Please read that title with a ton of sarcasm. Has anyone made a sarcasm font yet?
Self-care #12 Healthy eating and sleeping. https://healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/25-obvious-non-obvious-self-care-issues-complex-trauma-survivors-struggle-with-lilly-hope-lucario/
Judy’s perspective is here: https://theprojectbyjudy.wordpress.com/2017/11/16/self-care-12-of-25/
I agree with Judy, we both wrote earlier blogs about eating habits or lack of good ones. Mine is written here: https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2018/01/17/eat-your-vegetables/
Healthy sleeping, those two words should not be in the same sentence in reference to me. Insomnia at an extreme level. I read an entire book on sleep. What I learned was where their experiments ended because it was unsafe to go beyond that point is where my life begins. I’ve been through sleep studies, epilepsy brain scans, and every other medical test imaginable. It wasn’t until I was in counseling that someone, my therapist, asked me, “How much of the night do you actually sleep?” When I was first asked that question and I tracked it for 10 weeks, my average night was 2 hours of sleep a night. After 10 years of counseling and a whole lot of work I am up to averaging 5 hours of sleep a night.
I had to take a break from writing this. OK….the thing of it is that I hate sleeping because in my sleep I am still abused in horrendous nightmares. Now, staying awake is a habit. Unfortunately, falling asleep during the day is a problem too. One of the brain scans I did I had to be awake then sleep during the test. By this time I noticed that certain foods can affect my sleep patterns. I asked at what time he wanted me to go to sleep, then I planned what to eat an hour before. I went in and did the test with wires strapped to my head so they could see what my brain was up to. I was so relieved to finally let go of staying awake when he said, “You can go to sleep now.” When I woke up, he chatted with me for a bit. He told me that in 15 years of running these kind of tests on people every day, I was the first person that could go to sleep on command. Apparently as soon as he said I could go to sleep, my brain sent out the little spikes that meant I was asleep. I learned that your brain activity changes during sleeping. Laying awake staring into the darkness is not sleep. I’ve also wondered why my brain would listen to a complete stranger but when I tell my brain to go to sleep it does jumping jacks or other nonsense to keep me awake. Other times my body decides to go to sleep and there is nothing, and I mean nothing, I can do to stop it. I call them Naps from Hell because it feels like my whole body becomes a lead weight that all the energy drains away. When I wake up my skin hurts. I know that the skin is the largest organ of your body and it can all it hurt at once. If anyone touches me or hugs me, the pain is excruciating. I feel worse than when I go to sleep. Sleep and me are not friends. We don’t even want to be in the same room with each other. I do all the wrong things to go to sleep yet I can nod off playing a computer game, reading a book out loud, or driving. I work very hard at avoiding the last one. I can’t sleep when I am supposed to and can’t stay away when I shouldn’t. Heavy sigh.
Yes, I have sleep apnea on top of all the other problems with sleep. Plus when I do start getting more sleep it is like the nightmares jump into hyper-drive. I learned that if I am low enough on sleep I can tolerate almost anything. I am too tired to care. Someone once pointed out that most people get cranky. That comes first, way past cranky comes half comatose. I am working on having a more restful sleep and experimenting with different blankets, sleep ware, and places I sleep. When my brain tells me I am in for an ugly night, yes I can actually feel a bad night coming on, I sleep in a recliner, in my regular clothes, wrapped mummy style in a blanket with the light on. On a few occasions I slept through the night in the fetal position. My joints hated me in the morning. Me and sleep is an on going project to try to find what works so that I can be alert and happy during the day. Sleep, emotions and health are a triangle that rolls along badly for me. Learning what works for bad nights is helping. Now I need to figure out what it takes to sleep on a regular night.