Sherrilynne – Week 2 – SL gets her zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s

The last two weeks have not been without their challenges. In my initial post here, I’d pledged to work out five times a week. In week one I managed to work out six  times! But in this past week I’ve only made the effort twice.

So on average it was four times weekly; but then again goals are meant to be difficult to achieve right?  If they were easy, we’d all be a size six and borderline Olympic athletes!

One of the reasons I’ve struggled to keep the exercising up is tiredness.  Which brings me onto my theme today: sleeplessness.

I’ve not been a very good sleeper these past 15 years or so. I stopped worrying about it a long time ago and have accepted it as a fact of life.

But still does have an effect on just about everything I do.  When I’m tired, I tend to cram carbs. I tend to avoid exercise. I tend to be irritable and crabby and eat sweets and drink wine to comfort myself.  It’s an issue I find very difficult to strive above.

So this year for Christmas hubby got me a Zeo clock, which is kinda geeky, but ultimately very cool.  I wear a special headband to bed which monitors my brainwaves and reports on how much sleep I actually get, how much is deep sleep, how much is REM or light sleep and how many awakenings each night.

I’m averaging about 5.5 hours a night and most of that is light sleep.  A woman my age is supposed to get 6.8 hours a night with more than two hours of that being deep or REM sleep.

No wonder I’m exhausted all the time.

Now here’s the interesting thing about the zeo tool. I upload the data to the website each morning and keep an online sleep diary daily. Each afternoon, I receive an email from the sleep experts at Zeo with advice and coaching on how to improve the quality of my sleep.

One of the first items of advice I received was about relaxing into sleep.  I was given two podcasts to listen to each night as I wait to drift off, one for physical relaxation, the other for mental relaxation.

Frankly, I felt more than a bit silly.  Imagine if can, a middle-aged woman snuggling down for a night’s sleep wearing a headband to read her brainwaves and big noise-reduction headphones to hear her audio exercise.  Sexy!  No wonder dear hubby doesn’t come to bed until after 2 am!

But I’ve perservered over the past two weeks making the suggested changes to my habits and routines and my sleeping is actually improving!  The biggest changes so far include no caffiene after 3 pm, no alcohol within three hours of bedtime and no TV or computer time within one hour of bedtime.  These are simple changes, yes. But this week I’ve averaged eight hours of sleep a night and have even had two ten hour nights!

It will be interesting to see if this really works in the long term. If I can crack the sleep problem, I just might be able to crack the weight/fitness problem. When you are well rested you feel like you can take on the world, right?

Alas, I guess you are all wondering about my tale from the scales.  I had hoped to report a 12-pound weight loss today, a la ‘The Biggest Loser‘.  But I’m afraid I am still plagued by single most demotivating aspect of hypo-thyroidism…very slow progress.  It’s been a measily 2.2 lbs off (over almost three weeks).  I still have three more pounds to lose to reach my 5% weight loss and three more weeks to do it in. Wish me luck!

*****

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14 Responses to Sherrilynne – Week 2 – SL gets her zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention SL gets her zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s | Losing It In Ottawa -- Topsy.com

  2. Lara says:

    I’ve read and heard that fatigue not only makes it hard to lose weight because you’re tired…. but physiologically your body hangs on to weight when it’s sleep deprived. Sleep is such an important thing and can affect so much of your life! Your tool sounds really neat and I’m glad it seems to be helping!!
    2.2 lbs is great! Congrats!

  3. Shona says:

    Sherrilynne,

    Many things struck me about this post. Firstly, 2.2 lbs down is good! I think that fast loss is what we would all like, but when we have unrealistic expectations, we tend only to frustrate ourselves. There will be weeks where we may have a big loss, but we can’t expect that to be the norm. (Do people really lose that much on Biggest Loser? That seems extreme!) It is also much easier to keep a changed pattern in our lives when it is not SO extreme. (One year I went totally crazy strict and could not keep it up long term.)

    Next thing I immediately thought of was that your exercise goals should not be overwhelming. If five times seems too much, then go for three or four times a week. You can always do extra if you feel like it, but it saves you the guilty feelings of not meeting your goal if you don’t. Also, you can ramp up that goal in time. I think goals should be attainable, otherwise if you don’t meet them, it tends to give us excuses to self-sabotage and give up. Negative self-messages (such as I was bad not to meet my exercise goals this week) don’t help us.

    Also: sleep! Yay for making all those changes to get your needed sleep! I also think exercise will help you sleep better. I know I have much better sleep, feel less tired, and have way more energy now that I am exercising more. It’s such a vicious circle because when you have no energy the last thing you want to do is exercise, but it really does help. (Or, at least it has helped me a lot.)

    All this to say, don’t be too hard on yourself. I think you are doing great!! :)

    • sherrilynne7 says:

      I hear what you are saying about the exercise regime. I simply ‘forgot’ to workout today. I’ve been so busy on client and charity work that it slipped my mind. I guess the challenge is to start loving it so much that it can’t ‘slip’ my mind eh?

  4. tracey says:

    Congrats on your loss!

    I totally understand sleeplessness and can sympathize with you. My key, all light out of room!

    • sherrilynne7 says:

      Yes! The advice from Zeo this week is all about how to change my bedroom to make it the best sleeping environment. They’ve mentioned light a couple of times too.

  5. Katie says:

    I have also had problems feeling tired all day. After googling it, I read that depending on what time you wake up and how could factor in. For Waking up while in deep sleep can make you feel more tired. Therefore I found having two alarms helps (and/or one of those fancy light ones). The first one is very light and not loud enough to actually wake you up, but gets you out of deep sleep. You then have the second alarm set for about 20 min after, and this is your loud, get out of bed alarm. I have found this helps alot! I also tried setting my alarm 20-30 min earlier then I had been, and this also helped.

    Also, keeping on schedule on the weekends I found makes a huge difference – no sleeping in for more than 2 hours past my weekday wake up time.

    • sherrilynne7 says:

      Sounds like a good strategy. According to my Zeo data I never wake up from deep sleep though. It’s usually light sleep and on occasion from REM sleep. I used to have one of those alarm clocks that mimicks the sun rise and I liked it. Now I work for myself and usually get up when done sleeping whether that’s 5.30 am or 10.00 am, so I don’t use an alarm very often. When I do, my new Zeo clock makes forest sounds. It’s kinda weird actually. I’m not used to it yet. :-)

  6. Karen says:

    Sleep absolutely has an impact on weight loss. I struggle with periods of insomnia and I always find that I eat poorly when I’m very tired. I eat too much and usually it’s quick foods since I’m too tired to prepare anything. Not to mention that if I’m well-rested, I do tend to be better at getting my exercise in.

    I was at the doctor a few weeks ago and she specifically mentioned that being well-rested will go a long way to helping me with my weight loss goals.

    But despite that, 2.2lbs. is GOOD! Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll get there.

    • sherrilynne7 says:

      I just saw a comment on a WW blog from a guy who is complaining that he lost ‘ONLY’ 2.5lbs this week. I’d give my kingdom for a loss like that! But he does look kinda stupid so I’ll shut up about complaining about a small loss. You are all right….it’s still a loss and it’s good and steady and achieved healthily.

  7. Jay says:

    Sleep is such a key factor for me! If I don’t sleep well I’m tired and grumpy and eat garbage food and eat plenty of it and don’t work out.

    Sleep is a key ingredient to this journey. Good luck!

  8. sherrilynne7 says:

    Jay you are not alone. That sounds exactly like me.

  9. Pingback: Sleep: The Forgotten Key to Health and Wellness « Alternative Health Answers

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