Are Your Problems Caused By Being Tired and Sleep Deprived?

For the past few months, I’ve been getting glorious sleep. Like, incredible, way more than just adequate sleep. I’ve been getting indulgent, 9-13 hour a night sleep. I’ve been prioritizing sleep heavily. More than socializing and partying and exercising and work.  And it’s been amazing.

With over 8.5 hours of sleep a night, my mind is clearer, my thoughts flow easier, I remember people’s names, facts stick with me, and I have much more positive energy and a way calmer outlook. Sleeping more is like eating 5 pounds of broccoli and exercising for 3 hours and working for 4 extra hours and going to a spa and getting a massage and a facial and a PhD all rolled up in one. Well, maybe not the PhD part exactly. But close.

I never realized that I needed more than nine hours of sleep before, because most people never get that, and it’s not known as ‘normal.’ And most of my life I’m pretty sure I’ve been walking around in a sleep deprived haze. Everything can seem a little harder to process when you’re sleep deprived- my feelings always felt a bit ‘gray.’ My thoughts always felt a bit duller when lacking sleep, and it was much harder hard to remember things or be infused with any kind of positive energy when running on less than eight sleep-filled hours.

My friend and fellow thirty-something coworker, Natasha, who I wrote all about in Playing Dress Up In Your Thirties, is one of my sleep inspirations. She sometimes races back to our hotel after work in order to get to sleep even faster- she claims she needs ‘instant sleep’ in order to get her necessary ten plus hours of sleep in before the next early workday and has no shame about grabbing the hours she needs. It’s pretty amazing to watch someone brag about making sure they get lots of sleep as opposed to bragging about being soooo busy all the time. It’s extremely refreshing to see someone prioritize such an important but seldom-respected part of a healthy lifestyle.

I’ve been getting a lot less sleep in the past few days because of my crazy work schedule in an exciting new city (St Louis), where I’ve really enjoyed spending every waking moment (pun intended) exploring. I haven’t been able to always race back to my hotel and get my much-needed sleep. And I can feel an extreme difference in my thought patterns. It’s been worth it to explore the city, but it’s still not a great feeling.

I intend to prioritize sleep once again, and stop staying up so late. Starting now. And soon I will get back to my amazing nine to thirteen hours in bed. Goodnight!

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Impossible Magic You Can Do When Single In Your Thirties

There have been many times when I’ve heard a thirty-something friend of mine say “I’m getting old for that” or “I used to be able to ______, but now I can’t because my body doesn’t work the same way as it used to when I was younger.”

I’ve been guilty of saying both of those lines myself.

However, a lot of the time I realize that the things that I used to do when I was younger but now feel like are harder to do in my thirties are things that I never really liked to do in the first place.

Here are three examples:

-Going clubbing (I always disliked it, but now happily have the ‘I’m too old for this’ excuse)

-Starving myself thin (This sucked! It just felt like a necessity in my teens and twenties. Now I’m just like ‘I’m beyond this bullshit. I eat for strength, health and enjoyment.’)

-Drinking until I was sick (Umm, who wants to be sick? The proper phrasing for avoiding this now is: “I know my limits, thank you.”)

However, something I used to do when I was younger that I’d stopped doing for awhile but always liked was staying up late and getting a crazy amount done at once. You see, I’m a night owl by nature, hence I work best at night. Since the world isn’t built for night owls, I feel like what I’m supposed to do is get up at 5:30am (crack of dawn) and hammer out work. Start with the gym, maybe marathon training, and then work steadily until evening, when I should settle down with some TV and food and a reasonable 10:30 bedtime. But this is exhausting to me. What I like better is staying up late, sleeping in, dawdling for quite awhile, then getting into a routine of an afternoon gym session and working hardcore into the night.

And I recently realized that the reason I haven’t done this in awhile wasn’t because I was getting older but because I wasn’t single.

I matched my schedule to the person I was dating. I felt guilty and weird working into the night. I’d get up early and would never get as much done because I never really got into my peak work stride.

And now that I’ve been single for a little while, I’m starting to get back into the habit of making my own schedule and getting crazy amounts done at night, on my own.

So let’s add another awesome perk to being single in your thirties, or any older years: go back to doing the things you liked to do when you were younger but may have put aside for someone else. Now’s your time! You are still very young! Enjoy it!

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Tonight I went to the 24 hour Duane Reade at 1am because I needed something. And you know what? I’d rather go at 1am then at 7am because that’s the way I like to live life!

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