Lately, I’ve been having a battle with sleep.
I think it has been ongoing for some time now, but finally came to a head this past week.
I keep saying the move was hard, and it was, but just like you I’m wondering why it is taking this long to get back to ‘normal’.
While I still don’t have the answer to that question, I do think I exacerbated the problem over the Thanksgiving holiday.
High on rebellion, we watched lots of DVDs, stayed up well past our bedtime, and ate lots of processed food. Meanwhile, Little-bit maintained his schedule, and let us know he was not pleased when we were too groggy to do our jobs right, and on time.
For most of the holiday weekend, I would stay up until 2-3am… only to be woken up by Little-bit around 7:30am to be taken out. I’d put my street clothes over my PJs, add a coat, and while still very bleary-eyed, take him out. When we got back inside, I’d give him breakfast, peel off my street clothes and climb back into bed. Most days he’d then wake me again for his afternoon outing and lunch… some days I was ready to get up, other days I repeated the morning scenario, sleeping until 2-3pm. Then and only then, did I have enough brain power to start my day. Sadly, sunset was around 5pm… so by the time I showered and was ready to take Little-bit on a ‘real’ walk… it was already getting dark outside. I was wide awake at midnight… so the cycle continued for the next few days.
During my waking hours, I did little cooking, cleaning, or exercise. I was plopped down in front of the TV watching DVD after DVD (complete series/seasons of shows in some cases)… and consuming lots of processed foods.
By the time Monday rolled around my body was quite confused. I really don’t know how my taste-tester does it, he was able to get up and drag himself to work. While I just dragged. The apartment is VERY conducive to sleep… at least in the early hours of the day… come night time… aka bedtime… not so much.
It was actually getting to be a problem. I would lay in bed at night and not be able to sleep. And if I did fall asleep, I woke up several times throughout the night and was pretty much worthless brain-wise come morning.
I’d had enough.
So mid-week, I decided to make a few changes. I started having breakfast. Something I usually skip because I’ve convinced myself that if I wait to eat then I can run or do yoga… which I find hard to do on a full stomach. But I’ve made a change in what I define breakfast to be… I’ve seen on other blogs and in books the concept of fruit cereal. So I decided to try that out. Fresh produce first thing in the morning had to be something that would help me gain some energy back.
My first few attempts were ok, but nothing to write home about, consisting of a banana, flax seeds, nuts (varied on each day), almond butter, and soy milk. Once I tried cocoa powder and a squirt of agave, another day I tried a bit of amazing grass chocolate flavor. I even tried the addition of raw oats one day, and a handful of Life cereal the next. But none of them were worthy of a blog writeup.
Today, I went an entirely different route… apples…
I chopped up a apple1 and then added ground flax seeds, cinnamon, pecan pieces, raisins, almond butter, and soy milk. Now we are talking… this combo of crunch and sweet was exactly what I wanted this morning…
Speaking of breakfast… I had breakfast for dinner the other night, and it was fabulous!… French toast (vegan)… Oh, and I shared this stack…
Another change I decided to make was to start exercising again. Due to my leg still not being completely healed and Little-bit’s inability to be left home alone… I had to get creative. I put him in the stroller and walked my running route. Boy did I get a workout. It might have taken me 2 hours to walk 3 miles, but it was quality puppy-time and a full body workout for me as well. See, I let Little-bit out of the stroller occasionally, so that he could smell new smells and walk only as far as he was able. When he was back in the stroller, I was literally pushing ~100lbs. (65lb dog + 32lb stroller) up hills. And let me tell you, if you think pushing a hundred pounds is hard, try going down hill. It was much much harder not to let the stroller slip from my hands and the two of us go flying into oncoming traffic. By the way, downhill does aggravate my sore leg, so that was an added challenge.
As a side note… I saw this flower on my way home and had to snap a picture…
I really thought I’d be sore the next day, and oddly, I wasn’t… so the next day I did it again. This time, Little-bit requested more time out of the stroller so it took closer to 2.5 hours. But we had fun. The next morning though, um.. today actually, yes, very sore. But a ‘feel-good’ sore. 🙂
As for sleep… I’m still working on that. I’ve been moving my bedtime forward a bit each night, and trying to get up earlier each morning. Last night I had trouble getting to sleep, so my taste-tester has suggested a few more things for me to try… one of them being, not reading in the bedroom anymore. And since my mind races at night, to try to think of nothing. I eventually fell asleep. Last night’s sleep was actually the first night I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night, so I think I’m on to something here.
My other ideas for more energy throughout the day is to lay off the processed foods more. Not by making them ‘bad’ or ‘forbidden’, but by adding more produce into my day, therefore pushing out the desire for processed foods.
And I have one more idea, I want to implement… following the puppy’s lead. Little-bit has forever been a scheduled dog, and surprisingly even after 14 years, my taste-tester and I are not. Little-bit expects his meals, his outings, and bedtime to be at specific times. Sure he’ll bend a little here or there, but he is happiest when he doesn’t feel like he has to ‘remind’ me that I need to do whatever his scheduled mind thinks is supposed to be happening at that time. Traveling across three time-zones and then daylight saving has tweaked him a bit, but he bounced back pretty quickly… I blame the sun.
Maybe, just maybe, we’ll all be a bit happier if we follow Little-bit’s suit… get up and go to bed at about the same time each day, and eat three meals a day, at about the same time… what a concept! I’ve mentioned before that I used to be quite scheduled as well, how do you think Little-bit came up with it?
Anyway, the list got me to thinking about the things I’ve let slip and the things I want to change. With the added sleeping issues, I think I finally realized that I have to make some changes in order to accomplish any of my goals.
So that’s what I’ve been up to lately… oh, and something I did early in the week to help me concentrate on other issues was to make a HUGE batch of minestrone. 🙂 I still have probably 4 more servings left in the fridge. But I wanted to show you another cool cleanup night idea that worked wonders…
It turned out to be great together… I highly recommend it!
Well, it’s 11pm… I will be expected to wake up around 7:30am tomorrow by Little-bit, and I still have to upload those pictures…
Until next time…
1 Apples – I used an Arkansas Black, but I’d also recommend Cameo, Ambrosia, Breaburn, or even Jazz.
2 Quinoa Pilaf – quinoa, onions, garlic, cumin, coriander, vegetable broth, tomato paste, chickpeas.
3 Minestrone – onion, garlic, carrots, celery, red bell peppers, zucchini, diced tomatoes, potatoes, red chard, cannellini beans (white kidney), tomato sauce, vegetable broth, oregano, basil, small pasta.