Storm clouds with lightning form the hair of a middle-aged woman, who furrows her brow, struggling.

How Multiple Illnesses and Ailments Create the Perfect Storm for Insomnia

I have a lot of issues going on right now, medically speaking. There are so many different things and so many different symptoms that I truly have no idea what illness or ailment is the cause of what symptom. Because of this, I have no idea how to resolve a number of bothersome symptoms. Having multiple illnesses with insomnia feels like the perfect storm.

Trying to determine the root cause

Insomnia is 1 of my oldest and most frequent issues. Although it can and has existed when nothing else was wrong, different things agitate it and make it worse at times. When I suddenly find myself with a number of illnesses and ailments at once, it is hard to know how much each issue affects my sleep.

I try to keep an eye on various issues to try and minimize how much it affects my sleep. It’s very difficult to do that when I have no idea what is keeping me awake at night. There are too many issues to narrow it down to just one.

Treating various illnesses to help treat insomnia

Having multiple medical issues is irritating for a number of reasons, but when you are trying to identify the root cause of symptoms it is frustrating as well. Several issues I am dealing with cause sleep disturbances. How can I manage to lessen the impact when there is no way to know which has the greatest impact?

Some say the most logical solution is to treat all the conditions and there will be some improvement. Some say to treat them one by one and identify the worst offender. Unfortunately, this strategy does not work because it is impossible to keep several of the illnesses in check. It changes even with treatment or I cannot treat the ailment at all.

Menopause, perimenopause, insomnia, and me

I am perimenopausal and very, very close to full-blown menopause. I am weeks away from that glorious 1-year mark that signifies you have officially entered menopause. This is good and bad. Perimenopause and menopause cause a lot of symptoms, and insomnia is 1 of them.

I cannot take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat the symptoms so I am stuck dealing with all the fun stuff that comes along with menopause. This includes insomnia and the feeling of being on fire during hot flashes, which also keeps me awake at night.

Hypothyroidism is agitating my insomnia

I was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and insomnia is also a symptom. Since the symptoms of hypothyroidism started, I have noticed an increase in the number of times I wake up during the night. Since this is a relatively new diagnosis, I am still trying to get it under control.

Aside from sleep disturbance, it also causes hot flashes. Between perimenopause and hypothyroidism, I fear I might spontaneously combust while lying awake in bed.

Undiagnosed illness and mental illness make insomnia worse

I also have an undiagnosed illness. Because I do not have a diagnosis, I cannot tell what symptoms can be attributed to that. It seems to agitate my insomnia but it is getting harder to tell if it truly is or if it’s just the result of another 1 of my issues.

On top of all of that, I have a mental illness. I have bouts of depression and mania, both of which cause sleep disturbances. I take a mood stabilizer but even during periods of stability, my sleep pattern is affected. Even the slightest change can cause me to sleep more or less.

Learning to live with multiple illnesses that cause insomnia

When you combine all of these things, you have the perfect storm. All of these things cause or seem to cause insomnia. Trying to treat them all and have them all under control at the same time just isn’t possible. At least it has not been possible for me. What am I to do?

I lie awake at night and wonder what I need to do. That’s what I do.

Do you have multiple illnesses that cause insomnia and affect your sleep patterns? How do you handle sleep insomnia and multiple illnesses? I would love to hear about your experience.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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