Sleeping

I am having trouble sleeping at night. Since my fibromyalgia diagnosis, 2 years ago, I have rarely had a problem sleeping. I‘ve had moments, but mostly, I’ve slept well. I have been fortunate that over the counter pain meds (oral or topical) have addressed the pain at night. Maybe I’ve jinxed it, by not appreciating my good fortune.

I just got back from a trip where I took my youngest daughter to the west coast to visit colleges and that went very well. I usually sleep poorly when I’m in a strange bed, but I didn’t have a bit of problem while I was away even though I kept to an east coast schedule. The problem started when I returned home.

I seem to be having a couple of problems. First there is a recurring problem with restless leg syndrome—sort of like I can’t get comfortable and I keep having to change my position. Its not pain, its just not enough comfort to drift off.

The second issue is stress.   I’m having those racing thoughts that won’t stop and one thing or another is churning around in my brain. My stress level is incredibly low. I have a little pressure to get a job: a source of income to help pay our expenses since leaving my last job, but we’ve reduced out expenses, so thats not crucial. And life always has its minor trials. But, I can’t help but feel that this stress is a bit manufactured.

This got me to thinking about whether we always create stress for ourselves. I mean, isn’t life easier than it was a century ago for most of us? Our work is not as hard and we live longer lives. Setting aside an assessment of whether life is actually better (less exercise, too much processed food, etc.), it does appear to be ‘easier’ for most of us.  So, why do we seem to have as much stress as ever.

So, on our trip to the west coast, I twice missed my black suitcase at baggage claim in the allotted number of times around. Baggage handlers both times muttered under their breath (or maybe not so quietly) about how could these people not grab their bags when they had gone around so very many times. The muttered comments bothered me. A lot. I could go on for a paragraph or two about why I missed the bag and shouldn’t be muttered at. But, really, is this a big thing? No.

A hundred or two hundred years ago, I might need to worry about whether some bad weather would impact my family’s crops and reduce our harvest. I might have to worry if my baby would die of influenza. So, maybe the rudeness of a baggage carrier on the stagecoach might not rise to the level of worry it does for me today. Maybe it would just be an understood part of life.   So common maybe, as to not be worth thinking about.

I guess it might depend on my personality.   After all, depression has gone undiagnosed and untreated for decades. But maybe the typical person would let more brain space go toward important issues, such as those that might impact their basic needs such as food, health, etc. Basically, survival. I don’t suppose this will impact my reaction to the everyday issues that annoy me, but its worth thinking about now and then.

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