JRA

The Light Sleeper

I have always loved sleeping. I was excellent at it. If sleeping was an Olympic sport, I could easily medal without trying. I would sleep till 11 or 12 without difficulty and more importantly I would sleep through anything! I could sleep through fire alarms, hurricanes, thunderstorms etc. However, recently that has changed and for the past 6 months or so I haven’t been sleeping as well. I lie in bed and toss and turn trying to stop my mind for thinking. Thinking about what I have to do tomorrow (dishes, laundry, vacuum, bills) or what I did today (difficult treatment session, evaluations to be written, conversations with friends). In fact last night as I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep, I found myself thinking about writing this post about not falling asleep because I can’t stop thinking!! What a vicious cycle I have found myself in! Hopefully writing this post tonight will help clear these thoughts.

Furthermore, I have somehow become a light sleeper. I hear that this can happen as you age. (Old joints, old sleeping habits?) Or maybe this is in a woman’s genetics to prepare us to be on the alert to protect and care for our children (or in my case my puppy). I hear every pop of the radiator, every shifting and pawing my puppy makes, every footstep from my upstairs neighbor, every sigh and snore from my husband. It doesn’t help that my husband can still sleep through anything and is never bothered by these sounds, (I guess one of us has to be rested!). I have gotten into the bad habit of falling asleep with the T.V on, but it helps drown out the noise and distract my mind. I have thought about noise machines but can’t decide on which one to purchase. When I broke my wrist last year, I occasionally took ZzQuill because I was uncomfortable and when I become desperate that still seems to help. However, I don’t want to rely on more medication. What to do?! What are some of your sleep aids?

This is a basketball player. I want this bed. 

Before writing this post, I looked at some of the fatigue related posts of my fellow RA bloggers. As you would expect it is a very common topic for people with Arthritis. Having Arthritis itself can cause fatigue, the medications can cause fatigue and inflammation can cause fatigue. Occasionally I find it hard to get comfortable in bed, my knees lock and I can’t stretch out enough or my elbow contracts and it pains to move it (I dream of an enormous California kind bed and a room big enough to put it in!).

Stress is another major factor that influences sleep. It is not a coincidence that my sleep greatly declined the month before my wedding. So much so that I began to talk in my sleep! Waking up my husband by asking unintelligible random questions! Two weeks ago I asked him, “What’s the plan, babe?” at four in the morning. I’m pretty sure his plan was to sleep and I was already planning something in my subconscious.

Hopefully, I will figure out soon what is causing the decline in my ability to become a gold medal sleeper and return to the Olympic podium once again…

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