Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Go the F*** to Sleep

T minus a week 'til Thanksgiving.

Such a minefield, this time of year.

For all the obvious reasons*.  But, thanks to these months of training myself to indulge sparingly and exercise often, the tempting aisles of butter, sugar and flour are probably not going to be my undoing. If I can keep these 15 pounds off and be ready for a sprint to the finish next year, I'll be declaring victory.

What may still derail me, though, is not sleeping.  I've always been, to put it mildly, a night owl. My bed time is perpetually deep in the wee hours of the morning.  Sometimes I stay up because there truly aren't enough hours in the day to get my work done.  More often, though, I'm up out of habit, puttering and browsing, making lists and paying bills, shopping and pinning and planning.  When the house gets quiet, some deranged part of me decides to start a new project, binge watch Scandal or sort through a pile of paperwork.  Already insane, this tendency gets even worse as the holidays approach.  The to do lists get longer, the rituals more elaborate** , and my nocturnal rest becomes, at best, a nap.

Like my food mania, this sleepless productivity thing is externally miraculous*** and incredibly unhealthy.  My first Fitbit was completely flummoxed when it tried to track my sleep****  so I just stopped wearing it at night.  We were both much happier after that.

Not so much anymore. You'd think after all these years, I would be thoroughly adjusted to this not-so-new normal, but lately I'm craving sleep, and dreading the annual dive into insomnia.  I can't tell if I'm finally just cumulatively exhausted, or newly aware of how little restorative time I give myself. All the brisk walks and kale in the world won't do any good without a solid block of time overnight for my body to absorb the work.  On the rare night that I do sleep, I wake up lighter in the morning every time.  Yet even that tangible incentive isn't breaking the habit.

Caffeine is out, and has been for a while.  I had high hopes for that change*****, but so far it hasn't made a bit of difference.  As of today, I have a new Fitbit, and I am going to wear it at night. And my mantra for this holiday season is not "Deck the Halls", but, in the fine, fine words of Mr. Samuel L. Jackson:

I will, of course, be starting this program tomorrow, as this blog post was composed at 2:11 am.


* Pie.
** Clever rhyming Christmas card poems anyone?
*** How does she do it? Easy! She is a zombie!!
**** Typical report: "You have slept for 2 hours and 35 minutes and walked 42 steps.  I have no idea what day it is anymore.  Here is a flower picture for you."
***** Because it was f***ing painful as s*** to give up.