I was cranky. I was close to eating all the things. I was not my normally joyful self. It crept on slowly over the course of months, but it was definitely more pronounced in the last few weeks.
I’d been eating “right”. I was getting up at 4:30 every morning to work out just so I could be sure to get in my exercise. I was going to bed at a reasonable time and falling asleep (after reading a while) at a decent hour.
What was I doing wrong?
I looked at the history of my FitBit and the answer was staring me right in the face. Despite my getting to bed early enough for that 4:30 AM wake up – I was getting an average of 5 hours of sleep a night. I knew the moment I saw that average that my biggest issue was: I needed a nap.
Maybe not just a nap. Maybe what I needed was to go back to doing what I shouldn’t have gotten away from doing in the first place: getting in a full night of sleep.
I love sleep. There were times in my life after particularly stimulating events (weekend camp for 4-H teens, traveling to Washington DC for 4-H…. come to think of it, 4-H was responsible for most of my extreme exhaustion up through age 18) where I could easily sleep for 14 or more hours straight up. I discovered that to maintain myself as a happy panda, I needed to literally sleep 7-8 hours a night. Months of less than that had revealed themselves a few weeks ago when I replaced my makeup with gluten-free versions and included a stick of yellow concealer to camouflage the beginning of dark circles under my eyes. This was no good.
Happily, the last 10 days of foregoing the early morning wake up and workout routine and getting the extra hours of sleep have helped out tremendously. The dark circles are going away. The overwhelming need to “eat all the things” has dissipated. And my naturally joyful nature? That’s coming back, too. Bonus, I haven’t gained weight – in fact it’s gone down.
So let’s hear it for resting! Let’s give three cheers for napping! Go sleep!