Posts Tagged ‘Circadian Rhythm’

What Happens in the Wee Hours?

July 24, 2010

I wish I knew more about my body and how it operates.  For as long as I have had RA, 3 – 6 a.m. has always been the most uncomfortable time of the 24 hours.  Though I have had times when it was miserable all 24.  What is it about that time span that makes everything much more uncomfortable to the point I can sleep because every position hurts?  Is it Circadian Rhythm in full force?  And just what is Circadian Rhythm?  I checked Google and from The National Institute of General Medical Sciences this is their definition:

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment.  There is even a picture.

The pictures are pretty but none of the explanations really make sense or answer my question.  Another question is why at about 6 a.m. I can go back to sleep as if nothing was wrong.  What changed and tipped the scales at 6 a.m.?  Why is it so difficult for doctors and health professionals to give me a simple answer to something?  How about words of one syllable  I can understand instead of all that medical speak.  That may explain why I feel I have had to do and learn so much of this on my own.  Would it make a difference it I had a solid answer?

The problem compounds itself when I don’t get sleep for a night or two, it gets harder to sleep and sometimes I have been so tired I can’t sleep.  I do naps in the afternoon and that helps; I don’t like to feel I am dragging around all day because I wasn’t able to sleep.  I realize that is part of resisting the whole disease situation and what you resist persists.  Still working on that dynamic because I suspect it puts a lot more stress on my body, mind and spirit – let’s face it, stress doesn’t help anything.

Where am I going with this?  It’s sounding a little too much like whingeing and that isn’t the reason for this blog.  I have begun to look more at how I see things, especially RA.  Has all the focus on how much I hurt, how difficult it is to move, how clumsy and awkward I feel makes it worse.  Hmmm, what I focus on increases, so it looks as if I have some changes to make in my thinking.   Where did I learn that thought pattern and what do I change it so there is a more positive outcome.  I go back to Eckhart Tolle and “Are you willing to accept this is what you are feeling at this moment without wanting it to be different?”  Then I “should” all over myself – I shouldn’t feel this way, I should focus on the positive, I should, I should I should.  Where is it written that there is something wrong with feeling crappy about something once in awhile?  Okay, I feel crappy about this situation at the moment – it doesn’t mean I am going to spend the rest of my life in this frame of mind.  and please don’t tell me about someone worse off, that just makes me cranky and dismissed me.  I need to see that myself, not having it constantly pointed out to me.

Interestingly enough, I have tried the Eckhart Tolle suggestion when I hurt in the middle of the night and it has helped at times.  Some days ego is in charge and it feels as if  it is too much effort to make the switch and I continue to feel sorry for myself.    Sometimes writing it all down helps – I have tried many things n the middle of the night to either make myself more comfortable or do other things to keep my mind off my pain.

Phooey!  I have been sitting here raking through my difficult times and it’s time to do something else.  I need to put my shoes on and go walk out in the sunshine for a few minutes – we don’t have sun that often here.  I am not sure I have made any progress but the writing has helped to express some of my questions and frustrations.  I wonder what other people do in the wee hours to relieve some of the pain.  I am always open to suggestions.


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