Monthly Archives: March 2013

sleep deprivation

Last month I cited another (far more experienced) blogger’s experience with weight gain and food allergies. Her experience with doctors, list of symptoms, and treatments is almost the same as mine, including thyroid and Vitamin D supplements. The primary difference is that she’s also testing an elimination diet to discover what effects food allergies may have on her situation. I want to keep an eye on her results.

In an earlier post, I wrote that my doctor had succeeded (after several attempts) in persuading me to consult a nutritionist. After I gave her the most honest report I could manage, the nutritionist focused on lack of sleep as the most significant factor that was inhibiting my efforts to lose weight. This morning, NPR aired a report called Sacrificing Sleep Makes For Run-Down Teens — And Parents (Allison Aubrey).

A single sentence in that report caught my attention: “We have a growing body of literature that ties weight gain to our 24/7 society and inadequate sleep,” says [sleep expert Helene Emsellem, medical director of the Center for Sleep & Wake Disorders, in Chevy Chase, MD].

So, there’s another thing to follow up on. I started with a simple Google search for sleep and weight loss, which produced a paltry 83,400,000 results. (What we need for the Internet is a “sort by” function like shopping sites have, so we can sort by most recent, most reliable, most outrageous, etc.)

My husband is a full-time student, and I’m the wage earner for the family right now, so we gave up cable with the DVR we were spoiled to. So far we haven’t found a way to watch those 9:00 – 10:00 shows at some time other than 9:00 – 10:00. We also haven’t found the willpower to give them up.

That means that even if we’re watching those shows in our pajamas, it’s generally 11:00 before we’re nodding off. The alarm goes off at 5:00 AM.

When I was a kid, I came home from school every day and watched Dark Shadows – a soap opera starring vampires. It scared me silly, so of course, I lay awake at night worrying about vampires, trying to persuade my 11-year old self that they don’t really exist, and swearing I wouldn’t watch Dark Shadows any more. That lasted until the next afternoon.

Apparently I haven’t progressed much in 44 years. Every morning at 5:00, I swear I’m going to bed earlier. And every evening at 9:00, I want just one hour to sit and relax with the TV.