Friday, August 5, 2011

Better than Tylenol

Dianne at SchmidleysScribbling posted an entertaining commentary here yesterday about an article on sleeping published in the Washington Post Health and Wellness section.

Sleep patterns, both satisfactory and not must have infiltrated the collective blogging consciousness. Friko at Friko’s World posted an enticing exploration of the subject via photographic image and verse.

My own contribution about sleep is that mindless, escapist fiction is better than extra-strength Tylenol for taking my mind off pains that inhibit easy snoozing. I was taking two caplets at night to relieve shoulder pain that was not totally excruciating but was just aggravating enough to make going to sleep difficult.

With reports that the recommended dosage was being lowered, I took a look at possible side effects and decided I needed to make a change. I am happy to report that heading to bed a little earlier, getting my stroke-affected parts arranged fairly comfortably with assorted pillows, and becoming absorbed in one of my free paperbacks from the swap shelves at our local library have successfully weaned me from regularly popping the over-the-counter Tylenol.

So far, the most effective alternatives to the Tylenol have been the novels of David Baldacci, especially his Camel Club series, romances of Debbie Macomber, and anything else that looks interesting on the swap shelf. Too much sex or bad language and back to the swap shelf or even into the trash it goes with no guilt since I didn’t pay anything for it.

There are only two downsides to my books-as-painkiller sleep aid. One is my difficulty holding a book open and successfully turning pages with my right hand only. A number of my dear readers have recommended the Kindle for one-handed reading.

The other downside is on the occasion when a book is an exceptionally good read. It still relaxes me, but it is also likely to tempt me to stay awake and keep reading, not a good idea when the physical and mental exertion of therapy is a priority the next day. Still, I welcome those well-crafted surprises.


  1. Sleep is so necessary for our healing and our general health. It is tempting to take something like Tylenol, but then there are the side effects.

    I hope you get the rest you need. Maybe you should read the novels you like and then pick up some boring text book when it is time to sign up and get some sleep.

  2. This is a really good idea, and I am glad that you are off the regular doses of Tylenol. Nighty night!!

  3. I have read every David B book there is, I love him and the Camel series. I use mindless TV shows to put me to sleep, like any thing on HGTV decorating shows that have no story line to follow. i watch for about 30 minutes and they put me to sleep. i love reading so much, i would be up all night, which i did as a teen, reading until i finished the book
    the problem with a Kindle is no more free books, they are expensive. i looked at one because of the same reason and i have to have large print and the kindle can be enlarged. but there is a big cost involved. 3.99 for really old books and the newer ones are 10 and 20 dollars, most of the downloads are 7.99 a book and I get all mine free from the library. I read 3 books per week sometimes more if it is a small book so the cost would not work for me.

  4. Yeah, I think your taste in authors has to step down a few notches. A good thriller tends to keep me awake instead to drifting off to Sleepy Land.

  5. You put your finger on my problem with reading before either puts me to sleep in which case it is boring, or it keeps me awake because it is so good.

    A gal named Iris worked for me years ago. Iris came to work one day and was dragging her tail feathers. She said she had stayed up all night with a book.

    Books can be dangerous. Tylenol too, apparently. My Doc told me to take less. Very disappointing as it is my only "pain killer."

  6. Happy the change in meds has helped. I would say that you are definitely making progress.
    As everyone else has said, reading is a good relaxer but if the book is too good I know I can't stop reading. Hope you can figure out the book holding situation and then have pleasant dreams.
    Have a wonderful Lord's Day.