Tuesday, April 23, 2013

W6, Day 7: ZZZzzzzZZZZ, or, Sleep! My Favorite Thing!

I've temporarily started using a BodyMedia body monitoring device to keep track of the calories I've burned and eaten during the day, as well as my activity level and the number of steps I've taken.  I'll write about this more later in the week because I just started on Monday and I want to give it a bit more time for gathering data.  It cracked me up because apparently I had a whole three minutes of physical activity yesterday, and the notification came up that this was a new personal best and would I like to share that on Facebook?  Three minutes?  Woooo!  But uh, no thanks on the sharing--let's see if I can't do a bit better than that before I trumpet it to the world.  One neat thing about the device is that it syncs to MyFitnessPal so I don't have to enter all my foods twice; I just log like normal, plug the device into the computer, and poof!  Everything's there on my screen.  That's pretty cool.  

What I thought was interesting was the sleep monitoring part of the device.  Apparently I'm a rather inefficient sleeper--not a shocker with a three month old.  Still, I knew I was waking up periodically through the night, but it's fascinating to see just how often I wake up, sleep for a few minutes, wake up again.  No wonder I'm still tired even though I've been in bed for what should be plenty of hours of sleep. The reason this fits in with weight loss is simple: when I'm tired, I want to eat.  And eat.  And eat.  Apparently this is a normal human reaction.  

WebMD explains it better than I can:
Exactly how lack of sleep affects our ability to lose weight has a lot to do with our nightly hormones. The two hormones that are key in this process are ghrelin and leptin.  Ghrelin is the ‘go’ hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin.  Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin. More ghrelin plus less leptin equals weight gain.

Allrighty then, problem solved!  Let's all get our ZZzzz's and we'll drop those pounds!  Well, probably not.  And often if we're not sleeping well at night, it's probably for a reason.  In my case, a cutie who did not want to go back to bed last night after a late night feeding.  Still, having a three month old makes it much easier for me to get sleep, as opposed to a newborn or one month old.  I still wake up for each little sniffle and complaining why-am-I-sleeping-alone-in-my-bassinet gurgle, but I'll take the sleep now any day over those first few weeks when I was basically a zombie.  So there's hope for better sleep in the months to come.  
In the meantime, I encourage you to try to catch those ZZzzzZZZ's.  It can't hurt to be more rested and refreshed, right?  And who knows, maybe you'll drop a few pounds too.
I don't know why, but these sheep kind of creep me out.  Forget counting, I'd be kept awake watching for a sheep rebellion.  Yes, I'm a geek.  :)

*By the way, I do recognize there's a difference in font between the top part of this entry and the bottom, but I can't seem to fix it (as with the picture captions a few days ago) because it looks perfectly right on my draft page.  This drives the detail oriented me crazy, but I'm just going to leave it for now.

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