Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Does pain make you sleepy?

Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,702
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Chronic Pain
I'm curious - does having constant pain make you sleepy? With my new job, I work hard and move a lot, which is a good thing. The bad thing is that it's caused more pain (as you all know from my previous posts), both lumbar and cervical.

I've been taking just slightly more meds than usual, but nothing I haven't taken before and I function fine on them. But I'm finding myself being really sleepy every day - just standing and talking with someone can cause me to work hard to keep my eyes open.

I'm sleeping well at night, not doing anything out of the ordinary, I'm just wondering if battling pain so much causes any of you to be overly sleepy and/or tired? I can't figure out what else it might be...

I wonder if some herbal medicines might help, such as fish oil, pomegranite, etc. I admit to not taking my daily vitamin and calcium regularly and wonder if that might help.

Anybody else? I'm just so, so tired and sleepy all the time...



  • Been a while since I've been on SH and chatted with ya!

    You know as you ask and explain what's been happening for you, the first thing occurred to me was, not sleeping well, but you said you seem to be doing well with your sleep...

    So, what I can offer is the transition getting back to work can be overwhelming and even though you seem to be getting into the stream of things, it can truly be an under-tow of keeping your energy "up" all day in interacting and doing well on the job !! and it could mean your running on "high" and not getting enough pacing and processing all that is occurring, emotionally, psyche, etc.

    Try taking some short breaks, during the day, restroom is great in the cubical, close your eyes, breathe, check-in yourself and you'll get some clues as to where you are - - I have a personality that is extroverted, and love the interacting and full-energy, BUT I can be exhausting myself before I realize it and I can be in over-drive until I get home and tune-in how tired I am.

    Shifting gears, nurture breaks, eating healthy snack, fresh air at lunch and solo really helped me when I was doing the work scene and making transition with being out of work, not having done full-time in a while, etc.

    Hope this helps...oh and I think you supplement idea is good idea (don't overlook maybe getting in to see primary, routine blood tests if lethargy/sleepy persists).

    Cath, also must say....so proud of you in your recovery and the steps you took in returning to work and making it happen! =D> I know I have that need to return to work and you truly are something and a success model for me post-surgery phase and getting back to work woman !!! :)



  • I often wish I had that problem....
    I can tell you that I'm exhausted pretty much day and night, but still not sleepy....most nights i lay here until 3 or so... then I fall asleep until 4:30 if I'm lucky... then I wake up to hit the bathroom... then doze and wake until 7:30 when I get up and have to RUSH out of the house!!

    I've never been much of a sleeper, and these days, with the extra pain, my stress over mom and trying to work out whether hospice can help us or if they'll rub it in every day to her and make her feel even worse... I'm sleeping even less.

    Are you staying awake longer than you're used to, before you went back to work? If so, you might adjust to the new times, but if it is very different it could take awhile...
    (sorry for the edit, I went in the wrong direction there!)

    I do hope you work it out and are comfortable with everything real soon!

  • I was going to say the same thing as Kelly did about the vitamins B12 and D. Even if you are not deficient in these areas, it won't hurt to boost them, however I would get the blood run-up if at all possible and have those levels checked. You are probably aware that having low vit. D can cause more pain in a CP patient, so just not worth it not to have that checked. I recommend the sublingual B12 complex for it's bioavailability, the absorption is just so much better than taking it in pill form, which is only approximately 2%.

    Fighting CP is mental & physical, and from what I have read not only takes it's toll on those in an emotional way, but manifests symptoms in physical forms too, such as tiredness, more pain, muscle spasm, etc...
  • I too am sleep deprived and the pain doesn't make me sleepy. Pain keeps me up and the meds don't help. Any pain meds makes me hyper even the morphine. I average 4 to 5 hrs a night if I'm lucky. IF I get to go back to work I will prolly be like you and want to sleep. I have been out of work for 3 months, now I am used to having the schedule of my choice & I take rest breaks during the day(bored out of my mind LOL) I say go to bed earlier & enjoy the rest, it's a good way for your body to get a chance to heal. I agree with Joydancer, take a few minutes for yourself to break up the day and take a time out to get your thoughts together. It will prolly take a couple of weeks to get your schedule straight. Oh yea, don't sleep late on weekends keep your work schedule everyday all week until you adjust, just "hit the hay" earlier every night.
  • Yes, I find dealing with pain is exhausting, both physically and mentally, especially when you're dealing with the normal day-to-day stress, work stress, and the stress that pain puts on your body.

    As for vitamins, have you had your blood levels checked lately? B12 deficiency is quite common with neuropathic issues and can cause tiredness, as well as vit D. It might be worth having a blood test done. I would also mention it to your doctor, were you tired before you started working again?

    I do know that ginseng helps with energy, and have heard lemon as well. You could always ask your pharmacist which herbal supplements would be best, especially in correspondence with the meds that you're taking. Some herbal supplements can contra-indicate meds, or cause bad side effects, so it's better to be safe than sorry. St John's Wort can be used for exhaustion, but I do know that it reacts negatively with some of the meds that we tend to take.

    Anyways, good luck Cathy, I hope that you can get this sorted out soon, so you can fully enjoy being back at work!

    Edit: Just another thought, have you ever had a sleep study done? YOu might think you are getting a good sleep, when in fact your mind is "waking up" that is, coming out of REM sleep, without you consciously knowing, and this can cause extra sleepiness as well. I just had mine done a few weeks ago, turns out I have mild sleep apnea so am getting a cpap machine. As the doctor put it, I am a "magnificent snorer and he pities my husband" LOL. I also found out that that night I woke up 24 times in just over 4 hours of sleep, although I only remember a couple of times, and had 87 limb movements within that time as well (good old RLS at work there). Anyways, just thought I'd throw that out there for you as well. My hubby can't wait til I actually get my cpap machine... (|:
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Cathie, at this point, I am either working or I am sleeping. My last "weekend" which consists of 3 days, I slept in bed at night and moved to the couch and was in & out of sleep most of the day each day. That's pretty much my life these days.
  • I agree with others above about getting your blood levels checked especially for vitamins and thyroid since you've had ACDF surgery before and hope you start your vitamins and minerals again.

    I think it's amazing you're able to work taking any meds. Mine make me too tired also but just had my physical. I'm sorry you're having so much pain and maybe the pain meds add to the sleepiness. Chronic pain or pain from after surgery is exhausting. I hope you're eating well at work also with power snacks or power protein bars and snack on nuts and veggies. I think those yogurt drinks may help also. Drink lots of water too. Praying you will feel better. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Opiates can fragment your sleep so that even you are technically asleep, the phases aren't normal & you wake up tired.

    Maybe talk to your doctor about something for sleep that will smooth your cycles out?
  • to be honest with you i think that all the herbal medications are a waste of money .as for pain making you sleepy ..i would agree because its your bodies way of helping it recover .and many of us have problems sleeping when we are suppose to .die when we go to be .many of us cant sleep for the 8 hours as pain often wake us up .so we feel sleepy and fed up for the rest of the day ..i know that there have been many days when i dont even open the curtains after being woken up after two hours sleep .i just shower and get comfy on my recliner and if i am feeling bad enough i just try to sleep as much as i can .with the tv on low just to brake the deadly silence..a life with intractable pain is a very hard life to cope with and many of us struggle with it .as long as i have my wife and pain killers and recliner i can just cope .but i ofter have crying episodes in the middle of the night when i realise just how bad my situation is and the fact that its unlikely to ever change for the better ,i even get jealous when i see people having a good time ;like going out for a meal all dressed up of even just old people going for a walk with there old dog ..than there's me stuck in the house in pain unable to do much ..its not much of a life .is it
    hoping that you are feeling better cath
    tony x
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • If you are suffering from such problem you should talk to your doctor about something for sleep.
  • If you are suffering from such problem you should talk to your doctor about something for sleep.
  • If you are suffering from such problem you should talk to your doctor about something for sleep.
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.