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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