Sunday, June 07, 2009

The golden chain

Liz pointed me to a documentary on sleep deprivation that was on SBS the past couple of weeks and it was fascinating. Scary, but fascinating. It backed up what I already knew about the cumulative effects of too little sleep, and added a bit of new ammunition. I actually missed the first episode, only catching the second, but Bike Boy downloaded part 1 and I plan to catch it sometime this weekend. If you didn't see it, it's well worth a look.

My personality has undergone a radical change over the past week, thanks to the six nights in a row of uninterrupted Zs I've clocked up. Last week I was irritable, easily upset, my ability to think was decidedly impaired, and I simply couldn't cope with little everyday things that normally wouldn't bother me. My driving skills and reaction times were also a little off - now that's scary! I could feel myself sliding towards the big black hole again and I did NOT want to go back there, no way.

Coincidentally, Bike Boy was having a serious battle with insomnia, so ours was a very calm and peaceful and happy household....NOT.

I knew that I simply had to get my sleep sorted out, so I did a few things:

- I was more diligent about my post-op nose care. Yeah, nobody wants to hear about the stuff I stick up my nose ....I'll just say that it gives me a better chance of getting through the night without everything in there turning into concrete and preventing me from breathing.

- I made an effort to get to bed earlier, mostly managing a 10:00pm curfew.

- I cut coffee way down and cut it off entirely after about 7:00pm. *snort* Not so hard since the coffee machine is in for repairs!

- I rummaged through my supplement supply and added magnesium back into my routine. While looking for Panadol for one of the kids, I also came across my stash of 5-htp in the medicine cupboard. I had a lightbulb moment and threw that into the mix as well. (I'm hoping that the ol' 5-htp will help prevent the setting in of SAD this winter too).

- I invested 80c and got some soft foam earplugs (thanks for the tip, Sara). Bike Boy was snoring away last night when I got into bed, and I still slept like a baby.

I seriously feel like I've just had a long and relaxing holiday. Except maybe for the grey skies, freezing temperatures and rain, rain, rain. But still, all it took was just a few simple little additions to my usual routine and hey presto! Six blissfully undisturbed nights in a row. Sure,the fact that my nose is actually almost healed now might have played a part...

So, if your memory is failing you, you're having trouble concentrating, your appetite is out of control, your moods are just all over the place, you seem to be more clumsy than usual, and/or you're prone to every random illness going around, then maybe you need to take a look at your sleep patterns.

And if you have any doubts about the importance of sleep, go watch that show.

Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together ~ Thomas Dekker


ss2306 said...

Glad you've got the sleep sorted and are feeling better for it Kerryn.

SeLiNa said...

That htp5 stuff is the 'illegal' drugs that I was runner for wasn't it?! ;)

Glad you got it sorted, wish I saw the doco :)

Kathryn said...

Sleep is awesome.

I've never been really comfortable with the thought of sleeping in earplugs - what if something happens and I don't hear it? Lately I've been thinking of investing in some.

I can't drink coffee after lunch if I want to sleep.

Kek said...

LOL @ Selina. Ah.... my little drug runner friend. :p

Louise Wedgwood said...

I agree, I function that much better when I've had a few good nights' sleep, but it's also all too tempting to put off going to bed at night when I'm in the middle of something. I just need to be more disciplined sometimes I suppose.

I was wondering what fitnes magazines you read, or you would recommend other personal trainers read? I've started to train to be a PT and I'm not sure that some of the health/fitness mags I've read give good advice, as I've noticed that different articles in the same magazine can contradict each other. Any suggestions? Would love your guidance.

Kek said...

Mmm, fitness mags... most of them don't do much for me. I do like UltraFit - it's short on fluff and long on hard facts. I'm dying to get this month's Oxygen, now that Lindy Olsen is editor - can't find it anywhere yet, darnit!

There are some specialist publications if you have a particular sport you're into - notably running or cycling - but other than that, there isn't a lot.

Post a comment

Join the conversation...leave a comment.