My husband usually goes to bed several hours before I do each night. Like most with MS, sleep is hard to come by and the longer I stay up, the better my odds are of going to sleep when I go to bed.
I usually spend that time reading and/or watching TV. I have several medications that I take at night to help with pain, buzzing, sleeping and restless leg syndrome. Without these, I don’t sleep……..period!
Most of my fellow MSers have the same problem with sleep. Most of them take something to help with this problem. Unfortunately, even with medication, we often don’t sleep.
According to the National Sleep Research Project, the record for the longest period without sleep is 18 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes during a rocking chair marathon. The record holder reported hallucinations, paranoia, blurred vision, slurred speech and memory and concentration lapses. Uh, sound familiar MS family???!!
Here is another one for you MSers: To drop off to sleep, we must cool off; body temperature and the brain's sleep-wake cycle are closely linked. That's why hot summer nights can cause a restless sleep. We always knew heat was our enemy and now we have another reason to believe it!
Most of us try to take several naps during the day, but often have trouble doing so. For some reason, MS and sleep do NOT equal!
My husband suggested this blog. A couple of night ago, I went to bed and tossed and turned for almost two hours. My legs were twisting and hurting, I was sweating and could not find a comfortable place on the bed. After a while, I decided enough was enough and sat on the side of the bed and waited to get steady before I tried to get up. This, of course, woke my husband. He offered to get up with me and we went into the TV room to try and see if sitting up a while would help. Glancing over at the lamp table we saw my nighttime pills. I had not taken them.
In some ways, it was a relief to know that I had forgotten them. At least there was hope in getting some sleep that night. Sometimes we do the same things each day and take it for granted that we have done a certain action.
So, I took my pills and we sat and talked a while. When we went back to bed, I finally fell asleep. It is good to know that some things DO work on a fairly regular basis……..although my brain is STILL not in that category!!!