Waking Up When You Have Fatigue and Endometriosis: Part 1

Jessica has endometriosis, and Chris is her partner. Together, they battle endometriosis as a team. In this two-part series, Chris and Jessica reflect on their morning routine and how endometriosis has affected that over the years.

What were mornings like when Jess’s endometriosis was bad?

From Jess: Mornings were hard! I used to cry upon waking, and snooze my alarm in my sleep, several times. Chris used to let me sleep for as long as I could get away with.

Eventually, he’d coax me out of bed, wrap me in a blanket, and hold out a steaming cup of herbal tea for me. He’d then sit me down in front of the window so that the light could get to my eyes and really wake me up. I would stay there for as long as I could manage without being late!

I was exhausted all the time, and literally I would just cry over how tired I was. My saving grace was Chris helping me to get going and my daily meditation.

From Chris: I used to make your breakfast and lunch for you to take to work, help pack your bag, anything I could do to get you out of the house in time!

She just looked so tired and would often cry with how overwhelmed she was. It was horrible to see and frustrating that all I could do to help was small, routine things rather than make the fatigue go away.

What helped when Jess was struggling in the mornings?

From Jess: Definitely herbal teas; They sort of woke up my system back then. Over time, we’ve added in new things like smoothies and adaptogenic lattes. My chicory coffee replacement truly gets my brain working! Also, I think just having Chris there to gently and kindly wake me up with comfort, such as a blanket. The mornings were horrible for me, and that just made them feel softer around the edges.

Getting light to my eyes was also a big game changer. The body needs that signal that it’s time to wake up! I think back then, I had low morning cortisol levels, and so I really needed that sunlight to get my circadian rhythm on track.

From Chris: Knowing that Jess was finding it hard to get up and moving kind of motivated me to get out of bed, so I was able to get up easier and help her get ready. I definitely think packing her bag for work and making a pack lunch was the most useful thing I did. It just saved time as she would often wake up late and it would be a rush to leave.

What’s now changed?

From Jess: So much has changed! I now wake up between 6-7am, 7am on a late day! I actually now tend to wake up before Chris. I do snooze, and still struggle to a degree, but I don’t feel exhausted like I did!

I get up, journal, meditate, exercise, and get out for a quick walk all before I start my day. It’s a completely different morning.

From Chris: Jess always wakes up before me now! It’s quite the transformation and I actually rely on Jess waking me up quite often now.

A big part of this is the time we go to bed. I was often keeping Jess up later than she’d like as I (feel like) I don’t need as much sleep as her and I can be a bit of a night owl. We now go to bed at a routine time every night and I feel much better for it too, not to mention the huge impact it’s had on Jess’ sleep and energy levels.

In the final installment of this two part series, Jessica and Chris offer tips and advice on how to make the mornings easier with endo fatigue. Read Part 2 here.

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