Painsomnia can be a “side effect” of anyone with chronic pain but is something that can affect EDS-ers pretty often. Painsomnia is what we call it when a person is…
exhausted but is hurting to bad to go to sleep. It can be the most frustrating and miserable time. This is also something I often struggle with. (Just last night actually. That’s what sparked this post.) For me, I get really tired when I am in pain and then when I lay in bed, I can’t get comfortable because of the pain. It is a vicious cycle and can be crippling to someone with EDS who needs rest when they can get it. Rest is what heals our bodies and without it dislocations tend to follow. (At least for me.) It is hard to find relief during these restless nights and it can seem impossible at times to fall asleep but I have found some ways that help me cope with these long nights. First, I have to stay calm. I used to get very mad and upset at my body for not allowing sleep or at myself for doing something that made me hurt in the first place. I have learned this does nothing but make things worse.
Another coping mechanism I have found, is to have a mild distraction. I use audiobooks that I have read before. It is important to have something to take your mind off of the pain but not be so invested that the distraction keeps you up. I use audiobooks that I have heard before because I can listen to the words and get my mind off the pain but I know the plot so I don’t feel like I will miss anything if I fall sleep. This is a great way to distract yourself long enough to drift off. Everyone is different so this type of distraction may not work for everyone. Some may like to read while others want their favorite movie, that they have seen 100 times, on as background noise. It just depends on what you like and need.
If absolutely nothing else works I result to using sleeping aids like Advil PM or just roughing it and hoping I eventually get some sleep. It is rough but I know the next night might not be as bad. Painsomnia is an awful thing but it doesn’t always have to be so depressing. Just remember it is one night not your whole life. It will get better. And there are always naps! Who doesn’t love a good nap?