The old menopause thing does interfer with sleep, that's for sure. And, I seem to recall a study earlier this year that identified disturbed sleep patterns in people with MS. So, I think it could be either one.Is that just the old menopause thing (I've been doing that for 10 years) or is MS contributing?
As Melody said, there are also lots of medications that can interfer with sleep. Progesterone is supposed to help sleep. Quoting from John R. Lee's book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause, p. 107
So far I'm happy to say I can sleep just fine. But then again, I'm also taking progesterone. Just maybe it's helping the sleep and the MS.Many of my patients have volunteered that the first benefit they perceived from using natural progesterone was an improved sleep pattern. After years of unsettled sleep they now look forward to retiring each night...
I don't take any MS drugs. I do use topical estrogen. I used to take oral estrogen and it helped sleep plenty. Oral estrogen and just about anything else gives me stomach problems. I haven't slept well for 3-4 days and that usually means I might get one good night tonight from shear exhaustion. Let's hope.
Dr. Lee's book lists different brands of progesterone cream that are available over the counter.
It might be worth trying one of them just to see if it would help your sleep. I know I couldn't function without at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. (I give it a try now and then. It doesn't work for me. )
At any rate, I hope you find something that helps.
As a lifelong insomniac I've always viewed it as a bonus (more hours available for reading, conversations till dawn with insomniac friends). I'll quickly gloss over the occasional sleep-deprived irritability.
Lately I've been falling asleep with virtually no warning though I'm rarely able to sleep for more than an hour at a time. This happens however much I may struggle to stay awake. I use headphones to listen to the television (trying to be a good neighbour) and have frequently fallen asleep with them clamped to my head and woken half an hour later to theme music bellowing in my ear.
Does this seem familiar to other people here? (I'm in my fifties but don't know whether that is a significant factor).
I really appreciate your "bump" of the existing thread on the topic.
Your experience of falling asleep with no warning despite struggling to stay awake is not familiar to me. I've never been an insomniac though to reap those great benefits you described.
If I'm not well rested I sometimes have trouble staying awake to read for a long time. But then I just decide to go to sleep. I don't fight it so I'm not sure what would happen if I did.
Hopefully some others will check in and comment.
Am horrified to hear you fall asleep at the wheel - has that really actually happened, or do you feel drowsy and pull over to the curb in time?
Take care, and thanks for your suggestion re thyroid cause,
PS If you want to discuss thyroid issues, do feel free to send me a message
This week Oprah Winfrey revealed on her TV program that she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism this summer. Her symptoms were weight gain of about twenty pounds and fatigue (big time!); doctor on the show said also that muscle cramps were another common symptom. The symptoms sound reminiscent of MS. Oprah says she is better with thyroid hormone now.
With the common thread among "autoimmune" diseases, maybe the thyroid hormone levels should be routinely checked in people with MS.
I have restless legs ( more common with people with MS) that keep me awake & definitely (for me) tied in with allergies (to everything food, drugs, supplements, synthetics etc). Desensing to allergies has helped heaps also at night when the legs wake me I do a few minutes on a stepper and then can sleep another hour or two before I wake and go on stepper again.
I used to have shocking spasms, up 15 times a night, 7 showers. Then I had the same falling asleep at traffic lights etc. Very scary. I used to keep a bottle of water handy to splash me awake. Then had a microsleep - one minute driving down my street the next I woke up dodging trees on the pavement on the other side of street. Fortunately, there was no one around but I stopped driving. Now I have a baclofen pump, no more spasms & consider only waking 3-6 times a night pure bliss!! Back driving again with no sleepiness.