Tell us about your experiences with weight management. Take our survey!

To sleep or not to sleep

Hello, I'm Ray, a writer from the RLS group. I suffer from RLS, central sleep apnea as well as insomnia (plus a couple of other diseases not related to sleep).

I remember my mom telling me that when I was a baby, I used to sleep the entire night without waking up. She was concerned about this and took me to the doctor. They said it was perfectly normal and to be grateful I slept like that. This continued on until around age 11, I think.

Living with comorbidities

I had already been suffering from RLS and fibromyalgia at this point, which was dismissed as growing pains, for a year or two. I suddenly started sleeping extremely light and struggling to fall asleep. I had recently learned some basic mediation so I decided to apply it to trying to fall asleep faster. Things carried on like this until I was 22 years old.

I had my gall bladder removed that year and my health took a massive dive after that. Sleep became even more difficult due to all the pains and having to wake up to go to the bathroom. A year later and I was super fatigued all the time. I would sleep 14-16 hours, with a 3-4 hour nap. Sometimes needing to nap an hour after waking up. The rest of the time was spent on the couch in agony, unable to do anything from the pain and extreme fatigue. This went on for 7 months before I finally caved and tried something natural. After a month or two, I was able to sleep 8-10 hours and have the energy to be able to do things like chores or tiny hikes.

My experiences with a sleep study

Last year, due to trying to figure out why my breathing isn't always autonomic, I was sent to a sleep clinic for a sleep study. This is when I was officially diagnosed with RLS, got diagnosed with central sleep apnea and insomnia. I was told even though it felt like I slept 8 hours, in reality, I slept around 5 hours because of how much I would wake up, mostly completely unaware I was waking up. The sleep doctor at the clinic focused on my RLS and nothing else. Womp, womp. Thankfully, I was given a sleep routine to follow, which is tricky due to the other diseases I have, but it has been beneficial.

I have another sleep study coming up, this one to really focus on what my heart is doing. I hope this will also have them realize my other sleep issues need to be dealt with too.

Do you have a story to share about your experiences with insomnia?

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

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.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.