Fibromyalgia and sleep disorders are tight partners. I’ve had difficulty falling asleep at night since I was a child. Getting up in the morning is equally difficult. My life has been lived from one weekend to the next — the only time no dreaded alarm forces me to wake up when I need to sleep.
Although permanent disability was a huge loss for me — my income, my friends, my career — there were advantages. It gave me time to devote to treating my illness by exercising daily and resting when needed. With no need for an alarm clock, I rarely awaken before 8 and often stay in bed until 9 or later. It doesn’t compensate for all I’ve lost by being unable to work, but I take pleasure when I can!
Fatigue and nonrefreshing sleep often result from sleep apnea. Because sleep apnea often causes snoring, I was not surprised when my husband complained of my nighttime noisiness. A sleep study verified I had sleep apnea.
A CPAP machine was ordered. Claustrophobia made me hesitant about wearing a mask, so I was given an alternative with two small tubes similar to those used to supply supplemental oxygen. I slept well while wearing it … for one night.
The next morning, I had severe facial pain and swelling. My doctor discovered that my nasal passages are unusually narrow. The overflow of air from the CPAP had entered my sinus cavities and caused the inflammation. That ended CPAP usage for me.
My snoring continues and is responsible for the separate bedrooms my husband and I now occupy. Although it wouldn’t be my first choice, there are advantages to this arrangement for two light sleepers. I no longer hesitate to get up whenever my pain becomes more intolerable than my insomnia, and my husband is free to move around without worrying about waking me.
Separate bedrooms work well when we’re at home, but have limited our ability to travel together. Few locations can accommodate our needs, and neither of us is willing to forgo our much-needed rest. A sleepless night results in heightened pain for me. And for my husband who requires a solid eight hours each night? Let’s just say that no one likes a grouchy husband.
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.
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