Better sleep

Yeah…

Got better sleep last night — actually slept through the night. I did the following things that I think helped me:

  1. I headed to bed before 10:00 p.m. – the night before, I went to bed around 11:10 and my schedule felt “off”.  If I get to bed later than 10:00, I start to feel rushed and stressed about not getting enough sleep.
  2. I set the air conditioner on “low cool” in stead of “medium cool” – the night before, the room got too cold and I woke up both too hot and too cold. I couldn’t seem to regulate my body temperature, which meant I couldn’t relax and get back to sleep.
  3. I didn’t eat any sugar or drink any caffeine after supper. In fact, I didn’t have any sugar during the afternoon, either. The day before, I had some candy in the afternoon, and I had some chocolate ice cream for dessert. I think that made it harder for me to relax. (I know – I’m all sensitive ‘n such)
  4. I ate earlier – the night before, I didn’t eat until after 9 p.m. That can’t be good. And it wasn’t.

So, I actually slept through – and I got about 7-1/2 hours of continuous sleep. The night before, got three hours of sleep and then four hours of sleep, which technically makes 7 hours, but it was broken up and it wasn’t good quality sleep.

Last night was better. And so am I.

And when I got up, I exercised. Because when I don’t exercise first thing in the morning, I get severely out of sorts, I’m not fully present or involved in my day, and things just don’t “flow” very well… which has a snowball effect of making me more and more anxious and agitated.

I’ve got a doctor’s appointment in a few hours – and then after that I’ll be seeing my neuropsych. I really need to check in with my NP about the past week — feeling so bad, feeling so sick. I’m quite sure it’s just been anxiety, but I do need to check in just to let them know this has been going on. I feel like I’ve worked through it pretty well on my own, but if they don’t know this is going on with me, if something similar happens or if I turn up having more of the same that’s much more intense, then it might not make sense to them, and they won’t see a pattern. And they will have a harder time helping me, I think.

The weird thing is, even though I’m feeling much better and I am not dragged down like I was a few days ago, I still feel like crap. Even though I’m able to function much better than earlier, I really don’t feel well, I have this underlying sense of being a little ill, I’ve got nausea and headache, and I’m just not feeling like myself. I’m tired. Really, really tired. And even though I feel very energized by some things, I still have this other sense of being “off” in some way. It feels physical, not psychological. I’m reluctant to tell my doctor, because I’m afraid they’re going to order tests and start to poke and prod me and try to find something wrong that they can “treat” with drugs. I don’t want to take drugs. I just want to have balance and sanity in my life, and I want to just get on with things.

It could be that this underlying sense of illness will just stay with me, like the chronic pain. And I’ll learn to work with/around it. I’ll learn to keep my attention elsewhere. That could very well be.

Or it could be that this underlying sense can be dissipated with good exercise and stretching and building up my strength. I do know that when I am well-rested, everything gets better. Just how to get well-rested is another question. But it’s one I’ll just have to keep working at. Because it doesn’t make sense to do anything else. I can’t give up. I don’t give up. It’s not in my nature.

So, I’ll just keep going and keep watching… and see what else I can do to help myself get on the good foot.

Better sleep is a start.

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

4 thoughts on “Better sleep”

  1. It sounds like you have the most important part figured out…getting a good night sleep. The next question is how to get a good night’s sleep every night? When you figure that one out let me know. It’s what we all need, but it’s hard to get and that makes for some interesting days. (just getting back to catch up on readings)

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  2. I have the sleep problem. I wish I was the little “pup” there! I have not gone to sleep AT ALL! And I have been going through this problem since my TBI. Right now I am so energized and later I’ll fall a little and pick up again.It’s all crazy! You are right;maybe I should just workout a little harder mentally and physically and see how that goes. I begin to see myself becoming lazy as the days goes by.LOL!

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  3. When I figure out how to do this regularly, I’ll definitely let you know. I was up till midnight last night for absolutely no good reason, then I woke up at 6. I’ll be going back to bed for a nap soon… Yeah, knowing what to do is a whole different thing from knowing how to do it consistently.

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  4. That’s interesting about the sleep – I find that the more tired I am, the harder it is for me to sleep. I have also used adrenaline and pain for motivation, for many years, so that gets me going. So the worse I feel, the more energized I feel. Try getting into a routine — and get some good hard exercise at about the same time every day.

    If you really need to sleep, you could try Benadryl — that’s what I use sometimes, but because of my TBIs, I am extremely sensitive to medications, so I can’t take it very often. I started to feel wiped out and groggy from it for a long time after I woke up, so I quit taking it. But if I didn’t have anything to do for days, and I could afford to feel out of it, I would take it again. I just have to be pretty careful — anyone does after they’ve had a TBI – it totally screws with your ability to handle meds.

    Have you tried progressive relaxation, where you relax parts of your body gradually, till you’re completely relaxed? I’ve heard that just 15 minutes of TOTAL relaxation is like getting 2 hours of sleep. So, if you’re not sleeping, maybe you could try the relaxation and see if that helps at all.

    Hang in there…

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