Insomnia: How it Affects Other Medical Issues
We have all heard it. Any time you get sick, you are told to get plenty of rest. The idea is that rest helps your body recover quicker. When you have insomnia, that seems impossible. How do you help your body get the rest it needs to recover? What happens if you cannot get enough rest?
While we know the importance of getting adequate rest when we have the flu or something similar, how does insomnia affect chronic conditions? A lack of sleep and the ensuing fatigue can have a profound effect on chronic conditions.
Chronic illness and chronic insomnia
I know a number of people who have chronic illnesses. Many of those people also have chronic insomnia. The level of fatigue some of them experience is devastating. Their daily routines are upended. Some activities seem impossible, and some actually are.
We all know how much harder it is to do things when you are exhausted. Add in an autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, or any one of the many illnesses that cause extreme fatigue. I am certain it makes everyday life so much more difficult.
The exhaustion of chronic illness and insomnia
I have an undiagnosed condition that causes a number of problems. Some days I do feel more tired than others, and if you combine that with a bad bout of insomnia it is worse. Every little thing seems like such a big chore. It continues until I am able to get a little more sleep.
Now, I know whatever I have is not anywhere near as bad as what some of my friends and family endure with their illnesses. I know this because I have heard their descriptions of everyday life for many years. I cannot imagine the level of exhaustion many of them experience on a daily basis. This is why I started to wonder how insomnia affects other medical issues.
Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, and insomnia
Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia both cause a great deal of fatigue. I have family members who have both of these illnesses, and these family members also have insomnia. These people are dragging through their days in a fog. They are battling extreme exhaustion, and they are suffering. Insomnia makes their exhaustion worse because they simply cannot get any rest to recover from the longest days.
I also have friends with lupus and other autoimmune diseases. They are suffering the same fate. They are tired all the time, but they cannot rest because of insomnia. I know the level of exhaustion I experience during the worst bouts of insomnia. Knowing my experience and hearing theirs, I must admit that I do not know how these people are making it through each day.
Lack of sleep affects illness
If you have insomnia, you are tired. You are not getting enough sleep, and you certainly know how much it would help if you could get more rest when you are sick. You know how a lack of sleep affects illness because you have likely experienced it many times. We are all suffering, but it seems the effect is much worse for people with chronic medical conditions.
Do you have a chronic illness and insomnia? How does it affect your daily life? Do you feel better on days when you can get more rest? I would love to hear about your experience with insomnia and other medical issues. Let’s talk about it.
Will you take our Sleep Disorders Survey to raise awareness for insomnia?