Karen Hoyt is a blogger who has a story about hepatitis C, cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, liver cancer, and liver transplantation. This excerpt first appeared on Karen’s I Help C blog.
There is something about liver disease and lazy afternoons that make you want to stretch out and settle into a mid-day snooze. If you’re struggling with hepatic encephalopathy, fatigue, joint pain, achy body, and brain fog from liver disease or hepatitis – there’s a nap for that. Smart phone applications, called apps, help us to get to information faster, entertain us, and help us order dinner. I’m using a “play on words”: no matter what, if you are tired with liver disease: there’s a nap for that.
Tired with Liver Disease: There’s a Nap for That
Naps can boost your brain power– Right after eating, our body is busy processing food. If you have liver problems, it can be linked to brain fog. That’s because your liver may have a hard time metabolizing the protein. After eating some protein, a short nap can help. Watch it work: If you notice that you are becoming mentally fuzzy, close your eyes for 30 minutes. See if you wake up feeling more mentally alert.
Naps are heart healthy– Lack of sleep can be a risk factor in high blood pressure. Studies have shown that people who get less sleep have increased stress and inflammation in their body. Your body feels it all over, but in your heart it translates to high blood pressure. Watch it work: To experiment with this, take your blood pressure. Then lie down for a 30 minute nap. Sit up on the side of the bed and take your blood pressure again. Note the difference.
Nap time doesn’t matter– Whether you get a few seconds of shut eye in the doctor’s waiting room, or a full blown nap in the bed doesn’t matter. If your body is tired, it will equate any size nap with a sign that your are trying to give it a break. I lay me down anywhere I go and catch a few winks. Sometimes, it’s just leaning on a chair or wall. Other times, a headset-on-in-the-bed is needed. Carry some ear plugs or headphones to help you. Watch it work: Close your eyes for a few minutes. See if you feel a little better. My eyes are a little heavy right now. I spent way too much time on this paragraph. I’ll probably take a short nap right after this sentence. Yep! Worked for me!
To read the rest of this blog and find out what else naps may do (including making you look better), click here.