#AtoZChallenge: My Favorite Things Z

Zzzzzz’s (okay, sleep)

I used to think that missing sleep was not a big deal, if I could make it through the next day all right. I’m learning differently, and it’s a little scary.

A good sleep pattern, something that’s habitual, can make the difference between being healthy and active or falling prey to (are you ready for this?) brain fog, memory loss, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression and Alzheimer’s disease. Prolonged poor sleep habits are a factor in all of those things THAT YOU DON’T WANT!

I’m especially concerned about my brain as I age, specifically I want to avoid dementia of all kinds. Good sleep enables the brain to clear out damaging proteins and carry out several other physiological chores that cut inflammation and bolster the immune system. Sleep apnea,  a common condition these days, has been shown to be a factor in the cognitive impairment that can precede Alzheimer’s disease. I’m not saying that my husband is cognitively impaired yet but he says he’s worried that he is.  What I hear, a few minutes after he falls asleep, is snoring. After he is fully relaxed his airway closes and he doesn’t breathe for a much longer time than normal – which rouses him suddenly just enough to start the cycle over again. Neither one of us sleeps very well through this.

The good news is that he has finally gotten around to visiting a sleep specialist for his sleep problem. Yay! I have been telling him that it could be causing some of his other complaints, and after getting the explanations from this doctor, he is starting to believe it. He’s eager to get on with his night time sleep study (polysomnogram). There is a whole field of medicine devoted to sleep disorders, and it’s about time since we spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping, or trying to.

Sleep, good sound sleep that leaves me feeling refreshed, is a memory from younger years I’m afraid. I usually look forward to getting off my feet and lying down, but after a few hours of hunting for a position that doesn’t hurt something, somewhere, I’m am looking forward to getting up again.  Tried a “sleep number” bed. It didn’t help. Tried “My Pillow”.  Didn’t help either. I’m defying the odds. But every once in a while I hit the jackpot and get a really good sleep. It is so sweet, and definitely a favorite.

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The kind of ridiculous, good sleep I’m waiting for…

 

I’m addressing my sleep deprivation from several angles, trying lots of lifestyle alterations that help. There’s lots of interesting information out there! How are you sleeping these days?

Where in my mind am I?

I was very tired last night.  I fell asleep in the chair watching tv and decided it was crazy to waste sleepiness on a chair.  I would go to bed where I so often wish I was sleepy and am not.  I got ready for bed and got in, turned out the light.  As I was lying there and my body was getting numb to it’s surroundings, as I lay quietly behind my closed eyelids waiting for sleep, I suddenly could not remember whether I was in the chair thinking about being in bed, or in bed thinking about being in the chair. Weird things happen in that space between awake and asleep.

The worst part was, I had to get up and go write down what it was like because I knew I’d forget it if I didn’t.  By then I was wide awake again and stayed up too late like usual.  The mind is a crazy place, just sayin’…

Anything like that ever happen to you?

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It started here, in my chair.

A to Z Challenge: K is Kicking

The really strange thing about dreams is that they turn people into unrecognizable variations of themselves. They think and do things while dreaming that they probably would never do in real life – and I don’t mean that they dream they are doing those things. They actually do those things.

To preserve anonymity, I’m not going to say who did this, but the other night someone was dreaming that they were being threatened by a huge bad guy. The dreamer (not saying who) knew that they couldn’t get away by running. The only good strategy they had was to lie on their back, wait till the bad guy was above them, and then swiftly and decisively, kick their head off (the solution, of course!). This they proceeded to do, followed by several loud noises and the sound of breaking glass.

This woke me up, searching for a light and looking to see if the husband was in bed and okay. The dreamer (anonymous) was rubbing his ankle and surveying the damage. Somehow the bedside lamp had totally lost it’s lampshade and was hanging from the wall on a strange angle. On the marble top bedside table was a broken pitcher vase with it’s flowers all awry.

There are two points to this story. The first is this – if you sleep with a dreamer make sure his feet are pointing away from you and sleep lightly. The second is, if you are a bad guy, don’t sneak in our house at night unless you want your head kicked off. Seriously.

Alas, she is broken
Alas, she is broken