Commit to Fit | Week 7

Author | Commit to Fit 2013 Winner, Judith Zissman

I love sleep. Love. Love. Love. My dream vacation involves hammocks, ocean breezes and the gentle sounds of waves ebbing and flowing.

My real life, however, has an 8 month old baby. An adorable 8 month old baby who makes me happier than I’ve ever been, but who has some trouble with sleep*. As a result, I haven’t slept through the night in well over a year, since pregnancy was not exactly conducive to sleep either.

According to this article from Harvard’s School of Public Health, “There is mounting evidence that people who get too little sleep have a higher risk of weight gain and obesity than people who get seven to eight hours of sleep a night.” The research suggests that sleep deprivation both increases caloric intake and decreases caloric expenditures.

I have definitely not been decreasing my caloric expenditures - between working out twice/week with Billy and going for long walks carrying my son every day, I’m getting a lot of exercise. But that effort itself is exhausting. At some point I know that exercising regularly will energize me, but I suspect I’ll need a few more hours of sleep each night to hit that point.

So it’s been challenging, and I definitely notice that I make less healthy food choices when I’m tired, and even less healthy ones when I’m tired and stressed. Working on my son’s sleep is stressful, and though it’s getting better, I notice that when he is crying, I start reaching for snacks and alcohol, neither of which are really spectacular choices. Add to that the stresses of the past few weeks of world news and daily life, and I’ve just been feeling less than energetic about everything, including working out and tracking food choices - but I’ve been doing them nonetheless.

There’s hope on the horizon: now that my son is getting more and more active, he’s getting more and more exhausted, too. And he’s now sleeping in his own room where I’m less of a distraction to him, and it seems to be improving his sleep, which means my own sleep is improving. I actually got five hours in a row this weekend, which is more than I’ve had in a long, long time.

Hope you’re all getting some rest. It really helps.

*If you’ve ever had a baby who has had sleep problems, you will like this article. The rest of you, continue living in blissful sleepy ignorance.