Sleep, why do I kid myself that I don’t need it? For the past month or two I have been off my game. I’ve been blaming eating out, stress at work, wine, and not being organized. I’ve been looking for blame in all the wrong places. Though I did mention sleep in my last post I mentioned that it had been off, not that I was getting less.
In the last week I’ve gone to two Western doctors and one Eastern practitioner looking for answers and I received three different explanations for why I feel awful and none of them had anything to do with sleep.
Three months ago I decided to change my sleep pattern for one week so I could continue to meditate and do yoga during a busy week at work, parent teacher conferences. During that week we have to work two twelve hours days. I knew that on those days there would be no way I would have the energy to do yoga after work. I decided for that week I would get up at 4:15 and do yoga before work. Getting up early went really well and I thought “Hey I’ll keep doing this because then I don’t have to worry about doing yoga after work.” So I kept getting up at 4:15 but had a hard time adjusting my bed time. Before this shift in wake up time I was comfortably getting seven and a half to eight hours of sleep now I was only getting six and a half to seven hours a night. I didn’t really notice a difference at first and two weeks into my new sleep schedule daylight savings ended so my body still thought 4:15 was 5:15, for a little while. I didn’t notice the subtle changes taking place in my body like becoming a little less patient with my kids, my students, and my pets. I started craving sugar more and started drinking, no needing, more caffeine.Then all the other problems I talked about in my last post started cropping up, eczema breakouts and my gut issues.
One morning this last week my alarm went off at 4:15 and as I went to shut it off I though ”This is ridiculous, I am not a 4:15 person!” So I reset my alarm for 5:20 and fell back asleep. It wasn’t the best sleep but when I woke up I felt more refreshed than I had in weeks. I felt like the things I need to accomplish that day were doable. I had the “I get to…” attitude rather than the “I have to …” attitude. Was it a fluke? I don’t think so because the next day I got up at 5:20 and again felt refreshed and excited for the day. I was excited to work with my students, I came up with a new lesson plan for my beautiful 5th graders and come home with a taste for “pizza”. Making an AIP pizza from scratch is no small feet!After three hours of cooking, I was able to relax with a Netflix movie, pizza, and a glass of wine. Just two days of getting the sleep my body needs has resulted in a better mood and the gut symptoms and eczema flare ups are lessening. As a matter of fact the eczema on my neck is gone! I’m excited to get back into the habit of doing yoga after work and feeling better now that I’ve got my sleep groove back.