Sleep

There are a number of recurring themes that appear in my posts. One of those is Kate’s sleep. For most of the years since her diagnosis, I didn’t feel it necessary to comment on sleep. Looking back, I believe that was a result of Trazadone’s doing just what it was prescribed to do. Prior to that Kate had often awakened in the middle of the night and couldn’t go back to sleep. Her own prescription for that was listening to books on her iPod. She did that for several years, some of which preceded her diagnosis. After her doctor introduced Trazadone, she slept through the night without a problem. That put us on a regular schedule though sometimes she went to bed earlier than she had before. I now realize that probably related to what time she took her evening meds.

It wasn’t until this past spring that I noticed a change in her sleep. Her pattern was more erratic. She started sleeping later than before, but she sometimes got up earlier. We took her off Trazadone thinking that it might be the cause of the change. It did make some difference, especially at first. She began to go to bed a little later and closer to the time I went to bed. Over the ensuing months, she has gotten into a pattern of sleeping later. She is also much slower to get ready once she is awake. That is especially true when I wake her.

That is background for what I have observed in the past few days. Two days ago while the sitter was here, she didn’t get up until 3:15. I was concerned that she might not be able to get to sleep that night. I needn’t have worried. She went to sleep at her regular time and slept through the night. Not only that, she only got up when she did because I got her up. That was around 11:00. I thought she must have had plenty of sleep during the previous 24-36 hours.

As often happens, I was wrong. When we returned home from lunch, she wanted to know what she could do. I suggested that we sit in the family room and go through one of the photo albums of her father’s family. She liked the idea and enjoyed looking at the photos on the first few pages. Then she said she was sleepy and asked if we could look at it later. I told her that would be fine. She lay down on the sofa and rested for a full two hours before I got her up. It was almost 5:00. I told her it wouldn’t be long before going to dinner. She said she would like to go right then. First, she wanted to go the bathroom and brush her teeth. It was almost thirty minutes later that we left.

Once again, I thought she might have trouble going to sleep last night. Again, I was wrong. She had no problem at all. I guess the next question is “Will she sleep late again this morning?” I’m not making any predictions. I’ll just wait and see. One thing seems to be sure. Even though she surprises me by getting up early some mornings, she needs more sleep now than she used to. What this means as we go forward is unclear. I know from other caregivers that their spouses often slept more than Kate. I am beginning to accept that Kate is on her way to spending more of her time in bed. As always, time will tell.

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