One of the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue is insomnia. Thankfully for me it doesn’t show up too often but when it does, its a bitch.
Once in a while, I’ll have a night where I lie in bed, completely unable to sleep. Then I get frustrated that I can’t sleep which makes it all worse and the cycle continues. I’m sure you get it right? It happens to everyone once in a while.
Problem is, one night of no sleep can knock me for days. Right now, I am exhausted in a way that has completely stripped me of any ability to focus on tasks that require mental energy.
That means things like work, cleaning, updating my social media, washing my hair, cooking etc. Anything that requires active engagement suddenly becomes 10x harder for a few days afterwards.
Since I’m not a student anymore, I actually need to work a good amount of house (because rent is a thing.) Issue is, after a night of no sleep, I have no ability to focus and hence can’t work without triggering a huge dip. That just adds to stress since it adds to financial worry.
Living with a chronic illness affects so much, everyday. It affects work, finance, relationships, friendships etc and so a sleepless night hits hard.
Things to do when this strikes
There are tons of guides on how to go to sleep when you can’t. As much as I’ve tried, most of these techniques just don’t work for me, so here are a few things you can do when you can’t sleep to make the experience a bit less rubbish.
I don’t know about you but when I can’t sleep, it sends me into a panic because I know of the consequences. Taking time to acknowledge the reality of the situation and try to stop panicking can help you feel a tad better. Meditation can help calm the mind and put you in a better mental state to face the rest of the night.
Have a cuppa
Call it the British in me but a good cup of tea is always a good way to help relax. Put the kettle on and make yourself a hot drink but make sure it’s decaf. Adding caffeine to your body is not going to help!
Get out the room
If you can’t sleep, staying in bed can actually be a detriment. The location becomes a stressful situation of tossing and turning so stepping out of that situation can be really helpful. Maybe go down to the kitchen and make yourself that cuppa?
Lavender Lavender Lavender
In my previous blog post, I mentioned how much I love Lavender essential oil to help me sleep. There are so many awesome lavender products as well as oils, such as lavender teddies that you can put in the microwave (they’re so cute!). As well as being good to help sleep, lavender is a relaxing scent in general so if you’re like me and panicking at 4am that you need to be awake in a few hours then a bit of lavender to calm to the mind can help.
Sleepless nights suck and they suck even more if you have a chronic illness. Sometimes there is nothing you can do but power through. Make sure you take it easy over the next couple of days and cut yourself some slack.
You can do this!