Weighty Matters

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Making the Most of the New Sleep Pattern

on November 9, 2013

Have I mentioned before that I’ve never been a morning person? I keep holding onto that thought, all evidence to the contrary. In the last year in particular, my internal clock keeps resetting its alarm and waking me up earlier. I’m not sure if waking up earlier is connected in some way to my weight loss. It could just be a result of me being in my mid-50s. The older we get, the less sleep we need.

I sleep well and am no longer concerned with the sleep hypopnea with which I was diagnosed prior to weight loss surgery. I fall asleep easily at night and, for the most part, sleep soundly unless I really have stressful things going on. The dogs usually wake me up once at some point in the night, but I fall right back to sleep. For the most part however, when I would happily sleep in on a weekend until 9:00 a.m., that hasn’t happened in a long time, unless I’ve gotten up earlier, been up a little while, and then gone back to bed. (That’s rare.) The other exception is after I’ve traveled. I tend to do well if I have a little longer lie in the following day.

For probably the last year, most mornings, I wake up before my 6:45 a.m. alarm. For a long time, I’ve really resisted this reality. To be honest, I’ve resented the early wake up. I don’t know why. Lately, I’ve begun to adopt the attitude that it is what it is. Why fight the inevitable? Most days this past week, I woke up between 5:45 and 6:15 a.m. Some of this might have been the time change, but whatever the case, there was no way I was falling back to sleep these mornings so I tried to be productive. Three days I bounced out of bed and did a program from my in-home walking DVD. This morning I said the hell with the 15-18 mph wind from the north east and went for a bike ride. Me. On the bike before 6:30 a.m. Somewhere in Heaven, my mother, who was always an early riser, is giggling. I have to say that I felt pretty damned good about getting in an eight mile ride. When I returned, I leashed up the dogs and got them out for a good walk.

I almost hate to admit it, but there’s something to be said for being a morning person. For the next few months, it gets dark pretty early, so I have less opportunity to walk or ride after work. Walking up and not squandering the time has its advantages if it helps me put in solid exercise time before I go to work.

Honestly, I don’t think this sleep pattern will change anytime soon. I might as well make the most of it.

4 responses to “Making the Most of the New Sleep Pattern

  1. Hope says:

    I tried to start getting up early in order to go running or throw around a kettlebell. It worked for about a week, but I just couldn’t keep it up. Which is too bad, because that would be the best bet for me getting regular exercise. Even when I just try to get up on time to go to work, I fight my alarm clock the whole way. :p

  2. Skye says:

    (Susanne: thank you!)

    I used to be a morning person, since I was a wee one. That started eroding in my early 30s with a bout of extreme depression, and has gotten worse over time (gee, along with the depression and anxiety — go figure!). And I’ve had poor sleep habits for a while.

    My goal is to get to sleep earlier, which will make it easier to get up earlier. Then I’ll also move to healthier habits, which will also help. Because I love those early morning moments when it’s quieter. I can exercise or write and enjoy that time.

    I’m glad you are embracing this change. I hope it continues to be a good one for you!

  3. Susanne says:

    I never used to be an early riser, either. Now? I love it. Best part of the day because my mind is soft and quiet.

    Speaking of which, I’m going to take an internet detox (I do this periodically), so I’ll get caught up on your blog when I come back in a month’s time.

    Skye, I know you read this blog, so I’ll send good thoughts your way.

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