Thoughts on Sleep

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The other day I was feeling pretty rough. My body was aching, my head felt fuzzy and I just was low energy. Normally I workout after work, but I decided to give myself a break and go home and work on my Nutrition Coaching certification instead. It took rereading the same paragraph three or four times before I realized I was too exhausted to study. I decided to go ahead and take 30-45 minute nap.

I was out for two hours.

And I mean out. Like, that kind of sleep where it would have taken a firecracker going off in my house for me to wake up. When I was a kid and took naps like that, my mother would always say, “You must have needed it.” I certainly did.

I had a lot of late nights last week and a really busy week. It wasn’t a bad week by any means, but the kind of week where you have something packed into every single spare moment. It was giving me a little anxiety, even though all the things happening in my week were good things. I think finally my brain just decided to shut me down for a recharge. It’s probably just as well – here are a few facts about sleep deprivation from WebMD:

  • Studies show sleep loss and poor quality sleep can cause accidents, both on the job and on the road.
  • Sleep loss makes learning more difficult. It impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem-solving. (This was definitely the problem I was having. After the nap, I dove right into my textbook and knocked off another Chapter without any problems.)
  • Sleep loss can contribute to feelings of depression – which mean it also wasn’t helping that anxiety I was dealing with.
  • Sleepiness can make you forgetful. (Also not got good for studying.)
  • And my personal favorite – lack of sleep impairs judgment, especially about sleep. Whoooo – talk about a double whammy!

In a podcast Gretchen Rubin called herself a “sleep zealot.” I get that. I am normally pretty particular about getting enough sleep, but this had just been “one of those weeks” that sometimes happen. However, I find I have to prioirtize my sleep, because if I don’t – my body does it for me!

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