A woman dealing with exhaustion, insomnia, and chronic fatigue

Endometriosis and Chronic Fatigue

As the weather turns for the worst outside, I find myself in the middle of a dog pile in the living room. I am snuggled in with a good blanket and a cup of hot tea. My eyes hurt, and my exhaustion level is crazy high again today.

I have been living with endometriosis for about 20 years now. In addition, I have been dealing with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome since around 2013, when I was diagnosed with both.

What is chronic fatigue syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by intense exhaustion. This is a level of exhaustion that cannot be remedied by sleep.

It also lasts for more than six months and interferes with your ability to do things you used to be able to do.

Managing fatigue

I spent years of my life attempting to push through my exhaustion. A friend of mine realized something was wrong with me other than normal fatigue.

I honestly assumed I was just running myself ragged. When I complained about not being able to get enough rest to offset my exhaustion, she knew there was more going on.

Meaningful rest

One of the challenging aspects of living with chronic fatigue syndrome is making sure to get meaningful rest. Many people can rest by watching the television or by reading a book.

In my case, mental activity is the same as physical activity. It is draining.

My doctor explained a 1 to 2 rule for rest. For every hour of activity, I need two hours of rest.

Sometimes it can be challenging to rest from mental activity. But a nice cup of hot herbal tea can help me focus on myself.

Sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene involves making a bedtime routine and creating a sleep zone in your bedroom. A good bedtime routine involves going to bed around the same time every night.

I also try to spend some time unwinding before bed without electronics. This sleep zone involves only using your bedroom for sleep and sex. So, it is important to keep the tv watching, book reading, and playing on the phone in other areas of your home.

Another tip I have learned is not to stay in bed if unable to sleep. I used to lay in bed for hours trying to fall asleep.

This eventually led to me playing on my phone or other things while I lay there. I have found it much more effective to get up until I feel tired and then go back to bed when I am ready.  

While maintaining a sleep schedule is important, I cannot force myself to go to sleep.

I believe issues associated with endometriosis, such as heavy bleeding, can cause fatigue. But chronic fatigue syndrome goes beyond a normal level of fatigue.

One of the most important ways to begin to combat the extreme fatigue associated with chronic fatigue syndrome is to get quality rest.

Do you have experience with extreme fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome? What do you do to get through it?

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