I will use this topic to discuss painsomnia. When you have chronic pain it can quite easily lead to insomnia due to pain, worse when you already had insomnia to deal with to begin with. I have always had insomnia, since I was quite young. I had pain from hypermobility when I was a kid and developing insomnia from that is apparently quite common. Fibromyalgia just made it worse. When the chronic migraines developed well Then I had a Problem because lack of sleep is a migraine trigger, then an acute migraine at night made it even more difficult to sleep, leading to very little sleep, leading to a migraine the next morning... and that is the cycle I got stuck into.
So what do we do about painsomnia? here are some of the things that I do.
- It is recommended to avoid electronics like the computer and cellphones before bed due to the blue light interfering with sleep. I like going on the computer before sleep as it is quiet and I can use it as my down time. The solution is putting a program called F.lux on your computer so that it changes your screen when it starts getting dark to a rose tint so we do not have the blue light issue.
- I do mindful meditation right before bed, in bed in fact, to get me ready to sleep. I am all hyped up before sleep. My heart rate is rapid. My mind is wired. As a night person this is full alertness going on. I need to tame it down a bit. So I do some mindful mediation in bed for about 15 minutes and this puts me in a state that is prepared for sleep.
- I take a sleeping pill. I have been on a sleeping pill called zopiclone (similar to lunesta) for a few years now. I was put on it because I was sleep deprived and getting numerous morning migraines as a result. In order to get some sleep at least I was put on this, and it does get me some. It is something to ask your doctor about if it is right for you and your health conditions.
- Melatonin- I have been taking 3mg of melatonin at night in addition to the sleeping pill. I tried 5 mg and 10mg and they didn't work. I read a study that found that 3 mgs can work better on people where the 5 and 10mg did not work. And the 3mgs seems to work for me. Helps make me drowsy with the sleeping pill and I am able to fall asleep faster than normal (normal with a sleeping pill is an hour or so, without is two to three hours).
- If I cannot sleep at all and I am tossing and turning and getting frustrated. I get up go for a bit of a walkabout, go to the bathroom, maybe read for a short bit and then go back to bed. Sometimes this relaxes you and you go back and find just a good position and are comfortable. It is a good trick and works for me.
- I have tried the theory of only going to be when tired... does not work for me. I have insomnia for one and that would mean going to bed too late to get up on time. Secondly does nothing about the pain inhibiting my sleep.
- I also drink a nice herbal tea before bed. A sleep time blend or a headache blend. Both are very relaxing and I doubt they do much but they have no caffeine and can't hurt.