Finding My Sleep Pattern and Experiencing a Restorative Sleep
Back when I was combatting pain with prescription pain pills, I either slept all the time or not at all. There was no in between. There were times when I would only sleep for 20-minute intervals for days at a time. No matter what I did or how many prescription sleep aids I tried, I never experienced a deep restorative sleep.
My body's sleep pattern
Soon after detoxing from all of my prescriptions I discovered my body’s sleep pattern. Without taking any prescription or over the counter meds, I began sleeping 6-8 hours at a time. This was an improvement considering I used to be lucky to get 4-6 hours on a good night. However, the hours that my body chose to sleep were anything but ideal. My body’s sleep pattern dictated that I went to bed between 2 and 6 in the morning and often sleeping past noon and I wasn’t achieving a restorative sleep either. So even though I was following my sleep pattern, I still felt groggy and experienced a higher pain level throughout my “day”.
Medical marijuana helped me sleep again
It wasn’t until I began medicating with MMJ (medical marijuana) that I first experienced a deep restorative sleep. With MMJ I not only fall into a deep sleep, but all of my muscles relax. In the past I would wake up feeling like my body was rusted. I felt like the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, begging for oil. With MMJ I rarely wake up feeling stiffer than I did before falling asleep. In fact, I usually feel better. MMJ acts as more than just a sleep aid. In the past the reason I awoke with more pain was because the rest of my body was reacting to the pain I was in. For example, if my spine and feet were hurting when I went to sleep, the muscles surrounding them would harden and/or spasm throughout the night. With MMJ, I rarely experience reactionary pain. The best part of utilizing MMJ for sleep is that I can count the amount of groggy days I experience in a month on one hand. And the only reason I experience them are when I have pushed my body too far, fail to medicate heavy enough, or am experiencing a flare.
For the most part, MMJ has made it possible to sleep during hours that are considered normal sleeping hours. I still experience a few sleepless nights each month; however, I never go without sleep. Even if I am unable to sleep during the night I will eventually fall asleep and experience the same level of sleep that I do the rest of the month. This used to drive me crazy, but over time I have learned to accept my body’s sleep pattern. Finding a medication that grants me a deep restorative sleep and accepting the hours that my body wants that sleep has improved the quality of my chronic life.
How do you plan to recognize PsA Awareness Month?