Getting The Restful Sleep That You Need
Getting up in the morning has got to be the toughest jobs of anyone fighting a chronic illness such as hepatitis C. My hep C is now cured, but I am struggling with end stage liver disease and peripheral neuropathy. Both conditions leaving me hurting, fatigued, and foggy.
Peripheral neuropathy and sleep
Most nights, I fall asleep around 8pm and do my best to stay awake a bit longer, but I am dead tired by that time. I fall right to sleep quickly, but around 1 am, I am awakened with muscle cramping and twitching from the neuropathy, which then leads to me being wide awake.
I do my best to get the pain under control by throwing my big soft blanket in the dryer for a few minutes and then wrap my body up in the heat of the blanket for comfort for my aching, hurting joints and muscles. More times than not, I still am laying there wide awake. Tossing from one side to another, trying to find that spot where I can crash back to sleep.
Insomnia and hep C
Insomnia is a very common condition with anyone fighting liver disease. I used to giggle at the fact of how many are wide awake online in our liver support groups at 2 am and beyond. I know we all have tried various home remedies to try to fall asleep and from the looks at how many are live online at 2 am, NONE of the so called “get to sleep fast” remedies are working.
My scary experience
I was given Ambien prescribed by my liver specialist over a year ago. It was a minimal dose of 5mg. Not much to the average person, but fighting a bad liver, I am highly sensitive to any medications. I loved this stuff. I was able to get good rest and wake up refreshed. About 3 months into taking this medication, I started getting UPS deliveries of products and items addressed to me. Shoes from CHINA, light bulbs, large containers of Slim Fast, and a huge patio furniture set - All of which I had no clue where it came from or who ordered it. I did some research and found that indeed, I placed those orders in my sleep while taking Ambien. All the orders were placed between 1 am and 3 am. Needless to say, once I discovered this, I quit taking this medication and did all I could to find sleep on my own.
Advice for others
I have not found a perfect, go-to remedy for getting sound sleep, but I have found that meditation right before bed has given me a more relaxed body to where my nerve endings are no longer waking me at 1 am in pain. For each of us, we must find that rest we so desperately need. Talk to your doctor and see what they recommend. For me, this means no Ambien, but everyone is different! Limit resting during the day, too many long naps will hinder your night sleep.
What dietary changes have you made to better manage hep C symptoms? (Select all that apply)