- Mild or transient insomnia - sleep difficulties that last for a few days; there is little or no evidence of impairment of functioning during the day
- Moderate or short-term insomnia - sleep difficulties that last for less than a month, that mildly affect functioning during the day, together with feelings of irritability and fatigue
- Severe or chronic insomnia - sleep difficulties that last for more than a month, that severely impair functioning during the day, and cause strong feelings of restlessness, irritability, anxiety, and fatigue
For the last three years, I have been on medication to diminish my back pain at night so I can sleep. However, after three years, I believe that my system is becoming resistant to the drugs. Several times in the last few months, and twice in the last week, it has taken me over four hours to fall asleep after going to bed.
On Tuesday, I went to work with less than four hours of sleep. Luckily, traffic was very light due to the holidays. It only took me forty minutes to drive in and to drive home. However, I should not have been behind the wheel of a vehicle. On both trips I had to perform every trick in the book to stay awake while driving. I slapped myself. I turned the air conditioner on and aimed the blower at my face. I played the radio very loudly and sang along horribly. Plus, I was so punchy and useless at the office that I might as well have stayed home. I was just as sleep deprived on Friday, but I was much more functional.
I usually try to avoid going to the doctor. But, I think it may be time to change my nightly medication formula. I need something that will allow me to fall asleep quickly but won't leave me with a dopey feeling the next morning. In the past, the most effective sleep aids have had that effect on me. With all the advertisements I have seen lately for relatively new insomnia medications, I am hopeful that there is something that will work for me.
The trick will be to get my doctor to prescribe something for me. He is the kind of physician who is reluctant to prescribe a problem away. He is particularly sensitive to the potential addictive factor of any giving drug. There are two prescriptions that I have been on in the past that he will only prescribe a month's supply at a time. I know that his is the right approach. However, I hate feeling like I have to go to his office prepared as if I was entering a court room to make my case.
Hopefully, he will hear my pleas for consistently restful sleep and will be able to offer some solutions. Wish me luck!