I won’t lie. I think about sleep a lot. If you have read this blog for very long than you know that I live with a child that can function fairly well on 4 hours of sleep per night and has recently given up naps. I am a zombie.
I have been attempting to lose weight over the last 4 weeks. Once again, I am doing it with my best friend, Petra, who is having wonderful success while I have lost only .5 pounds each week. I know, I know…1/2 pound is better than a gain…but it is disheartening to be doing it right (I track all of my calories and fat on my phone) yet seeing such poor results. At this rate it will take me a year to lose 26 pounds. I easily need to lose 50.
A doctor would probably kindly suggest losing 75.
Recent research has shown that lack of sleep can lead to difficulty losing weight and can increase binge eating. A 2006 Consumer Affairs report found that “women who slept for five hours per night were 32 percent more likely to experience major weight gain (defined as an increase of 33 pounds or more) and 15 percent more likely to become obese over the course of the 16-year study compared with women who slept seven hours.”
I have gained nearly 35 pounds in the last year. I sleep less now than I did when Corrigan was 3 months old. You know, it was a really bad year of stress from unemployment and fear of losing our rental home to landlord’s foreclosure and sometimes the only thing that we had to look forward to was food because the government was kind enough to supply us with food assistance so that, you know….we didn’t die.
I have always been kind of absorbed with my appearance. More than that, I care more about what other people thing about my appearance. Two years ago I would have never left the house without makeup and my hair combed. Now I am happy if my shoes match and the car has enough gas to get me to the store.
I will tell you that, right now, I am so tired of being tired that I would take being obese than being sleep deprived any day of the week. If someone said, “Hey Mindy…what if I told you that you will have 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep, that Corrigan will sleep properly and that you will wake refreshed and ready to kick the world’s tushy but……the catch is that you will never lose another pound in your lifetime” I would sign the papers NOW. Being exhausted stinks.
I do not know how Corrigan manages to get along on such little rest but sometimes it catches up to him and hits him like a ton of bricks.
I thought that I would share some fun facts about sleep to accompany the following photos that I took of Corrigan in a yawn-marathon not long ago.
-The average yawn lasts about six seconds.
-The record for the longest period without sleep is 18 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes during a rocking chair marathon. The record holder reported hallucinations, paranoia, blurred vision, slurred speech and memory and concentration lapses.
-A new baby typically results in 400-750 lost hours of sleep for parents in the first year.
-Elephants sleep standing up during non-REM sleep, but lie down for REM sleep.
-Some studies suggest that women need up to an hour’s extra sleep a night compared to men, and not getting it may be one reason women are more susceptible to depression than men.
-Scientists have not been able to explain a 1998 study showing a bright light shone on the backs of human knees can reset the brain’s sleep-wake clock.
-You often yawn because you’re stretching, but stretches are not always accompanied by yawns.
-When one person in a group yawns, over half of the people in the group will yawn within 5 minutes, and the rest will at least be tempted to yawn.
-Even animals yawn when they see other animals yawning.
-Tiny luminous rays from a digital alarm clock can be enough to disrupt the sleep cycle even if you do not fully wake. The light turns off a “neural switch” in the brain, causing levels of a key sleep chemical to decline within minutes.
(looks like Daddy gave in to a yawn!)
-A stifled yawn is never as enjoyable as a completed one.
-Experts say one of the most alluring sleep distractions is the 24-hour accessibility of the internet.
-One of the best predictors of insomnia later in life is the development of bad habits from having sleep disturbed by young children.
(So admit it…did you yawn while reading this post?)
(facts for this post found at http://www.abc.net.au/science/sleep/facts.htm and http://health.thefuntimesguide.com/2006/08/yawningandyawns.php )