Category Archives: Sleep

Being watched while you sleep part two: the results

After a little mishap that involved the sleep clinic forgetting to send my doctor the results from my study, I finally got the information I’ve been waiting for since last week. The doctor did a great job of explaining everything and I found it really interesting to see how long I spent in the different stages of sleep. Even though it wasn’t severe enough to warrant the CPAP during my sleep study, they did find mild sleep apnea and were able to show me just how much it’s affecting my sleep (it’s a lot).

Perhaps the most interesting thing they found, that totally confirmed what I’ve always thought, is that (at least on the night of the study) because I didn’t get quality sleep throughout the night, I ended up in a deep sleep right before waking up, which explains why sometimes it’s SO HARD to wake up in the morning, even if I went to bed early the night before. Instead of making me get a CPAP (making me likely one of the youngest people to need a CPAP), they recommended starting with a device that I’ll wear in my mouth at night that will help keep my airway open. I’m feeling optimistic about having a plan of action, even if it does sound like it’s going to be an expensive plan of action. And they couldn’t get me in for my next appointment until December 4, but that’ll be here before I know it.

In addition, they strongly recommended that I make some lifestyle changes and stick to them for at least 30 days to gauge whether or not they are making any difference. I’ve decided to start these now since I won’t have the device for another month or so. These changes include:

  • Cutting back on caffeine
  • Getting in at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday
  • Going to bed and waking up around the same time every day
  • Cutting back on alcohol — going to attempt to cut out alcohol altogether for the next 30 days since I really don’t drink much anyways
  • Winding down before bed (I have a habit of working, watching Parks & Rec or being on Twitter right before I go to sleep)
  • Making sure to be well hydrated throughout the day and then limit fluids right before bed

Some changes that weren’t suggested but I’m going to make on my own include:

  • Cleaning up my diet and no sweets in the evening
  • This isn’t a change, but I’m going to continue to keep a notebook by my bed to write down any thoughts that are likely keeping me from falling asleep or falling back asleep when I wake up in the middle of the night
  • I’m going to attempt to make my sleep schedule incorporate a morning workout so I make sure to get in my 30 minutes (or more) of exercise everday
Advertisements

Being watched while you sleep

Creepy title, huh? Just a couple of nights ago, I went in for a sleep study. For the past five or so years, I’ve struggled with sleep issues on and off. The only times I feel like I’m getting quality sleep is when I’m finally so exhausted that my body just crashes. In general, I never wake up feeling refreshed and take naps on the weekend like nobody’s business. AND I’m pretty sure I developed sleep apnea while I was pregnant which can be really dangerous, so my doctor suggested that I get this checked out now. I’ve already been through a ton of other kinds of testing (blood work, etc) and everything looks normal. I’m hoping that whatever they find out (if they DO find something) and me cleaning up my diet will help me finally start getting better sleep.

So anyways, if you’ve ever been curious about what a sleep study is, it went something like this:

8:45 p.m. – Arrived at the hotel/sleep clinic. Yes, the sleep clinic is in a hotel. They must have a partnership where they get a block of rooms to office out of and hold the studies. It’s pretty smart; plus, you get access to their continental breakfast in the morning.

8:50 p.m. – Had to go back out and move my car because I parked in the wrong lot.

8:55 p.m. – Hobbled back up to the room (per my injury from falling while running)

9:00 p.m. – Filled out two additional long questionnaires (I had already filled one out at home)

9:15 p.m. – Started getting hooked up while watching a bad TNT show

10:00 p.m. – More electrodes get pasted to my face

10:10 p.m. – Got ready for bed and sent the hubs a selfie

IMG_2661

I sleep in style. Oiselle Podium PJs FTW!

10:15 p.m. – Lights out

Sometime around 11 p.m. – Still not sleeping and had to call the technician in the room to unhook me so I could use the bathroom (awkward)

Unsure of time – Back to bed. Weird dreams during the night.

6:40 a.m. – The technician woke me up over the speaker

6:45 a.m. – Took all of the wires and electrodes off of me

7 a.m. – Showered and got ready for work, filled out more questionnaires and then was on my way to work!

Next week, I have a follow up appointment with the sleep doctor (I’m sure there’s a more accurate title for her, but I’m unsure of what that is right now) where she’ll go over the results from the study. The technician wasn’t allowed to tell me anything the next morning. The only thing I know is that I don’t have moderate (or severe, for that matter) sleep apnea, because they didn’t put me on the CPAP and I’m pretty sure I don’t have any restless leg issues (not that I thought I did) because I rolled over once and the electrode came off of my leg and they didn’t come in to put it back on.

Have you or anyone you know gone through a sleep study?

How do you make sure you get good sleep?

Updates and a fun new toy!

http://vzw-badge.comblu.com/Health-Fitness.htm
Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Health and Fitness Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

Update on my foot

I saw an orthopaedic doc on Monday (seriously, the best in the Cities — Dr. Angie Voight at Summit Orthopaedics). The bad news is that it is indeed Plantar Fasciitis. The good news is that everything I’ve been doing (icing, stretching, rolling, resting) has been doing some good and I can continue to train. I have to start physical therapy ASAP (the first appointment I could get, however, was August 29) and have a follow up appointment with Dr. Voight right before the marathon.

Update on GOTR fundraising goal

I officially reached my goal of raising $1,000. And I did it before August 1! Now just have to put other people’s money where my mouth is and run TCM in under four hours. NBD. Thanks so much to everyone who donated!

Update on life

Remember this post? Let’s see how I’m doing on that, shall we?

Learn to say no/ hold my “me time” sacred.  Ummm, this is going OK. I give myself a B -. I’ve kind of been running nonstop since I got home from Chicago and the next couple of weeks look the same. But I do have a few free nights and this weekend is relatively open.

Take care of myself: eating healthy, getting as much sleep as possible, etc.  Bah. I maybe get a C+ on this — my diet desperately needs some cleaning up and I haven’t been getting a ton of sleep lately. However, I did start acupuncture for my migraines and I think it’ll end up helping me feel better overall as long as I start working on the sleep/diet aspects of my life also.

Continue seeing my therapist. A! I’m only going for sessions every other week now, but I’m still going!

Enjoy and savor the relaxing time at the cabin I have coming up in a few days!  Done. The cabin was wonderfully relaxing.

Keep my eye on the prize(s) This one takes some work, but I’m definitely making myself stop and pause every once in awhile to remember why I’m doing certain things and to focus on the positive.

ALSO…

Our second device from Verizon came on Monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (can you tell I’m excited?)

What could it be?

What could it be?

Oh. Em. Gee!

Oh. Em. Gee!

IMG_4716

It’s so prettyyyyy

IMG_4718

IMG_4719

Screenshot_2013-08-01-08-57-51

Love the browsing capabilities.

 

Unfortunately, this week I’ve had plans or had to work every night so I haven’t had much time to spend with my new toy! But right away, I LOVE the big screen and how sleek everything is. And now that I’ve had my Droid Razr HD for awhile, I’m really comfortable with the interface and how downloading apps works, etc.

 

samsung

I’ll definitely be reporting back as I get it all set up and start to use it more. But I think I’m in love with it already!

Putting the whole “Finding a Balance” thing to the test.

As the title of this post suggests, I feel like I’m about to be put to the test. And here is why:

  • The busy season at work is in full swing and likely won’t slow down until mid-October.
  • I started my part time job on Sunday and it left me absolutely exhausted by the end of the day. I think I’m too old to have two jobs (and as Carly put it, one that’s so physical!)
  • I plan to buy a new car this fall so need to start researching and test driving cars!
  • I just finished week 2 of marathon training and this week speed work gets incorporated into my training plan.
  • I started working with a personal trainer a couple of weeks ago and will be meeting with her on a weekly basis.
  • I signed up for my own personal training certification test which is scheduled for November 22. Need to fit in study time somehow…
  • We’ve been talking about starting our kitchen remodel project (completely gutting and re-doing the kitchen) in a couple of months.
  • I’m the captain of our Ragnar team and there’s still a lot to do before the race! Oh and I got roped into captaining the team at work, too….
  • Although my friends and family have been AMAZING and I’m about 75% of the way to my fundraising goal, I will still need to do some work to hit that $1,000 mark for Girls on the Run Twin Cities.

How I plan to find and keep a balance:

Learn to say no/ hold my “me time” sacred. I have a tendency to feel guilty when I have “white space” on my personal calendar and feel like if someone wants to make plans, I should just fill up that time. I’m going to work on spacing things out and not being afraid to say no when I need to.

Take care of myself: eating healthy, getting as much sleep as possible, etc. Meal planning and prepping will be crucial to make sure I don’t just opt for convenience food or make unhealthy choices. Getting a decent amount of sleep might be tricky but I’ve been doing a good job so far of getting around 7 hours of sleep a night, even with getting up earlier. I’m also still getting regular massages, which has been fantastic.

Continue seeing my therapist: sometimes you just need the help of a professional

Enjoy and savor the relaxing time at the cabin I have coming up in a few days! Our cabin is one of my favorite places on earth to be. I plan to be lazy and catch up on some reading I’ve been meaning to do 😉

Keep my eye on the prize(s): I find it’s good to keep perspective when things get tough. Eg. why am I working a part time job? I want to buy a nice brand new car in the fall. Also, I always think about the things I have to look forward to:

  • The Basilica Block Party with Mandy!
  • Chicago weekend with Andrea (and Hillary!)
  • Um, hello Minnesota State Fair?! I hear there’s some pretty sweet new foods debuting this year.
  • The marathon!
  • I feel like the cabin deserves another mention 🙂

There’s a lot of  “me” talk going on (which normally would make me uncomfortable) but if I’ve learned anything recently, it’s that I have to give myself permission to put myself first sometimes so that I can be the best employee/wife/friend/pup and cat mom I can be.

How do you maintain balance in your life?

Whirlwind week + Running as a SoleMate

So far this week I…

      • Got up early on a consistent basis.  I woke up before my alarm went off three of the days this week!
      • Ran once (without shin pain), kicked my booty with an intense elliptical session (didn’t realize those two things went together — intense + elliptical) and did some serious upper body and core strength training
      • Put my Saucony Boston Strong lace medallions on my shoes

IMG_20130608_172708_911-1 IMG_20130610_105134

    • Failed at making a Fitnessista breakfast cookie. I don’t know why it always turns out mushy on the bottom.
    • Finalized my part time job schedule for the summer — I start in less than two weeks!
    • Worked two 13 hour days and then took an afternoon off to make up for those long days 🙂
    • Volunteered at Feed My Starving Children with the hubs
    • Went to the dentist – no cavities!
    • Officially made it one month without taking ANY elevator! Yesterday I took the elevator with a co-worker to help her with a giant cart full of stuff we needed to put in our cars for an event we were putting on. But I may start up another month today.
    • Had a fantastic lunch with my mentee. I am always so inspired after meeting with her!

photo(1)

  • Passed the halfway mark to my fundraising goal for Girls on the Run (in less than two weeks!) – more details on that below.
  • Caught up with a friend over wine and started planning our Ragnar team shirts!

Tonight: date night with J and then I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend. It’s likely to only be semi-relaxing but I’m still looking forward to it!

Happy Friday, everyone!! What’s everyone doing this weekend? Did anyone see Spirit of the Marathon II?

Show your support and make a difference in the lives of young girls

As most of you who read my blog know, Girls on the Run Twin Cities (GOTR) inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident. Some of you know that while I used to sit on the Board of Directors, I’m no longer able to make the time commitment. So as part of my efforts to find other ways to stay involved, I’ve decided to run the Twin Cities Marathon as a Girls on the Run Sole Mate to raise money to help make a difference in the lives of young girls across the Twin Cities!

As most of you also know, I’ve decided to set a pretty ambitious goal for myself for TCM. I’m training to complete the marathon in less than 4 hours, which would mean shaving 50 minutes off of my previous marathon time.

If anyone would like to donate, please visit my fundraising page. My goal is to raise $1,000 by October 6. And if you’re in the area or want to take a little vacation, please come support me on race day! You can also sign up to get text message tracking for my progress the day of the race if you can’t be there. If you know anyone else who’d like to support this cause, please forward on!

How to get up earlier

Just because I’m a morning person doesn’t mean that it’s not hard for me to get up early — and some mornings it feels downright impossible. But once  I’m up, I LOVE mornings. I’m much more productive in the mornings than in the evenings (this never used to be the case. Hello all-nighters in undergrad AND grad school?!!). In the past, I’ve gone through streaks of being a morning workout person, but this typically goes much better if it’s for a class where I’m signed up and they’re expecting me or I will get charged if I don’t get up. If getting up early means going to the gym to hit the treadmill or go for a run outside – forget it.

But with the summer that lies ahead, getting up early is going to be necessary for me to fit everything in. Besides working my full time job (oh, and did I mention that the summer is our busy season at work?), I just accepted a part time summer job (I feel like I’m in high school again) to save to buy a new car in the fall, and both J and I will be training for the Twin Cities Marathon. So I’ll need to get up early to get in my runs, to blog, to get to work early, etc.

I read this article by Peter Shankman and it really changed my outlook an how I was approaching trying to get up early. The part that I can completely relate to is his #3 tip on how to get up earlier:

3) THERE IS NO TRY. Don’t think, just do. It’s amazing what we can rationalize at 5am. “Oh, I’ll just sleep for an extra hour, then do the treadmill at double the speed for half the time so I can still make it into the office. You know that’s BS, you know you’re not going to, and you know there will be no working out for you today. Don’t think. Just get your ass out of bed. Think later.

I sometimes have to laugh and how I rationalize resetting my alarm for a later time.

My five reasons to get up early

To eat a proper breakfast: when I’m rushed in the mornings I’m more likely to grab something on my way to or at work (likely unhealthy and expensive) or skip breakfast altogether. This usually also means that I’m starving by the time lunch comes around.

Yum.

Yum.

To fit in a workout: it’s the best feeling when I know that I don’t have to work out after work – this also gives me more time to make dinner.

pizza

Keep an eye out for “how to” on how to make pizza on the grill — coming soon!

To pack a lunch: I try to prep things the night before but it’s still easier to thoughtfully pack your lunch and bring it to work if you have a little extra time in the morning.

IMG_20130520_114105_355

More “me” time: my “me” time mostly includes catching up and commenting on blogs, snuggling with the pets on the couch, meal planning, planning or writing my own blog posts and just being alone.

To take the bus: on days where I don’t have anything going on right after work, I really should be taking the bus/train. I’m lucky to live close to a bus stop and there is a stop off of the train that is right in front of my office building. I’m also trying to drive my car less to hopefully retain whatever value is left for when I trade it in. Not to mention that I have unused money on my bus pass.

My approach going forward (I’m pretty much going to try out most of Peter’s ideas, tailored to what I think will work best for me.)

  • Work on getting up just fifteen minutes earlier each week. I’m thinking that this will ideally work best if I get up fairly early on the weekends, too. That shouldn’t be too difficult since I usually get up at the same time on the weekends as I do during the week.
  • I love the idea of keeping a glass of water by my bed and drink it right away when my alarm goes off. (I think I’ll shut it off first though. My husband might appreciate that)
  • Use the silent alarm on my fitbit (awesome feature) in addition to my cell phone alarm, which I’ll set for five minutes later and will put somewhere where I have to get up to turn it off. The goal will be to go turn it off before it actually goes off.
  • I love his comment about feeding your pet. My cat is relentless when she wants to be fed. I could also take the dog out for the last time a bit earlier than usual, but that just seems mean.
  • I already go to bed pretty early so I don’t think I’ll be moving my bedtime any earlier, but maybe it just means shutting down and unplugging earlier. This is going to be all about improving the quality of my sleep going forward.

(and yes it’s on purpose that all of my photos are of food. I guess food is a bit motivator for me 🙂

5 tips to getting the most out of your Fitbit

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

http://vzw-badge.comblu.com/Health-Fitness.htm
*Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Health and Fitness Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

You might remember that a Fitbit was one of the two devices we got during our Verizon Voices kickoff weekend in Chicago! Now that I’ve had the chance to actually use my Fitbit for almost a month now, I wanted to share what I have found to be the best ways to get good use out of the device.

Fitbit!

Fitbit!

Five tips to getting the most out of your Fitbit

1. Take the stairs! It’s amazing how many times I’d take the elevator places without even thinking about it.

IMG_3975

2. Park far away. Those extra steps it took you to get from your car to the grocery store, work…whatever, can be the difference in making your step goal for the day vs. not.

Love seeing this.

Love seeing this.

3. Regularly sync your Fitbit. And if you’re like me and you obsess over stats — you’ll stay motivated. Adding friends on fitbit.com can help keep you motivated also. I’m not super competitive with others, but I am with myself.

My flower's bigger than yours! :)

My flower’s bigger than yours! 🙂

4. Explore the other features. At first, I mostly paid attention to the steps taken/distance walked and floors climbed, but the sleep tracking is pretty awesome and you can track food/water intake on fitbit.com also!

It comes with a wristband (actually super comfortable) to wear while sleeping!

It comes with a wristband (actually super comfortable) to wear while sleeping!

5. Go for a walk. OK, I know — duh. But sometimes I get in the habit of getting pretty sedentary once I’ve gotten my workout in for the day. But since I’ve gotten the fitbit, my husband and I have been taking more walks (great way to connect without the distraction of the television, etc) and I’ve been taking the dog out for more walks. And that makes Cole very happy!

photo (42)

One other tip that might now work for everyone, but I’ve found helpful is if you can stand at work (I’m lucky enough to have a sit-to-stand desk) — you should stand. You take way more extra steps by already standing.

Even if you don’t have a Fitbit, these are all great ways to get some more movement into your day!