Sleep – I remember it well
One thing that I have struggled with over the last few months is the inability to sleep, or sleeping about 12 hours a day. Both problems come in cycles, with weeks of sleeping about 6 hours a day, or sleeping for about 12 hours. Both can be a problem.
With sleeping about 6 hours, note that I say a day. My sleep is very disturbed, with a run of two hours being good. I have ended up reading a book or playing word search on my tablet which means that the page is back lit so I don’t have to put the lights on. If I then thought that sleep wasn’t likely to come back I then get out of bed and sit and read, listen to music etc.
With sleeping 12 hours a day, or more, there is the problem of actually being able to wake up at the end. Even when I know that I cannot sleep any more because my mind has ‘connected’ I am still yawning and sleepy. This is the mode that I am in as I write this, and for about the last 5 nights. Recently the intervention of pain has not helped either scenario. This morning I was interested to read about this on a health newsletter which I subscribe to by email.
The CBT approach with which I am familiar is to make sure that you associate your bed with sleep. Therefore I don’t go to bed until I am tired enough, and I don’t stay in bed if I can’t sleep. The latter can be easier said than done when you are in the twilight zone of almost being asleep but still can’t actually get to sleep. However I eventually realise that I am not actually able to get to sleep so I get up and do something else for a while. However a recent increase in pain which doesn’t necessarily respond to painkillers has seen me turning to MBSR to help to control the pain, and also using a heat pad as another way of dealing with it. Strangely I find that if I concentrate on the pain I can get control of it and release it from my body. Both approaches are worth thinking about because there are no medications involved and they help to make me feel as though I have just a bit of control over my situation.