Wednesday, March 21, 2012

O Sleep, Where Art Thou?

I've never been one for going to sleep.

The only time I ever desired sleep was when it was time to wake up. In college, I became determined to sleep as little as possible. I felt it to be an enormous waste of time. It pained me to think of all of the adventures I could be having and all of the information I could be learning during the hours which were reserved for slumber.

My freshman year, I did pretty well with no sleep. Having 4 or more hours of sleep a day was a rare occurrence. I pulled a lot of all nighters, for no particular reason. I attend a small, private university, and often times I'd be up during the night by myself, as everyone else slept. 2-3 hours was probably my daily average for sleep. And that seemed to be all I needed, too. I was never tired or low on energy - boy, do those days seem like lifetime ago.

By sophomore year I began sleeping about 4-5 hours a night, and that went on through most of my junior year, as well. Toward the end of my junior year though, I began to feel more tired and fatigued. I would try to sleep and instead end up lying in bed, eyes closed, for anywhere from 1-6 hours before finally falling asleep, and by then, it'd usually be time to wake up for class (worst feeling ever).

I began to notice other changes, as well. The pain in my hips and wrists seemed to be greatly interfering with my getting comfortable enough to sleep. And as someone who had always had the capacity to sleep no matter what the lighting or noise, I suddenly became completely intolerant to such external stimuli. There were many different times in my life where I actually couldn't achieve sleep without the TV on. But suddenly, the TV absolutely had to be off, or else I would never get to sleep. I also begrudgingly started wearing an eye mask to bed, since even the tiniest bit of moonlight would keep me awake.

When I finally would fall asleep, I'd usually wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat and completely uncomfortable. Sleep had always come easy to me in a lot of ways. For instance, I never understood why some people couldn't get back to sleep after waking up. It had never been an issue for me. But all of the sudden, it was a huge problem. I was also quite known for how peaceful I was when I slept, making no noises or movements. But suddenly I began experiencing attacks of weird sensations while I slept that caused me to move about throughout the night. Sleep starts also became a frequent occurrence.

Since being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, my sleeping patterns are all over the place. Sometimes I sleep too much, other times I can't seem to sleep at all. I once went three weeks sleeping 14 hours a night plus taking one or two naps during the day. I would sleep for 14 hours straight, wake up, shower, eat, go back to bed, wake up, eat, watch some tv or read, go back to sleep, wake up, watch some more tv or read, then go to bed for the night. Spring break was a lot like this, but I had a more waking hours.

Then I return back to school and the situation is the exact opposite. Sunday night I went to bed around 1, but I didn't actually fall asleep until a little after 4. On Monday night I went to bed around 2 and did get to sleep until around 6. I ended up skipping my classes for the day because I was so exhausted. I tried to take a nap instead around 2 p.m., but didn't fall asleep until about 4, and woke up shortly before 5.

And then last night.

Last night I went to bed around 1, but didn't really start trying to sleep until 2. I did not get to sleep until 8 in the morning. To top it all off, I woke up an hour later and was positively unable to fall back to sleep.

To make things more interesting, I had my Major Field Exam today which I had to take with only having a measly total of 8 hours of sleep from the past 3 days. I'm not sure how I did, but now I have to turn my attention to my senior thesis paper I need to write by Friday. Ugh, ugh, ugh!

My body is killing me in every way possible right now.

For the record, I am also taking sleeping pills. I take melatonin, magnesium and zinc right before bed, and if that doesn't get me to sleep, I take Temazepam (which I have taken the past several nights). I used to take Ambien which really worked for me, but before I even finished the first bottle, it suddenly stopped working. So my doctor switched me to Temazepam, which also worked splendidly before suddenly stopping, again, before I even finished the first bottle.

Does anyone else seem to build tolerance like this to sleeping pills?

Oh well. I can do this. Sleep is for the weak ;)


  1. Girl, I so feel you on all of this. I loathe the night sweats! How can we be so drenched???? And the dreams! Do you have ridiculously vivid dreams?? I take 3 5mg Melatonin a night and sometimes still can't fall asleep. If I am woken up it takes me forever and a day to get back to slumberland. Thanks for sharing. It's so encouraging to not be alone.

    1. Do you know if there's anything they can do about night sweats? I've been having them for almost a year now, and I've included it in my "symptoms list" that I bring to my doctors and they've said it's normal but nothing so far about what I can do about it.

      But it's so annoying! I feel like I can't sleep in clothes and that I have to wash my bed set every other day! Ugh!

      I do have vivid dreams, but nothing of the nightmare sort, thank goodness.