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Greet the Sun

I met the sunrise for the first time in months this week, and it felt wonderful!

Last week, in addition to starting a regimen of a multivitamin plus fish oil supplements, I decided that I was going to sleep. I was going to put Rip Van Winkle to shame if need be. I knew I was probably sleep deprived, but I had no idea I would clock three 10-hour nights and several naps before feeling awake in the morning for the first time in forever. I also felt pretty normal. In good spirits, even.

Thinking back on my history of weight loss, I recalled that both times I got fit and healthy, I was out of bed promptly around 7:00 a.m., no snooze. Of course, it was hard to snooze in Japan when my “alarm” was my host mom cheerfully pounding on the door shouting, “Ohayo gozaimasu! Shichi ji han desu!” (Good morning! It’s 7:30!) 🙂 In college, though, I set an alarm for my morning runs, and got up on first beep out of courtesy for my roommate. Unfortunately, I don’t have a history of extending said courtesy to my boyfriend, who suffers through multiple snooze functions… but it’s never too late to start!

So after logging approximately 14 hours of sleep throughout the previous day between nighttime rest and two (yes two!) naps, I set my alarm for 7:00 a.m. and pondered what I’ve been reading in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Dummies. I think that I’ve somehow generated what they call “low frustration tolerance,” e.g. “But Moooooom, it’s too haaaaaard. I don’t waaaaannaaaa.” Their tip on overcoming both this and depression is to keep an activity schedule whether you feel like it or not. So I somehow had to get my ass up at 7:00 a.m. and go running.

Luckily, I had slept so much the previous day that I was awake well before my alarm. And the weather was beautiful, so I wasn’t exactly opposed to getting up and running. The brief thought of my half marathon in November totally sucking, and it being all my fault, jolted me up and into my running clothes and out the door.

While I expected to crash around 10:00 a.m. out of exhaustion from getting up and doing something more intense than poking people on Facebook for an hour — surprisingly, I felt pretty good.

As long as I can keep clocking 10-hour nights of sleep, I might even be able to make this a habit!

Now all I have to figure out is why my body thinks it needs so much sleep. Another question for my doctor. I’m starting to wonder if the fatigue isn’t a symptom of depression, but the depression and fatigue are a symptom of something else — like low thyroid? It does exist in my family.

In the meantime, like I said, I’m on a strict oversleeping regimen, multivitamins, fish oil, regular activity and home-cooked food. I didn’t eat sweets at all yesterday, which is a first! I also cut back my caffeine again. A while back I cut back all caffeine in the afternoon, now I’m simply cutting out all caffeine. (Caffeine withdrawal also causes sleepiness… lol.)

I feel pretty good about it. I’m excited to see how I’m feeling and acting after two months of this.

3 thoughts on “Greet the Sun

  1. Given my preference,I would wake up at 6:30, get my exercise, then face the rest of the day. I hd so much more energy that I did not always need a nap..but most days I need 1-2 hours of additional sleep. Is this a physical symptom of depression? Am I borhderline low thyroid like my moth er?

    But I live with someone, so i usually don’t get up so early if I want to share bfasst… so I have been exercixing as soon as I get him off to work… I also enjoy the just before sunset walk.

    I like naps, but I do not like passing out….not sure what causes that, but you are not alone…

  2. You make an important point about livign according to a plan rather than an emotion…our goals (we hope!) are permanent but feelings are fleeting. Exercise and sunrise sun should be energizing rather than fatiguing (unless you’re out there running a marathon, LOL). However, if you feel you are getting enough rest and still feel fatigued, maybe you just need some more sleep? Could you go to bed any earlier? There are great tips for figuring out how much sleep we each need in “Say Goodnight to Insomnia.”

    1. I think I’m slowly getting caught up on sleep. My “sleep needed to act like a normal person” time has gone from 12-14 hours last weekend to 9-11 hours this week. So maybe I was just totally deprived? I’ll definitely check out the book you recommended, though! Thank you!

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