Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Why I Can’t Physically Take Naps Anymore

Why I Can’t Physically Take Naps Anymore

OK, time for a nap!” “No, no, no, but I’m not tired! I don’t want to take a nap!”

All I want to do is take a nap

Do you remember that? Being a kid and not wanting to take a nap when it was nap time? Or maybe you have kids now and still hear that all the time? Talk about envy! Having to take a nap at the same time every day? Good times… Now? Most of the time all I want to do is take a nap because my fatigue can be so crippling even on a good day! The problem is, even when I have the option to take a nap? Even when I want to? I just physically can’t… Many people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) rely on naps to get them through the day and a lot of them say it helps. But not me, in fact, napping is almost always a regrettable activity for me…

I almost always feel even worse

You see, when I take a nap it totally screws me up; I don’t feel recharged afterwards, I almost always feel even worse! Sure it feels good to lie down and shut my eyes while I drift off into some bizarre dream but once I get back up? I feel so groggy and my fatigue is even more severe for the remainder of the day. Sometimes a few of my symptoms will even flare up a bit making it hard to see or causing me to feel extra dizzy. So most often, after a nap, I don’t want to move, I can’t think clearly and I don’t want to do any of the things I told myself I would do after a nap. There are even times my brain will forget that I took a nap causing me to wake up thinking it is the next day and that I need to make breakfast! But then I open my bedroom door to see that the house is full of light and everyone is getting ready to make dinner. Once I realize what is going on in the world around me and where time currently stands in reality, the only thing on my mind is regret. “Why oh why did I take a nap? Why did I think that this time would be different? Ugh… why?”

I try to push through the fatigue

But sometimes I just have to! Like, the other night I got absolutely no sleep and I woke up feeling like even more of a zombie than usual. My brain was in such a thick fog making completing basic tasks such as finding the bread in the kitchen seem impossible. “This drawer? Nope. This one? Nope? What about this one? There it is… now why am I looking at the bread again?” So most of the time I just try to push through the fatigue and just make it to the end of the day when I can just call it a night but on days like that I often give in. So I took a nap and as always, I woke up feeling even more tired. I don’t really know why this is now the case for me because I wasn’t always this way, in fact, I remember in high school that if I really wanted to nap for 4 hours I could and then I would wake up ready to take the bus to the mall and see a movie with friends.

I can only re-charge at night

I miss being able to take a nap without paying for it afterwards. Sometimes if I have an afternoon cup of coffee upon waking up from a nap it isn’t so bad… sometimes… but most of the time it does not help. I still feel groggy and hung over. So essentially, however much energy I wake up with in the morning is how much I have for the rest of the day. So when insomnia prevents me from sleeping it is often like the entire day (following that night of insomnia) is pretty much ruined and whatever I had planned just has to wait for the next day. Could you imagine if you could only charge your phone once a night? You charge it all night, start using it a bit, and then around 2:00 pm it just dies because for some reason it just can’t hold a charge anymore. Most people would simply plug it back in for an hour or two but for whatever reason, your crappy phone can’t charge until you can plug it in for the night. Why? I have no idea, that’s just how it works now.

Are you able to take a nap when your battery is running low? Do you find that it helps? Or are you like me and just unable to take a nap? Share below!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Lamm
    11 months ago

    Hi, No naps for me !! If i try to take a nap i wake up with a pounding headache & am very groggy. One issue is i don’t sleep when or if i try to nap, so i just don’t bother with even trying. Nights are almost as bad as a nap. Don’t fall asleep easily or stay asleep. If i didn’t have certain meds that make me tired i would probably, really never sleep more than an hour or two. Hopefully things change in the near future for everyone that can’t sleep or nap. 🙂

  • danj68
    2 years ago

    Wow sorry t0 read this. I just posted a question on fatigue and Ocrevus. For me naps are annoying but they do re charge me. If I know I am going out after work or even a day off I have to work the nap in the schedule. To be fair I am not a good sleeper overnight . I fall asleep but staying asleep is a challenge. I work full time, have children and a great wife, I work out but this napping or fatigue is just the worst !

  • Matt Allen G author
    2 years ago

    That’s another issue for me; insomnia was always a huge issue in my life and when I take a nap it is only worse!

  • RuthGeller
    2 years ago

    In one of your articles you said “think smart, not hard”. I started being smarter about taking naps when I read the following: “History is replete with powerful leaders (Winston Churchill), warriors (Napoleon), politicians (John F. Kennedy), Physicists (Stephen Hawking suffering from ALS) who napped every afternoon regardless of the crises swirling about them”. I became even more interested when a read a scientific study from the Univ. of Pennsylvania “noting that an afternoon nap coincided with improvement in memory prowess and cognition, because sleep deprivation denies the body and brain of the rest needed for optimum health and healing. At the beginning it was not easy to do, but I didn’t force it. Without obsessing, I tried to relax more, letting go of the ‘to do’ aspects of my life as I closed my eyes and tried to let go. And after a period of time, I was able to start doing it. And I’ve now gotten quite good at it. So I’m suggesting that you “think smart and not hard” and give it a try. Don’t push; don’t force; just let go and see what happens. You might surprise yourself. I read all your articles and have learned a lot from you about my disease and about myself. Hope you will read this and that it can make a difference.

  • Matt Allen G author
    2 years ago

    I definitely agree that naps are really beneficial and the thing is, I can fall asleep for a nap but regardless of how easy it is to take a nap I still feel all groggy for the rest of the day no matter what I do… So I don’t know but I am glad you found my writing to be so beneficial though,

  • Michael from Bishop
    2 years ago

    Years ago I experienced grogginess after a nap but for most of my life I could nod off for 15 minutes and it would be like I slept 8 hours. Our brains need two things: oxygen and sugar but if you are getting enough of both look at other factors that may cause similar symptoms.

    Many of us are taking one or two SSRIs. The task of a SSRI is to retain serotonin but if it builds up to a certain level you may experience what is called “serotonin syndrome”. If you can rule out serotonin syndrome you might consider Adderall with the coffee. I don’t like the side effects of Adderall either but It does get the gears moving.

    In my case short naps worked best but taking the Wellbutrin every day and exercising has allowed me to skip taking a nap. Consider the possibility that you have acquired an infection. An infection like a fever blister on a lip or bladder infection will increase your MS symptoms. Once the infection is under control many of the symptoms of MS will resolve.

  • Matt Allen G author
    2 years ago

    It’s none of that, I have ALWAYS been this way except for maybe when I was in high school. I already drink a ton of coffee and I take Nuvigil so most days I don’t feel the NEED for a nap anyway, I just WANT to take one often because I am always fatigued so when I DO take a nap that’s when I feel like garbage afterwards

  • tfs
    2 years ago

    Naps are essential. I do understand what you are saying though. I take a l o n g time to awaken and I go through it at least twice a day. I consider it a bit of a luxury – not necessarily a negative thing though. I get to reconfigure.

  • Matt Allen G author
    2 years ago

    man, I wish, but it screws me up and I feel like groggy garbage for the rest of the day

  • Poll