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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Demands Rest

By HERWriter
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It took a lot of years for me to come to terms with my enormous need for rest and regeneration.

I saw it as defeat, crawling into my bed in the middle of the day and going to sleep. I saw it as letting the enemy win, and I resisted this need for a long time. Only when I could no longer think straight, when my neurological symptoms became so severe that I couldn't function, only then would I curl into a ball in a quiet room and sleep. I did this for years.

But though I can be as stubborn as a mule and as thick as a post, I eventually came to see sleep and rest as my allies.

I recognized the pushing and crashing pattern that I'd fallen into, and resolved to change it. I'd read about something called the 50 % Solution, which promised me that if I were to make a habit of only doing half of what I was capable of, every day, my body could use the rest of that energy to help restore me.

This worked pretty well. It meant going to bed during the day, usually to sleep, even on days when I felt good. I felt like a preschooler being put down for a nap and I resented it, but I had to admit that over weeks and then months, there was a big improvement in how I felt and functioned.

Having CFS, I found it frightening to give in and go to bed. Expending energy was somehow reassuring, it was a way of saying to myself, "See? I can do things." But this would just wear out my weak battery all the more. Re-charging, I have learned, is the better way to go.



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EmpowHER Guest

I rest in my chair. I can curl up in it and I feel better being upright. Once I was able to read again, I found that reading was the next best thing to sleep. I have trouble sleeping in daylight, so I read and rest in my chair.

December 14, 2011 - 4:43pm

Hi Carolana,

I'm sorry to hear how bad your symptoms are. That is terrible to go through.

Calcium and magnesium can help with muscle cramps. I started taking a supplement of these recently because I started having cramping in my feet and charlie horses that would wake me in the middle of the night in pain. As long as I take them, I have no cramps.

I also take omega 3 oil every day which has reduced muscle and joint pain considerably. This took a few months to really notice a difference in the beginning, but I know it's making a difference because if I run out for a week or so the pain starts to return, and when I get more, within a week or so it decreases again.

There may be some other things you can try as well. These are what come to mind at the moment.

March 16, 2010 - 5:11pm

Hello Everyone with Chronic fatigue,

I have been reading your comments, and I have a question.

My CFIDS is very severe, and I am constantly in relaspe. But how do you stay in bed and get the required rest? When I lay down, my muscle spasms are so horrible they almost look like convulsions. I am on very strong muscle relaxants--which controls them some during the day--but laying down is so painful.

Any suggestions?


March 16, 2010 - 4:46pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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