This past week has been a struggle for me. I didn't want to be a "dieter." I didn't want to exercise and when I did I felt uncoordinated and clumsy and tired out faster than usual. I felt depressed and tried to blame it on hormones. Hummph. I kept asking myself "am I really going to throw in the towel so soon?" I've only lost 15 lbs and need to lose so many more. I've had this vision of myself as a thin, active woman - am I ready to give that up already??
It's no secret that I don't like sleep. I feel like it is a major waste of time. I rarely turn out my light before 12:30 pm and have to get up at 6 am. I like resting (as most couch potatoes do) but the act of sleeping is something I have fought all my life. My mom used to beg me to go to bed when I was younger.
Well, last night I was extremely tired and began to doze while trying to watch a little TV. I fell asleep with my clothes on at 9:30 pm and woke up at 9 am today. Guess what? I felt fantastic! Alert, energized, and in a great mood. Hmmmmm, I thought to myself, how did my attitude change so quickly? What did I do different from the other nights of this week? Oh, I see...I got some sleep!!
I've heard so many reports that sleep is a vital key ingredient to our health. I just didn't want to believe something that simple could make such an impact in how we feel. I did some research (which I love to do on just about anything - love the internet for this tool) and according to this article on a website called SleepDeprivation.com losing sleep is a bad, bad thing.
Typical effects of sleep deprivation include:
- heart disease
- slower reaction times
- slurred speech
Now, if this doesn't make me wake up and smell the coffee I don't know what will. I had depression, irritability, and slower reaction times this past week! Trying to diet and exercise was really hard and not just mentally. And in the past I've had these feelings but just thought I was depressed. I knew losing sleep would catch up with me some day, but I've been in denial about just how serious it can be. Sleeping is not a "lazy" thing but in my mind I think I've thought of it that way.
Therefore, as part of my quest for health I am including getting eight hours of sleep as part of my weekly goals. I am too old now to bounce back from lack of sleep. My body just won't tolerate it anymore. So, body, I'm listening and I'm giving you what you need - zzzzzzzz's!
Whew, that was a long one. I'm sure my rant was something many of you already know. I knew it too, but just didn't want to do it. Isn't that what a lot of do with regard to getting healthier? We know what we should eat and that movement is important, we just don't always do it.
Have a great weekend, drink your water, and get some sleep!