It’s been just over a year since I had a bleed in my brain and required emergency brain surgery.
One of the biggest deficits I have been dealing with right from the beginning is extreme fatigue. When I was in the hospital for the first month, I needed to sleep 10-12 hours at night, and took 1-2 long naps during the day.
When I went home a month after my stroke happened, it was a struggle for me to get the sleep I needed and to get anything else done. I literally had to choose between having a shower and sleeping. It was frustrating! I just wanted to be normal.
As the weeks and months went on, I required slightly less sleep, but it did not change quickly.
Six months after the stroke, I still needed 9-10 hours at night and 1 nap during the day to function properly. At that point, I started having both kids at home a few days a week, and it was exhausting. I would go to bed at 8:30pm every night.
Once I started school in September, it forced me to cut my naps out. It took me a couple weeks, but I realized I didn’t actually need them anymore.
Just this past week, I was waking up at 5am EVERY morning and it was driving me nuts that I couldn’t get back to sleep. After thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that it actually wasn’t a problem. It was that I was trying to get TOO MUCH sleep. Going to bed at 9pm each night, and trying to sleep until 6:30 or 7am…that’s more than 9 hours.
I was so used to needing so much sleep for so long, it was hard to understand that it was changing. Now my sleeping needs have normalized and getting 8ish hours at night is perfect. It only took a year.
One big thing I’ve learned through this process is that sleep is one of the most important things for recovering from brain damage/injury.