A doctor with laptop computer talking to a frowning patient

Insomnia: When the Doctor Tells You to Rest

What does the doctor tell you to do when you are sick? They tell you to rest. I cannot tell you how many times over the years I have had a doctor tell me to get plenty of rest. How do you do this when you have insomnia?

While some say the solution is medication, what happens when you prefer not to take medication? The answer is you do not rest very well. This drags out the recovery process and can make you absolutely miserable.

Medications that make you sleepy

There are times, of course, when medications required to treat whatever ailment make you sleepy. Sometimes this makes it easier to get a bit more rest, but sometimes it can make you feel worse. I have a thing with some medications leaving me groggy or feeling “hungover.” I do not like this feeling, and it causes me enough grief that it cancels out any good that short bit of rest did.

Regardless of how I feel about those medications, I still must take them. I have no problem with taking something I need to cure whatever illness I have at that time. I understand the benefits are worth the hassle. That does not change the fact that it makes me feel worse until I am able to stop taking the medication. It does not change how I feel about taking other medications.

Resting or relaxing without sleeping

I have found that sometimes just lying in bed doing nothing helps. While I am not sleeping, I am indeed resting. I am relaxing, and sometimes that is helpful. This has been my approach to getting more rest whenever a doctor recommends I do so. Since I have trouble sleeping, this is the only alternative I have.

Is it ideal? No, but I find it makes a difference. Of course, this makes the people who do not understand insomnia think I am an extremely lazy person for lying in bed all day. I am not lazy. I have insomnia and I have to spend more time in bed than someone who does not in order to get enough sleep or rest. People need to understand insomnia profoundly affects our lives.

Being sick when you have insomnia is exhausting

Regardless of how other people feel about it, I struggle with fatigue on a regular basis. Whenever I am sick or injured, it is amplified. Some days it is hard to get out of bed. If you have insomnia, I am certain you know what I am talking about. It’s one thing to get 4 to 6 hours of sleep on normal days. It is another to get that little sleep on days when you are sick.

Of course, we know why it is so much harder. Our body is spending so much energy trying to fight off whatever ailment we have. The precious little energy we get from short bouts of sleep is expended quickly and we are left exhausted. While getting more rest would be greatly beneficial during those times, it is not always possible.

How do you manage when you are sick and not getting enough rest? I would love to hear how you manage fatigue while you are sick.

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