4 days ago
Monday, September 22, 2014
HAPPY FIRST DAY OF AUTUMN. Fall gave us a 50 degree welcome this morning. Ahhhh.
This is an FYI (for your information) post
I have periodically mentioned in my posts that sleeping is not one of my talents. I have two nighttime woes though was only aware of one.
One: A good portion my life I have scooted by more or less successfully on 4 hours sleep a night. I go to sleep quite easily, I just don't stay asleep. You could almost set the clock by my middle of the night wake up time. Almost exactly 4 hours later.
Two: I've had this weak, raspy voice for about a year but figured it was just age. I also have dealt with a disgusting case of the "morning throat" clearing attempts during this time. Those attempts would shock even Felix Unger famous for his morning "honks." I had no idea these two were connected.
When I was younger, the short hours of asleep were not missed. It has only been since I retired when I lost my "bounce back" and with the discovery of the "nap", I have learned my body wanted more.
So I got serious trying to solve the long time problem but had little success. Warm baths, hot baths, exercise, no exercise, stay up late, go to bed early, dark room, cool room, no food before, warm milk before, softer bed, harder bed, restricting water before bed time, even trying "Ommmmm" when waking up. Nothing worked, I was just alert and ready to go, but with nowhere to go, in those wee hours.
Sometimes when I had an occasion scheduled for the next day, I would take a sleep aid to insure a full night and yes, they do work but I hated putting those chemicals in my body plus there was always a bit of a groggy hangover. I tried herbals but nothing was a solution, only a band aid.
The raging case of disgusting morning throat clearing with a perpetually weak, raspy voice was making it harder to be heard and understood. Talking was an effort. Here I was simply thinking "age" which isn't curable. One thing it did do was make me a better listener.
I tried to console myself on the sleep issue with Thomas Edison's statement that he only slept 4 hours a night. The difference is that he accomplished a bunch during the remaining 20 awake hours. I was pretty much hanging out, reading a lot and not getting a bunch done with my 4 hour gift. In addition the nap was no longer optional but necessary. I hated burning daylight.
Exactly how I came across this discovery I am not sure. I'm thinking it was Joan River's procedure for her raspy voice that went horribly wrong.
After Joan's tragedy, I went Google surfing for information which I often do since we a had similar problem. Some of the choices for raspy voice were :
Benign vocal cord nodules--not a fun choice
Non benign nodules---a worse choice.
Gastroesophageal GERD--I have no classic symptoms
Or Allergies--this one made the most sense but proved fruitless
Since I had tried allergy remedies at night time with little success, I thought perhaps there a faint chance it is GERD or the silent version, LPRD.
I had no other symptoms of this condition but one solution was so simple I tried it knowing I had nothing to lose. I raised my head and chest level for sleeping by using two pillows.
Good grief, I slept a full 7 hours and awoke without massive throat clearing and a super raspy voice. Could it be this simple?? Both conditions cured so easily?? It has been over two weeks now and I am amazed each morning when I awake after a solid 7 hours. Even if I awake for a late night bathroom run, I go right back to sleep. Ahhhh.
Was it LPRD, sleep apnea, allergies or maybe something all together different ? I have no real idea nor do I care. It is vastly improved and that is the important part. What I do know is that an elevated head has me sleeping marvelously these days.
My voice is almost returning to normal. While my voice is not perfect yet, it is much better and I am actually considering singing again. That alone is scary. I was a pretty awful singer non-raspy and raspy was just plain comical. I cracked myself up.
If this continues it confirms my long held belief that most problems have simple solutions. What did we do before Google?? Oh yeah, we paid doctors. Right now I am waiting for a sleeping wedge to arrive as the two pillows are functional but not quite optimal. They sometimes slide apart or I naturally seek the lower lever. If the wedge doesn't work like I want, I'll just raise the head of the bed and hope I don't slide off.
Hopefully this post helps you or someone you know who has a similar nagging problem. If it works, marvelous,but if not, then possibly a Joan River's procedure would be called for to eliminate a more serious condition. I say, try the simple first.
at 6:11 AM Posted by Arkansas Patti