Eat Well, Sleep More
I really truly thought I haven’t been this stress-free in so long.
Until I got sick and the doctor told me that people get ATP when they’re under a lot of stress.
Sure, work isn’t as physically and mentally draining as it used to be for me (thank GOODNESS for that!), but there are other stressors around. I figured that for me it was not sleeping enough and (sometimes) over fasting.
Having trouble sleeping
It’s been over a year since my Sleep Apnea diagnosis, yet unfortunately, I haven’t made much progress in creating habits to promote better sleep quality. Heck, I don’t even use my CPAP regularly. And I should. The sleep doctor recommended that I use that machine everyday, and even during travel.
When I got sick, I noticed an increased challenge in getting myself to relax and ease into slumber. At times, I even felt anxious. Of what, I couldn’t really tell.
My Fitbit comes with a Sleep Tracker, and if it’s accurate, I’m only getting an average of 3 hours of sleep. I have more Awake and Restless hours logged than actual Sleep!
Getting enough rest and quality sleep should be a priority. No matter where you are in your life right now, it’s important to accept this. Getting sick, and being instructed by the doctor to rest at home for three days (without doing ANY work), is a sure way to get one to take this seriously. But we shouldn’t really wait for any Medical issues or emergencies before we take heed.
What happens we don’t get enough sleep?
So you see, there is A LOT riding on getting the right amount of shut-eye regularly. Our well-being depends on it.
Deliberately sleeping less
But I get it. Sleeping 8 hours or more daily means spending a third of our lifetime in bed. And when you’re dreaming big, and have so much to accomplish, that seems like too much time wasted.
So we try to make our days longer by cheating ourselves of a few minutes of sleep. Then we find that we need more time to do the things we want to do, so we wake up earlier, and go to bed later. And it keeps going on and on and on.
We tell ourselves: Oh I’m okay with just four hours of sleep. We convince ourselves that we can function just as well with four hours as we would if we had eight hours of sleep. But do we, really?
Have I mentioned that I recently lost about 40 pounds? That’s over the course of a year. The most weight I have lost and kept off EVER. Yay me.
I got here by eating well, and incorporating exercise into my routine. There’s actually a ways to go to get to my ideal weight (the answer to many health issues, apparently) but already, I know that I am in a good place in terms of my health and well-being.
My wellness plan involves having three balanced meals a day. There’s a prescribed timing for meals, but we’re cautioned not to starve ourselves. The problem is, I have unintentionally been skipping meals while at work the past few weeks. Doing so hasn’t helped me lose more weight. Instead, it just put me at more risk for getting sick. And get sick, I did.
That day I started having chills, and complained of a very sore throat, my husband immediately pointed out that I must not have been eating well. He accused me of skipping meals! I was on the defensive right away – telling him that that was against my wellness plan. But when the doctor was asking me questions around the same topic, I had to stop and really think about what I had been doing in more recent weeks. I had to admit to myself that yes, indeed I have been skipping meals to the point where I was starving. And I should have known better.
Purpose and Priority
Think about this: Instead of deliberately depriving yourself of sleep, how can you make more out of 16 hours that you’re already awake? Take an accounting of each 15- or 30-minute block of your waking hours and ask yourself: does the time you spend on the things you do, represent the life you want to live?
Do your current actions take you closer to your goals?
It isn’t easy. First you need to determine what you want to achieve. Have you painted your big picture? Do you know where you want to go?
Knowing your purpose, setting your intention, makes it easier to decide what your priority is. It makes tough decisions easier to make, like how you spend each minute, and with whom you spend it with.
If you haven’t decided yet what your big goals are, then maybe you can make to prioritize. So you can spend less time doing unimportant stuff, and have more time for what matters most – including rest and sleep.
As for me, I have my Passion Road Map (thanks to my Passion Planner). It’s still changing from time to time, and I’m not sure that I’ve already found my purpose in life, but I understand the general direction I want to head towards. But I’ve realized too that I will not achieve my goals, or it will take a lot of extra effort to do so, if I keep pushing my body to the limit without giving it the proper nourishment, exercise, and rest that it needs.
So getting better sleep, and NOT skipping meals, are currently my priority. Locking these down help assure that I will have the physical and mental energy, for everything else I need to do.
How about you? How much sleep do you get? And do you eat three balanced meals daily?