Insomnia, sleep, and the Covid vaccine
This coming Sunday, I will be fully invincible. I had my second Covid-19 shot on March 21; after two weeks, I’ll have super powers! Maybe I won’t need health insurance or any kind of insurance anymore (hah!).
The second shot had its after effects, though. Everyone is different, and the vaccines are powerful medicines. While I’m grateful that my immune system worked and the reactions didn’t last too long, I want to note the possibility of sleep disruptions if you choose to get a vaccine.
While some are just exhausted after the shots, I experienced unusual insomnia after the second (and I know others did, too).
The week of wha’
The first night, March 21, was no problem. I thought I was golden.
The next day, though, I ran a fever. I had a wild night that I assumed was from running 102°F (fever dreams are so weird!).
But when the fever broke, the sleep issues didn’t. Rest and sleep felt like trying to launch a rowboat that I didn’t know was tied to the dock.
I could use my tools to touch into that restful feeling, but kept bouncing back against the pier and wakefulness.
It took some patience, but the tools worked (or else I couldn’t keep coaching about sleep ).
What helped was my lullaby, as I mentioned a few blog posts ago. I go through the tools, sometimes singly, sometimes together. I move towards the ones that help me float into letting go.
When I stop floating and hit the pier of wakefulness with a THUD, I go back or onto the next pathway. They start to take hold, creating spaces of rest that eventually begin to merge.
Here’s a summary of the lullaby steps as I now teach my clients… Create the order that pleases you; it might be different from night to night.
Acknowledge yourself for the things you did during the day that kept you alive, productive, and secure. (Pathway #7, aspects of yourself)
Feel gratitude in your body and heart. (Pathway #6, bigger picture)
Honor that now is the time to rest. (Pathway #1, being and doing, sleep and rest)
Check that your environment is soothing, and settle into it. (Pathway #2, rest-responsive environment)
Connect to your body by lengthening and softening the back of your neck. (Pathway #3, your body)
Soothe your emotional self by gently rocking your hips. (Pathway #5, emotions)
Give your mind a puzzle or non-personal problem to solve. (Pathway #4, your mind)
In all of that be kind to yourself and your body.
As you return to individual tools or redo the entire lullaby, more space appears between your resting rowboat and the pier. And without you even noticing, the rope will dissipate, leaving you free to deeply relax and sleep.
And dream of invincibility.