Friday, January 21, 2011


I have been so very tired.
It's almost impossible to keep my eyes open.
Except now.
I'll probably be up all night.

I had never heard of the condition called alpha wave intrusion. I knew a little about brain waves, mostly in connection with biofeedback and meditation. I'd never heard about the intrusion part.

One of the problems with Fibromyalgia is that we are often plagued with poor sleep and insomnia. There are different brain waves associated with the different levels of sleep. Alpha waves are associated with an active, awake mind. Deep sleep is associated with delta waves. If and when we do manage to get to the delta level of sleep, people with Fibromyalgia usually have those pesky little alpha waves show up right in the middle of that deep, restorative delta sleep.

It's during those deep levels of sleep that the body, and more specifically, the muscles can repair themselves. I'm guessing that the stiffness of our muscles in the morning really can't be traced back to the sleep problems. Or can it? I don't know because even if I do take a sleep aid I still wake up with severe muscle stiffness. 

Anyway, I've spent the last few days sleeping. Maybe I'm just catching up on sleep but it seems that every time my head hits the pillow I want to sleep. Now, it's not for a great length of time, just a cat nap. 

So now, the dilemma. Do I give in to the extreme exhaustion and sleep or force myself to stay awake and then try not to get so tired that I can't sleep? Every article I read about sleep tells me not to sleep during the day so that I can sleep at night. That would be a great tip except it doesn't work that way for me.

I still don't sleep well no matter what.

Behavioral modification doesn't do much for my sleep. Believe me, I've tried it for more than one day. I wanted to give it a real shot at working. 

It didn't.

First of all, I shouldn't be in bed with my laptop or have the TV on. I tried this. I really did but when the pain is spiking laying in bed in the dark with nothing to distract me is a real recipe for disaster. Distraction by any means possible is a way to get through the pain. It really does help to have something else on which to focus. 

Even if I do wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day it seems to have nothing to do with the amount of sleep I get through the night. Even if I somehow manage to sleep through the night, I still don't have restful, recuperative sleep. Most of the time, no matter what kind of schedule I keep, I am awake most of the night. 

So what do I do?

I do the bath thing.

I do the aromatherapy thing.

I do the sleep mask thing.

I do the melatonin thing.

I just don't do the sleep thing.


  1. OHHHHHHH, yeah, that's me. No matter what I do, I wake up every couple of hours. And the whole, "don't do anything in the bedroom but sleep" thing? Not possible. I live in one room, so I HAVE to do EVERYTHING in my bedroom . . . including cook.

  2. I think you just hit the proverbial nail on the head with this post!

    I'm really becoming more and more convinced that we need to almost do the exact opposite of what we are told because the 'normal' things just don't work! :-)

    I have found an herb that puts me to sleep for 8 solid hours more often than not but I still have periods where I just can't go to sleep so I ususally get my laptop or a book and keep busy until I fall asleep.

    I do have the issue, however, where I might fall asleep earlier but I get side tracked from whatever I am doing waiting to get tired.

    As of late, I have not been going to bed until I yawn. It's wierd but I find once I yawn, I can usually fall asleep. So I now wait for that signal. Last night it came at 2 a.m.! (sigh)

    I often wonder to myslef if our 'trying to go to sleep' actually does the opposite and prevents us from doing the very thing we need to do.

  3. So comforting to hear that I'm not alone. Thanks for the post.

  4. Oh sounds like me!!! =(

    Why is it we get so darn tired but still can't sleep...and if we do...are still tired anyways!

    I had a sleep study done once and it showed multiple alpha wave intrusions...which I guess is the norm for chronic pain patients. Not sure how we fix it!?!?


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