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Naps - what works for you? How many, how long and when?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Jennifer J, May 14, 2017.

  1. Jennifer J

    Jennifer J Senior Member

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    Hi, Everyone. I want to see if changing how I nap may help me. I don't really like napping but have found it makes a difference in how I'm feeling. I nap once a day for a half hour to an hour. I feel best when I do an hour. I usually don't fall asleep or sleep for long, I just lay still and listen to a book on tape.

    I'm wondering if I should nap more often and maybe for less time. I need to be able to function more than I am. I'm bedbound most days for 23 hours or more.

    I was wondering for everyone who naps help, what works for you? How often, how long and when do you nap? How much did it improve your quality of life too? Thank you in advance for sharing your experiences. :)
     
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  2. Jessie 107

    Jessie 107

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    I tend not nap during the day as I find it can stop me sleeping well at night.I just have rest periods. Having said that when I am in a crash and feeling really ill then when I rest I just fall asleep. This can be anything from fifteen minutes to half hour, and is usually in the afternoon. If I am in a crash I will sleep more often and have naps. I lucky that I usually sleep ok, but more recently it is taking longer to go to sleep and I have started to wake up a few times during the night.
    I am sorry to hear that you are bedbound.
    My functioning is not very good now, but always think of the one's who are severe with M. E. I just hope I don't get any worse than I am now.
     
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  3. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    Laying down for a bit helps me if I'm a bit wiped out due to orthostatic intolerance.
     
  4. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

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    I go back to bed three times a day, so every 2.5 hours or so. Curtains closed, lights out, eyes closed, no listening to anything. I lie down for 25 minutes. I have stopped using an alarm clock, fortunately I have church bells that ring every 15 minutes (in the village, not my own personal chapel in the grounds of my estate unfortunately), so if I hear them 25 minutes after I lay down, I get up. If I don't hear them it means I've fallen asleep, and when I fall asleep I don't like being woken up again by an alarm clock or anything else. When I wake up I lie in bed for 15 minutes to allow myself to come round - if I get up straight away, even though I'm awake, I'll just stumble around bumping into things and end up standing in the kitchen wondering what on earth I went in there for, so I might as well stay lying down and give that dopey period a miss.

    If I'm at work I lie down on my office floor for half an hour between lessons. I have slept in my car before now. If I have to teach for 4 hours without a break then I come home and crash out (ie fall asleep) for up to 2 hours.

    So I generally get up to 2 hours of lying down in during the day. This means I don't sleep as long at night, but that's ok. Often I only need to sleep for 5 hours at night, although my sleep pattern changes over time and I'm currently getting 7 hours of refreshing sleep a night.

    Best case is when I lie down 3x a day but don't fall asleep during those lie-downs. If I do fall asleep it's a sign that I'm overdoing things. You don't have to wait until you feel tired before lying down - that's the whole point of pre-emptive resting, to lie down before you've overdone it. If I've been up and about for 3 hours or more I start turning into a zombie, which is why I lie down after 2.5 hours, before my battery starts running down. Those times will of course be different for everyone.

    Another factor is that I feel better as the day goes on anyway, so I don't bother lying down again after about 19:00, in the evening I can keep going (on the sofa) until late without needing to lie down again.

    I've been very strict about this for the last couple of years and my health has improved over that time.
     
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  5. jimells

    jimells Senior Member

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    I currently spend about 22 hours a day laying down. I avoid naps as much as possible, because when I wake up from them I feel horrible beyond words. I'm so weak I can barely stand, for a long time after waking up. When I think I might not be able to stay awake during the day, I make sure to use the toilet before napping, because getting there after the nap is so difficult.

    It is like the world's worst hangover and lasts for hours. I wish I could nap for hours every day, because just laying on a couch all day every day is so damn boring.
     
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  6. RL_sparky

    RL_sparky Senior Member

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    I use to have the same issues till I started napping in my recliner. For some reason having my head up seems to make a difference.
     
  7. jpcv

    jpcv Senior Member

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    I´ve found out that a small nap or just laying down without sleeping , in the middle of the day, helps me a lot to keep going during the afternoon.
     
  8. Basilico

    Basilico Florida

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    From what I've read on the science of sleep, 20 minutes seems to be the ideal time for naps. Much longer than that, and the sleep is more likely to result in grogginess. However, that's for normal healthy people, so I don't know that it applies to us. If a particular length of nap, or frequency of naps helps you, then that trumps everything! It might be worthwhile to experiment with some different schedules...one vs. multiple 20 minute "naps" to see if it helps.

    I've never been able to nap during the day. It's very rare that I fall asleep when I lay down in the afternoon. And if I do fall asleep, then I feel wasted for hours afterward (but I was probably already not going to feel good anyway). But I do often feel better after just laying with my eyes closed for 20-30 minutes. I don't keep to any specific schedule, I just lay down well I'm feeling like I need it.
     
  9. Diwi9

    Diwi9 Senior Member

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    @jimells - I experience the hangover too.

    Napping is not a choice for me, it feels like I boarder on a form of narcolepsy. These naps are always prefaced with my body getting very cold (doesn't matter what the temperature is or how many layers I have on). When I wake up from one of these coma-like naps, I feel horrible for at least one hour, sometimes longer...but my hands and feet are warm again, often with a throbbing feeling. It's very frustrating and stimulants don't help (I can sleep through methylphenidate, Adderall, modafinil), and only make me feel worse.
     
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  10. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 svetoslav80 at gmail.com

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    I used to sleep from 14 to 16 when people are supposed to keep quiet. I say supposed because in reality there's always some idiot out there that wakes me up. So I gave up and am not sleeping during the day anymore. This afternoon sleep used to be very refreshing for me.
     
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  11. belize44

    belize44 Senior Member

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    Naps are something I struggle to work with because I often wake feeling worse than when I went to lie down; or at least not much better. I had a mini crash two days ago, simply from going down the stairs from my second floor apartment, over to the mailboxes, and back up stairs. The next day I woke feeling dizzy, the room seemed to slowly revolve which means a crash for me. I got up anyway and tried to deal for two hours but ended up back in bed. When this happens, I usually sleep for two hours, and then sleep all night too. If I try to nap without being totally crashed, I doze on and off for about forty five minutes and wake feeling lousy. I can't remember when is the last time I woke feeling refreshed, even from a full nights sleep.:grumpy:
     
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  12. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Senior Member

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    The only time I nap is when I'm sick with a cold or some bug. That's when I know that I am "really" sick and that it isn't just CFS/ME acting up.

    When I was first diagnosed with CFS/ME my doctor told me to take a two hour nap every afternoon. She said that if I couldn't sleep, I could watch TV, but with no moving around or reading a book. After four months of doing this I was getting so mentally lethargic that my doctor agreed that the napping wasn't a good idea so I stopped.
     
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  13. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    I've found it is the best kind of rest, although I don't nap as in sleep because I am more prone to insomnia and too wired to drift off to sleep. I used to close my eyes and listen to music at a low volume or I also found reading a book good if the story line was easy and pleasant. I don't do near enough of it these days. Anything that rests the body and mind from exertion is excellent for helping to ease symptoms a bit to more bearable levels but you have to keep up with it.

    I think also when it comes to mental exertion I need to center my mind, eyes on one thing as I am prone to an overactive mind which is so exhausting. Reading a pleasant book or closing the eyes while listening to music helps to still things and I get more energy back slowly and symptoms ease up a bit eventually. Doing this often will add accumulation to improvement of symptoms if you don't go and overdo it too much.
     
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  14. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    I nap whenever I need to. Sometimes early in the afternoon, sometimes later, around 3-4 pm. I've even napped at 5pm because I really felt the need to. When I can't fall asleep or sleep too light, I stay in bed for 1 hour. When I am lucky enough to fall asleep, My siesta will last between 2 and 2.5 hours.

    I can still fall asleep at night, although maybe a little later than usual. It takes me 1-1.5 hours to fall asleep, even when I don't nap.
     
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  15. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    I don't have any specific feedback re: napping but wanted to say I was so happy to see you posting in this thread @jimells and had been really worried about you when you stopped! :hug:
     
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  16. Jennifer J

    Jennifer J Senior Member

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    Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences with napping and what works for you. :)

    I use to feel out of it and horrible afterwards when I was "healthy" (quotes cause I may have been higher functioning ME/CFS, or something, since I was little) and I would nap for more than 20 minutes. Now I nap (or lie still with eyes closed) for an hour and almost all the time feel more refreshed afterwards for a little while.

    Thank you @TiredSam. :thumbsup: I've always been curious for more details about how you broke it down. You've spoke of this in other posts which was an impetus for me starting this thread. I hope your church bells are lovely especially since they ring every 15 minutes. Too bad about the estate but living in a village sounds nice. I live across from a church downtown. The sounds of these church bells are not very cheery, they're rather bleak, nothing romantic or uplifting about them at all for me. They remind me of dark medieval times and Edgar Allen Poe stories. :eek:

    Ditto about @jimells.

    I've been wondering how you are doing @jimells. I was hoping you were alright and using your energy elsewhere, maybe on advocacy or other things on other sites. I hope things haven't been too tough for you and you are alright.

    @TigerLilea, did you ever try less time, 2 hours could be too long for you? Surprised your doctor didn't recommend trying less time. Some people do it in 10 or 20 minutes bits, here and there, and it seems to help.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
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  17. jpcv

    jpcv Senior Member

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    Having Me/CSF is sick enough!
     
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  18. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Senior Member

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    No, she didn't recommend less time for napping. Unless I really don't feel well, I'm not a napper.
     
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  19. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Senior Member

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    I've had ME/CFS for so many years now that I don't even think of it as being sick anymore. It's just my everyday "normal".
     
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  20. Jennifer J

    Jennifer J Senior Member

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    I hear you. I don't like to nap. For me, I make myself do it cause it does help me, not saying it will help you or anyone else. Like most things we need to experiment and see what works best for us.
     
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