Years ago I was told that my fibromyalgia includes a sleep disorder.
Simple fact: pain interrupts sleep. No brainer, if you consider that people who have to get out of bed to walk off the pain throughout the night are not getting a lot of consistent sleep, right? Well, one of my docs wanted me to have a sleep study done a few months ago to be sure that there were no other problems involving sleep.
Two separate nights of study later concluded that while I have a slight apnea, I don't get much sleep. Have 26+ 'sleep dusturbances' per hour during the time I am considered to be asleep, when they averaged it, with no fewer than 20 sleep disturbances in any of the hours. (The sleep doc recommended I wear a CPAP on the off chance that my SLIGHT apnea be helped, but the mask further complicated my sleep because I'd have to take it on and off all night long so I declined. My neurologist said: good decision.) The sleep doc was just covering his legal bases on that one.
So it all boiled down to what I knew it would.
The fact is that people with chronic pain
do not turn off pain when they turn off their bedroom lights at night.
My sleep study proved what I knew all along, but stands as proof with all its data recorded.
For any of my SP friends with fms or cfids, the article below is a concise reminder that the sleep issues are not unique to just you as individuals: sleep disturbance is often just another fun part of the experience.
The question now becomes:
OK, whatcha gonna do to get more sleep?
Some people take melatonin, others take medications that help them sleep, yet others sleep when they can in spurts. Personally, I don't think people with chronic pain should worry too much about conforming to the norms other people follow. Chronic is a way of life, not a temporary setback. It's best to work out a plan with your doctor and do what you know is best for you individually. To find acceptable solutions that won't guarantee to worsen other areas of health down the road.
My decision is to avoid medications. Everything we eat is processed through the kidney, liver and other organs... and medications can destroy these vital parts or erode their functions in ways that make our lives even more difficult. Dialysis, for example, is something I'd like to avoid; how about you?
Chronic pain is something with which we sometimes live. That means 'living with chronic pain'. It does not mean fill up on the pain pills for the rest of your life. Why not? Because those pills add up and make problems that are worse than those in the here and now. Guaranteed. It is a pesonal choice; I advise making it cautiously as an informed choice rather than a quick-fix of a problem that can be managed with stress relief techniques, behavioral modification and other noninvasive approaches.
Sound sleep? OK, it's an illusive concept to me. Lack of sleep affects me and even worsens my pain levels. Which is not always much fun. But I choose kidney health and the long route. Is my decision right for everyone? Nope. The solution depends on priorities one selects when balancing all the causes and effects.
A diagram on the below link illustrates the 'travel' of medications we take. Even without further study, looking at where mere aspiran (just an example) goes in our bodies has to be a reminder that stronger medicines take that route too.