Sleep & M.E.

Sleep & M.E.

Sleep. It’s my best friend and my worst enemy. I have always been a big sleeper, right from being born I believe and into my teens I could sleep the day away if only my mum would allow it!

When I was doing my A Levels, suddenly sleep became a illusion as I became an insomniac. This was a horrible time, but fortunately the only time I’ve struggled with lack of sleep. I remember my mum making me try all sorts to try and get me off to the land of nod – milk, hot drinks, relaxation, even lettuce!

When I started university, my sleep was back to what I called normal. Unfortunately this normal was a huge problem and that, alongside my first diagnosed depression, lead to me missing a lot of classes. In fact it became, and still is, a running joke between my uni friends. If it wasn’t for an understanding lecturer I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have passed the first year.

Ever since then sleep has always been a factor in my life. When I worked full time I could often be found napping in my car at lunchtime or would crash out in bed when I got home in the evening. If I planned a night out there were many time I would sleep until 9pm and then get up, get dressed and head out.

Looking back my need for sleep has never been normal. I always just brushed it off though, believing I needed a lot of sleep. However since having the children this need to get my head down has become a major issue and led to my diagnosis of CFS/M.E.

Last week I put together a schedule for my days, in an attempt to start what they refer to as pacing – managing my energy levels by planning my days and allowing for rest periods. This in itself seems completely overwhelming to me.

Today the children are in nursery so I got up at seven, dressed them and drove them in then went back to bed at eight and slept until midday. You would think I would now have bags of energy. I got up, didn’t even get dressed, made a cup of tea and ate an apple and put a load of washing on. Then I headed upstairs to tackle the mountain of clothes in the spare bedroom. Twenty minutes later I was back in bed, exhausted. How can it be?

I am trying to get my head around the relaxation they are teaching me, but I just don’t get along with it at all. So, just like my mum used to when I was younger, I keep trying to source different methods to help me relax. The TV, internet and even reading is not actually classed as relaxation as your brain is still working, so somehow I have to be still and quiet my mind.

I try having a hot bath, putting on relaxing music, lighting candles. Sure they are all lovely but I still don’t really get it. So then I think may something more drastic – switching the room around, a new bed perhaps (of course Mr H then adds his suggestion of a TV bed into the mix – always helpful!). Of course  all of these are merely distractions from what I really need to do – persevere, be patient. Two qualities that are not exactly high on my ‘can do’ list.

So as today is drawing to a close and it is getting closer to the time I need to get dressed and collect the children, I just have to think that tomorrow is another day. I have to be persistent and I have to keep trying, for the sake of my husband and my children if not myself. One day I will look back and be so glad these days are behind me. That time just seems so far away.

*This is a featured post, however I only write what is relevant to my blog

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