About a week ago I complained about not getting much sleep. A woman who follows this blog wrote and said, “At night I sit in a chair beside my loved one’s hospital bed.” (Her comment made me feel like a real light-weight.)
Even though I knew our situation was temporary, it didn’t change the fact that my brain and body were running on fumes.
During the time we spent most of our nights awake, I discovered the restorative power of naps. Whenever Alex fell asleep, I grabbed a pillow and a blanket and I slept too. Sometimes I could catch 10 to 20 minutes of rest; sometimes we would sleep for an hour or more.
Here’s what I learned about naps during that time:
1. Without sleep the smallest tasks can seem like monumental projects
2. Almost anything can be put off long enough to take a little rest
3. In order to care for someone else, you have to be able to think clearly and react quickly
If you aren’t sleeping at night, I hope you will take any opportunity you get to stretch out and point your toes up so you can relax and restore your physical, mental and emotional energy. It may be one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your care receiver.