No Sleep Till…..

Friends, it’s been a wild spring for me. Also, please read the title in the form of the Beastie Boys.

I used to be the worst at mornings. Seriously, the joys of “on this day” on facebook proves that…

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But, something has happened in my old age…I love mornings, Wednesdays or Saturdays, they are all great. For total clarification purposes, I still really love milkshakes.

I like to think I’m a busy person.  I really like activities.  To be fair, I don’t fully care what they are as long as I have a structured weekly schedule to follow. It feels as though I’m constantly double booked, or I function best when being double booked.  Really, I’ve lived off of Hollie’s words, “double booking is okay, but triple booking is not ok.”  Well I’ve been triple booked since March…

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Here’s one of my favorite activities. And yes. Yes it was. It was probably 7000 + pounds.

This was my first year of coaching Varsity Softball.  And well, it was awesome, tiring, confusing, heart breaking, and somehow super rewarding.  We had three sets of sisters on our team…yep, three. One of my favorite practices was just bonding with the kids when the sisters explained several times when they tried to kill each other. It made me super thankful to grow up without a sister.

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No sisters, just brothers…

Anyways to stay on topic…when I used to pick my doghter up from daycare (my parents) on Friday I would immediately fall asleep in their chair with my coat, hat, and shoes on.  It was instant, I don’t even know if I had the opportunity to say hello.  My parents grew increasingly comfortable with it; it was our typical family bonding time, they lovingly watched me sleep.

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Not kidding, bottom left is the chair of doom. Soph and I have a really weird bond.

“What are you doing Friday night Pam and Greg?” Watching Ricki sleep. – My Parents probably.

Don’t get me wrong, I love surprise naps. But, they also freak me out. I’m a normal functioning human and then BAM Friday at 6pm I needed an immediate nap. Also, I don’t mean a 15-20 minute fake nap, I don’t care what the research says, that’s a long blink, not a nap, I mean a full REM.

But, because of the new responsibility of softball, my Friday night naps were altered.  I talked one of my best friends, Mike, into coaching with me.  We regularly would get together after Friday games to discuss every second of every inning, and we’d invite our friends, because I double book in all aspects. They all have grown accustom to me falling asleep in front of them, they expect it, not a nap, a full sleep.

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So now my schedule was waking up to get to work at 6am, struggling to fall asleep because who should hit in the 6 spot, wondering if our field will ever be dry, why did that coach say that, should I check on the well-being of the sisters, and oh yeah my original life of being double booked…Sleep didn’t happen.

Which leads me to the question…HOW MUCH SLEEP DO PEOPLE REALLY NEED TO FUNCTION LIKE A HUMAN? I always start with google searches. I used to think my google searches were weird…but here are two of my friend’s recent google searches, yes,  same friend, two different searches, and she was spot on with guessing the correct answer to both questions before google confirmed it.

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Yep, a conversation went from dairy to Avatar in 19 minutes.

I checked out sleepfoundation.org, sleep is in their name, it should be accurate information, I mean if it’s on the internet it’s real. They have a pretty neat graph, ranging from newborn (0-3 months) to adult (18+) I will skip the newborn through pre-school section, because I should give out zero advice about young kids. I mean, I regularly catch myself eating ice cream for breakfast.

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So for school age children from 5-10, they recommend 10-11 hours of sleep. For teens they recommended 8.5 – 9.5 hours and for Adults 18+ they recommend 7-9 hours. For the past 3 months of weekdays I’ve rolled out of bed at 4:45am. And then on Saturdays and Sundays, I’m actively questioning if my neighbors will kick me out of the neighborhood if I start mowing at 6:15am. I very rarely go to bed before 10:30pm on the weekdays, so I’m just under the 7 hours, but that’s if I hit the pillow and sleep immediately. Which…I don’t, three sets of sisters.

My sleep pattern has adapted to understanding that Friday is my pay for my sleep debt day. Yes, sleep debt, the accumulated hours that people have lost not reaching their recommended amount of hours of sleep.  It’s a real thing.

Although I really like not spending time sleeping, there are some huge benefits of having an actual healthy sleeping routine.

There is definitely a correlation of sleep deprivation and a healthy weight. It’s true, tired choices are usually not the best choices.  Sleep deprivation dulls the frontal lobe, the decision making and impulse control section of the brain. Early mornings and late nights can lead to caffeinated choices that are pumped full of calories. The overall tired feeling can make people skip workouts and “save time” by grabbing fast food.  Also, going to bed, completely eliminates late night snacks.

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My friend Poppers bought me a giant snickers…because when I’m tired and hungry, I always reach for a snickers.

There is a hormone called ghrelin that signals to the brain when it’s time to eat. When we are sleep deprived, our bodies produce more ghrelin. On the other hand, there is called a hormone called leptin that tells our brain we are full. When we are tired, leptin levels drop.

But how do we go about getting more sleep or better sleep?

1. Don’t coach sisters.

Just don’t do it.

2. Make your bedroom your bedroom.

The less things that can distract you, the better. Put your phone down, put it on airplane mode, put it on a dresser further away, break it in fourteen pieces, whatever you have to do, disconnect from the world and SLEEP.

3. Create a schedule.

We are creatures of habits. MAKE A SCHEDULE. Stick to it as much as you can, get used to it, fake love it until you actually love it.

4. Hey, exercise.

Yep. Exercise not only releases stress but it also improves sleep quality and sleep duration.

5. Quit Triple Booking

But also don’t quit, because juggling makes everything a bit more exciting.

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