The Life of an Overeating, Under-sleeping, Under-active, Middle aged,
Health-seeking Woman with a Need to Blog

I fall asleep almost every night on the couch. Depending on when I arouse, usually nine or ten o’clock, I make my way into the bedroom trying very hard to not wake myself all the way up. Or else I’ll lay in bed unable to fall back asleep.

It used to drive me nuts when my mom and dad fell asleep in their recliner chairs watching Lawrence Welk or Perry Mason. Later they watched Hawaii Five-Oh and Jeopardy. They laid there with crooked necks and mouths hanging wide open, a little line of drool just dropping off the bottom lip. I’d think, “Why don’t you just go to bed for Pete’s sake! You do this every single night. It can’t possibly be doing you any good. Go to bed and get some quality sleep.”

Now it’s me. I’ve grown into my parents! I pile up the couch pillows and get all comfy to watch NCIS reruns, fully intending to watch all the way through. But pretty quickly I hear a snort and startle myself back into awareness. I rewind NCIS to where I must have dozed off and get all comfy again, only to wake myself up fifteen or so minutes later. Some nights I go through this same scene three or four times before I decide I’m too tired to watch TV. On my way to bed I glance at the clock and mentally calculate how many hours I have til it’s time to get up for work. Let’s see, 10 to 4 a.m. is six hours. Crap. I should have gone to bed sooner!

It takes me a while to get the temperature right. I sleep with one foot out. I like to slide my foot around until I find a cool place. And I get up in the middle of the night to open the window, even though I can hear every single car and semi that passes by. The sand hill cranes and geese are really noisy right now too. We live across a dirt road from a river and a little pond where birds of all migratory practices seem to stop over on their way to various destinations, spring and fall.

I usually have to use the bathroom twice a night. I try not to wake up fully. The dogs bark several times through the night and Jack wants out as well. I’m pretty sure I don’t get many REM’s.

About two or three a.m. I start noticing the digital. I think, OK, I still have an hour or an hour and a half. Try, try to relax and fall asleep. Then I start blogging in my head! I have all sorts of long conversations about what I could possibly post. It is not restful! It is not sane. It is not practical. It is not healthy.

Researchers found that people who sleep two to four hours a night are 73% more likely to be obese than those who get seven to nine hours. Those who get five hours of sleep a night are 50% more likely to be obese than normal sleepers. Those who sleep six hours are 23% more likely to be obese.

And the researchers reported those who get 10 or more hours are 11 % less likely to be obese!

In a way, the latest findings seem counterintuitive because most people think that sleeping too much contributes to making people fat, but they found the opposite is true.

They believe that sleep-deprived people eat more because they are hungrier, they’re awake longer and may be temped by foods everywhere they go. They often consume far more calories than they burn in the extra hours they’re awake.

If I could just go to sleep at 7 p.m. every night this week in my own bed I can get off these last couple pounds! I could be in the group of people who get ten hours of sleep and are 11% less likely to be obese!

No better still, I will wire my mouth shut, and do sit ups while I watch NCIS. Then I’ll be actively burning calories, it will keep me awake so I can get through the show in the usual 22 minutes and not three hours of rewinding and starting it over. And I’ll get to bed by 8 or 8:30 so I can sleep a healthy eight hours before getting up at 4:30.

Sounds like a plan.