Monday, January 4, 2010

The importance of sleep

Marty and I had a nice New Year's Eve--we drank some champagne, wore (briefly) some funny paper hats, and watched some old movies on TV (before switching shortly before midnight to the Times Square ball drop). So we were late getting ready for bed, and, as often happens, when I start too late I have trouble sleeping. My usual sleeping position is on my side, but rolled beyond my hip (a very comfortable position I was taught at a pain clinic when I was having severe hip pain and couldn't lie on it). As my breathing has become worse, it's been suggested many times that I sleep on my back with my head elevated, but I've never been able to sleep on my back, so I've found a compromise position, on my side, but with my head and shoulder elevated with pillows draped on my bed backrest. But that night I discovered I really needed to be on my back, so I tried to sleep that way but kept slipping down, and I decided that if I was going to sleep on my back I would need to do it on my recliner.

I tried that for the first time the next night, and although I was pretty comfortable, I couldn't get over the hump and into deep sleep, until about four A.M. But the next two nights have worked fine--I slept soundly and quite comfortably, although last night I found myself trying to turn over onto my side, which made the recliner move, waking me up! So I think I may try sleeping in bed again tonight. Both Marty and I feel like we're very far apart, although I can always call him if I need him.

Sleep is so necessary...as I become weaker, I find myself drifting off to sleep often during the day. Sometimes it's a funny kind of half-sleep where I'm aware of things going on around me but can't respond; other times it's really deep (like times when I don't hear the phone ring). It's so important for me to sleep as much as I can, as I need as much energy as possible. I think that sometimes when I'm having trouble with incontinence (as I did much of this weekend) or loss of appetite, it's because I'm in a half awake state without realizing it.

This morning I went back to bed after a bathroom trip (the bedroom is a lot closer to the bathroom than the living room is); but I needed to sit in the bathroom for maybe ten minutes before catching my breath and getting up even the energy to make that very small move. I stayed in bed for a few hours and took a little nap, but in the afternoon I moved back to the living room, where I am definitely more comfortable. Such is the minutiae which makes up my day!

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