Friday, August 29, 2014

Getting used to Sleep

Ever since I was a baby, I have struggled with sleep. My nights were restless. I could never seem to relax enough to get a full night's sleep. Most of the time it was 4-5 hours of restless sleep. At the worst of times, it was 1-2 hours of restless sleep ... and I've gone through periods of time when I wasn't getting any sleep at all, just surviving on 10-20 minute power naps during the day -- and sometimes not even that.

After I cleaned up my diet and increased the intensity of my workouts, my sleep got so much better. Suddenly, I was able to get 6 hours of sleep without any trouble. The more I lifted weights and did my MMA training, my sleep would increase to 7 and sometimes even 8 hours a night. My whole lifestyle changed as I ate earlier dinners, slept earlier in the night, and woke up feeling refreshed with a good 6-7 hours of sleep a night. I would fall asleep immediately, sleep soundly throughout the night, and wake up ready to go.

What a change.

It felt amazing. I started to understand why people loved to sleep so much! Getting those hours of proper rest changed my day and of course they changed the energy I could put into my workouts.

In yesterday's post I wrote that I was feeling out of sorts. I think a lot of it has to do with not getting enough sleep again. Part of it has to do with all the travel. London to Las Vegas & Los Angeles and back ... followed by London to Bangkok and back. My body has been to too many time zones in a short period of time. For the past few days I've been feeling like I'm jet lagged all day.

These evening training sessions are not sitting too well with me. I just haven't figured out how to organize my food, training, and sleep in a way that will help me get the most out of it all.

Last night I finally got a good night's sleep. I got just about 8 hours and it made such a difference.

I've realized that I've got to make sleep a priority. During my insomnia, a 5-hour night would be an amazing night for me. However, now my body knows what it feels like to get 7-8 hours. I think I've become one of those people who says that they can't function on less than 8 hours of sleep a night.

I think with my current schedule getting that much sleep each night will be tough, but I do want to see how I can manage a full 8 hours of sleep during each 24 hour period.

This means that while I'm figuring out my schedule for September, the first thing I'm going to be blocking off is my sleep time. It's got to be sleep first, food second, and activity third (not to mention research, writing, errands, etc. etc. etc.).

I think for my birthday I'd like an extra day of the week please!


  1. Hi Ayesha! I used to be sleep deprived years ago. It affected my mood, my memory and probably every aspect of my health negatively. Yours probably is jet lag. Have you considered Melatonin?

    1. I haven't tried Melatonin Marc. I think right now I'm just feeling a bit distracted. Once I settle down (mentally) and get into a proper fitness routine I think things will be better.

  2. Sleep has long been an issue for me as well. I have noticed that even though I am not sleeping longer hours, my sleep is deeper because I am waking up refreshed. Good for you to be making it a priority

    1. It has taken me a while to realize how important getting a good night's sleep really is. It makes such a difference!


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