CFS/ME & Fibro

Sleeping on the Edge of Sleep

Sleeping on the edge of sleep is my description of my difficulty overcoming, or suffering with, lack of sleep. It’s not because I don’t want to, or have late night after late night. My state of insomnia is due to having two neurological illness – ME (also called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and Fibromyalgia. Now, you would think with the lack of sleep that I should be able to sleep soundly sometimes. But no. My body has to be different. Since these illnesses developed, sleep has stopped being my friend. Instead, at night in the quiet of my bedroom, my head buzzes with thoughts, ideas and scenarios – only to be forgotten by morning.

Weary with toil I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind when body’s work’s expired.
~ Shakespeare, sonnet 27

Of course, this insomnia leads to the thrashing of the pillow and the tossing and turning. Trying to find the most comfortable position which isn’t too hot or too cold. Kicking off the bedclothes and replacing them minutes later. Having Fibromyalgia means, as well as similar symptoms of ME/CFS, my muscles can be tender and painful and, although I am, uh, nicely padded, when lain on a bed it feels as though my bones are protruding from me. This makes everything doubly uncomfortable. Pain killers are all very well, and I have some strong tablets, but they take time to kick in, or sometimes not work at all.

When I was first diagnosed with ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia, the specialist suggested I try an anti-depressant in the evening. Now I know this sounds strange, but bear with me. I’ve had depression for many years so I was already taking one type in the morning already. But there have been trials of working one anti-depressant off another to make one drowsy, to help induce sleep. So I take my usual one in the morning, but another different anti-depressant in the evening, an hour before bed. I must say from my own experience that it does have some effect. According to the specialist, it is preferred as there are less side-effects and less likelihood of addiction compared to sleeping tablets. Although, as I said, it does have some effect, it does not always work for me. I could ask the doctor to increase the evening dosage, but I’m very wary of medicines and the fact that the body can create its own immunity against them.

So the state of deep, satisfying and refreshing sleep alludes me. But I never give up. I’m always looking for new ideas to help relieve my body and relax my mind. Tonight I start with acupressure. I’ve not tried this acupressure point before on my wrist, so I’ll see how it pans out.

Here’s the blog, Tips for ME, where I got the information about the acupressure points: Tips for ME