Chasing Those Elusive ZZZZ’s

So…after another night of getting, maybe, three hours of sleep, I’ve decided to tackle the issue of insomnia head on. A review of internet sites dealing with the problem reveal some ways of dealing with it. I specifically looked at sleeplessness and MS and found some potentially helpful ideas. Of course, the caveat always is “…because MS is an unpredictable disease and sleep problems may or may not be a factor…” I can’t always blame the disease for awake times at night.

Last night, I was so frustrated, I covered my digital clock with clothes I pulled out of a drawer because the numbers were so bright. Turns out, that was a good thing to do because one of the online sites noted that just focusing in on that clock to verify you are awake and what time is it anyway? stimulates your brain making it more difficult for it to settle back down to sleep.

Turns out, I’m doing most things wrong in order to prepare for sleep.

First, and probably the chief culprit, I take a nap during the day. I’m so tired because of not sleeping, at around 1:30 p.m., my body starts to fade so I toddle off to my easy chair for a few winks. This would be OK (according to one site) if I kept the nap short and sweet. What I’m doing now is dozing on and off ’til about three p.m. It’s too much. I’m not tired enough at night thus perpetuating a vicious cycle.

Secondly, I have a TV in the bedroom. A big no-no. Then, while watching said TV propped ever so comfy against the pillows, I succumb to the nighttime munchies, i.e. chips, chocolate, ice cream. Ideally, there should be NO eating (especially chocolate which has caffeine), and NO TV. Go to bed at the same time, maybe read a book, listen to relaxation CDs, anything that quiets the mind and bod. But wait. If the bedroom is supposed to be for sex and sleeping only, does this mean it is OK to read a book, and listen to nice CDS while getting cozy with the hubby? Somehow, I don’t want to end up in divorce court because a book and some music came between us.

When leg spasms strike, as it did last night, I was ready to consign the offending limb to Hades. Remember my post about the Jack Daniels toddy I took once before in desperation? Well, the bottle came out and  I once again took a shot hoping to put me to sleep. Ding. Ding. Ding. Wrong again. The toddy did finally put me to sleep, but the liquor didn’t keep me asleep. Another sleep fallacy regarding drinking and sleep revealed.

So, in short, what I will do today is only take a cat nap, no caffeine or other drinks close to bedtime (if the caffeine doesn’t get me, too much to drink will necessitate a visit to the bathroom), no snacks. The TV, I think, has to stay but I will turn it off (and cover its dials) and,  before my actual sleep time, I’ll read for a while before turning out the lights. If Bill wants to get frisky, I’ll hand him some relaxation CDs and tell him to choose two and see me in the morning.




4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Heidi @ lightlycrunchy
    May 28, 2014 @ 07:59:14

    I have a problem sleeping through the night as well. To help things along, my doc prescribed some sleeping pills. I only take a half of one – a whole one makes me sleepy the next day as well. The half dosage lets me sleep for a few hours before waking, but it also is easy to get back to sleep after waking. And the doc also increased my Baclofen dosage at night to help deal with the spasticity pain. It isn’t perfect, but it’s much better than not sleeping at night,


    • Miss Jan's Words
      May 28, 2014 @ 08:16:03

      Thanks for the feedback. I also increased my Baclofen to 10 mg starting last night, was taking 5 mg previously. What is your dose? No sleeping pills as yet. I tried OTC melatonin awhile back. No luck. I tried everything last night that I said I would do in the essay. No luck. I’ll give it more time but if no success I’ll try the sleeping pill route. Aren’t they addictive? Once you start with them you always need them? I’m willing to go that route, however. It will beat being tired all the time.


      • Heidi @ lightlycrunchy
        May 28, 2014 @ 08:23:04

        These aren’t supposed to be addictive, and I don’t take them every night. Melatonin only ever helped me fall asleep, but I was always awake again shortly. My doc has me on a high dosage of Baclofen – 100mg/day (40mg at bedtime). That is higher than the recommended dose, but he says that it is safe to do. He has even told me to take one or two extras during the day when the spasticity is really bad. It might be worth asking your doc about an increase. In my case, without it, I would be immobile.

      • Heidi @ lightlycrunchy
        May 28, 2014 @ 08:27:12

        My other suggestion would be to take a bath at bedtime – as warm as you can stand it, with 1 cup of Epsom salts. Only if you are strong enough to get in and out of the bath (I currently am not). The Epsom salts relax muscles and will make you very sleepy (and possibly a little weak, so be careful). It used to work for me.

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