Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sleeping better at night

The drag about arthritis -- as if there were only one -- is the fatigue that comes with the disease.
There are mornings, when I’ve slept well, and I still wake up tired. Cooking a quick dinner can wipe me out for the night and grocery shopping is always an energy drain.
Coping with that fatigue has been one of the biggest challenges when it comes to keeping up with my exercise. On the days, when I’ve spent most my time sitting behind the computer, a little exercise feels good and energizing. But on the days, when I’ve got a long to-do list, exercise feels like one-more, exhausting obligation.
In these moments, when I have a finite amount of energy, and an infinite amount of things that require that energy, I often opt out of exercise. I’m too tired, I say. And it’s true. But what I’m also finding is that when I do exercise I sleep better and actually wake up refreshed.
The experts tell us exercise is an energy builder – well, so far, I’m not feeling it. But it does help me relax, and it tires me out in a satisfying way. So, aside from the bragging rights I get when I exercise, it also buys me a good night’s sleep. And that is a definite perk.

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