Changing Jason’s sleep schedule and patterns has been the single biggest influence in his recovery. I’ve mentioned how the early recovery from brain injury involves large amounts of sleep and very little sensory input. Unfortunately we received no feedback from Jason’s physician about the continued importance of sleep so after the first few weeks Jason was only sleeping 6-7 hours a night during the week and 18-20 hours per day on weekends. If we had known then what we know now we would have made sleeping a much more important part of his lifestyle early on in recovery.
The hardest part is convincing yourself that sleep is important and choosing to prioritize a good night’s sleep over a night out or an early morning run. We both had to make changes to our work schedule, we end nights with friends and family early, we refuse to make appointments that require changing our new schedule.
When we got a new doctor she recommended this book by Peter Hauri about sleep hygiene and the importance of sleep. It’s a bit dry but certainly helped convert Jason to prioritizing sleep.
Not into a long read? As recently as June 2015 studies are looking at the link between sleep and memory, this article specifically applies to alzeihmers but makes some other good points about the benefits of sleep. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/02/sleep-alzheimers-linked-to-memory-loss_n_7494502.html
If you’re more of a visual learner these TEDtalks are worth watching to get on board with changing your sleep plans.
http://www.ted.com/talks/russell_foster_why_do_we_sleep?language=en (approx. 24 minutes)
Our changes to our routine are coming up in another post, for now take some time to read and learn about sleep and decide what you might need to give up for your health.