Or so Shakespeare said. But it is not always easy for me.
To those, who have their eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night, you don’t know how lucky you are! My husband is one of those lucky people and I’m happy for him, but it’s hard not to be envious sometimes when I am awake at night and he is sleeping like a log next to me.
I always have been a vivid dreamer, but this was never a problem. A few times I had really bad nightmares, but that was the proverbial exception that proves the rule. But anxiety, depression and pain have changed my sleeping pattern over the last years.
Sometimes when I wake up, I can’t move. It’s like somebody is sitting on my chest and holding me down. I can’t even speak. My husband may be centimetres away from me, but I can’t reach out for him. How long these episodes last I can’t say, but they leave me anxious and confused. It takes me a long time to fall asleep again.
Or I have a bad dream, become aware of the fact that I’m dreaming and wake up, fall asleep again, have the same bad dream again, wake up, and so on, until I give up on sleep.
The third problem is waking up from back pain. Changing my pain medication from tablets to patches helped a lot, but it still happens. It takes a while for my as-needed pain medication to take effect, but I usually can go back to sleep after that.
Somtimes I don’t even try going to bed and stay in the living room over night with the TV on. But of course this is more dozing than sleeping, and I feel worse the next morning.
I take an antidepressant at night that is supposed to help me fall asleep. The first few days I got very tired about half an hour after taking it, but not any more. There is as-needed medication that has a calming effect, but it makes me feel kind of hung over the next morning if I take it too late. Natural healing methods as Reiki, breathing exercises or essential oils help calming me down and even going back to sleep sometimes, but they do not get to the root of the problem. Zopliclone helps, but I agree with my psychiatrist that its use is limited to really bad times when one bad night follows the other.
This morning I was haunted by a recurring bad dream again. It took me a while to shake this off. But of course, Jackie knows when I need her. She lay on my pillow, radiating calmness and peace. Cat: strong medication without side effects!