Solving my lupus sleeping dilemma the only way I know how: via a spreadsheet!

It's time to break out the chronic control spreadsheet. (Silent squeal of joy!)

As many of you know, I find great value (and solace) in tracking various aspects of my disease from time to time. It gives me clarity, a sense of ownership, and a little something to focus on while and/or if my disease is running amok. And while I'm happy to say that nothing in my life is running amok right now (did I just jinx myself???), I'm trying to figure out if there's a reason that I'm having a tough time falling asleep at night. I have a hunch that I may be doing something that's causing the difficulty, and the only way I know how to snuff it out is to turn to my spreadsheet. Thus, I'm sharpening my pencil and clearing space on my bedside table. The charting is about to begin. (Beware, lupus. Those are fightin' words!)

Here's the situation:

Every few days, or what seems like every few days, I have a hard time going to sleep at night. Mind you, this has been happening long before Day Light Savings took place, so please, mark that off your list, if you're playing along.

When I think of the short list of possible culprits, I think of my stress level, my screen-time right before bed, the subject of my screen-time (i.e. Pinterest, you know who you are), and the food I'm eating after 6pm. I'm also not ruling out hormones, or random illness (cold coming on, etc.) As well, I'm curious to see if the difficulty has anything to do with my afternoon nap. Am I getting too much sleep? Is it too late in the day? Is Cellcept making it so that I don't need as much sleep each afternoon?

(Cue another silent squeal.)

For the most part, my daily afternoon nap has become an expected part of my every day life. Ever since 2004, I've taken a 2-hour nap in the afternoon, save a handful of aberrations. The time of my nap varies slightly, as does the length and quality, but without a doubt, I sleep every day. Some days, I wish it weren't the case. In fact, I have a post coming up in the next few days about this very subject. But usually, I manage to painlessly work around my nap, with the dedicated help of my family (Johnny, et al, you know who you are).  I also try to get 8-10 hours of sleep at night, totaling 10-12 hours of sleep per day. But I'm starting to wonder if, for whatever reason, my 2-hour siesta is beginning to impede my nighttime sleep. So instead of just wondering, I'm going to start tracking. I'm going to focus on my nap first, along with my nightly routine.

I've picked 5 categories to track regarding the nap/night sleep connection: quality of nap, time I take my nap, and length of nap; and then difficulty falling asleep at night, screen-time, and stress-level before bed. (When I refer to stress, I specifically mean stress over a to-do list. When I have a lot to do, and it's written down...I do fine. It's when I decide to start crafting virtual to-do lists in my head that I can't shut it off. )

And if I glean nothing from this first round of tracking, I'll broaden it to include food, exercise, etc. But those factors seem to be holding pretty steady, and I don't want to get too mired down with data. So it's nap and night factors first. I'll be sure to keep you posted in a few weeks after I've logged enough days. Probably be the most fun I've had yet!


Anonymous said…
Hi Sarah, Thank you for your posts. I was wondering if you follow any time of exercise regimen and if it helps?
Anonymous said…
I need to start making spreadsheets/tracking things like you do! You're so organized and practical. I've got to start trying to be more like you! Hope your spreadsheet helps you sort out your sleep issues and fix them in no time! :-)

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