Going to Sleep with a Chronic Illness Can Become a Nightmare
Here’s what people living with chronic illnesses do when they can not sleep.
Great sleep is also an essential element of almost any person’s health. However, when you are living with a chronic illness, some times even getting to sleep is easier said than done.
From pain to itching to acid reflux, it could be tricky to enter a truly relaxed zone. Apart from physical symptoms which may keep you alert, you can also be addressing stress and anxiety linked to a condition, which merely makes it harder to find that much-needed shuteye.
So we asked that our chronic illness community, and some advocates in the chronic illness space:
where do you turn once you can’t sleep, and exactly what are the plans to finally drifting off?
We are happy to report that people have a pretty damn funny attitude about it. Their replies were filled up with helpful sleep advice, along with a couple humorous stories.
Find something educational that isn’t too stimulating. This way you can bore yourself to sleep soundly. Or find a way to be productive with that time spent not sleeping.
“I’ve now written a few books sharing my travel through illnesses, life, along with some complete fiction. Releasing what’s in my mind often can help to unwind your body, enabling me to sleep.”
Although getting comfortable usually takes some time and effort, it’s well worth it.
After my very first wrist replacement, I managed to hit on my husband at the face through the night,” says D., a Healthline community associate who also resides with RA. “You might see the texture of the plaster cast on his forehead, so for my additional replacement, he also built me a twist prop to put my cast into. Happy husband, happy wife, happy arm!
Building your sleep pattern: Ideas from fellow spoonies
- Turn off your apparatus
- Read a novel or diary
- Listen to relaxing music or some boxing
- Arrange cushions or foam blankets for comfort
- Consider melatonin, calcium, or Healthcare bud
By now I’m done with everything, I’m so exhausted that I pass out!”
I’d really like to say that on nights when I can not get to sleep I really don’t fall victim to watching the fantastic Area’ on Netflix until it has 3 a.m. and finally pass out of exhaustion, but I actually do,” says Stolar, a songwriter and performer that lives with bipolar disease and depression. “That having been said, I have discovered that finding the time to prepare’ for sleeping simply by turning my phone and computer, brushing my teeth and also reading a novel helps trigger my sleep cycle. It’s still a work in progress.”
“I treat maternity such as a day at the spa,” says Cindy C., also a Healthline community member coping with OA. “First, I simply take a very long, spa. ThenI have a foam blanket that I fold up to create many layers which I lay on and put pillows on all sides. I also possess a relaxing audiobook I play my phone using a timer so it shuts off after an hour or so. It’s really a wonderful way for me .”
“I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis so when I have a flare up, sleep could be the first point to head out the window,” says Amina Altai, a nutrition expert. “I have a regular routine that I turn to every night to guarantee sound sleep. I also regularly take baths with Epsom salts whom I mix chamomile and lavender essential oils into.”
A very important factor that helps a lot of people is meditating or listening to something soothing.
“Because guided Meditation or mindfulness audio was made to be somewhat relaxing also to shift your focus from your own body to your own breath, so they’ll usually make me super sleepy,” says Erika Ashley, that lives with juvenile RA. “Sometimes, I actually fall asleep midway through the meditation as I end up so rested!”
“I love to share with people I overcome insomnia by travel to different countries for sleeping,” says Cindy L., ” a Healthline community member who lives with diabetes. “I’ll hear Native American flute music or Tibetan chimes in a low volume while I drift off. Travel and also a nap!”
“the very first few years after my diagnosis by MS in ’09, I wondered when I’d ever sleep generally,” says Lisa Doggett, MD, MPH, a family medicine physician. “I felt dizzy — my main MS symptom — daily, and that I just couldn’t have a restful sleep during the nighttime. I really do a brief meditation every night before bed. It’s pretty amazing, as I usually conduct drift off .”
Medical marijuana can be a snacking staple for a lot of people.
“An indicator-type breed of cannabis is my go-to,” says Nina Fern, founder of this Highly, who lives with chronic throat and jaw pain. “I will just take cannabis, have a couple of minutes of journaling to have the unhappy feelings out and welcome the inspirational notions in. Before you realize it, I am asleep with a grin on my head ”
A few decades ago, I found a script to medical marijuana, however, did not understand there are different kinds,” says Susan T., also a Healthline community member who resides with Crohn’s disease. “I told the guy I really don’t smoke, so he gave me a jar of five pills. He said that they’re pretty powerful. I was trying to find pain relief. As an alternative, I became paranoid and sat in the corner of the bedroom with all the lights out along with my mobile phone at my hand ready to telephone law enforcement.
Additional individuals find pain relief without weed.
“probably the best thing I’ve used to help me sleep quite soundly is always to use a spray-on type of magnesium,” says Linda Furiate, that resides with cervical dystonia. “I employ the spray directly to my skin approximately 20 to 30 minutes before bedtime.”
In the end, individuals who have chronic disease definitely agree on one thing: “For me personally, sleep is priceless!” Furiate states.
Whilst becoming to sleep may also be hard, the out-there (and sometimes silly) tactics people use to get there are worth every penny once they finally get some quality sleep.