Well, I’ve had a wake up call this past week.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had this a-ha moment, either.
I just fell back into old routines, and I guess I kind of forgot.
Or maybe I thought I was invincible or super human or something.
But I’m not.
And to get right to the point, I am not getting enough sleep.
Not even close.
So I am changing that.
I started this week.
A little bit.
But I am going to have to make some bigger changes to get the amount of rest I need.
This is one of the biggest bullet points on the self-care inventory.
And this is a discipline.
Because I am not willing to stop getting up earlier than the rest of my family.
I like that alone time, I LOVE being awake when the house is so quiet, and I just need a head start on the kids.
When I wake up and they are all up in my business immediately, I am pretty salty.
I need a good hour before I am really able to be available for them.
During the summer, I have no alone time at all once the kids wake up.
It’s me and them all day. And when you work from home, this makes accomplishing anything a bit of a challenge.
And that’s when the 4 a.m. wake ups came back into full swing.
It was the only way I could get anything done.
And that is manageable for a short time.
But after a few weeks, I enter exhaustion mode.
Now the kids are in school, though.
On most days, I have a good chunk of time during the day to get work done.
I have maintained that 4 a.m. wake up although there is really no reason for me to be up that early.
And while I love those two hours before the house wakes up, I am in a daze for a large part of it.
Then when the kids go to school, I am really inefficient. I am fighting off exhaustion all day long. I am struggling to stay awake.
Sometimes I fall asleep sitting in front of the computer.
That’s not really good.
A couple days ago I wrote this post and I talked about self care.
Self-care means doing the things you need to do on a daily basis to take care of yourself.
It means having discipline.
It is usually not fun.
Staying up late and watching the latest Netflix binge for an hour or five every night is fun.
But it is not taking care of yourself.
I don’t watch that much TV now.
I watch Netflix whenever I’m on the elliptical. It’s my reward.
Most nights I will attempt to watch a show once I’ve gotten everything done, but I only last about fifteen or twenty minutes before I fall asleep on the couch.
This is not good sleep hygiene, as they say.
But it’s not really taking good care of myself.
Lack of sleep is also making me a pretty short-tempered mom.
It makes me cranky.
It is making it more difficult for me to lose weight.
It affects my performance when I’m working out and running.
And I am extremely inefficient when I am trying to do tasks that require focus.
I didn’t realize how little sleep I was getting until I looked at the sleep log from my watch last week:
And this was a pretty good week.
Saturday night was my big night with 7.4 hours.
Two nights in the fours is not good.
An average of 5.49 hours of sleep is not nearly enough.
Not for me, anyway.
Not if I want to reach the goals I have set for myself.
And especially when I have a history of major depression and I KNOW that sleep is the zamboni for your brain.
So in the past seven days I made some changes, and I have been sleeping later.
And if I have been getting to bed late, I’ve been setting my alarm and giving myself at least 6 hours of sleep a night.
I’m not where I need to be, but I am getting better.
Here are the last seven days:
The Tuesday 8.9 reading is wrong — my watch ran out of batteries, and so that total is messed up. It was more like 6.5 hours of sleep.
But there are no nights in the fours.
Last Wednesday I realized I was not doing well, and I let myself really get a good night’s sleep. And then next day I felt great.
Sunday and Monday night I kind of fell off the wagon, but I am getting back on.
And it’s my goal to get at least seven hours of sleep a night.
No matter what.
There is no trophy for getting up every day at 4 a.m. There is no medal for functioning on the least number of hours of sleep.
There is no mom contest going on to see who can get up the earliest the most consecutive days in a row.
I still want to be up by five, though. I like the mornings. I always have.
But that means I need to be disciplined and asleep by ten.
It will take some changes and some shifts and some discipline.
But I am no longer willing to abuse my body.
Not with alcohol (I’m closing in on 18 months!)
Not with overeating.
And not with sleep deprivation.
Something else is going to have to give.
But it’s no longer going to be my health (and consequently my sanity and my goals).
And with that, I’m off to bed.
My grandmother suffered from dementia and now my mom is showing signs of it as well. I’ve read a little about longevity and brain health and the correlation to food, alcohol, exercise and SLEEP. I do really well in all areas except the sleep thing. I like to get up early so I have time to write before the household wakes up, but I have to learn to get to bed by 11. I’m trying for 7 hours a night as well. Most nights it’s more like 5.5 to 6. My biggest motivation right now is watching my mom struggle with memory loss and listening to my kids worry that I’m going to go down that same route (they remember my grandmother).