Thomas didn’t want to organize his life. It wasn’t fun when things were predictable. Lately however, that was the problem. He wasn’t having fun anyways. Thank God for work. It was the one firm construct in his life. Wake up, shower, drive and work until he drove home. It was like Harold and his purple crayon had drawn this into place but forgot to draw up the rest. When to go to bed? When to eat? When to play?
“Harold! Get back here.”
Before, Thomas had resented any imposed restrictions on him. He liked to graze. Now, with bewildering awareness of his unhappiness and unbounded self, he wanted help. If help meant medication and the opinion of others, then so be it. At least until he found out what happened him.
When Thomas came in to see me, he said he had lost himself. His personality had changed and he was suffering. We approached things from the biopsychosocial model. We ran labs, got him in to see his primary doctor for a physical, considered life-stressors and his support structure. We started medication and we introduced sleep hygiene. I almost lost Thomas there. Changing his sleep was changing his culture and he had enough recollection of his identity to know that he had liked to stay up at night.
Out came the sleep journal. Thomas turned his body away and looked at me sideways. We agreed to try improving Thomas’ field of knowledge on sleep and see if he would buy into this for himself. We set a time-frame for his research and decision. If he didn’t do the work to get informed, than he’d go with my recommendations until his brain illness improved enough to allow him to do more for himself. We’d work together with our purple crayon and drawing in some lines.
Sleep hygiene is one of those purple lines in our life that help us know a better sense of who we are. It does this for many many reasons you can read more about in previous posts listed below if you like – but it does do it. Regardless of our temperament, if we like to graze or run to the barn, we all need solid refreshing sleep.
Self-Care Tip – Use sleep hygiene as a tool to get friendly with yourself. Don’t be afraid.
Questions – Do you consider sleep hygiene as a useful tool in your life? Does it come naturally or do you have to work at it? How do you draw your lines in? Please tell me your story.
- You Can’t Barter With It. Sleep.
- Keep It Simple
- Self-Care Does Not Always Mean Doing What You Want
- Good Sleep
- Regardless The Reasons Not To, Go Get Your Sleep
- Sleep Hygiene – my version
- Sleep Does Not Lose As Gracefully
- Sleep is The Vital Sign Of Psychiatry
- Nancy Deville: Can’t Sleep? Calm Down and Cool Down (huffingtonpost.com)