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Z is for zzzzz's. MS Awareness Month #WeAreStrongerThanMS

Z is for zzzzz's.                 Witty Funny Quotes By Famous People With Images from If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito. Follow us on pinterest at for more awesome quotes.:

Sleep is important in anyone's life. Years ago, doctors prescribed plenty of rest for folks exhibiting symptoms of MS. Do not exercise. Remain stationary. Basically relent to your illness and be a forever slug.

Blah! Phooey! 

Sure, know when to apply the brakes on physical activity, but never stop moving. 

Sleep is another issue, though. I prefer the standard eight hours, but can work well with my usual six to  seven. I am an early rise, though, so my energy is usually zapped by mid afternoon. I know that and I try to schedule the less strenuous (physical and mental) portions of my day around that. 

Fortunately, when I lay my head at the end of the day I am good until the morning alarm; but many folks do not have that luxury. I read more and more about fellow warriors struggling to get their eight (or any) hours. This disrupted sleep can reek absolute havoc on an attempt at normalcy. Several causes of sleep disruption an be controlled without medical assistance. 

If you sometimes imbibe in a bit of vino or a pint or two thinking this will help sleep come, think again. Sure, you might pass out as a result, but sleep is often restless and of a poor quality. Alcohol is not the answer, no matter how much you might argue the point.

Depression/anxiety often keep us away from a pleasant night time experience. I know there is really no humanly possible method of eliminating worries, especially if this is already your pre-disposition, but there are medications and meditations out there. Upon diagnosis I was given a prescription (evidently unending since my neuro seems to feel that it is non-negotiable)  of Zoloft. I have played around with lessening the dose, but I can feel the emotions building when I miss a dose. Other than medical advice I really am not qualified to prescribe treatment, but I do have a few suggestions:
support/friendship circles
a hobby
Basically, have a purpose. Try something new, experiment, seek the joy in life. It really does exist. Do not depend on others to create joy in your life. You are strong. You have MS, yes, but you are a Super Hero with Super Powers. 

Another disruption in sleep may be periodic limb movements (PLM), a condition that causes your limbs to jerk, spasm, or randomly twitch at night. Of course this is gong to disturb you an possibly anybody else in the bed with you (My cat has gotten used to it an d even sometimes enjoys a good round of "catch that invisible mouse".) The common meds prescribed for this are Baclon, Clonazepam, and gabapentin. These are the layperson's names for said substances rather than the fancy names of which I am unaware, but fancy is just sometimes too exhausting. I do not take any of these, although the twitching has become more evident of late. Sometimes a good stretch prior to bed is a good way to ward off later jerking movements. Sometimes the PLM turn in to downright painful spasms like Charlie Horses. Now THAT is not a fun way to be roused from sleep. Talk to your physician if this becomes unbearable.

Corticosteroids can often cause disruptions in sleep patterns, more due to the energy boost hey cause. There are prescriptions out there to counter act these energy blasts while taking the steroid, but it is up to you whether or not you wish to give your body one more pill. I do apologize if this statement is offensive: I am just so tired of drugs. I will shut up now on this topic.

And then, there is the never ending issue of the frequent need to urinate. Referred to as nocturia, the need to pee can  really cut in to a good night's sleep. Your doctor can refer you to a good urologist if things really get uncomfortable, but you can also try a few things on your own. Do not drink anything an hour prior to bed. Avoid bladder irritating liquids such as coffee, alcohol, or soft drinks. 

Of course the first step in being pro-active about sleep disruption is go have a conversation with a medical professional. As with anything else on the planet of MS, experimentation is an essential tool. Play around with plausible solutions and when you find one that gives comfort, go with it. ...and possibly share it with the rest of us.

Well, I would love to talk more about the letter Z...zebras, zoos, zinc, zephyrs, Zanzibar...but my son is home today with his own mysterious health issue. Poor kid, he is getting a zero this allergy season. Because his energy is totally zapped, fear this is something more than allergies, though. So off to the doctor we go today.

Wish us luck. 


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