Tuesday, February 2, 2010
A Good Night's Sleep
Sleep has been on my mind a lot lately. When I was first hit with RA, I couldn't believe how uncomfortable bed was for me. Bed! It had always been such a refuge, a comfort for me. I loooooovvvvve to sleep! Always have. Am a total nap person. When I was little, my mum had to switch me out of afternoon kindergarten class into the morning one because a nap on a ittle teeny-tiny mat just wasn't going to cut it.
With RA, all of a sudden, I was dreading going to bed in many ways. I was so stiff and sore, I just couldn't get comfortable.
I've figured out how to make it better, though (as much as humanly possible, because let's face it, there's only so much you can do). Here are my top tips (if you have any suggestions, please do comment on what's worked for you; I'd love to hear!).
1. Get a down duvet. It's superlight and easy to maneuver when you're at your weakest (when I feel crap, I don't put a cover on mine to keep the weight to a minimum – I can barely lift my arms then and, believe it or not, even light, fluffy feathers are too much added weight). Plus, it's superwarm, and I flip the ends under my feet to cushion them when they're feeling sore.
2. Get proper pillows for proper support. I sleep on my stomach (although not when I'm going through a bad spell), so I have little accent-style pillows that I use as shoulder props. I have a down pillow for my head (it's still firm enough for when I sleep on my side), and two pillows that I use to support my hips when I'm on my side.
3. Invest in a great mattress, if you can possibly afford it. I have an Essentia all-natural, eco-friendly latex mattress. It's memory foam and has been superbly comfortable during this whole RA thing. I got it just last year and thank god I've had it during this crazy time. I wouldn't have been anywhere near as comfortable without it. I have the Beausommet model and probably would have chosen a model that was one step softer if I'd known what was headed my way. I wrote a post about it on my Natural Chic blog when I got the mattress; check it out here.
4. Keep essentials handy. I have everything I need on my bedside table: water, medications, eye drops, lip balm, cell phone and other stuff. Plus I put the absolutely crucial items on a small decorative round tray (see above) that's right at the edge by my bed; the tray rotates easily and puts everything even closer to me when I need it. I live on my own, so there's no calling someone to get something for me!
5. Sleep in the buff. No, I'm not kidding! It makes it so much easier to turn around without getting caught up on clothing or bedding, and when you're sore and stiff, anything that facilitates movement is a good, good thing!
P.S. Right now, I'm no longer super stiff and sore all over, so bed is more comfy once again, and that's wonderful. Nonetheless, I'm tired, tired, tired. We're in production at work (what we call it when we're finalizing pages on an issue), and that's always a busy, stressful time. Deadlines galore and some people who don't seem to get the concept...what is it with that??
But tomorrow night, my crazy French friend is coming for dinner and to oversee my second round of injections (her dad's a doctor so she even offered to do them for me!), so that's something to look forward to!