Posted by: eramys | November 11, 2011

Sleep (or lack of) and M.E.

  I have just slept for twelve hours, from 3am to 3pm. Even though I slept for so long, I feel exhausted, confused and in a bad mood. Thank you SO much, Mr M.E.!

  For some people, sleep is normal. They fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow. Crash. Zzzzzz. They wake refreshed after eight hours sleep, bouncy and ready to start their day. Lucky them!

  For those with M.E., and indeed for anyone who suffers from insomnia for whatever reason, night-time can be a nightmare. You don’t feel tired but you look at the clock and think, oh I really should get to bed. Maybe you do all the things prescribed for a good night’s sleep, such as having a hot bath and a milky drink. You climb into bed, turn off the light… and lie there. You lie there some more. You turn over. Then you turn over to your other side. You feel wide awake. You look at the time. It’s now 2am.

  You might decide at this point to do something else in the hope that it will make you tired. Maybe read a book, or get up to make another milky drink. You lie down again. You lie there for a while. You start to feel slightly sleepy. Then you realise you need to go to the toilet because of all the milky drinks, so you get up to do the necessary which then makes you completely awake again.

  Eventually, say around 3 or 4am, you’re so shattered you finally go to sleep. If you’re lucky you’ll sleep well. If you’re not you’ll only half-sleep, with vivid dreams and nightmares that make you wake up wondering if they actually happened. I often dream about normal, everyday things, which is extremely confusing.

  When you eventually wake up (for me I need around ten hours of sleep) do you feel refreshed and bouncy? NO! Your eyes are swollen, maybe you have a headache, you feel groggy and confused (especially in my case when I woke up at 3pm and it was starting to get dark again outside).

  M.E. specialists tell us to slowly adjust our body clocks. Set the alarm for, in my case, 12pm. Yes, you’ll wake up tired, but then you will sleep better, and earlier, the next night. Does that work? Like hell it does! Been there, done that, hasn’t worked.

  There are two things I’d recommend. One, Nytol herbal tablets. Unlike chemical sleeping tablets, which in my case made me really ill, they make you slightly more relaxed and ready for sleep. Two, Paul McKenna’s ‘I Can Make You Sleep’ CD. When I remember to use it, I fall asleep whilst listening to it. Obviously I didn’t use either of those things last night. I will tonight.

  I hope you have a good sleep tonight, dear reader!  







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