A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Happiness Project #1: SLEEP

on August 18, 2017
I’ve got to work on non-pharmacologic management of my lupus symptoms now that I’m staying off of the Alleve for my joints. I know from the last couple of years that poor sleep is a huge trigger of bad lupus days for me. Poor sleep also makes it harder for me to deal with stress in general and might make it harder to lose weight (more on that in links below). All together, these things are ample motivation to make improving my sleep the first big Happiness Project I tackle in my #40by40 goals.

 

I’m a task oriented person and certainly more successful when I have concrete habits to track. From the Happiness Project book and website with Gretchen Rubin (here), I found some great charts for keeping track of my sleep related tasks. In addition to buying a new pillow (little things help!), I’m going to incorporate these as my daily tasks to sleep better:

 

Stop caffeine after 3 pm. I love my coffee, so this may be painful, but on the plus side maybe it will steer me toward drinking more water in the evenings.

Elixir of the gods

Make tomorrow’s task list for work BEFORE I leave work. Frequently, I’m swamped by stress at night about what I have to do tomorrow. I’m going to try reviewing my schedule for the next day and making my task list before I leave work, to try to head off some of this angst.
Turn off devices at 9 pm. Period. No TV, phone or other blue lights. This might seriously impact my ability to watch TV with Darrell, but we have the weekend for that (and I’m already down to only a few shows that I watch anyway).
Have a consistent bedtime and wake up time. 9:30 pm – 5:30 am would get me 8 hours of sleep and have me up in time for 7 am meetings or for workouts in the morning. Getting into a consistent pattern would help tremendously (with exceptions for date night and other rare occasions, of course).
Adopt a bedtime meditation. This can help both with transitioning to sleep and with dealing with those twilight anxiety episodes that often derail my sleep.

 

This bedtime meditation might have helped Wednesday night when I couldn’t sleep because of stupid Mom-brain anxiety over whether or not anyone would come to this guy’s birthday party:

First grade!

He has a back-to-school birthday, which is a really hard time to schedule a party both because everyone is busy and because it’s hard to know who to invite – old friends? New friends? Both? We elected for a party a little after his birthday and the start of school (it’ll be next weekend) and an invitation list of both new first grade classmates and some kindergarten/summer program friends. Because O wanted to invite first grade classmates, we had to wait for the class list to come out – which it did last week, while I was away. By the time I got home, got the invitations written and mailed, most people would be getting their invitations Wednesday and Thursday of this week, with only 10 days before the party. In the meantime, we found out that another classmate has a party on the same day (AM and ours is in PM). I was freaking out with Mom-guilt over sending out invitations too late and would anyone come to his party and how would we handle it if no one came. All totally unnecessary mental drama, I know, but my brain is like that at bedtime sometimes.

 

All is well. I’m at 5 RSVPs now, which is enough of a party for me and for O. I’ll sleep better now. 🙂 Bedtime is a hard for those of us with a worry-wort mindset so a bedtime meditation will be very helpful I’m thinking!

 

What are your strategies for better sleep? I also got a lavender spray for my pillow that’s supposed to help sleep, but mostly it just annoys Darrell.

 

Resources for Sleep & Weight Management:
Lack of Sleep & Weight Gain (WebMD)
Sleep Loss & Weight Gain (USA Today)
Molecular ties between lack of sleep and weight gain (NIH news release)
Sleep and Obesity (Review article in Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care)
Sleep & Lupus:
http://www.resources.lupus.org/entry/sleep-is-essential
https://www.hss.edu/conditions_lupus-fatigue-cognitive-dysfunction.asp
http://www.mollysfund.org/lupus-and-sleep/
http://www.resources.lupus.org/entry/sleep-and-lupus

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3 responses to “Happiness Project #1: SLEEP

  1. Meg B says:

    Oh the Mom-brain. Wish there was a nighttime shut off for that one.

    Good luck with all your “help get better sleep” tasks! They sound like good ones!

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