Woman laying in bed with shadow of sheep jumping over her body

Counting Sheep

Last updated: June 2020

For the longest time, I have heard all about sleep. I am sure we all have. Eight hours of sleep is kind of like eight glasses of water, the global standard of how much you need. If you believed the things that were said a person surely would believe that we could not survive without it. Would you believe me if I told you that for the longest time I did not think that it was even vaguely as important as what everyone said? Well, I will humbly admit that I was wrong, so deeply wrong. While it may not be eight hours of sleep that we need or it may be more, life has proven to me that I do need sleep and enough water too. So what’s the deal with sleep anyway?

What is enough sleep?

Enough sleep, this is a concept that for many of us that runs with the same validity of unicorns and fairies. When you suffer from a chronic condition that causes you constant pain, getting good sleep seems all the more challenging. Something that is equal to the challenge of finishing an Ironman for others. Psoriasis means that my skin itches and the fabric annoys my skin. Tossing and turning is par for the course, along with scratching, moaning, and grumbling. My body hurts and I can never find a comfortable position in which to sleep. I have found some creature comforts that help me through the night, the eggshell mattress topper is my best investment to date.

What's better- broken or unbroken sleep?

With time and experience, I have come to realize that five or six hours of unbroken sleep is far more valuable than eight to ten hours of broken sleep. Consecutive hours are like liquid gold and are hard to come by. You wake up feeling more rested and your general disposition is a lot better. In the night if I feel I am restless and not getting decent sleep I get up and then do something. Like have a cup of tea and read a bit I tend to get sleepy again and am able to get another two hours or so of solid sleep.

Brain fog made worse with lack of sleep

Oh wow, my brain fog gets out of control when I am tired, my lists prove useless and I forget where I have left the list I wrote. Moreover, while speaking I forget the words I wanted to use, some of them get muddled up and my sentences sound like something from a conundrum machine. Needless to say, this truly gets me frustrated and not even to mention how silly I look. My mood gets a bit out of hand too, my friends will fondly refer to me as the dragon lady when this sets in. (Such a delight I am.)

Benefits of sleep on physical health

When we sleep our bodies do all sorts of amazing things, they repair from any damage caused in the day. The food we eat is digested and carried through to all our organs to do what we need most. Our bodies get time to rest and recharge for the next day. Tissues and muscles are repaired and grown, connections are made. Our minds take time out to process the day’s events and the things that weigh heavily on our minds. Our bodies surely need more of this, time to process, download and upgrade our software.

All in all, I surely think that I have underestimated the value of sleep over the years. Now that I need more of it and as Murphy would have it, it is truly hard to come by.

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