Friday, June 13, 2008

Sleepy Julie and Happy Birthday, Zane!

I read an article about sleep deprivation a couple days ago that I can't find anymore. I did, however, block and copy the section below before losing track of it. I also found some other interesting articles including this one about sleep and aging and this one about drowsy driving.
"Before Thomas Edison invented the light bulb in 1880, people slept an average of 10 hours a night. These days, Americans average 6.9 hours of sleep on weeknights and 7.5 hours a night on weekends, according to the National Sleep Foundation."
When Ken spent the night at my house recently, he said something about not feeling well rested the next morning. He seemed very surprised and a little concerned when I told him that I never feel well-rested. It's true. I regularly function in "sleepy mode" and use caffeine and sugar to get "up" where I need to be in order to live my life.

Sleep deprivation has always been the norm for me...except during the period when I was hospitalized waiting for the birth of Zane. (HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY TODAY, MY LITTLE MIRACLE BOY!) When I didn't have work to go to or worry about and I had limited other responsibilities and deadlines, I slept until I woke up every single day for 5 1/2 weeks. What a concept! I usually woke up after about 9 hours sleep per night and then took a one-two hour nap in the afternoon.

OK. I was pregnant, missing Ruby and parts of my life terribly, and dealing with a placental abruption and the possibility that my son would not survive, but it was the most well-rested I ever felt in my life. I think I took such good care of myself for Zane...and for my sanity. I was very spiritually connected during that time and that probably helped, too. That and Sex and the City on the hospital HBO.

I need to shift MS to the same "urgent" category as the circumstances around my pregnancy with Zane when it comes to sleep. I need to see the MS as a damn good reason to be well-rested, too. I need to figure out how to sleep until I want to be awake...every day. Is it possible? Do I have to go back to a time before electricity to turn off my laptop and TV and stereo and telephone and lights and go to sleep? Are you well rested? How do you do it?


  1. That well rested feeling is a piece of the past I can't seem to get back.

    I was working 2 part time jobs, single parenting and studying as well when I got sick, so I went into MS already deficit in the "R&R" category and it was downhill all the way after that. Now, there's just too much pain to "get a good night's sleep" as people are inclined to exhort me to do when I'm tired and grumpy.

    Isn't it funny the things we take for granted that are impossible for others to enjoy?

    Happy birthday Zane!!

  2. Did you happen to hear the NPR piece about a Japanese concert that was devised to play monotonous songs in order to put the audience to sleep? It seems that a great many Japanese people are sleep-deprived from long commutes to work so this was to be a treat for them. It was also an experiment by someone who says that monotonous music can put people to sleep in six minutes. I didn't hear the whole story, but those were the things that I recall.

    Also, I remember from years ago learning that the Three Mile Island catastrophe was caused by sleep deprivation of the staff there. That and the shuttle disaster which took the lives of Christa McAuliffe and the others.
    I think I better get to bed myself.

  3. Tish,
    Fatigue--another word that has a completely different meeting after MS diagnosis.

    Geesh! I'm really glad I don't live in Japan, pilot a space shuttle, or operate a nuclear reactor. :-)
    I didn't hear the story but I'm going to look for it in the NPR archives.
    Lazy J.