According to Wikipedia Sleep deprivation is the condition of not having enough sleep; it can be either chronic or acute. A chronic sleep-restricted state can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness, and weight loss or weight gain. It adversely affects the brain and cognitive function.
According to an article on WEB MD Charles Bea, MD says that ‘there is a link between pain and sleep problems, exactly how the two conditions are connected varies from person to person. “You have to determine what is the chicken and what is the egg,” he says. “Is pain a manifestation of, or made worse by, a sleep disorder or is pain causing the poor quality of sleep?”
Charles Bae, MD, a neurologist in the Sleep Disorders Center at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, puts it this way: “Pain can be the main reason that someone wakes up multiple times a night, and this results in a decrease in sleep quantity and quality, and on the flip side, sleep deprivation can lower your pain threshold and pain tolerance and make existing pain feel worse”.
So what’s the answer – Spine Health say that “Psychological techniques. Meditation, cognitive behavior therapy, and deep breathing exercises are some of the more common practices. Sleep medications. Specifically designed to help with sleep, these medications may be considered by themselves or along with other strategies in certain circumstances”, may help with your sleep pattern.
Arthritis Health says that “Positive bedtime habits and environment changes include:
- Using a high-quality mattress with comfortable sheets and blankets
- Eliminating light and noise from the bedroom, including glare and sounds from electronics; a sound machine that generates white noise may help mask outside noises (people will often use a fan for this purpose)
- Lowering the temperature in the bedroom to 68 degrees or lower
- Using deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation techniques (tensing and then relaxing muscle groups in sequence)
- Using a biofeedback device to help individuals recognize signs of tension and actively work to relax muscles, slow breathing, and calm down
- Going to bed at the same time every day
- Getting up and doing something calming if sleeplessness sets in, returning to bed only once feeling tired
If you have any unique suggestions on how to get back to sleep after being woken up with pain then please let us know so we can all try it.
Other factors of course are that sleep changes with Age. You can see from the graphic below how it changes a great deal as we age. I probably only get about 6 hours of sleep maximum.
Many Fibromyalgia sufferers have sleep problems even if they have a rest during the day. But having a few ‘good’ hours sleep can make all the difference. I’m sure I am not alone in also suffering most days with an overwhelming feeling of fatigue. I can honestly say that sometimes I have felt so tired, that I thought I would fall asleep standing up. But even an afternoon nap is not the same as having a ‘proper’ night’s sleep.
Healthline explains 11 effects of sleep deprivation on your body with this great graphic and just shows how it really can affect your way of life big time.
Isn’t it strange, how nature makes you forget,
That terrible pain you have and continually get.
It comes in waves when you least expect it,
And you think, please stop now and give me a rest for a bit.
With my batteries recharged, I’m ready for the next bout of pain,
Gosh, I forgot how it was driving me insane.
I keep my head high and everyone says I look just fine,
But they have no idea how I really feel at this present moment in time.
I may not have bandages and plaster anywhere on my body,
But believe me, it just keeps on coming back and driving me potty.
Now I’ve tried everything available in the book,
And yes, it helps but only with my foot!!!
I’m writing this poem as I just can’t sleep,
It’s that awful pain again from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.
I’m sure one day someone will find a cure,
But until then I shall just have to suffer some more.
So, while your sleeping like a baby in bed,
Think of me some time while I try again to clear my head!
I’m afraid that’s all I can think of, for the time being anyway,
May is Fibromyalgia Awareness Month and ProHealth say, ‘Help us raise awareness and dispel the myths about this disease’. Write your story of Fibromyalgia on their site Fibromyalgia Awareness Healing Story Meaning originally written by Rebuilding Wellness.
Zazzle an American site has a number of Fibromyalgia Awareness Gifts from t. shirts to key rings. T. shirts are also available from Cafe Press UK. Another brilliant site for anything Fibro related is Fibro Blogger a Directory of People who Blog about Fibromyalgia. So, if you blog about people join this amazing directory of Fibro Bloggers.
There is also a Facebook Site which is promoting May 12th as ‘International ME/CFS/& FM Awareness Day’ so pop over and give them a tick or a donation to help raise awareness of these diseases.
SIX FACTS ABOUT FIBROMYALGIA…
- It is a real disorder with measurable biological abnormalities.
- There is a specific set of diagnostic criteria developed by the American College of Rheumatology to be used for diagnosing Fibromyalgia.
- It affects men, women, and children of all ages.
- Several studies have revealed markers of inflammation in Fibromyalgia.
- Exercise, when done properly, can help to reduce Fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Although there is no cure for Fibromyalgia, it can be managed with the right combination of treatments and therapies.
One of my previous posts was about my new pain team suggesting that I came of all my pain relieving drugs except paracetamol as I have been on them for many years.
The idea was to see a couple of things (a) was my pain a lot worse without them? and (b) how did I feel mentally without the many side effects of the drugs listed above which I was taking.
I had a follow up phone call 6 weeks after the meeting with the pain team which was last week. The team also told me to take Turmeric and we’re convinced some of my symptoms were Vitamin D deficiency so also sent me for a blood test and bone scan to check for Osteoporosis.
The blood test showed I was extremely Vitamin D deficient so I was put onto a large dose of it and told to continue taking it but just a normal dose from the chemist after I had finished the strong course. My bone scan was cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus.
So, for the last eight weeks I’ve taken Vitamin D, Turmeric and the Tramadol hydrochloride/Paracetamol which I’ve not had before and tried to get myself off the rest of my medication except for the paracetamol.
I have managed to get myself completely off the pure Tramadol like my GP suggested and I am now only taking 50mg of the Tramadol hydrochloride/Paracetamol which is a massive drop. I have reduced the Prozac to just three times a week but feel happy taking that small dose. I was unable to drop my NORTRIPTYLINE even by 10 mg as the pain in the night was just too severe and kept me awake. I still take up to 8 paracetamol a day for pain.
In conclusion the answer to question (a) my pain was much worse without my nortriptyline and (b) my head and mental state felt 80% more clearer and I hope to come off the 50mg of the Tramadol hydrochloride/Paracetamol soon. All in all I’m pleased the new pain team suggested this review on all my meds as you just take them without thinking when you are in constant pain and I feel so much better in myself without the side effects from the Tramadol.