One of the issues that arises repeatedly is getting the right amount of sleep. In the early years of debilitating Lyme Disease, I slept a lot, 10-16 hours a day. It seemed like I couldn’t get enough. When that phase was over (after I started antibiotics), it’s been more varied.
I’ve gone through periods when I can’t sleep well or for full 6 to 8 hour stretches. I end up tired. I want to sleep more but I refuse to take sleep drugs or herbs. I tried a homeopathic sleep remedy for a few days. It did help me stay asleep longer, but the real problem at the time was not being able to fall asleep. Plus it made me a little groggy for the first half of the day.
I’ve read a lot about how to fall asleep, relaxation and breathing tips, conflicting accounts of what to do and what not to do before bedtime. I’ve tried many techniques. What seems to work for me is to stop doing work, housework or bills or other things that get my mind into the “doing” mode at least an hour before bed. Somehow the blog doesn’t fall into this category because it clears my mind of the aches and pains of the day. When I can’t sleep after doing some breathing exercises, relaxation exercises or several minutes of forced yawning followed by lots of natural yawning, what I do is call a friend. We set a timer for five minutes each (to prevent a conversation that goes on forever and keeps me up very late) and we each get a chance to talk about the day that ended or whatever is on our minds. Often I’ll end up laughing or yawning and relieve the burdens of the day enough to sleep.
Sometimes even this doesn’t work. So I rest. I spend the night thinking of my favorite scenes from movies, reminding myself of particular good times with my friends or family, imagining what adventures I’d like to have at some point in the future, or other generally upbeat things. I try not to make plans or figure things out, as these tend to make my mind more active and less relaxed. Resting is sufficient when my body is amped up for some reason. I still end up having a hard time the next day, but I don’t stress out about not sleeping. Stressing about not sleeping make sleep harder to come by.
I have a personal policy that if I wake up after 4am and I can’t fall back to sleep within a half hour, I get up and watch a movie. For me the worst thing is to toss and turn late in the night. Then my dreams seem too real and slightly frightening. A movie is enough to get me out of my head, even if I only watch a half hour before going back to sleep.
I nap during the day, 2 hours in the afternoon, when I need to reboot my sleep cycle. Somehow the afternoon nap (starting sometime between 2 and 4 pm) calms my body for the rest of the day and I can rest better.
Other times, I still need lots of sleep: 10 hour nights and 2 hour naps. It’s pretty varied. I love naps and even when I don’t nap, I find it essential to lie down for part of the afternoon. Otherwise I can’t get through the day, or at least I can’t manage that 2 days in a row.
I struggle not to feel bad about how much I need to let my body rest, how little I manage to get done in the world. But I can’t change it any faster than I’m doing. So I enjoy sleep when it comes, I let myself rest as much as needed, and I don’t worry when insomnia pays me a visit.
Day 5 in the Lyme plan is my head. I’m not excited about it, in fact, I’m a little afraid. So I won’t do it until immediately before sleep.
- Bartonella, abdomen, 5 minutes; chest, 2 minutes
- Babesia, ilium, 1 minute each side; knees/elbows, 1 minute; liver, 5 minutes; chest, 5 minutes; shoulder blades, 30 seconds each; shoulders, 30 seconds; feet, 1 minute; central back, 1 minute; low back, 1 minute
- Lyme, crown of head, 1 minute; back of head, 1 minute; side of head, 1 minute each; sacrum, 1 minute
- Candida, abdomen, 10 minutes; chest, 2 minutes
- skin brushing
- diatomaceous earth
- tons of rest lying down
- BioMat (90 minutes, level 3)
I slept okay last night, maybe 7.5 hours, no interruptions, no sweats. But I’m so tired today.
I took my last dose of florinef yesterday and I’m starting to feel it. The weekend is going to be tricky. I anticipate the same dramatic withdrawal that going down to a half dose gave me, but I’ll wait to see if that actually happens. As such, I’m trying not to have any plans.
Mostly tired. I’ve got other blood pressure symptoms, altered vision, feeling a bit off balance–even when I’m sitting down, but no dizziness or whiteouts so far.
The Herx report: I’ve got back pain, up and down my spine, particularly my sacrum, and along my paraspinal muscles. I’ve got bone pain in my ribs. My head hurts a lot but not unbearably. I’ve got some light sensitivity.
My various fungus infections are still active but slightly less than yesterday: chest itch, cloudy urine with hesitation, raised rash on my right arm. I’ve got some sinus congestion today, too.
My arms hurt a little more sharply than usual, mostly my forearms, wrists and hands.
But all I can think is that I’m tired.