We’re Finding Things Out and That’s Good
Ok so last week wasn’t the powerhouse week it was supposed to be, but it wasn’t bad either. I continued my yoga, I kept my walking up, and though I didn’t stay low carb the whole time, I did keep my calories in check. Less binge eating, less tv, more walking, etc.
This allowed me to discover a NEW weakness, however – my sleep schedule is on a whole different level of terrible. I’ve gotten used to about 5.5 – 6 hours of sleep, which coming up this week as I inject gym-based weight lifting back into my life, will not be enough sleep. I realized this because my daughter was sick for about 7 days with a stuffy nose, cough, and fever.
And she didn’t sleep. At all. At 3 in the morning on Thursday, she woke up because she wanted popsicles and tv. Having gone to bed at midnight (above sentence, terrible sleep schedule) I was just awake from that point forward. That Thursday would be known as the “day I drank all the coffee” because I did.
So now I have to scrutinize my stupid sleep schedule and how much would be optimal for me. 3 hours is definitely sub-optimal, but I’m starting to sleep journal, because I may be in a place where less than 8 hours makes me function better.
Sleep Journal? What are You, Dream Barbie?
Yes, but that’s got no relevance here. A sleep journal can be a handful of different things, but for me it’s detailing when I go to sleep, every time I wake up at night, and when I get up in the morning. It’s also a “before-day” and “before-bed” summary of how my thinking, emotions, eating, etc were during the day and how I feel sleep affected that. I will collect this data and try and figure out just what times work best for me.
This means establishing a baseline, so for the next two weeks, I will do my best to get to bed earlier, with less screen time beforehand, but if I DO stay up late, it won’t be catastrophic. It will contribute to understanding how I function/don’t function on more or less sleep. It should be … fun?
Using a Sleep Journal
It’s pretty simple:
- Get a notebook, literally of any size or variety. I swear by basic, blue notebooks, college-ruled, 1 subject. If Lisa Frank sequined dolphins are your joint, you do you.
- Pick a night to start, and then write down how you felt that day, and how much sleep you got the night before. Log your bedtime and go to bed, keeping the journal nearby.
- If you wake up in the middle of the night, and you’re semi-lucid, just put a tally mark and the time, if possible. If you’re like, WIDE awake, like “I gotta go pee” or “I think I heard a murderer downstairs better pull the covers up over my head so he doesn’t see me” awake, then add a small tidbit of how you felt, what woke you up, etc, along with the time.
- When you wake up, immediately mark down the time and how you feel. Groggy? Upset? Tired? Refreshed? Possibly serial-murdered? Write it down.
- Keep tallies throughout the day, if possible, on your energy levels, mental clarity, and productivity.
- Before bed, write down a summary of how you felt that day.
- Log your bed time.
- Rinse, repeat.
Two weeks should establish a baseline of functioning for you, and you can get back into healthy sleep habits (if you need to) based on this information. That’s my goal, anyway.
Sleep is definitely a huge contributor (well, lack of sleep) to my binge eating, my difficulty staying on-task, my lack of productivity or exercise on some days, and my mental kerfluffle I experience on most days. This should boost my sleep health.
Good stuff: I maintained my weight, which isn’t awesome, but it’s 2 weeks of loss or status quo, so I think I’m on the right track. Gotta pin down the exercise and sleep.
Bad stuff: No sleep. Binge-ate Saturday and Sunday.
Stuff to do for week 10: Sleep journal, go to the Y tomorrow to set up our account, get back to lifting. This is a straightforward goal week, and I’m excited about it!
Calories for week 9: I averaged 1900 a day, with two days (binge-days of course) topping out over 3500 each, but I still didn’t gain, which I am happy about. Target calories: 11,550. I exceeded this, of course. It’s still a constant battle against the binge, but when I had it in check years ago, I think consistent exercise was the mental key, so we will see how that affects everything
Exercise for week 9: 30+ minutes of Pilates MWF, 20 minutes of yoga T/TH, same as last week, with a long walk on Sunday.
Steps for week 9: 54,250/7 = 7,750. A small improvement. Target steps: 45,500. Beat the goal, but still pushing towards 10k.