Sleeping with Endometriosis: 6 Things You May Struggle With at Night

Sleeping with Endometriosis: 6 Things You May Struggle With at Night
Wide awake
Kimberli in bed, wide awake. Endo symptoms keep her up at night.

After taking a glimpse at the title, you might think I’m writing about some wild love affair I am having with a man named Endometriosis.

Unfortunately, this is not a romance novel, and endometriosis is not a dreamy businessperson. Cue sighs. It is a real chronic illness, and I am sure many of you by now know I have it.

Endometriosis is exhausting. Even the word itself is exhausting to say. Fatigue is one of the symptoms I experience from this illness. I truly believe it stems from my sleep being different from the sleep of other people. Those with chronic illnesses, I am sure, can vouch for that. I am practically envious of those who can put their head on a pillow, fall asleep and wake up rejuvenated. I’ve forgotten what that even feels like! I am pretty convinced the last amazing sleep I had was before my mother gave birth to me. 

Women struggle more with sleep than men do. Research has shown that hormones can affect women’s sleep. But we all struggle at some point with getting a good night’s sleep. Between work worries, money, and family stress, it is a given that every once in a while humans will not get the appropriate amount of sleep they need. Those with chronic illnesses, however, have even more issues that keep them tossing and turning at night.

Here are six endometriosis symptoms that keep me up at night:

Hot flashes

One of the “treatments” offered to help maintain endometriosis is a pill that puts your body into menopause, which would mean experiencing menopausal symptoms. I opted out of that treatment because I did not want to go through that. Yet, here I am, still experiencing menopausal symptoms. Just about every night I wake up in a puddle of sweat. Some nights, I get to where I need to rip off my clothes because I feel closed in. My hormones think it’s funny to attack around 3 a.m., leaving me exhausted come morning.

Pain and discomfort

This one is a hit or miss. Occasionally I truly can make it through the night without much pain. What exactly I ate or did that day is usually the determining factor. When the nighttime pain decides to sweep me off my feet, it is miserable. Between my ribs feeling like they are cracking, pressure on my bottom from my bowels, and sharp pains shooting in many directions in my stomach, I don’t get much shut-eye.

Anxiety

Ah, good old anxiety. No matter how hard I try to turn my mind off, it just does not happen. Thoughts from things that happened years ago leave me bright-eyed and thinking about all the what-ifs. Conversations, things I have done, things I haven’t done and need to do, all keep me anxious at night. Even wondering if I locked the front door and turned off the stove (that I had not even used that day). It crosses my mind.

Insomnia

This, in a way, goes hand in hand with anxiety, but I thought it deserved its own category. Even if my mind is slightly turned off, I toss and turn. The amount of restlessness I experience is ridiculous. 

Using the restroom 

I can go an entire day without drinking water and still have to get up and pee 50 times at night. My gynecologist told me during one of my ultrasounds that my bladder is incredibly small. Between the pressure from the bloat on my stomach and my “incredibly small” bladder, it makes for an incredibly not-so-fun night.

Migraines

These do not occur every night. I usually wake up with them after not sleeping well. But there are some nights when a migraine will bless me with its presence in the middle of the night. This type of migraine wakes me from a dead sleep. They are so bad that laying down and closing my eyes almost makes them worse. When I have nights like these, you can count on zero sleep and a grouchy person in the morning.

What are some symptoms at night that keep you awake? 

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Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.

9 comments

  1. REBECCA MONTOYA says:

    I thought I was going crazy!! Crying everyday! I’m not the only one experiencing this life changing experience. Thank You for sharing! !

  2. C T says:

    Haha! Nice to know I’m not suffering alone during nighttime hours. I wake up every 1.5-2hrs sweating or needing to use the bthrm or hungry or in pain or all of the above. Isn’t being a woman so much fun?!

    • Hahahaha! You are def not suffering alone at night! Being a woman is the absolute worst! I think waking up needing to use the bathroom or waking up drenched in sweat are the two things I hate the most!!

  3. Tiffany says:

    I’m 33 and I have fibroids and endometriosis. It is 2:24am and I am wake. This happens often now I never knew it was a side effect. When u do fall asleep it’s time to wake up. Ugh! It’s very frustrating. And the only thing that really wakes me up is the pain that shoots through my lower abdomen and pelvis. If I have to have surgery it will be my second one in 2 1/2 years. I almost want to tell them to do a hysterectomy but they won’t do it because I don’t have children.

    • It is so very frustrating! I am so sorry to hear you are suffering also! 🙁 I have noticed if I sleep with my diffuser on near my bed, it helps me sleep a bit better. It does not work every night, but I will take what I can get. Also, sleeping with a weighted blanket helps me.
      I have gone back and forth about a hysterectomy. I do not have kids also and do not know if I even want them. So I would hate to remove all my parts and then one day regret it! I also go back and forth because many who have received a hysterectomy, still have endometriosis and symptoms! It is not exactly a guarantee fix! 🙁

  4. Kara says:

    I am 27 and was diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis at age 26. I had a laproscopy March of 2017 – mainly to remove 3 blood cysts and clean up my endo. Unfortunately, the pain was still TERRIBLE after the surgery. I followed 6 months after with a Lupron shot (putting me into menopause) had an IUD AND was put on the pill. 3 rounds of hormones to completely mess me up and did nothing for me. I just started acupuncture October 2017 – and from October – up until January 2018 I was INCREDIBLE. No pain what-so-ever, back to my normal self…but got off the pill due to terrible migraines and now my period is coming back and so is the fun times with endo. I didn’t sleep for 2 years from the pain and was sleeping SO well from the acupuncture – now I have magically developed insomnia over a weeks span again. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone at night – and not going crazy because I can’t shut my brain off OR go to sleep. Best of luck to us all….we need to be in this together.

    • It sounds like you have been through one heck of a journey already. But, we are in this together! You are definitely not alone! I would love to give acupuncture a try! That is one thing I have yet to give a shot! You and I both had laproscopy surgery in March 2017!
      I hope you begin to start feeling better again and get some SLEEP. Have you tried sleeping with a diffuser? I have noticed ever since I started that, I sleep more soundly. Of course, it does not work every night. But I am able to get some nights of great sleep with it! I am here if you ever need to chat! Like I said, you are not alone! xo

  5. Shawna says:

    I had an endometrioma on my ovary a few years ago, and the dr. removed the entire ovary. Not long after I started having pain on that same side. Now I have terrible back and low pelvic pain the day after my period ends, which lasts 1-2 weeks. I also have horrible night sweats every single night – I wake up EVERY NIGHT between 12 and 3, completely drenched and 90% of the time with a headache. They keep doing blood tests to figure out the night sweats, but everything tests fine. From your experience, does this sound like endo? What can I do to get the dr. to diagnose and possibly remove it? I do not want to take hormones, but am willing to have a hysterectomy if it would help… I’m so frustrated and just completely exhausted. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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