I really should throw a party. For six years I've worked on normalizing my sleeping patterns. I've accepted them, and then not accepted them. I've tried pretty much everything I could think of plus any suggestions any one could give me. So for the past six months, the patterns have steadied and fallen into a pretty liveable and predictable patterns. I'm usually up between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. and usually asleep by 10:00 p.m. I usually go to bed around 9:00 and read or watch television. Sometimes I need a nap in the late afternoon. Yay! I think a lot of the chaos had to do with ptsd, the need for rest to heal physically and emotionally, plus the medications for pain that I took after multiple surgeries.
A lot of stuff I tried did not work: Setting the alarm and getting up whether I wanted to or not. This strategy usually resulted in being exhausted and kind of freaked out emotionally. Taking medication for sleep - as I usually experience with any kind of meds - sleeping meds kept me awake. I could go on for awhile about the stuff I tried that didn't work.
So - here's the stuff that worked: I accepted that I need anywhere from 14 hours to 10 hours of sleep out of every 24 hours. It depends on how much mental, emotional and physical activity I've expended. It's no use trying to get out of it. Some physical activity every day helps. Taking a hot bath (preferably with bubbles). Taking a Benedryl at 8:00 p.m. (I have allergies that make my breathing weird when I sleep, plus the Benedryl makes me a little sleepy.) Last but not least: Tempurpedic mattress and pillows and learning how to arrange my body so I have very little pain.
I am SO grateful. My days are so much more predictable and productive. I'm glad I persisted and didn't give in to despair! I'm glad I've healed enough to benefit from the strategies I've tried. I'm grateful to my Higher Power.
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