Fatigue and Rest! Has anyone had their GP or Consultant prescribe rest and sleep!?

This may sound a bit daft BUT! I was thinking (a bad idea I know!) that as I continually get assessed and asked the same questions over and over again, "How long do you sleep?" etc.

What would actually be really helpful is if my GP or Consultant would "prescribe" so many hours rest and or sleep a day.

It would seriously be good to have some of the "guilt" removed from my symptoms if I was officially told that I need "X" hours sleep per day minimum and it was written down and signed off!

Has anyone been told to have a minimum number of hours rest per day? Are there guidelines? Seems like a very grey area...

Yours in yawning anticipation :D

14 Replies

  • 9 hours is how much a healthy person needs,

    I have been told to rest and take it easy and told off for overdoing things a few times, especially when I've had to have a check up and X-ray after falling while trying to do something's (that deep down I know I can't but hate putting on my family n partner all the time) I've been told then that I need to learn to go with my body, but its hard when your 35 years off age, still think like I'm 18 but my body feels and acts like a really bad 100 year old!

    My counsellor has also advised rest and good nights sleep and to take afternoon naps to refresh, and I try my best but pain keeping me awake or waking me up is a problem for me, and I also worry about sleeping too long cause I know if I do I can't move for hours in the morning with stiffness :/ can't win can we!

    I've gone through periods were my pain has been so bad I just wasn't sleeping and GP was giving me zopiclone to help me sleep but I was still only getting a few hours if that, at the time I was hysterical and my GPs reply was when your body is ready it will give in and sleep, he was right after around three weeks off a really bad flare and hardly no sleep, I went to need one lunch time as I felt like I would drop on the spot and I slept from 12 till 6.30 the next day I had done over 18 hurs without even waking for the toilet! When I woke my partner was sat in the chair in our bedroom just keeping an eye on me, apparently they had checked my pulse a few times as they know I don't normally sleep like that but wouldn't wake me as they knew I needed it. I have since had more episodes where I can sleep for a day or not far off, I mega suffer for it with stiffness but get there after my range off movement excersises.

    My GP rheumatologist and counsellor have all told me how important rest is, it's just as important as excersise is too us.

    But no I've never physically been told how much I need to sleep or rest.

    But my partner and family are amazing and there to help always so I can rest or sleep when needed, maybe you need to start thinking about YOU more and resting and sleeping when your body needs too, NRAS do some great publications on fatigue and coping with pain both have great ideas on getting the rest you need etc, maybe let your family read them too so they understand why you need that afternoon nap etc.

    Take care xxx

  • I now take an afternoon nap most days. My husband doesn't notice really - by this I mean he knows I'm napping but not that its to do with RA or drugs because he works nights so he is always napping himself! The boys make sarcy comments when the get in from school about mum's naps but that doesn't bother me.

    I think a lot of insomnia is habitual with me. I used to wake all through the night even as a kid when I was covered in eczema. Then there were pregnancies where even worse eczema and weakened bladder. Then sudden bereavements of parents seemed to trigger even worse insomnia. And recently, like Julie describes, I have got into being scared to let myself sleep too long in case I jam up and can't move. But for the past three nights I've downed an Amitriptyline and slept in my studio to avoid husband's snores and three sons waking me coming home in early hours so I'm feeling great! I treat myself to a zopiclone once every few weeks too. No point in prescribing sleep as brain and body would still say no for me! X

  • Not a daft question ..... actually a very obvious one about a condition that so often involves fatigue. But my Consultant seems satisfied that I manage to sleep at all & I can't imagine him prescribing sleep, he's far too straight down the line! That's the problem, I think: despite the fact that physicians don't know what causes RA or how the drugs work they still like to think that they are operating within the boundaries of very conventional science.

    Having said that, I've noticed that most doctors do have a few ideas of their own about how 'lifestyle' impacts on a certain condition, based on experience, but so many of these very obvious factors - such as sleep - haven't been tested out sufficiently to become accepted as part of the standard therapy. (And anyway, who'd make money out of sick people having a kip?)

    I think that with sleep & rest, as with so many things, we have to be determined buggers and do things our own way. If you need rest & sleep, if you can rest & sleep, if you feel worse with little rest & better with more then your body is giving you all the justification you need I think!

    Luce x

  • mmm I often need afternoon nap and need at least seven hours sleep if I CAN get it x

  • As long as I don't need to get up before 10am. In so grateful for sleep.

  • My problem is broken sleep. I feel exhausted after the most simple tasks and maybe rest for a couple of hours out of every five. I only manage 3 or 4 hours a night without waking with a pain somewhere (usually arms or hips) it is then I get up move about a bit and then go back to bed when I feel better. Fatigue isnt just feeling tired and it isnt usually alleviated by normal sleep. I usually sleep for at least 2 hours on a couple of occasions during the day and also nod off in the evening. I am only 56 but feel like an old,old woman.

  • Hey everyone, thanks for all the replies. I was really just curious if anyone had been given written advice about the rest and sleep by their GP. Seems odd they prescribe medicine when sleep and rest is so important. It would also help me if I got written advice as part of my treatment - so I can show work etc. I will ask ma GP and see what he says lol

    Seems like we all have different routines but what we can see is, we all need to rest. I've had 3 hours today and I'm still knackered lol Thanks again everyone, totally appreciated, Cal :D

  • Oh the irony! As my hubby was dragging me out of bed this morning after a particularly unsettled night he said" there's some on your site having a laugh!" When I looked at your title I knew what he meant Cal!

    Ye I sleep when I can and nap when I can, but do feel a lightweight when I am out after a busy day now cos I can feel my eyes closing, hate it!!

  • I've just come back from session with a new French rheumy, and he handed me some printed stuff about managing my RA which includes..."make sure you rest properly and try to get good sleep"!! Px

  • Feel bad about my cynical response on reading that you want something to show work. I remember reading a post on here about someone whose Rheumy dept. sent an occupational therapist to her workplace to diplomatically explain the limitations RA imposes on people to the woman's boss. Also recall discussion of how occupational therapists linked to Rheumy depts. will liase with or visit workplaces for all sorts of reasons. And I'm sure your Rheumy would be prepared to write to your place of work to support you in any changes you need to help you continue working. x

  • Not at all Woolly, the responses have been great and totally confirm just how important sleep and rest is.

    50 years ago, most of us would have been sent off to institutions for 4 weeks (or longer) of lying in bed!

    Thankfully this approach has changed but I have had very little discussion with Rheumy or GP about how much sleep and rest I should be having.

    Sleep and rest is frowned upon by "HealthCare Professionals" at Capita and Atos. This creates a conflict in my treatment as the "HealthCare" information I have received contradicts itself. One person says rest, the other says get off your arse and work!

    Support from GP's and Rheumies would be helpful as my "CarePlan" is being undermined by "HealthCare Professionals" who claim to "Return me to work as soon as possible." The Hospital OT's here have been wonderful but their remits don't allow them to engage with my work. Capita operate on behalf of my work. They also run Immigration control and the Post Office....

    I will let people know how I get on with my GP but I am not too positive about the outcome...Here's hoping I get a wee surprise :D

  • I'm getting the picture! The point you are making is extremely important vis a vis ATOS etc. Hope you get the right kind of surprise.

  • Horray I am not alone, after work I have a nap the kids wake me to make dinner then its back to bed for broken sleep due to pain. I seem to spend my life sleeping or with eyes that want to shut.

    I think i must have every pain killer available, Tramadol and Oralmorph help the best but only take when really exshauted.

  • Wonderful! I'm not alone.

You may also like...