Thursday, March 5, 2015


REALLY tired!  For almost three years, I have started my day with a workout.  I would rise n' shine at 4am and my workout would begin promptly 10 minutes later.  There are several things wrong with this "schedule" (mainly the cold muscles and lack of alertness at that hour) but this blog entry is about SLEEP...and my desperate need for more of it!!!

I simply wasn't getting enough sleep and after several years, the deprivation had caught up to me.  I'm amazed that I lasted almost three years!  In an effort to increase my nightly hours of sleep, I was faced with some decisions.  What was going to have to 'give' in order to add more sleep to my day?  Want to know one thing that I was NOT willing to give up?  Yeah, my workouts!  So, I realized that I could either exercise first-thing in the morning before anyone else was awake or I could workout late at night after everyone has gone to bed.  Since the morning option had seemingly run its course, I spent last week working out only at night.  In doing this, I discovered a few things.  Some things were good...and some things were not-so-good.  First, the GOOD!

I loved the flexibility of exercising for 90 minutes (which is about 20 minutes longer than what my workout routine would allow in the morning).  This meant that I could add more stretching and yoga to the tail end of my workouts which is something that I've wanted to do.  I also enjoyed the return-to-sanity that took place when my workout was interrupted by something (or someone).  In the mornings, a child who woke up early meant that my workout was cut short whereas a highly-energetic child who refuses to go to bed just means that my workout starts a little later than planned.  As for the extra sleep, I could go on and on about how great it feels to get at least 1.5 hours of MORE sleep each night!  That equates to 10 additional hours of sleep each week!  Also, instead of sleeping-in on just one morning of the weekend, I got to sleep-in on BOTH DAYS!  Can you hear the angels singing 'Hallelujah'!!!  Yeah, it felt THAT good!  So, in this respect, my goal of getting more sleep this past week was achieved!

My main-issue: rushed mornings.  When I would workout in the morning, I would get up so early that I could exercise, shower, prepare breakfast, pack lunches, and THEN get the kids up.  By sleeping-in a little later, I had to 'put myself together' while the kids ate their breakfast.  Yes, I could leave the house in my PJ's and exist makeup-free but that's just not me so...not gonna happen!  We still left the house on-time but I'll admit that my overall appearance suffered.  Although, given my pleasant disposition (due to more sleep, of course), I'm willing to overlook this issue.  Another obstacle is nighttime activities.  Last week, we went out to dinner one night which meant that we got home later than usual...which trickled down to a late-night workout...and my workout suffered due to a stomach full of food.  I also used to get some work done after the kids went to bed so obviously my to-do list doesn't get any smaller in the evenings if I'm working out instead.  Fortunately, these not-so-good problems just didn't seem to override the relevance of my increase in sleep.

So, will I continue to workout at night?  For now, YES!  I'm an advocate for overall health and I can't possibly promote such a lifestyle when I spend most of my day yawning and living in a state of complete exhaustion.  I recognized that my body was trying to tell me something.  I enjoy my workouts so much and I'm glad that I've been able to find a solution that allows me to continue exercising while also improving my health with MORE SLEEP.  Let's face it - more sleep for me means that I'm more pleasant to be around...which means everyone wins.  Yay!

*UPDATE: June 2015*
Now that summer is in full-swing, I no longer have to prepare for rushed mornings.  That means...I'm back to my morning workouts!  I'll admit that I've missed them.  Getting extra sleep was great and was definitely needed.  But, I've always enjoyed starting my day with a workout and now that my evenings are free, I'm able to schedule a ton of summer-time activities that won't impact my workout schedule.  I hope to continue this throughout the summer and during some vacations that we have planned over the next two months.  Will it continue into the next school year?  Who knows?  I'm just enjoying my flexibility at the moment.  Stay tuned!! :) 

1 comment: