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Sleeep

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:06pm

 

Thanks for the supportive comments yesterday :), it means a lot when people come out to say they know ‘the feeling’.  Just one of those days when things get on top of you.  And then more things decide to get on top of those things.  And then someone puts a cherry on top.  

Anyway, moving on…

I recently watched a programme called ‘10 things you didn’t know about sleep’ on the BBC.  Unfortunately I didn’t catch the whole thing, but I picked a couple of interesting points out of it.

I love sleep, it makes me feel better and shuts my brain down when it is being too busy tap-tap-tap-tapping nonsense out.  It’s no use just having any old sleep, though.  It has to be good quality sleep or it’s no good.  A couple of nights ago I had a restless crappy sleep because I didn’t wind down early enough and because anxiety crept up behind me, hid behind a gnarly tree trunk and only jumped out “Ta-Daah!” at the last minute.  Or maybe I didn’t pay close enough attention to the rising tension, it’s easy to miss a lot of times.  The thought-jumbles, the feeling that things are waiting to be done and won’t wait any longer, a restlessness…

Anyway, I had a nap that afternoon and it made me feel human again.  Seriously, I can’t believe the effect getting the sleep you need makes to your body and sense of well-being.  I’d had maybe 6 hours during the night, but they were punctuated with bad dreams, brief wake-ups and general restlessness.  I woke up the next day feeling shattered.  I tried to get through the day and then around 2pm I went to lie down and relax, which I did for about an hour, but then I fell asleep for an hour or so.  On waking after the nap I just felt, as I said, human again.  I felt rested and less mental also – tiredness, in my case, seems to severely exacerbate anxious and/or depressive symptoms.

Hi, I'm Louise, I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I shut my eyes.  A lot.

Hi, I' m Louise, I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I shut my eyes. A lot.

What does that have to do with the programme?  Well, they were talking about sleep cycles and how there are several stages of sleep, such as the drowsiness just before falling into the first stage of sleep, which is a light sleep, moving into REM sleep (I think this is the one where we dream), then there’s a deeper stage.  I’m sorry I can’t remember all the stages and the order, but you get the point.  There are stages.   During a night we normally go through these stages in order, several times, and the more of these cycles of sleep we go through, the better the chance that the sleep we have is of good quality.  The result of good quality (deep) sleep versus mere quantity is that quality sleep leaves you refreshed and feeling better when you wake up.

Things like coffee and alcohol can disturb the rhythm of sleep, but no surprise there, we all knew that.  One thing suggested if you don’t get enough sleep during the night, is to have an afternoon nap if it is feasible.  For me, unemployed and with no plans that day, it was eminently feasible.  The programme suggests a nap is best taken between 2-5pm as this is the time our bodies may be most in need of a top up nap and physiologically open to it. 

Also discussed were foods that make you sleepy and foods that keep you alert.  Again no big surprises.  Carbohydrates like bread, potatoes, rice etc stimulate the production of serotonin and this makes us feel drowsy.  Protein, on the other hand, can keep us feeling more alert.  This is why it’s good if you’re working to have a protein/carb mix at lunch, to avoid that post-lunch grogginess.  Some people stick to protein only at lunch but I’d imagine that’s hard to keep interesting.

I was going to provide a link to the programme but its time on bbc iplayer has run out, so I can’t.

Today:

I’ve been weirdly absent for most of the day, not really in my body and not able to connect with my mind.  In terms of mood, I’ll take this over the negative, low of yesterday.  Still, being totally lethargic and unable to concentrate for more than ten minutes or so at a time isn’t ideal.  Maybe I’ll feel more ‘me’ tomorrow.

 

Thanks for the supportive comments yesterday :), it means a lot when people come out to say they know ‘the feeling’.  Just one of those days when things get on top of you.  And then more things decide to get on top of those things.  And then someone puts a cherry on top.  

Anyway, moving on…

I recently watched a programme called ‘10 things you didn’t know about sleep’ on the BBC.  Unfortunately I didn’t catch the whole thing, but I picked a couple of interesting points out of it.

I love sleep, it makes me feel better and shuts my brain down when it is being too busy tap-tap-tap-tapping nonsense out.  It’s no use just having any old sleep, though.  It has to be good quality sleep or it’s no good.  A couple of nights ago I had a restless crappy sleep because I didn’t wind down early enough and because anxiety crept up behind me, hid behind a gnarly tree trunk and only jumped out “Ta-Daah!” at the last minute.  Or maybe I didn’t pay close enough attention to the rising tension, it’s easy to miss a lot of times.  The thought-jumbles, the feeling that things are waiting to be done and won’t wait any longer, a restlessness…

Anyway, I had a nap that afternoon and it made me feel human again.  Seriously, I can’t believe the effect getting the sleep you need makes to your body and sense of well-being.  I’d had maybe 6 hours during the night, but they were punctuated with bad dreams, brief wake-ups and general restlessness.  I woke up the next day feeling shattered.  I tried to get through the day and then around 2pm I went to lie down and relax, which I did for about an hour, but then I fell asleep for an hour or so.  On waking after the nap I just felt, as I said, human again.  I felt rested and less mental also – tiredness, in my case, seems to severely exacerbate anxious and/or depressive symptoms.

Hi, I'm Louise, I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I shut my eyes.  A lot.

Hi, I' m Louise, I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I shut my eyes. A lot.

What does that have to do with the programme?  Well, they were talking about sleep cycles and how there are several stages of sleep, such as the drowsiness just before falling into the first stage of sleep, which is a light sleep, moving into REM sleep (I think this is the one where we dream), then there’s a deeper stage.  I’m sorry I can’t remember all the stages and the order, but you get the point.  There are stages.   During a night we normally go through these stages in order, several times, and the more of these cycles of sleep we go through, the better the chance that the sleep we have is of good quality.  The result of good quality (deep) sleep versus mere quantity is that quality sleep leaves you refreshed and feeling better when you wake up.

Things like coffee and alcohol can disturb the rhythm of sleep, but no surprise there, we all knew that.  One thing suggested if you don’t get enough sleep during the night, is to have an afternoon nap if it is feasible.  For me, unemployed and with no plans that day, it was eminently feasible.  The programme suggests a nap is best taken between 2-5pm as this is the time our bodies may be most in need of a top up nap and physiologically open to it. 

Also discussed were foods that make you sleepy and foods that keep you alert.  Again no big surprises.  Carbohydrates like bread, potatoes, rice etc stimulate the production of serotonin and this makes us feel drowsy.  Protein, on the other hand, can keep us feeling more alert.  This is why it’s good if you’re working to have a protein/carb mix at lunch, to avoid that post-lunch grogginess.  Some people stick to protein only at lunch but I’d imagine that’s hard to keep interesting.

I was going to provide a link to the programme but its time on bbc iplayer has run out, so I can’t.

Today:

I’ve been weirdly absent for most of the day, not really in my body and not able to connect with my mind.  In terms of mood, I’ll take this over the negative, low of yesterday.  Still, being totally lethargic and unable to concentrate for more than ten minutes or so at a time isn’t ideal.  Maybe I’ll feel more ‘me’ tomorrow.

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