When Extra Sleep Does NOT Help

One of the most confusing/frustrating things for me to learn throughout my battle has been how DIFFERENT healing from MH complications is from what it takes to heal from common complications we all fight growing up, like: strep throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, cold, flu, etc.
When we acquire a virus or infection, we feel run down- physically, & our bodies intuitively tell us to get our butts in bed, & rest-rest-rest. This gives our bodies the ability to focus on fighting against what is attacking our system.
When MH complications arise, we feel exhausted & run down physically as well. Our brains are working overtime, & tire us out. Our INSTINCT then, is to rest even more, assuming that extra sleep is going to once again – fight what’s keeping us in that state.
This is not an “anti-sleep” message. Certainly 6-8 hrs appears to be a necessary part of any healthy routine. However, when our MH lies to us & tells us to stay in bed longer & continue to rest, even AFTER we’ve slept thru a night, that extra actual sleep is not the healer we typically know it to be.
When we’re dealing w MH complications, the “normal” hrs of sleep we’re getting is often not deep & restorative. That’s why we wake up more tired & like we need to continue to sleep even more. Bc we are used to sleeping more when we don’t feel well, can you fault us for staying in bed, hoping the extra hrs will give us back our energy?
The problem is, the extra sleep we’re getting usually comes w a racing mind, intrusive thoughts, & an inability to get into deep REM phase.
A lot of what I share is so that others don’t repeat the same mistakes I’ve made. Learn from my stubbornness. When you feel like the above, force yourself, instead of sleeping more, to meditate, or do deep breathing practices, or yin yoga, or go for a walk.
These TSRR practices slow down the somatic nervous system. They allow your brain to actually get INTO the deep/restorative sleep phase when its time for bed. If not, & if you keep hoping you can “sleep off” your exhaustion, you’re gonna remain on that hampster wheel, continuing to wonder why you’re not feeling better.

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