It’s nearly 1am, I am in a stupid amount of pain due to my endometriosis and chronic pain condition and I am exhausted. Yet here I am sat in bed with the light on watching Moana for what feels like the millionth time and writing this as I just cannot sleep. I have been really fatigued today a combination of a bad flare and a bad night sleep last night. While I have spent the day resting I have also spent it keeping myself awake with the hope I’d actually sleep tonight but unfortunately my body had other ideas.
You see while not a medically recognised term painsomnia is a very real phenomenon in the chronic illness community. It is as the name suggests when the pain from your chronic illness causes you restless and sleepless nights. For me unfortunately it happens a lot when I am in the middle of a flare and at the moment my flares seem to becoming more and more frequent as lasting longer each time. Over the years I have certainly picked up a few useful trick for coping with the painsomnia they are very similar to the advice you are given with insomnia –
- Have a hot drink and/or bath before bed – both raise your internal body temperature and to cool it down you expend energy in turn helping you fall asleep.
- Calming teas – especially those which include calming herbs and flowers like valerian, camomile and lavender . I am currently absolutely in love with Bird and Blends Deckchair Dreaming which is a sweet and calming blend of Chamomile, apple pieces, rosehip, linden blossom, hibiscus, valerian, orange peel, natural flavouring which is amazing hot or chilled.
- Matching medication times with bed times – I know this sounds simple but I always make sure I have my last lot of painkillers around bed time so I am as pain free as possible when trying to sleep
- Do something else – I used to just lie in bed tossing and turning getting more and more frustrated (and waking my husband up in the process) now I remove myself from the situation. I get up and do something lie watch TV, read a book or in tonight’s case do some writing until I find myself getting really tired again and try getting to sleep again
- Natural Supplements – you can get over the counter sleeping tablets and tablets such as calms sleep which can also help.
But if it persists too long and you are just not finding any relief speak to your GP and they should be able to help!