[bct] Re: Sleep patterns

  • From: "Rose Combs" <rosecombs@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2005 11:20:42 -0700

There is a book on web Braille, Body Clock or something similar, it was in
six volumes and I read it about five years ago, probably still have it on my
computer, , and I say this because it discussed the hormones that are
generally released before your normal wake time.  

Speaking of dreams, I have a very active dream life, always have.  When my
doctor put me on an antidepressant, Paxil several years ago he said I might
have more dreams and then he said that maybe not since I probably could not
dream since I could not see.  I definitely set him straight on that one
since I definitely do dream a lot, which is odd because they say that if you
dream a lot you should not suffer from depression.  Who knows.  However,
when I was in college and took a psychology of personality class one of the
projects was to submit a dream log.  I had one heck of a time doing mine,
typed it was over 200 pages, and that was in the days of typewriters and
correction tape.  

I have never seen, so obviously my dreams are not visual  but there are
tastes, sounds, sensations, and all that.  In fact, I can do the lucid
dreaming thing where I know I am sleeping  and dreaming and then can make
the dream do what I want--for example, if I am being chased I can turn
around and chase, knowing it is a dream and that I am the one in control.  

I have also had clairvoyant dreams.  An example of this was one of my
co-workers went to the Grand Canyon and she did not return on the day she
was supposed to.  Another co worker received a call from her but, that
morning I had dreamed she was in the hospital with a heart condition called
mitral valve prolapse.  When the co-worker who received the phone call came
in she told us that  our friend was in the hospital in Flagstaff and I said
MVP which is the abbreviation for mitral valve prolapse.  She asked me if I
had received the call and I said no, I dreamed it.  

I'd better stop this for now, this is a tangent I can get off on.  For as
long as I can remember I have been fascinated by the subconscious mind,
dreams and the like.  

Rose Combs

-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of jeff
Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 4:13 PM
To: blind cool tech mail list
Subject: [bct] Sleep patterns

Hi guys,

    I've really been interested to know what other blind people like me 
experienced where sleep is concerned.  I've always been a night owl, but 
about 10 years ago it really got bad, I would wake up so many times during 
the night that the night would seem to last forever.  One of the best pieces

of advise I ever heard on the subject was to make your bedroom the kind of 
place where sleep is encouraged.  Televisions are great for some people, but

were terrible for me.  I removed the TV and the temptation to stay awake 
watching something.  I have found that the more boring the program the 
better.  I listen to some old time shows as well, but only because the ones 
I listen to knock me out.  I also have a fan by my bed for additional noise 
and the breeze is nice too.  Keeping nice smelling candles or other scented 
items in your room helps too.  I haven't figured out the whole having sight 
versus not having sight thing where sleep cycles are concerned.  A friend of

mine has no eyes at all, she has wondered about this as well.  She has been 
attending a sleep disorder clinic.  I have been thinking that her work hours

are the problem, she starts work at 4:00 AM.  She gets up at about 3:00 AM. 
But, how does the body/brain recognize day and night?  Is it possible that 
the body has some other mechanism for intaking sunlight?  Is it just life 
experiences which makes depression so prevalent in the blind?  Or could 
there be a relationship between less light making it to the optic nerve and 
so on?  These days, I usually fall asleep around 12 o'clock midnight to 1:00

AM.  I usually wake again around 4 or 5.  Then sleep is full of tossing and 
turning until I get up at 7 or 8 to get ready for work.  I, like Mary 
commented, notice that a day spent outdoors leads to a restful night and a 
better disposition in general.  I assume that the additional sunlight 
exposure is the reason.  Last year I purchased a "happy light", yeah, I know

it's a stupid name, but it claims to be full spectrum and I would stare into

it while I ate breakfast and listened to the morning radio prior to work and

it actually seemed to help.  I hear that one can not use this kind of light 
close to bed time or it will make it hard to sleep.  A program I watched on 
public television a couple of years ago, stated that the brain releases a 
"cocktail" of hormones just prior to waking time.  Maybe that part of the 
whole process could go wrong as well.  It's a fascinating subject with 
indications that answers aren't far off.  Caffeine is another culprit and I 
must say that I keep going off and on the use of it.  When I don't use it, I

feel tired and when using it sleep is more difficult.  I think, I just need 
to get away from it and try to stay off it long enough for my body to really

adjust and not feel tired.  There are a ton of things that can effect sleep.

If one consumes sugar close to bed time, the body will have a sugar rush and

then a sugar crash later on, this could lead to early waking and bad dreams.

The local radio show on medical issues recommended eating less sugar and 
more fats at night prior to bed.  The idea is to get one's blood sugar level

to remain very constant during the night.  Well, that's about all I can 
think of right now.


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