13 December 2006

Losing Sleep

So it's been a few days and I still haven't managed to kick my ass into gear and take photos of the socks-in-progress. I've also slacked off a bit on the knitting since returning home - partly because my hands needed a bit of a rest and partly because I've just been tired.

Now I know that every one of you is jealous of my 15-hour overnight shifts and wish that you could have such a plum job, but it does have a few drawbacks, one of them being a wee bit of difficulty having a regular sleep schedule like the experts recommend for insomnia. All things considered, I do make an effort to work within the framework I've got, and not falling asleep when I want to has been less of an issue than it has been in the past.

Where I've been running into trouble is actually getting good restful sleep. I have restless legs syndrome (RLS), which is apparently part of my genetic legacy from my mother, who also gave me my overpronating feet. One of my reasons for getting the pedal thingy was to see if this helped with the RLS, which does make it harder for me to get to sleep.

I also hoped that it might help with what David calls my "twitching" in my sleep, which seems to have only developed in the past year but has become very disruptive to his sleep. Last night, as I was looking through some RLS & sleep disorder resources online, I found an exact match with the symptoms that David has been describing. It also turns out that periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) occurs in about 80% of people with RLS. No wonder my parents have a king-size bed. And no wonder I never wake up feeling rested.

So I've started keeping a sleep diary and am working on getting a referral to a sleep study center that's sort of near work. I couldn't find anything to suggest that before-bedtime exercise helps with PLMD the way it does with RLS, but I'm hoping that it might a little. Otherwise, my pharmaceutical options apear to be anticonvulsants or Parkinson's drugs, neither of which sounds particularly appealing.

A Few Changes

You may have noticed that I've changed things around a little. I switched over to Blogger Beta the other night and decided it was time for a new look. Any feedback, especially on the legibility of the links and other text that I can change around, is welcome.

Also, my post the other week on charitable giving attracted a comment from David Patterson, media director for Heifer International, with a little info about setting up a fundraising drive for them on the blog. Because I very much believe in the work they do, I did just that, and there is a large button in the sidebar that will take you to a donation page. This blog regularly gets around 50 hits per day, so just one day with everyone donating $20 would hit the $1000 goal - 4 days if everyone who came by donated $5. And I've already kicked it off with a donation of my own. So what are you waiting for?


Sheepish Annie said...

My Dad has sleep apnea and went to the sleep study center in Portland with great results. I'm also a "twitcher" and have found that excercise has made a big difference. When I'm overtired, though...all bets are off. The cats just run for cover!

Love the new look!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your sleeping problems. I hope that you are able to get some helpful answers after you do a sleep study.

I like the blog's new look. Very nice and clean, and I can read the links just fine.

Anonymous said...

A surf-by comment... I have a mild case of restless legs - as did my mother, who had to get up and walk around a lot - but I've found that taking magnesium supplement just before bed helps me a lot. My husband has PLMD and they give him muscle relaxants.