A Nap a Day
On June 12, I posted a piece about sleep, but I find it is already time to update that piece. In the original I focused on the importance of sleep, and how lack of sleep produces the most likely reason for an onset of MSD. I wrote of taking specific precautions to make sure I got at least seven hours in each 24-hour period. Now I would like to tack on to that piece some additional thoughts on sleep, as it has affected me.
To begin I can now surmise that my sleep issues began with the onset of manic periods. Mania is typified by minimal sleep. I chronicled how I struggled for periods of time in my life, able to fall asleep easily enough, but incapable of remaining asleep. So if I forced myself to remain in bed, attempting to sleep, all it did was end up frustrating me, and then making me angry. What could be more natural than to get up and sit by the fire, and read?
Later, when the reading became writing, I never missed a beat. I actually felt that I was getting over on the whole issue of no sleep, because I was making good use of my time. Not so. Sleeping would have been good use of my time, but I never realized how critically important it is. After all, when one is suffering from mania, there are different forces coexisting within, that combine to give one a feeling of invincibility. As in, “I can do anything, at any time, because, well, watch me.”
The manic personality is suffused with good will and effervescence, for extended periods of time, until the stuff hits the fan, and the crash occurs. Mind you, I have no recollection of any crash and burns, but I am confident those around me do have those recollections. With that thought in mind, I now work diligently to avoid any semblance of sleep deprivation.
Two nights ago, I encountered technical difficulties, after four and a half solid hours of restful sleep, when I woke up, very wide awake, and was unable to drift back to sleep. I got up after an hour, looked over the computer for an hour, returned to bed, and still could not sleep. I kept at it for another hour, refusing to give in to the urge to just get up and do a piece of writing. I eventually got back to sleep, and ended up with the requisite seven plus hours for the night. No big deal, right?
Then it happened again last night, a carbon copy of the previous night. I refused, once again, and was subsequently able to get six and a half hours, with at least one-if not two-naps still to come. I find I must take this “aggressive” stance, if you will, for lack of a better word for it. Aggressively addressing the key component, which rocks my MSD world seems so logical to me.
I like to use the analogy of my way of fighting colds, aggressively, with no room for sniveling. When I get a cold, I drink vast amounts of tea (the only time I drink tea), I take every natural herb and remedy I can find, abd I avoid across-the-counter medication at ALL costs, no pun intended. It all adds up to no cold ever getting the upper hand.
Now with MSD, the stakes are higher and the consequences a lot more dramatic. So it is worth the effort. Besides, how many people get to drop what they are doing, at any time during the long, hot, physically demanding day, and take a nice siesta? It is a winning formula, and one that I plan to continue employing.
Remember that old adage, “A nap a day (or two) keeps the MSD away.”