Thursday, January 05, 2012
Okay, so I've been wearing the GoWearFit/BodyMedia armband for a longtime to track my fitness minutes, but I just started paying attention to what it says about my sleeping time.
Turns out I do sleep 8ish hours in a 24 hour period (sometimes 5, sometimes 11, but average 8) - I just don't do it all at once. I seem to sleep for a maximum of three hours, then I'm up for a bunch of time, then maybe another hour, then some more up, a couple 30-45 minute naps during the day. (Please note I can do this because I work from home. If I had an out-in-the-world job, I'd be done for.)
So my question is this: Is there anything magical about getting all your sleep in one shot? I know what we knew about sleep cycles thirty years ago, but surely there's new stuff. Has anyone heard or read anything legitimate? One of my valued sources (thanks, Katrina) says intervals are fine. I don't seem to becoming psychotic, or any of that other stuff that supposedly happens when you don't sleep - I just never know when I'll be awake and asleep, so it's hard to schedule stuff.
I mean, here it is, 4:00 a.m., and I'm writing this instead of sleeping like I "should be". I"ll be up in two hours to stoke the wood furnace outside, and the cold usually wakes me up for a bit, but I'll be back asleep, sacked out on the sofa, before 9:00a.m. almost certainly, for an hour maybe, or two. I try to stay up later in the evenings, but the fact is that I'm physically pretty wiped out by 9:00 p.m. - I sleep til 1:00 a.m. or so, then I'm up all night.
Maybe things will start to change when there's more than 20 minutes of daylight each day. Basically, by the time I'm bathed, dressed up, shoveled out, list in hand and ready to go, it's getting dark again. (Which is good because my car is isn't legally inspected at the moment.) Meanwhile, though, for a 56 year old woman to be up sipping a Saranac lager and eating Kale Chips at 4:00 in the morning seems just plain weird, And from me, that's saying something.
I need some suggestions, even if only to keep my from buying so much stuff on Amazon and eBay!
ADDED NOTE: I don't have a medical condition like narcolepsy or anything. I've just been going through a lot of life changes, and a healthy eight continuous hours sleep seems to be one of the casualties.
Honestly, the main problem with being up all night and going to sleep again at 5:00 is that I don't wake up then til 8:00 or 9:00, which means the outdoor wood-burning furnace hasn't been filled in over twelve hours, which means ...a lot of hassle and a chilly house.
I was mostly just wondering if other people have this weird sleep pattern, and if getting your eight hours in intervals was as true for sleep as it is for exercise, meaning that as long as it adds up, you're good.
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
I haven't weighed myself in three weeks. Partly because of the holiday, partly because I hate bad news and partly because it's impossible to find a place in my old house with level floors so a body can get a consistent reading, I just let it slide. But I do have a secret weapon that I avoid - the stand-up Health-O-Meter in the bathroom. It's too old to be digitally unstable, and it doesn't do body fat percentages or remember your weight (unless you slide the little plastic doohickey around), but it does tell the pounds. Oh yes it does.
So I figured, what the heck, I'm starting this get-healthy deal, I may as well get it over with, get the reality of the situation. So I got on - and discovered that I weigh exactly the same as I did at the doctors' office Dec. 15th. I may even have lost a little bit (clothing, water, etc.)
I still need to lose a little ( *cough* 60 pounds*cough*) but at least it didn't get any worse while I had my head buried in the sand. (Do ostriches actually do that? Doesn't seem likely...wouldn't they suffocate?)
But anyway, bravery is rewarded! Now on to the rest of the day!
Monday, January 02, 2012
They say you can't synch it, but you can. Plug in the armband. Restart your computer while holding down the 2 and the 3 keys. When the BodyMedia greeting pops up, disconnect the USB cord, then plug it back in. Voila!
I suspect the Lion OS was rushed into production for the holiday season before it and the rest of the industry were quite ready. I've never seen so many technical patches for a Mac product.
Monday, January 02, 2012
I made and printed out Spark People menus for the rest of the week (I'm finishing the holiday leftover soup and stuff tonight.) I've never done this before. Man, they have you eat some weird combinations of apparently random items. It took me an hour (mostly because I just went to the grocery and don't intend to go again until next weekend) but I switched around and modified and left room for the occasional dirty martini. Next week, I'll start on Sunday with what coupons are available in the paper, make the menus according to what I actually want to eat and work backwards into the menus.
Yesterday I started the 60 minutes of exercise per day for 365 +1 days and I already feel like blowing it off, but even I'm not that ....whatever you call that. Lacking in resolve, perhaps. Anyway, I feel certain I can do the 60 minutes today (I have actual work - pile the wood - to do outside, so that takes care of half of it right there) and I hope it'll become routine as the days go by. It'd be a heck of a lot easier, though, if all the cats and the dog didn't want to participate in all the lovely hopping around and/or lying on the floor.
I've decided that this is the make-it-or-break-it year. I'm going to give this whole Getting Healthy deal my best shot, no cheating (well, no serious cheating, like blowing off an entire month) and at the end of the year I'll see where I am. If I'm still 200+, I'll accept that and move on - I don't need or want repeated failure. I'll also learn where my true priorities lie. But I"m hoping that this time next year I'll be back to my old self again, at least physically.
Mentally, emotionally and spiritually, while nothing on earth could have made the last couple years okay, I suspect they would have been a little less difficult had I not responded by gaining sixty pounds and drinking like the proverbial fish (only, of course, not water.) I now realize that even though you never know what's coming at you around the corner, if you're in a body you recognize and respect, you're better able to do what needs to be done, whatever it may be. I'm hoping that being in control of my own body will help me feel more in control of my life (even if that's an illusion - I haven't worked this out all the way yet. I'll get back to ya.)
So there we are. SP menus printed and workout schedule in place. I'm gonna have to call on my inner Highlander to get this one.
(This one's for you, sweetheart)
Monday, January 02, 2012
'cept me and a half dozen cats and dogs, all of whom are annoyed at me for keeping them up. So, as much as i loathe setting rules for myself, I'm going to have to tackle this one. I admit that in my wildly misspent youth, I did a lot of diet pills and...other stuff...that kept me up for days at a time. But I aged out of all that nonsense.
Ten years ago I could fall asleep literally in under a minute. My husband used to think I was kidding him - I wasn't. I was always a really light sleeper, though - the tiniest sound, the dimmest light would keep me up. I had to tape over the light on my computer case because it bothered me. The supposedly calming white noise generator kept me up.
I made a few rules for myself a while ago - if I'm fussing about something, instead of lying in the dark and "awfulizing" (imagining the worst possible outcomes), I'd get up and read. If I kept it up, I'd get out of bed and potter around aimlessly until I wsa tired, then give it another shot.
However, I just read the Healthy A-Z article on insomnia, and i'm going to try incorporating a few of the suggestions.
- no more drinking alcohol before bed. That one may be the death of me, but I'll try it.
- read in a chair or in another room. I've been reading in bed since I learned how to read. Again, it's going to be tough, but I'll try it.
- I thought a hot bath before bed was a good thing. Apparently not! Who knew?
- No more daytime naps. I thought of naps as a way to keep the lack of sleep from killing me, but maybe its instead making it worse.
- a clean and comfortable bedroom - well, I can work on that while I'm Not Napping.
- Melatonin. All I know about that is that it governs skin color, but apparently has something to do with diurnal rhythms as well. What the heck, I'll give that a shot too.
I don't do caffeine other than a mug of coffee in the morning, and I don't exercise at night. I try to keep regular hours, but when I'm with the kids, as I have been for the last two weeks, they get me all turned around, and I don't want to go to bed at my regular time and miss the time together.
This one wasn't suggested in the article, but I remember reading someplace that a protein snack before bed will help blood sugar levels keep from crashing, which wakens lots of people. So I'm definitely going back to that. And I know I can't have the bedtime cup of tea, tempting as it sounds. Trips to the bathroom are chilly and long.
One thing I know will help is getting the excess weight off. I'm a back sleeper, but once I passed about 180, I started to snore. Being a light sleeper, I woke myself up constantly, Now I have to sleep on my side or on my tummy, which is okay, but not as comfortable (or, according to my chiropractor, as good for my alignment.)
I do sleep with a cat or two and a mid-sized dog, but there's room for all of us, and we're more of a comfort to one another than a hindrance to sleep.
I've never been a "night owl". I'm one of those disgustingly cheerful people who are up with the sun eveery day, even if the night was sleepless. Once the sun's up, so am I.
If it's post-menopausal, then I'm just SOL. I dearly hope that's not the case, but if it is, well, think of how much more I can do in a day (and a night....)
Anyone with any suggestions, please feel free to tell me. I'm not miserable, just tired and I know I can't bring my A game to anything if I'm not well-rested.
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