I was sleep deprived in 11th grade. I barely remember anything from it. I used to struggle to stay awake while driving around town. I definitely fell asleep in a few classes.
Skin picking had something to do with it – I lost at least one hour a night, usually more, to this activity. I had to get up earlier and earlier because in the morning, I was so dead it took me forever to get ready for school.
Art and procrastination had something to do with it to – I would pull all nighters to finish paintings (I went to a hybrid art-academic school). I think the only reason I survived was by sleeping through the weekend and drinking Vault (anyone remember that stuff?).
Of course, that wasn’t sustainable. I learned to factor in at least 6-7 hours a night and felt pretty good for a long time.
When I went Paleo to heal my acne, I started looking at lifestyle factors I could change. I started aiming for 8 hours of sleep and usually succeeded and felt awesome.
And then I tried to gain weight. I was eating more sweet potatoes, more apples, more maple syrup – fructose overload. I ate myself into insomnia. Even worse, I was pretty much having panic attacks in the middle of the night. (Sorry, Boyfriend!)
When I cut out fructose the panic attacks stopped and my sleep improved. Sometimes I got anxious about getting to bed on time, which of course meant I couldn’t get to bed on time. I had to meditate or breathe to be able to stop thinking about how much time I was wasting by meditating. I could be asleep right now, darn it!
Now, I am back to 7 hours a night, and I’m trying to work up to eight. I just feel much better at eight or even nine. My skin is clearer, I’m happier, I pick less during the day, I have more motivation and mental energy. It’s sometimes still a struggle to get to bed on time, and in summer I don’t sleep as well due to the heat. Additional stresses in my life right now are causing me to sleep poorly. But I have to remind myself that my sleep time is non-negotiable, and that I can’t stress about it. And no fructose-heavy foods before bed!
How about you? Do you stress about getting enough sleep?