Close Your Sleepy Eyes

I’ve always been a good sleeper! Ever since I was a kid. My head hits the pillow and I am out! I still conk out without any troubles, but the old lady bladder usually gets me up in the middle of the night. Sometimes the dog (hello, Bear) gets me up in the middle of the night with his old man croupy cough. Sometimes the cats are assholes and wake me up. But when left to my own accord, I’m a good sleeper.

This time of year when everything starts blooming, my sleep begins to suffer a bit because it’s the drainage that wakes me up. I take a daily allergy pill all year round, but this time of year when the earth is starting to wake up after a long, cold, brutal winter, the allergy pill does not always help. So my sleep suffers.

By now, you all know that I am a data freak and I track everything. This includes my sleep patterns. I was reviewing this last week (because it’s MONDAY and what else would one do on a Monday morning except analyze last week’s data?) and thought I’d share with you. Or at least highlight a few relatively normal days/nights.

Hmmm.

One thing I have learned from tracking my sleep patterns for so long is that the graph doesn’t always paint an accurate picture, so I began assessing how I feel throughout the day. I don’t really make note of it anywhere, so sleep data is something that I can just look at a graph and go “Ohhh, that was a good night’s sleep.” Since this was all last week and fresh in my mind, I can tell you that even though the graph tells me that my best night’s sleep was my Nyquil night, the reality is that I was groggy the whole day  following. I couldn’t wrap my head around anything, and all I wanted to do was go back to bed and sleep some more. The other two days were fine. My normal energetic self. No drowsiness. No lack of focus. So even though it doesn’t look like I slept as well, the sleep that I got was more beneficial.

One piece of the sleep puzzle is activity.

  • March 20th: Run with Mack (5K)
  • March 21st: Walk with my daughter, Mack, and Luna (just under 4 miles)
  • March 18th: 35 minutes of HIIT

Workouts have a huge bearing on how I sleep, and how rested I feel afterwards.

Then there’s food. How does the food affect the sleep?

  • March 20th: 45% carbs, 39% fat, 16% protein
  • March 21st: 48% carbs, 31% fat, 21% protein
  • March 18th: 42% carbs, 37% fat, 21% protein

My eating NEEDS WORK!! I know that. I won’t get into the types of carbs/fat/protein and the difference they make – it’s not ONLY about the macros. My nutrition goal is 50% carbs, 25% fat, 25% protein. Tracking my data year after year after year tells me that this is the combo that works best for the way that I feel. I’ve done the higher protein/lower carb route and feel run down and tired. I keep coming back to the 50/25/25 combo because it’s where I know that I feel the best, sleep the best, have better energy for my workouts.

This is why I track data. I learn from it. It allows me to make adjustments in my daily habits to be just that much healthier. I’m a continual work in progress. Sometimes I do well. Sometimes (like lately) I flounder. Mostly, I keep plodding along trying to be better.

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