Tuesday, January 25, 2011


There's been a lot written in the press lately about the lack of sleep and obesity. There appears to be a correlation between the amount of time one spends sleeping and the amount of weight one carries. I find these articles disturbing because I've had a hard time sleeping more than 5 hours a night since my heart attack and my weight loss has stalled since then. For reasons other than my concern over my weight my primary care doc scheduled me for a sleep study. I put it off for several months but finally had it done on January 10, 2011. I was absolutely certain that I wouldn't be able to sleep hooked up to all those wires (head, chest, and legs). The room looked like one that could be found in any high class hotel. The bed was comfortable and quite cushy. Only the bathroom looked like any other hospital bathroom - clean, but sterile. It took nearly an hour to hook me up to the monitors. They even use glue to get the leads to stick in your hair (they use acetone to remove them). Strangely I had the best night's sleep I'd had in months. I decided that a lot of my problems had to do with sleep hygiene (that's what they called it). In other words, I had some poor sleep habits. Since then I turn out all the lights. I don't go to sleep with the TV on. I got new pillows. I make my bed every morning so that my sheets don't get covered in cat hair (it makes me itch). I also have cut way back on my caffeine intake. I don't drink caffeine after 9AM. It's all made a difference. I'm sleeping much better. I still get up between 4AM - 5AM but I go to sleep earlier. The lab report came back this week. I only snore lightly and occasionally which I was happy about. There are no signs of sleep apnea (which is what they were trying to rule out). They did notice periods of arousal associated with leg movements so there's a possibility of Periodic Limb Movement Disorder which is kind of like Restless Legs Syndrome. I can live with that. It's a funny thing about the caffeine and the sleep hygiene stuff. I would have sworn that none of that stuff mattered but it turns out that making changes has paid off. I now get closer to 7 hours a night and the weight is coming off again, slowly but that's ok.

How's your sleep?


  1. I sleep a solid 8 to 9 hours a night, but if I watch TV or a movie just before bed then it is a horrible night's sleep. Something about the stimulation / light keeps me restless. I switched to reading and doing puzzles a couple hours before sleep and it really helps. Sounds like you are finding some good habits too!

  2. Sleep is huge - when I started sleeping more a couple of years ago, weight really started coming off more easily.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Basic tempeh (ie just the fermented soy) should be gluten free, but the variety tempehs often have barley in them, so be sure to check the labels :) I buy plain soy tempeh and do fine with it.

  3. Hi Johanna! This is a really great post and I'm so glad to hear that you are sleeping better. I've seen the research on sleep and health and I agree that it is immensely important. You are doing such a great job taking care of yourself, keep up the good work!!!