17: To Sleep

Nearly every epileptic's sleep schedule is interfered with due to their epilepsy directly, or the medication they are on. There is a minority that say their energy levels seem to be greatly increased, and only really feel lethargic after a seizure. The majority, including myself, are lethargic all of the time, making daily tasks many times more difficult.

Of course getting more sleep has been a priority in my life, as it helps in many aspects. But sometimes the amount of required sleep is just impossible to obtain. I can't feel rested without roughly ten hours of sleep. Despite this, I suffer through bouts of insomnia on a regular basis, which I have actually been battling with for the past couple weeks. My neurologist has suggested some nighttime routines for me to work on, but it really hasn't seemed to make a difference.

The unfortunate reality of poor sleep with epileptics is that it exacerbates the seizure situation of the epileptic. This can create a never-ending cycle of frustration where the person knows they need to sleep, but can't due to the stress of high seizure activity, then that lack of sleep makes seizure activity worse, and so on. There are others worse off than myself though. After speaking with the community I found that there are some who can barely make it out to get groceries, or walking across the house is a tiresome task.

Concerning these issues, for the past few months, I have been watching the people around me when I am in public. It's easy to notice when someone looks absolutely exhausted. I used to just see an exhausted person, now I look at that person and wonder if there is a story behind it all. Of course, plenty of people are tired. Lack of sleep is rampant in our society. But now I do wonder how many of those people are taking a medication they would rather not. Or how many of them are just dealing with a problem we can't see. With about 66% of American adults using prescription medication of some kind, and drowsiness being an extremely common side-effect across the board, there's a good chance they are.

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