Thursday, January 10, 2013

The healing power of sleep

As the mother and principle caregiver to a very active 2.5 year old girl, I can tell you that the 3 years I've spent with broken sleep is a big contributor to my struggles with my mental health.  Even on nights when I'm lucky and my child does sleep through the night, I find myself magically awake at the times she'd ordinarily be stirring.  I'm wired now.  It's not natural for me to sleep a solid 8-10 hours without waking.  If it's not for that, it's because my bladder no longer holds as much as it used to...lucky me, now I get to throw age in the mix too.

In the process of doing all my preop tests for gastric bypass, I was required to go in for a sleep study.  That's because once you have sleep apnea, they take extra precautions with you when they put you under for a surgical reason.  The best night of sleep I'd gotten in months was during that study - and I was up twice to pee!  This is odd.  Not one person I'd spoken to before I did the study believed I'd get any sleep at all.  I truly didn't think I would either, but I guess it helps to chase a 2 year old all day long.

Because I woke up refreshed and raring to go at 5 am, I foolishly thought I might have escaped that sleep apnea hurdle.  But it looks like I was wrong.  I go back on the 21st for an hour long appointment during which I'm supposed to hear the results of my tests, and I imagine so that I can be pressured to fit in some more overnight stays so that I can be fitted and adjusted on that fancy schmancy novelty item called a cpap machine.  You know, the one that makes anyone who wears it look like a comatose Leia on a mynock hunt.

I'm really not looking forward to wearing a machine while I sleep.  And I'm also not that eager to spend yet another night away from my family.  Finally though, I will be glad to get a decent sleep.  Even now, on nights when I don't wake up several times, I don't wake up energized and ready to run marathons.  I'd like to feel that way just once.

I imagine that it will have a hugely positive impact on my mental health too, whereas I feel foggy and groggy and just plain bleh now.  I'm looking forward to the day when I wake up refreshed, rested and like I've just been on an 8 hour vacation.  Yep.  That would be freaking awesome!

They say that lack of sleep or ineffectual sleep is a breeding ground for depression and anxiety.  Reason being that your body isn't getting the whole rest it needs to regenerate itself.

They say the same about exercise.  And to that I steps bitches.  Let me get some good rest, lose a little weight, start breathing better, then I'll give the killer exercise a more concentrated effort.

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