Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.
Tree branch waves in soft
breeze, chasing branch beside it,
never catches up.
I used to to be a great sleeper. And then.
Sleep experts advise on how much sleep one needs as in the number of hours, but rarely address how sleep changes over the years as one ages; only the hours change. Here’s my sleep history experience. These are individual results which may vary.
As a kid I remember a few nightmares, a couple times I got sick in the night, but I didn’t go climb into mom and dad’s bed. I’d wake up crying; they’d come running. My bed was a safety zone as long as my hands and legs were on the mattress. Any arm or leg that stuck out over the edge was vulnerable. You know where I kept all my parts: inside the mattress zone.
As a young adult I was a champion sleeper. Work all day. Party at night. Fall into bed any time. Sleep. An hour. Two. Eight. Fourteen. Dream. Awake refreshed.
In my late 20s and early 30s I was self-employed, worked eight day weeks, 30 hour days, and could sleep any where, any time. Sitting down. Standing in line at the grocery store. Loved naps. Craved naps. Loved naps.
When I was about 35 I realized the body I own was not liking the way it was being treated anymore and I cut down to five day weeks, and 8 to 10 hour days. Being self-employed I could pick up any extra hours I needed to to make ends meet. Suddenly my body NEEDED sleep or I became ill.
And pregnancy at 38. WOW. Whole new adventures in sleep, or I should say non-sleep. This Thing growing inside you. Moving on its own. Vivid weird dreams. No position comfortable. The blankets are too hot. Nature requires relief from the bladder every 20 minutes just after you’ve gotten comfortable again. Now I require a nightgown to keep the top of my shoulders and the round of my hips warm where I indulged in delicious skin against the sheets before.
And parenting. What is sleep? Did I ever sleep? Will he ever sleep? The blankets are too hot. The air is too cold. The son did not sleep through the night until he was 11 years old. You read right. Eleven.
Then the change. Sweat all night. Changing nightgowns in the middle of the night. Changing bed linens so it’s dry enough to sleep. Peeing like I’m pregnant but I’m not. Won’t ever be again. The blanket is too hot. The air is too cold. The thin cotton top sheet is not enough.
I experienced a physical change about the same time as the onset of menopause. I had six new silver mercury amalgam fillings (three fillings and three crowns with amalgam buildup) placed in my mouth. I began to experience sinus breathing difficulty at night (doctors have blamed this on being female, aging, menopause, and fat instead of seeing an obvious source of heavy metal poison in my mouth). The sinus blockage occurs no matter where I sleep, my bed, at mom’s, out camping, motel rooms, so I can not attribute it to a source in my home; the source is something in me.
The night sweats abate, the breathing difficulties continue, and the queen’s sleep is now disrupted by every hair out of place, the weight (or not) of the blankets or sheet, any wrinkle of the bottom sheet, a twisted wad of nightgown beneath my aching hip as if I am the most sensitive version of The Princess and the Pea. Now I am awakened by bad dreams and migraines and charley horses in my calves. I awaken at any noise as I have since the birth of the son. The blanket is too hot. The air is too cold. The thin cotton top sheet is not enough.
Tired? No. I am not tired. I am fatigued beyond all recognition. I wish to sleep for eight hours and awake refreshed, for more than one night. The more correct wish is for the strength to endure poor sleep.
I am grateful I have a home and a bed of my own with clean bedding and can have a lie down when I want (Hwell, not when I am at work, of course). I am grateful I have been able to work beyond certain poverties I read about and know my parents and grandparents experienced. I am grateful the days of my youth of being without a home or a bed are over. I pray I live my last day in my own home and my own bed.
Here are two fine tips to help with sleep.
TIP 1. If you share a bed, spending the night fighting over sheets and blankets is one more stressor to good sleep. When you make the bed put one bottom sheet on as usual. Put on two top sheets of the same size, that is if you have a queen size bed use two queen size top sheets, slightly overlapping in the middle. Do the same with the top blankets. Tuck in at the bottom and the sides however you normally tuck in for your bed. Leave the middle loose. Yes, you must own and clean twice the bedding but the result of lots of cuddly snuggle room and the luxury of both persons having a set of blankets to wrap up in is worth it.
TIP 2. During summer I still like to have a cover over me when the air becomes too cool. One top sheet is sometimes not enough cover. I make my bed with two top sheets then the light summer blanket I like. Two sheets is just enough some nights, but I can layer up or down as needed. Depending how sensitive you are I imagine you could use more than two sheets to find your exact comfort level.
For our musical interlude and listening pleasure this week I present Sweet Dreams, from Brits Annie Lennox and the Eurythmics back in 1983. I like the cows in the video.
So there it is, a brief history of my sleep changes and two small but very functional tips to improve your sleep. Since this aging process is so interesting, and I find few people sharing the aging experience, new sleeping developments may be announced as needed. In case you might be having similar experiences, you’ll know you’re not alone. Or what you might expect.
Color Watch – blooming attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Last week’s mystery plant has been identified as Bitter Nightshade Solanum dulcamara; be advised: DO NOT eat the pretty red berries it produces. Here are some scarlet snapdragons; I think of this magenta flowering bush as mallow, but I’ve seen it in tree form so I’m not sure what it is; the soft sage green of wooly lambs ear; brilliant red gladiolas prettifying an ADA ramp; unidentified fluffy white spears with echinacea and black-eyed susans peeking in from the background; I used to think these exotic vermillion blossoms were freesia but I learned this year they are crocosmia, the berries/seed after the flowers are interesting as well as the blossoms and how they bloom at the end on a long stalk; hot pink and purple fuchsias play with purple spiky globes; an unidentified creamy white that graced me with its scent; I love to catch critter action, a bee in the middle of a hollyhock; a tangle of vermillion crocosmia and royal purple hollyhock; an unusual hydrangea, shades of water and sky, reminding me of crocheted doilies on grandma’s tables; a couple of wild spots with colorful crocosmia.
Currently Reading – An Untamed State (2014, fiction) by Roxane Gay; A Fighting Chance (2014, political science) by Elizabeth Warren; Man’s Search for Meaning (1946, psychology) by Viktor E. Frankl. Yes, concurrently. Check out my From Me 2 U Book Review page.
This week I have been grateful for:
- A medical crisis resolved and pain free days. I’ll get over the money spent. Money is just a tool. Would like to have more tools, but I have some enough to get by. Grateful to keep getting by.
- A plan in place in case the medical crisis occurs again.
- Being back to a no pharmaceuticals required status. I like being 60 and taking no meds.
- A cooler overcast morning giving relief from the summer heat. My town has a fancy car show every year on the tree shaded campus of the local university in the middle of town and it was this perfect weather day: a soft cool breeze, but not raining, not too warm, no blistering sun, circumstances of the past. I think it was even rained out one year. Today, this year, perfectomundo. Nice.
- Enjoying being released to exercise and work on my “normal” schedule.
- This Love Rock spotted on a fence. The “love” is nearly worn off so you can tell the rock has been loving the fence for a while.
- My wage raise covering the raise in electric and water rates.
- Movies and TV series available on DVD, free, at my local public library. I dislike commercials and I love the luxury of starting and stopping my media viewing on my schedule.
- The hubster resolving a vehicle issue without an expense. Money may be a tool but I still only have so much of it.
- Summer reading.
- Learning through fiction. Learning through non-fiction.
- Smoked bacon horseradish cheddar cheese and all the fresh veggies and fruits of summer.
Hoping you have a lovely week.
Namaste. Peace. Blessings.