Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Yesterday I started Renee's podcast series on sleep. It's funny because sleep is one of the major areas in my life in need of great attention.
I had my daughter 8 years ago, and while it was the best thing that ever happened to me, it also meant the end of normal sleeping patterns. My daughter didn't sleep! She put together about 2 hours/night in 1/2 hour increments. That was all for about a year! And I had to go back to work, so I'd go to work on 2 hours of sleep in 1/2 hour increments. I would hallucinate, the floor would move, it's a wonder I didn't crash my car. I was unable to remember even the smallest details, I constantly lost things. Worse still, I became impatient, irritable and very negative.
I also became an expert on sleep - Delta, REM, the dangers of too little, exactly how much a normal child needed, etc. I was OBSESSED and frantic that neither my daughter nor I were getting enough.
Luckily, we worked with The Sleep Lady, Kim West, who effectively helped us teach our daughter to sleep. And when that happened, I started getting more sleep. I felt like a new person and could think, read, function again!
Somehow, even after she started sleeping, I never went back to making sleep a priority. If I get enough, great, but if I have work to do, dishes to clean, emails to answer, they take priority.
I get up very early (between 3 and 4AM) so that I can exercise because it's truly my ONLY time! Clearly I make working out a priority. I cook every day and carry every meal and snack with me everywhere I go. Clearly I make eating well a priority.
In listening to Renee's podcast, all that research I had done years ago came flooding back into my mind. Those facts such as:
1. Sleep deprivation causes weight gain and hormonal fluctuations in ghrelin and leptin, the hormones which regulate appetite and satiety.
2. Sleep deprivation causes your blood to resemble that of a person with Type 2 Diabetes.
3. Those who prioritize sleep, get enough sleep!
This last point really hit home. I haven't been making sleep a priority for years, and I'm experiencing the consequences.
Knowing that getting sleep will help my weight, my health, and my mood is a big incentive to recommit to at least 7 hours/night!
Sweet dreams everyone!