Sleeping Beauty and the Beast

Happy Tuesday! I hope you all had a great week last week and are having a good week so far. I went to the State Fair of Texas last Friday with my mom – our annual trip. You want to know how hard it is to eat healthy/keto while at the fair with all the fried foods? Pretty hard! I started out the day pretty good but didn’t do too well later. The morning of, I went to McDonalds and got a big breakfast for myself. Only ate half of the biscuit but had the scrambled eggs and sausage – not bad. We got to the fair around lunch, so we stopped in the big food court and I got a taco salad (in a shell) and an unsweet tea. We did splurge and got souvenir cups with Big Tex on them because the refills were only 6 tickets and I could get unsweet tea if I needed to. Then when went on to the fair food – cotton candy taco (DELISH), Fun-L Cake Ice Cream (meh), and finished it off with a funnel cake. Not too crazy (not like we’ve done in the past). I did want to get fried butter (AMAZING) but really didn’t want to overdo it. Take the food we ate and the 12,000 steps we got in, it wasn’t a bad day overall!

Now that I’m done bragging about my fair visit (😊), let’s get on to this week’s topic. I have been wanting to discuss this topic for a while but am nervous to convey the correct information on it. This will be a 2-parter and a lot of the information I will probably be pulling from a podcast I listened to. Topic of the week is: Sleep. The podcast I’m referring to is “The Model Health Show” with Shawn Stevenson and there are 3 episodes titled “Help Me Sleep! – 21 Ways to Cure Your Sleep Problems”. If you listen to music during the week or a workout, listen to these. They are about an hour long each but the information he talks about is very interesting. I do want to highlight a few of the topics he discusses though.

The first thing I’d like to discuss, which was the biggest “Ah ha” moment for me, was that if you don’t get enough sleep one night, you will never make it up. That’s a very overarching statement but let’s dig into it. So according to an article from UAMS health, you can make up for lost sleep on another day but that is limited to typically the first few hours of sleep lost (so let’s say 2-4 hours). If the amount of sleep that is lost is more than a few, then you won’t be able to recover it all = Anything more than 4 hours, you will never make up. Adults are supposed to get 7 hours of sleep per night (which I never do). Using myself as an example, let’s look at the number. Personally, I know I need more than 7 hours because my sleep is not fully restful. I have undiagnosed sleep apnea that I’m not doing anything about, so I never get great sleep (something I need to fix, obviously). For me to get 8 hours of sleep per night and waking up at 6:00am on average, I would need to be asleep (not going to sleep) by at least 10:00pm. I usually start going to sleep around 9:30pm but probably don’t fall asleep by 10:00pm. Let’s say that I fall asleep at 11:00pm. That’s one hour each day (at least) that I need to make up; total of 5 by the time we get to Saturday. Now I can try to make up the 5 hours, but I won’t. I may get an extra 5 hours (done it before) but the sleep I get will not be same sleep I would have gotten had it been in the original sleep time. Does that make sense?

Now let’s take those times when I was in high school and stayed up late due to my procrastination. Or those times in college that I had to work until 11:00pm and then work at 6:00am the next day. Or those times in college that I had to work from 5:30a-2:00p and then go to school until 8:00p with projects or homework. I will never make up those hours of sleep and I can tell you it probably has affected me. I have come to the realization that being sleepy is part of my personality now (haha but seriously). Because I have not made changes in my life when it comes to sleep, being sleep deprived is something that I have come to accept. Lack of sleep can lead to so many issues that I can’t even name all (google it and you will find out). But there are things I can do to ensure my sleep deprivation doesn’t continue to get worse in the future. Is it as simple as going to bed early? Yes.

If you have an iPhone, you may have noticed one of the new features from the new update: Screen Time. If you go into Settings > Screen Time, it will breakdown how long you have been looking at your screen, collectively, and the breakdown and times (social media, other, creativity, resources, etc.). The big thing I have started using is Downtime. When you turn on your downtime, it’s similar to the Do Not Disturb that is set on the phones but better. Downtime schedules your apps to shut off at a specific time you have set. My downtime starts at 9:00pm and ends at 5:00am. I receive a downtime reminder 5 minutes before 9:00pm and I finish up. Now, all apps (with the exception of phone, messages, alarm, and some other select few) will “turn off” and will be asleep. You have to choose to ignore the downtime to use the app for either 15 minutes or the rest of the evening. I love this new feature – it’s perfect for getting yourself to truly wind down after a long day. Phones and blue lights (the lights from phones, computers, digital faces) mess with your inner time clock so shutting that off early can really help!

Speaking of blue lights, what is a blue light and why is it important? Blue lights are the color of light that come from electronics. They are perceived through your eyes/brain as sunlight. Since they are so close to your eyes (unlike TVs are) they can change your perception of time subconsciously. When you look at light until 9:00pm, your brain thinks it is still sunlight. It takes a bit for your brain to shut off since it just thought it was light outside. I wear glasses now everyday so in my most recent pair order, I threw in the blue light blocker feature. Now my eyes aren’t receiving the blue lights from my phone, computer, and laptop that I use for 8+ hours daily. Since using them on a consistent basis, I will say I see and feel a difference. I think it has helped my sleep or at least helped me fall asleep faster since my brain shuts off faster.

I’m going to end the post here since I have talked about a decent amount here. The next post will have a few more items to discuss. One thing I challenge you to do is to really take a look at your phone usage and how late you use/look at your phone. If you have an iPhone, try out the downtime. If not, do it on your own or set alarms on when to set it down. Let me know how it goes!

I hope you all have a great week – we are well in to my favorite holiday, Halloween, so I hope you all are having a great October. Talk to you next week!

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