Painsomnia is when you are unable to sleep due to pain. Try to imagine if you have a really bad toothache that prevents you from sleeping, because no matter what you take for the pain, it’s just not touching it. Chronic pain can be like that, especially if you are in a flare. It’s no fun trying to distract yourself from the pain, knowing you have obligations the next day, but sleep is a distant memory.

Sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on your schedule, your plans, and becomes a vicious cycle. Pain causes you lack of sleep and lack of sleep increases your pain. If you have children who need you, you force yourself to push through, but inevitably pay a price for it. I am in awe of and deeply respect men and women who are parents and suffer with Painsomnia. My heart goes out to you.

My children are grown now, so I don’t worry about having to get up and fix breakfast, get them ready, and drive them to school and extra curricular activities. Being older and experiencing Painsomnia has its own challenges. I’ve never done well on less than 8 hours of sleep, so only getting 4 or less at a time, well let’s just say it ain’t pretty.

Have grace for yourself and trust what your body is telling you. It may be to slow down, it may be to drink a warm cup of chamomile tea, it may be to take a long bath with Epsom salts and lavender essential oil. No one understands your pain and inability to get good sleep like you do. Don’t be hard on yourself and don’t let others be hard on you.

Some things you can do to distract yourself on those incredibly hard nights: pray, read a good book, watch a funny movie, do some gentle yoga, chat with a fellow spoonie on social media who is also awake. I personally play games on my tablet or phone. Sometimes I find that a glass of wine helps. Find out what works for you on any given night, and do that.

Here’s to a pain-free good nights sleep!