Working the Nightshift: Finding A Sleep Pattern That Works
It is common for people who have a painful chronic disease like psoriatic arthritis to struggle getting a proper night’s sleep. Pain in our joints, bones, and muscles keep us awake even though we are exhausted. After years of only being able to sleep 2-6 hours at a time I made some changes to how I treated my condition. I now get a full 8-10 hours of sleep; however it doesn’t always occur when I desire it to.
Who’s the boss?
Besides a change in treatment, I also had to stop fighting my body’s natural sleep pattern. By following my body’s demands and allowing myself to sleep when it wants to I have become more productive during the hours that I am awake. My body has a twisted sense of humor and without notice will decide that it only wants to sleep during the day. There are times when my preferred sleep pattern restores itself within a day or two and others in which I rarely see the sun for weeks. Fighting my body’s natural sleep pattern only leads to more pain and heartache. Denying my body the rest it craves increases not only my pain level, but also my stress level. More pain and stress make accomplishing anything while I am awake next to impossible. Over time I have come to see my body as my boss who sometimes requires me to work the nightshift.
A new attitude
It took a while, but I eventually accepted having to work the nightshift when needed. When I work within my body’s schedule, it repays me with more energy and mental clarity. Instead of getting angry about not having a regular schedule, I list the things I would have missed out on otherwise. Things like sitting on the patio at 1AM while looking up at the stars, being able to write or tackle projects without interruption, and not feeling guilty about being in my pajamas while awake. If I miss your call, take forever to reply to a text, or don’t answer the door I am probably working the nightshift.
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