Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

The title of this blog comes from an 18th century prayer for children that has many different versions.   I have a pillowcase with this prayer on it done in needlepoint.

But this blog isn't about prayers, its about sleeping, and lack of sleep.

I spent a great amount of time, even years avoiding sleep.  When I was addicted to drugs I did everything I could NOT to sleep, and that took a huge toll on my body, both physically and mentally.  I could always tell when my body and mind were taxed, I became bitchier, I had a shorter temper and just not enough energy to do my job or day to day activities without the aid of stimulants.  Think about it, even the average person feels like we look like hell when we don't get ONE good nights sleep.

Our body repairs and replenishes itself while we are sleeping. Hormones, the immune system, blood, muscles, the skin. Every tissue in the body is renewed faster during sleep than at any time when awake.   Eating late at night is a big no no I always do, but I'm just giving my body fuel to keep on working, when it should be resting.

In the brain there are 5 stages of sleep, in the beginning of the sleep stage the brain in fairly inactive, most of the blood flow to the brain is diverted to other parts of the body.  It isnt until the final stages of sleep (REM) when the brain is most active, blood flow rises linked to areas that dreams, memories, and emotions are all consolidated during this stage of sleep.

I started having sleep issues when I got off the drugs and my depression became prevalent.  I was self medicating my body for so long it had no idea what to do with a "normal" schedule or how to deal with real emotions.  I quickly learned that if I didn't get a good nights sleep I was would become increasingly depressed with each day.  My Dr, put me on Ambien and wow what an amazing nights of sleep I was getting. usually 7 hours exactly every night.  It took about 20 minutes to kick in and I was out for the night!
For the first time in many years I was actually enjoying sleep.

Unfortunately after a few years the Ambien has stopped working and the Dr has tried several different sleep aids that are compatible with my health issues and my other medications.  Right now I take enough pills to put a small horse to sleep for hours at a time (my Dr is aware of what I am taking) yet still I wake up several times during the night and rarely have I gotten more than 6 hours of sleep in one night.

I am scheduled for a sleep study at the end of June, the 1st appointment will be a consultation where they ask me 3,732 gazillion questions about my lifestyle, etc.  Then the fun part where I go get hooked up to wires and observed while I supposedly sleep.

At this point I don't care what I have to go through to figure out my sleep issues, I just LOVE to sleep.
But until those long full nights of sleep return to me, you I churn out these silly blog posts.

Maybe I can fit a quick nap in before my meeting today at noon!

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