The first question we need to ask ourselves is “Why do we need sleep” and “What is a normal sleep pattern?”
Why do we need sleep?
I am not an expert on sleep. I am only sharing with you what I have learnt over time and what works for myself. Somewhere in this blog you made find a solution that works for you
There is one simple reason why we all need sleep. It’s for the body to rest itself. Without sleep we cannot carry out the simple daily tasks in life. If there’s a barrier of some kind that disrupts your sleep over a period of time sleep deprivation can occur. In my case Pain, medication, tinnitus or certain foods can prevent me from falling asleep or having a good night sleep. I don’t know about you but sleep is the one thing I am still trying to remedy.
Your body needs sleep to grow. This is why babies or young children sleep so much in the first few years of their lives.
When you’re feeling under the weather you may find yourself wanting to sleep more. It’s you body’s way of repairing itself. It improves health, your immune system, it helps with memory and resilience to pain.
What is a “normal “sleep pattern?
Sleep is important to anyone despite your circumstances. We are all different and have our own unique sleep pattern. Other amazing facts I have learnt is that you will not experience the same night’s sleep twice. We will wake up several times in the night. For those who didn’t know. This is the body’s safety mechanisms. It’s our flight or fright response. We are unconsciously aware of sounds around us in our sleep. Our alert system is constantly ticking over slightly and listening out for danger. It is not activated enough to cause lack of sleep though. The sleep we need varies over time. There are about four to five sleep cycles a night. Below show the four cycles of sleep.
When comparing myself to the “normal sleep pattern” I don’t not relate to this. My fibromyalgia on its own causes my nerves and my body’s safety response to be in a constant state of alert. Relating myself to the different pain systems. The red system prevents me from falling asleep. It is harder to fall asleep when the body is on alert. My heart beat is raised, my breathing becomes more rapid and my muscle tense. I cannot relax as I am in a flare up and in pain. In normal sleep your body does build a resilience to pain. Chronic pain is different however. It is the continuation of that pain which puts a strain on the body and it can only cope for so long.