Better Sleep with a Chronic Illness 5 items Zebra’s need for better sleep!

Being a Zebra, is difficult not only am I constantly making sure I walk properly so I don’t trip and dislocate something, but sleeping is a nightmare. I toss and turn because after a while things start to hurt and then I need to move.

Even though I sleep a lot I never felt rested so by the weekend; I’m exhausted and don’t want to do anything but sleep. Being extraverted, I felt angry that I couldn’t have more fun because I was unable to fell rested.

After talking to my doctor, changing prescriptions, and making some changes to my sleep routine, I am able to wake up far more rested. Thus letting me get more done throughout my week while still being able to have fun and spend time with my family. I do encourage you to talk to your doctor! We decided to change my anti-depressant to one that also has pain relieving side effects, we also added a nightly anti-anxiety and sleep aid so that I can fall asleep quicker.

The following items have helped me, as a Zebra, to wake up more rested and refreshed!

1. A WEIGHTED BLANKET

Everything you heard is true! I thought I would hate a weighted blanket, but it helps me fall asleep quickly and makes my sleep more restful. I fell into a bad habit of not being able to sleep, so I spent all day in bed trying to rest, but that made things worse. Using the blanket has decreased the time it takes for me to fall asleep, and I hardly notice the blanket now. It did take some time to get accustomed to the blanket, the first night I only used for about half the night. My weighted blanket is the standard 15 pounds, which I chose to make sure I could fall asleep and as a daily weight-lifting challenge. You may want to purchase a lighter weight or make your own, but seriously if you do nothing else get one of these!

2. AN EYE MASK bonus if it also serves as headphones

I have been using an eye mask for years because it forces me to fall asleep. I used to spend hours awake just trying to fall asleep but constantly opening my eyes. Using an eye mask cancels out all of those distractions and I don’t worry about lights waking me up. I recently made an upgrade and chose an eye mask that included head phones, and I love it. It is bright pink and huge and is perfect with the crazy schedules that my husband and I have. I can turn on a meditation or music on the headphones to help me fall asleep or to keep me sleeping when Kyle wakes up at 4am.

3. A FOAM ROLLER

I know this sounds weird, but it really has helped be ‘loosen’ up at the end of the day. I get muscle and joint pain, which makes sleeping really difficult. I have started a 15 minute decompress routine, I use the foam roller to massage my neck, back, and most of my muscles. I usually place it under my neck for a minute, and then slowly move it down to my lower back. If an area needs more time to stretch, I will sit there and rock back and forth to gently loosen up my muscles. It also helps me elevate my knees when I’m sitting in bed, or placed behind my lower back support.

4. ALL THE PILLOWS!

Okay, maybe not all the pillows but I do have a lot of pillows because I never know which one will help me when I have joint pain. I have 2 regular pillows, and use one for my head, the second can be cuddled or prop up a shoulder. I also have a body pillow for when every joint needs extra love and help. I found a less fluffy body-pillow works best for me because I like to use them for gentle sleep support.

5. TOPICALS!

A topical is any product which is applied to the skin like a lotion, cream, or salve and they have given me targeting pain relief. You can make your own topicals fairly easily (subscribe to my blog for future recipes) but there are many decent ones in the Colorado market. I prefer topicals that are in a stick or tube, like a chapstick or deodorant container, because it is way less messy. The other benefit is that in a tube it becomes like a targeted massager so that I can both apply the topical, increase blood flow, and work out any knots all with one product! Pretty cool right?!

I have noticed a huge change in my sleep quality since using these in my sleep regime, and am constantly looking for more ways to getter better sleep. What has helped you sleep better?

Authentically Yours,

Kelcie Kush

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Kelcie Kush

Colorado transplant who loves the magical herb cannabis. I write about living with Chronic Illness/Pain, Mental Healthcare, Recipes, DIYs, and multigenerational living. "Herb is the healing of the nation" -Bob Marley

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