Sleep Feed

Time to reset my clock (and a lot of other things, too)

image from
Gotta punch in earlier.

Yet again, I find myself staying up way too late and waking up way too late. Sure, I get in my 7 to 8 hours of sleep but it's too late in normal human sleep cycles and that's not good.

If that study I just linked to is too "tl;dr" for you, here's a snippet:

"Late sleepers went to sleep at an average time of 3:45 am and woke up by 10:45 am, ate breakfast at noon, lunch at 2:30 pm, dinner at 8:15 pm and a final meal at 10:00 pm. Normal sleepers on average were up by 8:00 am, ate breakfast by 9:00 am, lunch at 1:00 pm, dinner at 7:00 pm, a last snack at 8:30 pm and were asleep by 12:30 am.

The study showed that in addition to the number of calories consumed each day, the timing was important. Those who ate after 8:00 pm were more likely to have a higher BMI, even after controlling for sleep timing and duration."

I'm not as bad as those 3:45 folks, but I have been averaging around 1:30 a.m. 

As I have said countless times before, this changes now.

Perhaps a better way to state that is that I've gotten off track and I'm getting back on that track today. 

Pushing all my waking hour stuff to the afternoon and evening has been making me feel very unproductive. I'm basically wasting the morning, which makes me start to slack off in other things like hydrating and food journaling and getting to the gym and ... everything.

It's one of the perils of working from home. I can set my own hours! 

Or reset my own hours.

Here's another peril of working from home. Behold, my dining room table:

Messy desk

This makes me crazy because I am a neat freak, and this is NOT neat. 

So while I should have been at the gym hours ago, I'm sitting at my dining room table getting caught up on emails and posts and tasks.

... which tomorrow I'll be doing AFTER my morning workout and WITH a big bottle of water at my side, enjoying the post-workout glow of productivity.

6:45 is calling: My sleep manifesto

Notoriously bad.

That's what springs to mind when I think about my goal to go to sleep earlier.

Don't get me wrong -- I get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, but when you go to bed at 1 or 2 a.m., that means getting up at 8 or 9 a.m. It's not great for productivity. It's also not great for 9 a.m. Zumba and Jazzercise classes.

Now that school is back in session, my Fitbit Flex is set to buzz me awake at 6:45 a.m. on Fridays so I can take the kid to school and head to the gym. Fridays are great that way -- get up early, drop off the kid, go to the gym and be ready to seize the rest of the day all worked out and showered well before noon.

Oh, hello.

So I set the Fitbit for 6:45 a.m. Friday -- and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 

I'm a stickler for getting adequate sleep and the notion that my arm is going to vibrate at 6:45 is incentive enough to hit the proverbial hay (it's not hay, it's a Beautyrest).

I'm much more productive when I've got that morning workout in -- there's nothing to "make time for" -- it's already done. And I won't be sleeping through Zumba.

Anyhizzle, by the time you read this I will be at the gym, meeting with a trainer. I decided to invest in a weekly session after tiring of the "aimless wander" workout and jacking up my already jacked-up neck.

And I will have gotten 7 hours' sleep.

Circadian cleanup

There are some things I am not very good at. Tops on that list is getting to bed at a decent hour. Last Wednesday morning, after getting my 8 hours of shuteye, I woke up and looked at the clock.



"What are you, a cocktail waitress?" I thought to myself as I got of out bed.

Right then and there (give or take a day or so) I decided this has to change. 

But how to get myself to bed earlier? The answer was on my left arm -- my Fitbit. I set the vibrating alarm to 7:30 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays (I already was getting up at 6:40 on Fridays to get my kid to school, and weekends I"m leaving as a free for all). That way, if I wanted my precious 8 hours of sleep, I'd have to get to bed earlier or my left arm would be vibrating me awake. 

Today was the first official day, and while I STILL went to bed a bit too late, I got a solid 7 hours of sleep. 

(This, pals, is one of the issues of workiing from home -- you can set your own hours, and my hours were ridiculous.) 

While I was getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep, those hours were coming too late in a normal human's sleep cycle, and that could be one of the things slowing my progress.

It's called circadian disruption:

Changes in the body’s clock and lack of sleep may cause the body to conserve energy when it isn’t necessary. Those who don’t get enough sleep also don’t exercise, eat more and eat more inappropriate foods, researchers said.


(Here's another abstract that explains circadian rhythms on your "gut clock." SCIENCE!)

The exercise isn't true in my case but the inappropriate foods? Holy leftovers, Batman.

I've been practicing getting to bed earlier for a few days, and waddya know! Those same 7 to 8 hours, pushed a few hours earlier, are making a huge difference. I wake up more refreshed and rarin' to go. I also feel more energetic and alert during the day and I actually get sleepy at night. 

Not gonna lie -- one of the first nights was brutal. I think I was fighting with my circadian rhythm. I tossed and turned all night and the most random things bothered the heck out of me:

  • My feet are freezing!
  • My head's sweating!
  • My thumb hurts!
  • My hips hurt!

(And yeah, I realize that I am 52, so there may be other hormonal wackiness involved.)

I woke up Friday morning feeling like a zombie and after dropping the kid off at school, went to the gym, where I was Not. In. The. Mood.

But I did it anyway and felt a lot better afterward.

I think I might be over the hump on this sleep thing, but if anyone catches me yammering on Facebook or live tweeting extra-inning West Coast baseball, please call me out!