Friday, March 29, 2013
I've talked quite a bit in my blog posts about weight - losing it, feeling good regardless of the scale, trying to ignore the scale, loving your body, etc. Today I wanted to take some time to talk about another topic that can have a big influence on weight loss - sleeping.
Before I started on my weight loss journey, I didn't have the best sleep habits. I would stay up to 11:00pm most nights playing Cafe World on Facebook and watching Internet videos. I would shut down my computer at 11 if I was lucky then rush around getting ready for bed. I'd read for 15 minutes then fall asleep exhausted. The alarm clock would blast at 6:50am, I'd hit the snooze once, then finally blearily wake up at 6:59am. Pretty much throughout the entire day, I'd be some shade of tired.
At the time, I didn't realize I had sleep apnea; I thought my old "college days" sleeping habits had stuck with me (staying up late, waking up early). It wasn't until my dentist asked about my sleeping habits and performed a sleep study test that I found out I actually did have sleep apnea.
A lot has changed; first off, I lost 63 pounds, which has DEFINITELY improved my sleep. My body doesn't feel so heavy when I lay down (the bed doesn't complain when I sit on it!!), and I feel my sleep is better.
I've also drastically changed my sleeping patterns. I don't play Facebook games and watch Internet videos right up until bedtime anymore. I also have a strict bedtime routine.
9:30pm No more diet soda
10:00pm No more food
10:30pm Turn off TV, lights off, put on jammies and brush teeth
11:00pm Lights out
For the mornings, I still set my alarm for 6:50am and allow myself one snooze. I'm proud to say that the last two days, I haven't needed to hit it! For the first time in years, I wake up at the first alarm :)
I've noticed that even on the weekends (Friday and Saturday nights), when I do allow myself to go to bed later, I can't stay up much past midnight. I get all sleepy and bleary-eyed. And when I do wake up, it's usually at 8:30am - about 8 hours after I go to sleep!
And then we have the dental appliance to correct my sleep apnea. I do think it has helped greatly - I've been wearing it to sleep since January and it was only the past two nights that I could wake up without the snooze.
Getting good sleep means that I can wake up and be ready to face my day. I don't have to guzzle tea or coffee to give me that caffeine-boost to wake up. I mean, as I type this, I'm wide awake, and I haven't drunk a sip of coffee!
My health coach and dentist also said that sleep can aid weight loss. When you are sleepy all the time, you need caffeine, sugar, carbs in order to "wake you up". Not to mention, you seem to be more hungry when you are sleepy. Getting rid of the sleep deficit can get rid of your body saying you are hungry when you really aren't.
Good Sleep is one of the many small changes I've made in my life that I'm really proud of. I'm proud to be sleeping better; and my body is most definitely happy that I did!!