We have all heard how important sleep is to our general health, but did you know how it affects your metabolism?
Not getting enough sleep can cause your cortisol levels to rise, causing you to be more hungry. It can raise your blood sugars, which causes higher insulin levels and a propensity to store more fat. On a basic level? It decreases your energy levels, which makes being more active throughout your day painful, and choosing and preparing healthier meals the last thing on your ever-growing “to do” list.
All of that knowledge, however, has obviously been lost on me.
I’m not a good sleeper. I truly never, ever, have been. When I was little, I had night terrors. I would wander in the night, I would scream, nightmares were standard.
As I got older, I tended to avoid sleep because for me it was never really a “relaxing” experience. I also seemed not to require as much sleep as some of my peers. If I had to pull an all-nighter? It was easy to do and I was none the worse for wear the next day.
I’ve talked to my doctor several times about my inability to go to bed at an earlier hour, with the recommendations of trying a bath, reading a book, relaxing each part of my body one at a time from toes to nose, having a glass of wine, or some herbal tea.
I’ve tried them all and then some, including white noise, and CD’s of the ocean’s spray or rain falling gently. (two of my favourite sounds in the world, by the way!) I’ve had some success, but it’s largely been hit or miss.
I’ve heard taking melatonin might work, but I’m always reluctant to “take anything.” I’m a girl that doesn’t take Tylenol or cold meds! There’s nothing that scares me more than being so zonked out I don’t wake up at the sound of a pin dropping! Yes, I *might* have some control issues.
The good news is, I’ve been doing “Insanity” the last month, and it’s left me STARVING but also EXHAUSTED. I’ve even napped a few times! I’ve changed many things in my life in the last 6 months, and now sleep is next on the docket. I’m serious about getting the recommended 8 hours!
I’ve started to head up to bed at an earlier hour, and I’m attempting to lie in a dark room reading on my ipad for a bit. The struggle lies in not surfing the net! So far, I’ve been managing 7 hours, which is frankly a miracle for me! My goal is to gradually keep scaling back my bedtime til I’ve reached the sweet spot that will afford me 8 hours of shut-eye.
As I’m on the harder, more challenging (read:crazy) Month 2 of “Insanity” starting today, I have a feeling I’ll have a little help in finding that total fatigue!
I’m hoping to conquer this one hurdle, one zzzzzz at a time!