For a long time, I’ve been feeling exponentially draggier.
When I first noticed it, it was during a particularly stressful, eventful, and fatiguing summer of seemingly non-stop madness. A sampler platter: attending a 9-day work conference out of town, buying a place while working at said conference, completing the closing and moving processes once I returned, traveling for more work and personal trips in July and August, and undergoing a massive professional realignment that threw my role at work into upheaval and added extra demand and uncertainty. It was no wonder that I was feeling so tired; I was, and had every reason to be.
As fall came on, the stresses of murkiness at work and first-time homeownership snowballed into a larger mess that collected political and familial stress. I had not only completely given up on exercising by that point, but I had also thrown into the mix eating anything and everything I could get my hands on. I took the very mature route of ignorance to deal with it, refusing to acknowledge that I lived in a world where scales or mirrors existed. When all of my clothes became tight again, I just doubled down deeper into my denial and told myself I’d have to wait to deal with it until things calmed down.
Well, things finally did calm down in mid-January — but a month on, I’m more exhausted than ever. This is in spite of having successfully resumed and implemented clean eating and easing back into exercise with a moderate lift to start. What’s up?
It could not be more simple; I’m tired because I’m tired. I’ve been getting into bed at early times and maximizing how long I’ve spent there for as many hours as possible, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been getting quality sleep. Every morning, I wake up feeling as if I’ve actually been awake all night, and feeling as if getting out from under the covers is physically impossible. It’s not because of stress anymore, even if it’s true that it was likely a — or the — factor leading up to this point; it’s because my bed sucks. Like, SUCKS.
My mattress is a teenager. Most beds don’t make it into their tween years, let alone to driving or voting age, but that’s roughly the range mine has reached. That’s TOO LONG to be sleeping on the same mattress night after night! Of course I’m tired in the morning after a night of tossing and turning, but never getting comfortable. I didn’t believe it when Jiminy would show an absolute maximum of 3 hours’ deep sleep, but typically more like 1-2 hours’. As it turns out, that data seems to track. It’s not worth feeling chronically drained and prone to muscle aches and all-day stiffness, to say nothing of the toll it’s taking on my mental sharpness or ability to live healthily. Once I finally got real with myself about the culprit of my fatigue, I knew I had to bite the bullet and shell out for a new mattress set.
Can I just say, I realized in the shopping process that I’ve never actually paid for my own mattress before — I was a teenager myself when my parents bought me my now-teenage bed! — and even with the good sales going on this time of year, they are EXPENSIVE! BUT, this isn’t a splurge; it’s a vital piece of my overall health puzzle. I can’t do anything well if I’m not rested, and losing weight tops that list. So, this weekend, I bought myself a new, incredibly comfortable mattress and box spring. It won’t be delivered for another couple of weeks, but I’m already craving it more than I’ve craved even chocolate recently. I can’t wait to catch up on some quality shut-eye so I can do the thing right.
Sleep is a VERY important part of this process. I’ve always known that, but I didn’t realize the extent to which I have been inadvertently depriving myself of it until I stopped to truly think about it, even though the signs have been there for some time. Now that my eyes have finally been opened, here’s hoping I can get them to stay closed all night in the very near future.