Painsomnia is a term used by people with chronic illness when they can’t sleep because they’re in pain. Either because they’ve ignored the pain so much throughout the day that at night it comes to the foreground or because they’re just having a bad pain day, week, month or year.

Painsomnia has been an affliction of mine as of late, which has not helped me keep a sleep schedule. Pain so bad that I can’t not be distracted. Pain so bad that I literally wanted to chop half my body off.

It can make us unable to get through the day because we’re just so damn tired. It can make us irritable and brain foggy. Especially if the painsomnia goes on for nights on end and we end up with long term sleep deprivation due to having to get up for work or school or just being woken up by those fucking seagulls outside. (Yes I now swear, especially about seagulls that I hear at every hour of the day) .

Painsomnia is a symptom that many healthy people aren’t aware of and they may think that you can’t be that tired if you can’t sleep.


Yes sometimes I will be able to sleep at an okay time despite pain, but that doesn’t mean the times I can’t I’m simply not tired enough. It’s all relative to how much pain I’m in, what medication I’m on and how long I’ve been taking those medications for.

But not always.

Painsomnia is a part of chronic illness that isn’t talked about to people outside the community much. And isn’t one that people outside the community necessarily think about when considering the impact chronic illnesses have on our ability to function daily.

But it has a huge impact. It can also contribute to the secondary depression that many people with chronic illness experience. Being awake in the daytime in pain day in day out can wear you down but at night. When the world is still. It can wear you down even more.

Do you experience painsomnia? How do you cope with it?


3 thoughts on “Painsomnia

  1. April 21, 2020 / 6:55 pm

    I learned that even quieting my mind and resting was better than being anxious about not being able to sleep. I take ibuprofen at night to help, and some nights I take more. I prefer this medicine to something stronger because the stronger ones a) don’t have the anti-inflammatory that I need and b) that the stronger meds trigger migraines. I take more CBD at night to help relax and heal, but anything more than 45 mg triggers a headache, so the balancing act is real!

    Sending healing thoughts to you and your readers!

    Peace, Tamara

    • Spooonielivingfree April 21, 2020 / 8:47 pm

      Absolutely, stressing about not being able to sleep is not the one. I’ll either listen to an audiobook, watch some youtube or just do some stuff on my laptop. (The last one is a real bad habit!)

  2. Hairstyles May 31, 2020 / 8:12 pm

    I do love the manner in which you have framed this particular difficulty and it really does present me personally a lot of fodder for consideration. Nonetheless, through just what I have experienced, I basically wish as the comments stack on that people stay on point and don’t start on a soap box involving some other news of the day. Still, thank you for this excellent piece and even though I can not really concur with it in totality, I value your point of view.

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