Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A sign

Sleep has been difficult lately.  For nearly all my life I have had a consistent sleep pattern - I sleep on one side for an hour or so, wake up, roll over to my other side, then fall back asleep immediately.  Actually getting to sleep for the first time has been occasionally difficult, but once I go to sleep I am extremely predictable.

Or I *was* predictable, at any rate.

Now my shoulders hurt and my arms don't fit properly and everything is weird.  I don't quite know what happened or how, exactly.  I can't even say if it was all in one day or if it slowly crept up on me.  I just know that I used to be one way and now I am another and I don't like it one bit.

When I lie on my side my elbow feels strange, as though everything is bent in a not quite right way.  My shoulder gets sore much more quickly than it used to, and I have to turn and flip about a lot more than before.  I move my arms about from position to position, looking for that effortless comfort I once enjoyed, but it is elusive.

I don't know for sure what caused this.  I have been working out, but having more muscle mass on my shoulders and arms should make things easier rather than harder.  I can't see why padding myself would make me hurt, and these changes seem to continue regardless of how frequently or recently I have lifted.  The obvious answer then is that I am simply getting older and feeling the effects.  Mostly I feel great about my body, since I don't get fussed about greying hair or receding hairline and those are the only really notable concessions to age so far.  But this arm sleep thing seems like the first real sign of ageing that I can't just ignore.

It is all very irritating.  Naked Man and I have an ongoing debate where I claim I will feel wonderful forever and he claims I will suddenly be full of pain, weakness, and frailty as my fortieth birthday looms.  I was really hoping to make it to at least 42 or so before having to admit that my age was getting to me... I could have used that extra four years of victorious taunting.

As it is though I think I need to ramp up my pillow usage.  I have used a knee pillow for years, but I think I might need to graduate to a body pillow that I can snuggle with while I sleep.  One arm on top, one on the bottom, and it can provide the knee pillow effect as well.

Extra pillows so I can convince my aching body to just go to sleep.  One more step into the cold clammy blackness of the grave, I guess.


  1. Or train yourself to sleep on your back.

    My torn rotator cuff has taught me (via physio) that sleeping on my side/shoulder isn't good (I'm hunched enough from computer work). So I think back-sleeping is just good for you (doesn't turn the neck like stomach sleeping).

    I'm not good at it though.

    And how can you possibly be getting good sleep all your life if you wake up every hour?

    1. I fall asleep instantly afterwards, so the hourly interruptions don't seem to matter. Other people turn over in their sleep - I wake up momentarily and go back down again. Not sure why.

      I find back sleeping uncomfortable. I may end up doing it though, regardless.

  2. Hmmm I had to learn how to sleep on my back after jaw surgery in my 20s, and it did help with some of my sleep related issues. I used a full body pillow while pregnant, since lying on my back was strongly discouraged for specific medical reasons. Without those reasons, I'd think trying to sleep flat on your back would be a better step than further fortifying your wall of pillows! Good luck.