Sleep is alluding me at the moment for a couple of reasons, the primary one being the baby, who is currently waking up at 5am every day and the second one is staying up too late either to get work finished, to tidy the house, enjoy some down time or for a million other reasons that I cannot quite put my finger on. Every day I promise myself that I will get an early night, yet before I know it it is 11pm and I am just brushing my teeth. Where has the evening gone?? Even with my new routine (that I discussed last week) working fairly well, I cannot get enough sleep.
As anyone that has struggled to get enough sleep knows the knock on effect can be enormous. It affects your mood, motivation, energy levels and productivity. I have to say that I have been pretty lucky with Paolo as he has always slept pretty well at night. We survived the newborn stage as every parent just has to, but since about 5/6 months he has slept through the night . I know this is an absolute privilege so I am not complaining, but at the moment he has set a 5am alarm and is ready to go! He literally stands bouncing in his cot waiting for one of us to go and get him, needless to say our energy levels do not match up. I’ll be honest, I could probably cope with the 5am start, I do not get up that much later but I am also losing time at the other end of day as well so the combination is tough.
As I said I do not know where the evening has gone as I have definitely cut down my work load, yet I just cannot seem to get to bed early. I think I try to pack as much into this baby free time as possible and the time just evaporates. The problem is there really is only one solution to not getting enough sleep and that is simply to get more of it in any way you can. What is interesting though is how much sleep has an impact on your whole day.
As I am sure most of you will have experienced at some point you have the mood swings from being tired and grumpy to having bursts of energy, usually caused by the injection of caffeine and sugar. I can be bad for just taking caffeine on a drip when I am so tired (I blame my Italian heritage for it), but I do not know why I do it as it rarely makes me feel much better. I actually feel far better for drinking more water. The tiredness stops you from thinking clearly though and so coffee is my go to. It is also incredibly difficult to stay away from sugar when you are so tired. I have actually faired better with this stimulant, but it has taken far more willpower than it normally would. The biggest impact though has been on productivity. I am still getting work done but getting started takes more effort particularly if the house is quiet, it is the middle of the afternoon and I need to try and write several articles. That situation requires an extra strong coffee!
Ironically, the only thing that has not been affected at all are my workouts. I am even more determined to do them as I know they will give me an energy boost, particularly if I can get it done in the morning. If I can squeeze a workout in before work I find I don’t even need any caffeine to get me through. This is one of the most incredible benefits of exercise, the energy that it gives you. Naturally when you are tired it might not be the top priority for most people but I promise you getting in a workout will help immensely. You might not hit any PB’s (personal bests) during this time but what it does for your physical and mental well being is immeasurable.
I know that this is just a phase Paolo is going through and I don’t really expect it to last more than a couple of weeks so I am not stressed about it but I do need to manage it. The priority is to try to get to bed earlier, even if it means missing Love Island (oh maybe that’s where all my time is going!) and to try to keep my energy levels high through exercise and good nutrition, including swapping my coffee for water! When you are so tired exercise and eating well are normally amongst the first things that we give up on. We skip training, reach for white carbs and chocolate and lose all motivation for anything, but you have to fight against these instincts. Staying on track in these areas will help energy levels enormously, I certainly know they have helped me.
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