Good morning, and Happy New Year! Can’t believe my first post of 2017 is taking place in February…
As I write this, it is 4:53am…7 minutes before my alarm would be going off so I could get my butt to Equinox for an early morning workout. Also as I write this, I have a pounding headache and have been awake since 2:30am…even sleeping until that hour was a struggle. So I will not make it to my class, luckily there is one this evening, and also luckily I do not work today. Whew!
I have struggled with sleep since I was in high school. I spent many nights wide awake, struggling to sleep, watching TV, and falling asleep in my first class of th day. One of my teachers told my guidance counsellor he thought I was depressed…which sure I was (still struggle with depression and anxiety, no shame) but c’mon dude. At that time it was 7:50am and I was running off a few hours of sleep. Even at 16, that is not an easy thing to do. Sleep is power, it is how we get though and tackle the day. And now at 32…I am finally starting to understand a very important component to getting a good night’s sleep.
Now I hate that word in the since of “oh I am on a diet,” but I love it in the sense that it can be more than just a week long/month long/day long way of life. Diet is what you eat all the time…we are all on a diet. Is it good or bad, that it the question.
Over the past three years I have lost *almost* 50lbs (SO CLOSE.) A large amount, roughly 18lbs, in the last three months. I have – for the most part – been eating very clean and doing mild workouts such as yoga and weights. The upsides of the way of eating were evident within a week of eliminating certain things. I slept SO well. I woke up energized, happy, ready to start my day. Oh and losing weight was a bonus. But weekends were (are?) a different story. I tend to go off the rails on the weekend and this past weekend I was in FINE (see horrific) form. Starting last Friday evening I bonded with (what I believe to be) two nemesis’ of my sleep. Booze and refined white carbs (in the form of pizza.) Friday, Saturday, Sunday were spent eating whatever I wanted and drinking wine…they were also spent sleeping terribly and not being physically able to workout I was so drained and felt like utter crap. Sadly, these effects did not end there. My body is still working through processing all that shit after weeks of eating SO well. My body is like “wtf, you are cray.”
I am hoping tonight will be a normal night, and that I will be able to sleep my needed 7 hours, wake up ready to go at 5am for a class, followed by my ten hour work day – something so easy last week when eating well now seems just like the worst.
So here are Alex’s hard learned lessons on how to get a better, and more sound, snooze! (disclaimer: will these work for you? Not sure! It’s just what seems to help me. I’m not like, a doctor or something.)
- Avoid booze. Gah this is easier said than done for me. Bottom line – more than 1 glass of vino messes me up. It raises estrogen and around 3am, that is not something good. I am wide awake by then, and by the time I fall back asleep – it is time to go to work with that horrible “I did not sleep” headache and face. You know the one, bloated and puffy eyes. So hot.
- Have a bedtime and a wake-up time and stick to it! If I go to bed at 9:30pm I have no issue waking up at 5am for my class, I am usually asleep by 10pm if I have avoided booze and crappy food. I sleep well and waking up is not a horror.
- Know your triggers. This takes a while. You have to eliminate food then reintroduce to see how it affects you. For me I now know foods that drastically interact with my sleep are white refined carbs (pizza, white rice, white bread, you get the idea) corn products (I get so itchy at night!) red meat, and ofcourse sugar in any shape or form. Which is sad news for my Sour Patch Kid addiction. I also have discovered that caffeine past 2pm is a bad idea. This took years to pin point. A good cookbook for “elimination” diet type meals is Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘It’s All Good.’ Gah I hate to admit how much I love that woman.
- WHITE NOISE & MASK! I cannot, simply cannot, live without these. I prefer ‘airplane noise’ and honestly have no efffing clue how people sleep without white noise. Silence? Hard. Pass. I like the app for iPhone called, get this, “White Noise.” The mask is required for city living. Especially when you live next to a lot used constantly for thinks that blast bright lights Ito your home. Right now, it’s Cavalia and the other day o saw them walking two horses and it was glorious.
- Staying off my iPhone. This is something I am still fine tuning, but usually I am white noise on and iPhone off limits by 9pm…so if I do not text you back or respond to your Instgram post, it is because sleep is more important than you are to me! hahaha. Serisouly though, wihtout a good night’s sleep I am a bad person/friend. So really, I am doing this for you all. Deleting Facebook has helped. I spent way too much time scrolling on there, so removal of that has reduced my screen time and also my blood pressure.
Comment below on your hot tips re: how you ensure you get a good night’s sleep! Zozo…uh…I mean xoxo. 😘