I return to work I know this cycle will continue because this factor has not changed. You see not working helps in the sense that if I go to bed and I cannot sleep due to pain or due to profound insomnia, well, I do not have to get up at a set time in the morning so I can get some sleep. So it does not become that horrible migraine trigger. As a result, while I have daily migraines, I do not get status migraines. That makes a profound difference. Yet clearly my sleep is still as bad as it was. Days when I get very little. Days when I get none at all. It is very erratic.
Painsomnia is a massive problem all on its own. If you are in severe pain at night it is impossible to sleep. For me it certainly goes far beyond my sleeping such that it simply becomes ineffective. I have painkillers but they are not very strong, therefore I do not sleep. And that there is the problem. If you cannot manage the pain when it is severe, then you cannot manage your sleep.
Insomnia itself is its own very special problem. FM comes with its own unrefreshed sleep issues. You can sleep four hours or ten and you will still feel like you got nothing. You will wake up numerous times at night. Sometimes you will sort of just hover in stage one sleep like you just cannot actually sink into a deep sleep. It is infuriating. I also have delayed onset sleep… so it takes hours just to get to sleep. For insomnia I take a sleeping pill. Because it is pretty profound insomnia the sleeping pill is not that strong for me. I have taken other sleeping pills for short durations and they also were not that strong. I used to think it was the pills and it has become clear to me it is just me and my insomnia that is the problem. I think they are designed for a different sort of insomnia. So they just do not quite cut it. I get a better sleep on them. Some better quality. I wake up less I think. And fall asleep a little faster I believe. And I get to sleep faster, on nights when the pain does not interfere with that. So I sleep roughly five hours with them. It might just be that I have had this insomnia since I was a child and that is a long time to have ingrained this into my brain. https://w.atcontent.com/-/4Iz9Htj0rGn/nikki.albert/09UMd4RD6nx.text/Panel/Autocheck