To sleep, perchance to lose weight

Ahh, sweet sleep. The nectar of the gods. Manna from heaven. Bliss.

I’ve had approximately 15 hours of sleep in the past four days, and I desperately miss it. I know, I know, all the parents of the world (well, the very few who read my blog) would like to tell me that I have no idea what it means to feel tired. But I do have dogs, and I spent all of last night up with a sick pup, so I’ve had at least a very small taste of that life. (My beasts tend to get sick far more often than the average bear. Er, dog.)

In the three nights prior, we’ve been getting used to Jon’s new schedule of waking up at 4:45 a.m. for the train. Once he’s up, it’s hard for me to sleep–and why bother, if I only have another 40 minutes–so I get up too. The problem? I can’t seem to fall asleep before 11:30 p.m. lately–and just over five hours of sleep on a consistent basis (plus one sleepless night thrown in the mix) is not enough for this crabby woman.

However, in my glazed-over exhaustion, I’ve come to realize just how important sleep is, and I hope that knowledge helps me to establish a reasonable time to hit the hay. There’s no way I can get a full eight hours–I feel like I’m nine again when I contemplate a single-digit bed time–but even 10 p.m. would help me to feel human. AND to accomplish mygoals.

I think sleep, above even diet and exercise, is the foundation to a healthy weight loss journey. Without it, it is far too easy to order pizza (when you haven’t slept a wink, making a nice dinner seems as impossible as climbing Mount Everest) and skip the elliptical. It’s also far too easy to get stressed out and hit the vending machine. It takes away a lot of the ability to think rationally and meaningfully, and that thought process is critical to making healthy decisions.

I am home today due to the sick pup, and I’m hoping to take advantage of this time with a nice nap. Sweet dreams!

Addendum: Apparently, WebMD and a zillion other web sites have found the same thing. While I knew lack of sleep wasn’t good,  I didn’t quite realize the effect it could have. According to this WebMD article, overweight adults lost 55% LESS fat when they got 5.5 hours of sleep, as opposed to 8.5. Looks like I better get to bed!


About Kristen K

My life has always been pretty darn fantastic--except for one thing: my weight. Not too long ago, I tipped the scale at 283 pounds. I'd gain some, lose some and gain some right back, and I was so frustrated. When I saw a notice for a Biggest Loser-style contest in my local paper, I applied on the spot and I felt like I won the lottery when I found out I was one of the five contestants chosen. We worked out four times a week with trainers and followed a clean eating diet, and my life completely transformed. I've lost more than 60 pounds and I'm feeling confidence for the first time in my life. I'm 29 years old with a great husband, a rewarding job, two adorable dogs and fantastic friends. Weight loss continues to be a struggle now that the contest has ended, but this time I know that I can do it and I'm fully committed. This blog has seved as an accountability tool as I journey from a happy, but fat, person to a happy and confident person. And for the first time in my life, I'm no longer putting it off until tomorrow. This time, I'm starting this minute.
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2 Responses to To sleep, perchance to lose weight

  1. Betsie says:

    It is amazing what a few decent nights of sleep will do for you! I’m lucky to get four hours these days and although I don’t really “feel” tired, I definitely look it! Maybe instead of keeping up the search for the perfect undereye concealer I should just try to get some more sleep. 🙂 Hope your puppy is feeling better soon!

  2. Valerie says:

    I completely agree; if I don’t get at least 6 1/2 hours, I’m a total zombie and am much more likely to acquiesce when Dave says, “Why don’t we just get sushi tonight?”

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