Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Perchance to Dream?

Not a drop of alcohol has passed my lips for seven days now and I am seventeen and a half percent through 'Virtual Lent' (see my earlier post).  By day three I was noticing the considerable benefit that avoiding the temptation of the wine bottle and the beer fridge was having on my ability to sleep.  After an uninterrupted night, Mr Lovelygrey managed to sneak out of the house at 6am for an early morning cycle without disturbing me.  This represents an almost unique event.

Insomnia has been a recurrent problem for me and it's easy to see how whether or not I am able to sleep affects my mood.  Avoiding booze is one of the most helpful things that I can do to help  myself.  Sleeping in an unheated room, curbing anxious thinking when I wake in the night, mindfulness practice and eating my evening meal early  are all useful personal strategies too.  Type 'sleep hygiene', 'insomnia' and other related terms into Google and there's a wealth of ideas. Personally  I spurn any suggestion that I should not read in bed though. This is one of life's greatest pleasures and to recommend giving it up seems like pure heresy.

But I've also suffered from unrefreshing sleep so even after what might have seemingly appeared to be a good night I woke exhausted.   Mr Lovelygrey was consistently pointing out to me that noise from my snoring was only just below the level that causes a sonic boom. So I sought medical help which ruled out sleep apnoea but resulted in a sleep study.

And so let me introduce 'Mandy', my mandibular device made by the lovely people at Torbay Hospital! Not the prettiest nightwear I admit but this piece of orthodontic equipment which keeps my jaw from dropping back and closing my airway makes a huge difference to whether or not both I and Mr Lovelygrey get a good night's kip!

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