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One Track Mind

February 21, 2012

I have a riddle (not really) for you all:

 

What is something that everyone needs, every single day to function properly?

Hint: other than food and water.

 

What’s your immediate first thought? Something like happiness, or exercise? Friendship?

Nope. We’re going much more primal than that.

 

SLEEP.

 

I have been super cranky this weekend. At first I blamed in on my 12 mile run, saying I was just exhausted. But you know what? It wasn’t that. I started thinking about it, and I’ve been getting less and less sleep over the past couple of weeks and it’s really starting to hit me. I was pretty cranky this weekend (sorry to my brothers…) and it was purely because I was so tired, but so busy and didn’t have a chance to relax (or nap).

Now, you might be thinking, well why don’t you just go to bed earlier or sleep in a bit?

That’s not the problem. I am IN my bed with the lights out and no distractions for 8 hours every night. I fall asleep just fine. But 2 hours later, I’m awake! Back to sleep. 2 more hours later, I’m awake! Can’t fall back asleep… Listen to some music, eventually fall back asleep. 2 hours later, you guessed it: AWAKE!

It’s getting ridiculous.

 

Sleep!

 

I’ve actually never been someone to sleep through the night. I almost always wake up once or twice, but I go back to sleep just fine. Currently, I’m up half the night, and usually by 4 or 5am, that’s it. I’m awake.

Now, I realize that this isn’t the most thrilling blog post topic ever – but I’m currently sitting at school at 3pm waiting around for my 4pm class and all I’ve wanted to do since I got up this morning was take a nap. Sadly, that’s not an option when you have class all day and can’t go home. Thus, all I can think about is sleep. So bear with me.

 

sleep

 

Since I have sleep on my mind, I decided to look up a few articles about sleep and share them with you. I actually did this a few weeks back with some Huffington Post articles, so clearly my sleeping pattern has been off for a while… ha. Here’s an article from a Harvard Health Journal that I found:

The Harvard Women’s Health Watch suggests six reasons to get enough sleep:

  1. Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
  2. Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
  3. Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
  4. Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do. **Um, yea, definite side effect**
  5. Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
  6. Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

(source)

One thing I thought was interesting about this list was the metabolism and weight. I’ve been sticking to weighing myself only once a week (okay, really twice) and I’ve found that despite all the exercise and healthy eating that I follow (don’t worry, I have slip ups too!) I haven’t lost any of the weight I gained over break (about 3lbs) from eating unhealthy foods and lots of sugar… I’m wondering if stress and lack of sleep is contributing to this! It is DEFNITELY contributing to my mood! And I know it’s affecting my school work as well, I’m just not focusing on anything I’m reading, and it’s been so hard to pay attention in class today!

I also took this snippet from

“It’s not just the number of hours in bed that is important—it’s the quality of those hours of sleep. If you’re giving yourself plenty of time for sleep, but you’re still having trouble waking up in the morning or staying alert all day, you may not be spending enough time in the different stages of sleep—especially deep sleep and REM sleep. By understanding how the sleep cycles work and the factors that can lead to those cycles being disrupted, you’ll be able to start getting both the quantity and the quality of sleep you need.” (source).

Clearly just being in my bed for 8 hours is not enough! I need my REM sleep!

I did see my doctor this weekend and he thinks some of my digestion issues and the supplements he has me on could be part of the issue, so he gave me something to see if it helps at all. I sure hope it does because I can’t take much more of this! Haha I was seriously considering just skipping school tomorrow (only one class in the morning) before my meeting for some extra zzz’s, but now that I read it’s not just about hours, I realize that probably won’t help! Ugh, guess I’ll be at Business Organizations tomorrow morning…  (actually TODAY since I wrote this yesterday).

 

On a completely unrelated note, has anyone heard of the mascot Blue from Butler University in Indiana? He’s a bulldog and so cute (currently it’s Blue II). My friend went to a different school in Indiana and I’m not sure how, but he got me hooked on Blue2. I actually follow him on twitter.

Well, Blue has a little brother now: Trip.

Bulldog breeder Frank King holds  Butler Blue III, before the start of the game. King and his wife Jeane who have been breeding bulldogs for 30 years have bred all three generations of the Butler Bulldog mascots. Saturday February 18th 2012, three generations of Butler Bulldog mascots gathered to introduce Butler's newest mascot, Butler Blue III, also called Trip, short for Tripple during the Butler V.S. Indiana State game in Hinkle Fieldhouse. Michelle Pemberton/The Indianapolis Star

(source)

Is he not adorable?!!?!? He also has a twitter account. Feel free to follow him for constant adorable pictures. I highly recommend it.

And I guess it’s not completely unrelated, since he and his big bro get a lot of sleep: picture. <— I highly recommend looking through their flickr account!

 

Am I the only one who doesn’t ever sleep the whole night through? And we’re talking, WIDE awake several times a night.

Anyone you follow on twitter (other than other bloggers) do you love and recommend to other people?

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. Maggie @ Running on Fro-Yo permalink
    February 21, 2012 9:17 am

    You are NOT alone! I never sleep through the night either. But I usually go through stages, like last night I only woke up once and got back to sleep pretty quickly. But last Thursday? I couldn’t fall asleep til 12, was up at 2, and could NOT get back to sleep until almost 5. And I had to be up at 6:45 for class and work 8:30 to 6..not a good day! Mine is mostly due to anxiety/having trouble getting my mind to shut off!

    • February 21, 2012 10:05 am

      Ahh good to know I’m not just some crazy person who can’t sleep like everyone else! I hate days like that – where you have such a busy day but got zero sleep!

  2. February 21, 2012 9:31 am

    The puppy photo made my day!

    I never sleep through the night anymore since I stay so well hydrated throughout the day… the price of a healthy habit!

    • February 21, 2012 10:06 am

      Isn’t the puppy adorable!!! Haha yea, and that’s definitely part of my problem… I always have to pee!

  3. February 21, 2012 9:38 am

    I usually wake up a few times too but since I’ve stopped drinking caffeine early in the day, I’ve been better about falling back asleep. I don’t know if you drink caffeine later in the day but I read that caffeine lingers in the body (almost all day) so drinking a cup of coffee in the afternoon (after drinking some in the morning) doesn’t just give you however many mg of caffeine is in the beverage, it actually adds to the caffeine in your system so you will have a greater effect.

    Also in terms of weightloss, I always find it incredibly hard to lose weight when I’m training for a race and upping my mileage. Not only do you build muscle during this time but you’re also increasing your energy expenditure and your body demands more calories. I think it’s really common to actually gain weight while training for a marathon, its such a demand on your body.

    Anyway, sorry for the LOOONG comment, I hope you feel better and get some sleep 🙂

    • February 21, 2012 10:07 am

      Hmmm, I’ll be sure to stop drinking caffeine in the afternoons. I like my cup in the morning, but days where I’m at school a while I usually have another cup. And that’s a good point about training, I’ve heard that too! I have found myself getting hungrier more often! Haha and I love comments of all sizes, thank you!

  4. February 21, 2012 10:27 am

    I used to and still some times do have problems sleeping through the whole night – especially waking up and then being unable to get back to sleep. I found that eating too close to bed time is a real no no for me, as well as drinking too much liquid and of course caffeine. Hope that you find something that will help!

    • February 21, 2012 7:29 pm

      I’m definitely going to try and be more conscious of my caffeine intake, as well as making sure I’ve finished eating a couple hours before bedtime, hopefully that will help!

  5. February 21, 2012 10:36 am

    i’m so sorry you haven’t been sleeping well lately girl! i totally know how frustrating that can be. i get pretty crabby and am just not myself when i’m running low on sleep too. i always had a harder time sleeping well in college. i definitely think it was the stress! i hope it gets better for you!

    • February 21, 2012 7:29 pm

      Haha law school can be stressful! I actually slept better in college, although still not awesome.

  6. February 21, 2012 11:00 am

    I am going through a horrible sleep cycle too lately. I love your first pic about meeting at 3am, because that has totally been me! I have been waiting for it to catch up to me. I am not a member of twitter, but have been considering it lately. I just don’t need any more distractions in my life to keep me up at 3am!

  7. February 21, 2012 12:25 pm

    Usually I sleep pretty well through the night… unless my dog wakes me up at 2:38a.m. to take him out like this morning! If I do get a bad night of sleep, it usually lasts for a few nights. I hope your sleep gets better girl!

  8. February 21, 2012 12:31 pm

    Oh I have weeks where I’ll sleep so soundly and then I’ll have weeks where my night terrors start up and I’m lucky if I get 5 hours of solid sleep. It’s ridiculous how connected I am to my sleep patterns. I’m always pigging out as a result of the lack of/interrupted sleep.

  9. February 21, 2012 2:47 pm

    The only time I ever wake up in the middle of the night, assuming I’m not sick or didn’t drink a bunch of water or something, is when my Husband forgets to turn off the TV. Other than that I’m a pretty sound sleeper. 7 hours is a good number for me.

  10. Sarah permalink
    February 21, 2012 3:53 pm

    Hi Katie,

    I follow your blog all the way down here in Brisbane Australia! Last year I was running more miles than I am now and noticed a similar change in my sleeping patterns to that you just described. Likewise, I also encountered a similar problem when I tried the paleo diet and what these experienced led me to discover is that for me personally when I don’t have enough carbohydrate it affects the quality and length of my sleep. I believe that there is a physiological explanation for it too. Tryptophan is necessary for effective production of serotonin and many of the foods that remain good sources of the amino acid are in fact carbohydrates! So insufficient tryptophan intake (i.e. over a long time and proportional to your body’s requirements) can lead to problems sleeping. Apparently, some people are more sensitive to low carbohydrate diets than others and will be more likely to encounter this sort of problem. Perhaps if you were to increase your intake of whole grains you might find a bit of relief?

    Hope it helps,
    Sarah 🙂

    • February 21, 2012 7:33 pm

      Hmmm, I’m keeping track of macronutrients and am definitely taking in more protein and less carbs. Maybe that’s the problem! Thanks for the advice, Sarah, and thanks for reading from Australia! Haha you have no idea how cool I find that!

  11. February 21, 2012 6:50 pm

    Ahh I have this exact same problem and it is so extremely frustrating! Everyone always says, just go to bed earlier when I complain I’m tired. That’s not the issue. Even if I went to bed at 8pm, which trust me its happened before, I still wind up waking up SEVERAL times in the night and am still tired. I never get into that deep sleep so I never feel fully rested. Oh girl I understand your misery ha
    Hope you find something that helps and can share the tips! 🙂

    P.S. that puppy is so adorable!!!

  12. February 21, 2012 8:33 pm

    As someone who’s been having a tough time feeling rested lately, this post really resonated with me. I’ve been working on correcting my sleep schedule naturally, and I got such a giggle out of the “I’d rather sleep with you” image!

  13. February 21, 2012 9:50 pm

    My sleep patterns vary. One week I am exhausted, the next I am up right when the alarm goes off. Sometimes I slept through the night, other times I am up every couple hours. I haven’t quite figured out what causes the changes. Its always good for a friendly reminder to get a lot of sleep.

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