A few years ago I was particularly wiped. All day, every day. I stumbled upon a piece of information that made a difference.
I had never heard the term "ultradian cycle" before. I was familiar with the "circadian cycle", having to do with the 24 hour day. But what was this ultradian thing?
Here's what I found out. An ultradian rhythm refers to a cycle that repeats in less than a 24 hour period.
The body likes to take a 20 minute break every 90 minutes to 2 hours. During that break, it likes to recover, build itself up, replenish itself, unscramble itself cognitively speaking, and create energy for the next 90 minutes or so.
Blinking, heart rate, hormone regulation, temperature regulation, and breathing are some of the many autonomic activities which cause ups and downs in energy cycles through the day.
Many of us were in the habit of bulling our way through, ignoring the signs of fatigue, ignoring the body's polite knocking as it asked for a break please. Instead we gave it caffeine, and sugar, or just told it to keep going. This over time helped contribute to the decline and fall of our individual empires.
Let me be clear here. Refusing to nap every 2 hours did not make us sick. But changing our ways now that we are ill, may very well help us to recover. And what's lovelier therapy than a nap?
(I know. I don't like to go to bed either. But I am TRYING to change my ways.)
So I started doing this, making a point of at least laying down and resting every couple hours, for 20 minutes to half an hour. And after a few days I felt ... no, not better exactly, but not as awful ... better was still a long ways off ... but definitely less awful.
Kept it up for a few weeks or a month, don't remember now, and became a bit more solid, a bit stronger, a bit less buzzy. Days were a little more level. The ground was a little more level.
I recommend this.
Something I read a few years back caused me to change my perspective a bit. I can't recall the writer or the book or website I'm afraid. But I remember the idea that helped change my views.
This author said that if we were living at a level we were satisfied with, then skimp on the resting. But if we were NOT satisfied, if this was not the level we wanted to spend the rest of our life at, then we needed to get down to business and LAY DOWN. Because until or unless we did, we were not going to regenerate to any healthier state.
Okay. I didn't want to stay like this forever. So I needed to be realistic about it. If I wanted deeper healing I'd better do what I could to bring that about. And my bed was just down the hall ... beckoning ... offering to help heal me.
All I had to do was climb in and ... let go of the world and my worries and my control issues ... and let that lovely bed do the rest. Just for a little while. Just a few times a day.
All I had to do was yield to the reality of the situation and ... rest.
I began to do this a few years ago. Sometimes I am good about it and sometimes I am not. When I'm really desperately sick, I hit the sack frequently. Harder to do when I am feeling better. But this is still and all the truth of the matter.
And with something as weird as CFS, when you find anything that is absolutely true, it's a good idea to pay serious attention.