As for most or all people, sleep is important. It definitely is for me. Unfortunately, I don’t sleep well. A good night of sleep for me is only waking up two or three times during the night.
Right now for some reason I am in my bad cycle of sleep. This means I wake up 10ish times a night and sometimes when I wake up I can’t fall back asleep immediately. I usually end up in the spare room at some point and sack out on the futon.
I almost never have a hard time falling asleep. I do that great. It’s the waking up all hours of the night that is tough on me.
Now that I get up at 5 a.m. for work, sleep seems even more important. I am not super happy if I don’t get enough. I try to go to bed between 9 and 10 p.m. But really I prefer between 9 and 9:30.
I remember hearing that sleep-deprived people tend to eat more. This article, Why a Lack of Sleep Can Make You Fat and How to Keep From Gaining Weight, from Health.com talks about how lack of sleep can alter your appetite.
Here’s an article from WedMD, Sleep and Weight Gain: Will Better Sleep Help you Avoid Extra Pounds, that basically says the same thing.
I found both articles informative. And they both gives tips on what you can do to fight sleep-deprived weight gain. Planning is a big key player–at least for me. I try to not have too much coffee or sweets or any kind of extra pick me up during the day. I have my regular supply and routine during the workweek.
I do have a cup of coffee when I arrive at work, and I usually only have one cup, with a little creamer and Splenda. While making my coffee I also fill up my 16 oz. glass of water. I either have oatmeal, steel cut oats or cereal for breakfast. The oatmeal and oats I usually add a little fruit, usually blueberries.
For morning snack I have some carrots and a Babybel Light. For lunch I normally have a Lean Cuisine frozen dinner and bagged salad with Salad Spritzer. My afternoon snack can be a piece of fruit; more carrots and Babybel Light; almonds; Greek yogurt; things like that.
Many of my dinners consist of brown rice and some sort of steamed vegetable; or it can be a chicken breast marinated in light Italian dressing with a side salad or vegetable; sometimes vegetable/shrimp stir fry with brown rice.
I try to find filling foods that also taste good and are easy to make. Of course, I stray and will have a huge thing of pasta or a honker burger and a beer or two or three or too much delicious cheese or one too many glasses of wine.
I find that planning is key. That is really what will help you get through the day. I bring most of my own food to work. Some healthy snacks are provided at work. And there are also healthy meal options. But to save money and control calories I bring my own lunch.
I have to say even when I am tired I push myself to exercise. Afterward I am always glad I did. Oh, and I drink lots of water. (I am almost off soda.)