Living an amazing life with a chronic illness

The Search for Sleep

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Searching for a restful night’s sleep

I’ve written about the quest for sleep before because, well, it’s something just about all of us deal with.lLately sleep has been a rough because of this crazy brace I have to wear on my right hand.  My wrist has drifted to the left and my fingers to the right, my knuckles are a mess…..so we’re trying to keep things from getting any worse until I have surgery to replace all the mcp joints in that hand. It’s a scary prospect, but my pain level is bad AND my functionality has dropped. In the meantime though I have this plastic/velcro-y monstrosity to wear and it’s tough to get comfortable. I’m slowly adjusting to it though, so hopefully it will get to where I don’t want to throw it out the window. 

My fellow RAWarriors know any joint pain makes falling asleep a challenge. It doesn’t take a crazy brace to get in the way.

Doing Life when you’re tired

When you’re tired the rest of life seems overwhelming. For me, my fuse is shorter, I can’t focus on work I’d like to do and I feel muddled and slow. Productivity tanks and frustration rises.

This is a huge problem for everyone – not just spoonies. “Sleep deprivation is linked to lower productivity at work, which results in a significant amount of working days being lost each year. On an annual basis, the U.S. loses an equivalent of around 1.2 million working days due to insufficient sleep.” (rand.org)

As if those of us with chronic illness don’t have enough problems…..”Multiple factors are associated with shorter sleep. These include obesity, excessive alcohol and sugary drink consumption, smoking, lack of physical activity, mental health problems, stress at work, shift work/irregular working hours, financial concerns, and long commuting.” 

I have found a few things that help though. A lot of people I work with love diffusing Lavender or a blend called Serenity. And it’s very effective for them. Lavender is something I just can’t get behind. The smell to me is……BLECH. Thankfully there are other options. I’m more of a Vetiver or Balance kind of girl.  Vetiver helps quiet down my brain. It’s funny that I love it because a decent number of people dislike it as much as I dislike Lavender. 

Whatever your nose likes, diffusing oils at bed time can be calming. That doesn’t do a lot for our joints/muscles though. Making sure I do some gentle stretching and massaging some soothing oils (like aroma touch or deep blue) help me stay as comfortable as I can for as long as possible. 

Here are some other simple steps that may help:

  • Eliminate screen time in your bedroom. Yeah I know this is a tough one. I like to scroll a bit before sleep too.
  • Keep the room temperature as comfortable as possible. Cooler is better
  • Eat or drink foods that induce sleep, such as warm milk. Try Golden Milk!
  • Avoid foods and drinks that contain caffeine later in the day
I’d love to hear from you – what do you struggle with? I have a brief sleep survey for you HERE. I’ll even send you some suggestions to try to help you find that good night’s rest
The quest for sleep is ongoing for just about all of us. I have a great 5 part email series that will introduce you to several different oils that many people find helpful to sleep. 

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About Sally

Sally is an RAWarrior who loves to help others find simple ways to live more naturally and lead AMAZING lives.

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