Happy Sunday everyone.
So – today is a bit of a ‘woe is me’ blog. So apologies in advance for all the crying and complaining that is coming your way. But I guess there are a few people out there who would say “Well, all you do is complain every time you do a class – we’re used to your complaining!” To those people? Well, you might just have a point.
I am tired and stressed out beyond belief right now. And the second part (the stress) is not exactly helping the first part (the sleep). I started trying to write down a bit of an explanation about exactly what is going on – but suffice to say, 7-days a week of work, early to bed, late to sleep, totally redesigned classes in a totally redesigned gym, a new time-table meaning less down-time and fewer opportunities to actually exercise myself plus the usual demands of trying to find members and make payroll – as well as family and footy and a few external events that no-one could have predicted or expected…it’s all taking a toll.
I use a sleep-app (Sleep Cycle) which I love but it isn’t my friend these days. Most nights I am getting around 4 hours sleep (in bed around 10pm, up at 4am but restless, restless, restless) and basically, something has got to give (and I am hoping it isn’t my sanity).
So – I’ve been off researching and reading and here is my 5-step plan to get on top of my sleep (which will hopefully help me get on top of the stress). I hope if there is anyone out there like me – stressed out and struggling for a good nights sleep – that you might get a point or two as well:
|Caffeine is my ‘thing’, but:
So – I drink coffee. Black coffee. Most of the day. And evening. And – generally speaking, it doesn’t stop me sleeping and sleeping well. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Or – in my case, semi-desperate measures.
I’m not going to commit to stop drinking coffee at lunchtime or any of that crazy hokum I hear people talking about. But I WILL commit to stopping 1-hour earlier than ‘normal’. Normal for me is around 7pm – from now on (well, in the short-term at least) I am going to bring my last coffee for the day FORWARD by 1-hour…so around 6pm.
|Implement a breathing ‘plan’.
So – apparently you want to try and trigger a ‘parasympathetic response’ (or so my reading tells me). The first thing to try is to take 5-7 nasal breaths per minute – apparently that triggers ‘optimal heart-rate variability’ (which apparently is GOOD!). But you can also try holding each breath for 10-15 seconds which is supposed to have you yawning and ready to close your eyes within 5-10 minutes.
Ideally, this would be a cold (well, cool!) shower then an infa-red sauna then another quick rinse in a cool shower – but given I don’t have an infa-red sauna, cool-warm-cool in the shower is supposed to be enough to trigger a parasympathetic response that will last for several hours and help me STAY asleep (which, if I’m being honest, is the problem right now).
|Soft tissue work.
Doing some rolling or even simple stretching is another thing that is supposed to help you ‘fall asleep and stay asleep’. I already have a subscription to MobilityWOD which I could use for my routine, but there are a heap of free options (like Tom Merrick on YouTube) that you could access at no cost.
|Switch my nightly reading to a book instead.
I read pretty much every night when I go to bed – but I read using the kindle app on my iPAD – which is not ideal…supposedly reading from a phone or tablet increases the time it takes to get ‘good sleep’ by 30-minutes over reading from a book. And when you are only getting 4-hours sleep anyway, 30-mins extra ‘GOOD’ sleep sounds like gold right now.
What can I tell you? There is a lot going on right now and – for whatever reason, things I usually cope OK with are knocking me on my butt right now. But I have a plan – better sleep = less stress. And less stress = better sleep. (I hope), Wish me luck!
See you in the gym,
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