Sleep and rest in chronic fatigue mode : the day bed for Polyphasic snoozing

It is a tragic irony of my existence that despite all the stuff I get up to I am crippled by pain, stiffness and fatigue.
I suffer from Fibromyalgia which had an early diagnostic  life as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Such a burden plays out and you get to wing it as the years go by. 

Of late , with these frequent surges of wet weather and barometric roller coasting, I am spending a good part of my days abed. For years now I have always set aside  an item of domestic furniture upon which I lay horizontal, read and dose off. 

This is my day bed.

My day bed may double up for use by guests and fam who sleepover, but for me it is a special place: my Occupy. After years of laying out my body at all hours of the day or night I have customized my hardware to suit .
This last item -- this 'linen' (I was going to use 'manchester' but no one uses that term any more ) is a creative hobby. I have discovered that at local Op(portunity) Shops I can get very cheap dooner covers so I live my sleepy bye time upon a mix and match collection of colours and designs which I lay out like tablecloths upon my bed. If the chill sets in, I use one to cover myself.

You see, I'm not into boring myself. 

Location of Day Bed

The first rule of daybedding is to sleep yourself outside. This is where verandahs come in -- or in my current existence, a garage opened at both ends to the air and sun. The car sleeps outside, I have Occupied its space (in protest against its carbon emissions).

In the worst winter chill I pull down the roller door.

Against one wall is my two scooters...and I share the space with animals (pictured).

Use of Day Bed

The best a day bed offers is reliability. It is always there. No matter. When fatigue overcomes me I know that I can retreat to  my back. I have ebooks to read if I'm  compos mentis - but if I am not of sound mind I can dose.
To sleep, perchance to Dream;  (Note: ebook readers are so easy to read when lying flat)
 The option of sleep is my bottom line. I find that I follow a sort of pattern.


If I make it through the day, after tea at night, even after taking the dogs for a long (one hour) walk I will collapse exhausted on my day bed and sleep for a few hours, rising at about 12 midnight. I then do some work on the computer or watch videos for a few hours, before retiring again.

I  used to think this was perversity or a pathology on my part but I suspect that I am defaulting to a Polyphasic sleep pattern. Recent arguments suggest that  Segmented sleep does in fact have a cultural history.
Segmented sleep, also known as divided sleep, bimodal sleep pattern, or interrupted sleep, is a polyphasic or biphasic sleep pattern where two or more periods of sleep are punctuated by a period of wakefulness. Along with a nap (siesta) in the day, it has been argued that this is the natural pattern of human sleep. A case has been made that maintaining such a sleep pattern may be important in regulating stress.
Of course, I try ever so hard to siesta. And when I do my night time first sleep either is uncalled for or is reduced in length. Sometimes, and often of late because of the weather, my siesta is not so short. I may awake after several hours asleep. On other occasions, the fact that I siesta enables me to take the dogs out that evening...
What you lose on the swings you gain on the slides...
But then, I'm adaptable. I find that I can awake and tackle a range of optional tasks from cooking a meal, gardening, exercising, dog walking, dancing or whatever. 

Sleeps usually -- but not always -- refresh me.

I have also learnt that by being Polyphasic like this I get to harvest many dawn options. I am physically more often 'better'  on my morning awakening than, my others during each 24 hour period. So I have this window where I can do more rather than less. After a couple of hours, stiffness and fatigue may set in again. and activity is harder.

I also get to enjoy the dawns as they come up.... 

In some traditional senses I do suffer from insomnia. If I cannot settle into my second night time sleep I can find myself up and about, even speedy. This drives me crazy. It may be  2 or 3 a.m. in the morning and I feel great; keen to do stuff -- but ruled by the sentence that I should be sleeping. If I actually do stuff, I stimulate my mind and sleep is not an option that night. On some of these occasions I suffer from annoying itchiness all over. ... This is often gone by morning.

While I have this condition, this illness, it has a strong sleep disturbance component which plays a brutal game with one's bod:
For people with fibromyalgia, the combination of pain and sleep disturbance is a double-edged sword: the pain makes sleep more difficult and sleep deprivation exacerbates pain.(source)
After years of trying to follow 'sleep hygiene' rules I'm now a free spirit....and I suspect I'm much better for it.
And it turns out (before becoming Fibo Man) I used to work 12 hour shifts running a psychiatric admission ward at night. Best, most exciting job I ever had.Two nights on/two nights off. Such madnesses came out of the dark. I loved the nightimeness and the way I could harvest my days between shifts and days off. Sleeping for me after returning home each morning was not a problem. I needed less sleep. I was physically very active and would even drop by the local swimming pool to do laps each morning en route to bed. However, the way night duty is deployed under 8 hour protocols with shifts rotating through a 24 period only caused me to....wet the bed. My sleeps were so deep that I could not be raised and if so I would not recall the conversation. I could not establish a pattern and my whole system was in wack.


Post a Comment