One of the most challenging aspects in living with a chronic illness is the seemingly relentless stream of varying symptoms. It’s incredibly tiring and disheartening when you are forced to plod through each day almost as though you are trudging through quicksand.
I struggle to make it through 24 hours without feeling completely shattered, both mentally and physically. This isn’t uncommon either. I’m certainly not alone in feeling as though I could sleep or a hundred years. The idea of hibernation becomes a beautiful consideration, and if it weren’t for the brutal mauling by bears I’d undoubtedly receive I’d be in that cave like a shot with a pillow and a Horlicks.
If you don’t want to risk death-by-bear however, there are several things that Crohn’’s patients can try to ensure we get as much rest as is humanly possible…
– Ensuring you stick to as solid a night-time routine as possible is vital. Try to switch off from all technology (yes that means your phone too) at least an hour before bed to calm your mind from the stresses of the past few hours. Watching a million YouTube videos of cats doing the silliest things can keep you far too excitable and the cogs turning much longer than they really should.
– Do something to relax yourself before you settle for the night. Try a milky drink or a hot bath, or whatever it is you find soothing. Don’t stimulate your mind too much with any activity as you are trying to wind down rather than wake up. If you are reading before bed make sure it’s something relatively light and won’t keep you up (or give you nightmares). Think more The Hungry Caterpillar than The Human Centipede.
– Try to actively calm your breathing before getting entwined with our duvet. Practice relaxation techniques and purposely slow your breathing then watch the rest of your body fall into place.
If all else fails maybe consider wooing a bear and cuddling in with them. They like acorns, berries and maybe a nice big old box of Milk Tray so I’ve heard. Although this option may require a few lifestyle adjustments…
Written by Kathleen Nicholls from Crohnological Order