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Night, night, sleep, sleep!

Posted Oct 05 2009 12:00am

How many of us with lupus could benefit from this little exercise? Come to think of it, who wouldn't benefit from taking stock of their sleeping habits?
This is one of Tylenol PM's latest ad campaigns...and I think it's pretty clever. Here's the ad copy that goes along with the visual image:
"Does sleep have an impact on how you feel during the day? Take our 7-day sleep challenge to find out. Chances are, you'll see that getting enough sleep can help you manage stress, improve your concentration and memory, and may even help lift your mood."
I absolutely agree! And when you add a chronic illness like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis to the mix, you better believe that the correlation between disposition, pain level, and the amount of rest we get becomes ever more apparent.
The idea of using happy faces in this exercise reminds me of one of the tracking systems I mention in my book - loosely adapted from something my mom gave me. I like to call it, "Body Outline."
BODY OUTLINE: Draw the outline of a body, with arms, legs, hands and toes depicted. Each day, take a pen and mark down the spots where you experience instances of swelling, pain, or symptom occurrence. You can probably get away with one drawing per week – using a different color pen or pencil for each day. You’ll be creating a very literal picture of how you feel over the course of the week, providing a useful tool to share [with your doctor or others who are helping you manage life with lupus.]
What a handy way to keep track of all of those aches and pains, don't you think? When you hurt every day, all day, it's hard to keep it all straight. By creating an actual picture of the way your disease is affecting you, you'll not only realize once and for all that it's not all in your head (that you have, indeed, been fighting painful and swollen joints not one, not two, but six days in a row), but you'll have created a visual aid that your doctor can't ignore.
Only down side is that you may confirm that an artist, you are not. :(
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