sleep, energy and wondering

So, I’m back in Memphis, back to work, back to the regularly scheduled program. But, even though I hoped that lots of rest and exercise over the break would put me in a better place upon returning, my energy seems to be falling short. I’m back to that same feeling of daily malaise and lethargy.

I have to wonder if the problem is the number of hours I sleep, the quality of the sleep or the time I wake up. Last night, I was asleep by 10:30, woke up from a particularly “loud” dream at 4:00 a.m. and then went back to sleep till 6:20. But I got to work and immediately felt like I was dragging myself through the day. I felt hungry and irritable and distracted all day long, just like before.

While at home, I went to bed around midnight or 1 a.m. and awoke at 9, so I didn’t get any additional sleep most nights. But I did get up at 9 instead of 6:30. Do you think it matters when someone wakes up? Do you think there are less ideal wake-up times in existence? If so, is it specific to individuals or true across most of the board?

I am my most productive in the afternoon hours, and right around the end of the workday (hence my constant need to stay at the office till 6 o’clock every night), but I’m almost completely worthless before 11. I still work, of course, but I have to stick to the most menial tasks, unless of course I have something with a tight deadline. But, seriously, who wants to be totally dead to the world for half the day?? It’s aggravating! And, beyond that, I doubt my boss would be flexible enough to allow me to come in at noon every day, nice a guy as he is. =P

So, I’m thinking about experimenting with something else. Perhaps 6:30 a.m. is always going to be a bad time for me. If that’s the case, and I can’t get up at 9 instead, I’m going to have to go the other direction. While I was home, my dad suggested I try working out in the morning instead of the evening. I seriously considered trying that this morning, but I was a bit worried about finding out it wasn’t convenient and ending up late to work on my first day back.

Basically, I’ll have to get up just before 5 a.m., take a shower, pull back my hair, drive to the gym, do either cardio or weights (not enough time for both at once), shower again, blow-dry my hair, get dressed/prepped and drive to work. Potential problems: 1) Sometimes I have second thoughts about my chosen outfit from the night before – what if that happens and I’m stuck with those clothes at the gym? I won’t have time to go home before work; 2) What if there’s some other woman who always showers there before work (there’s only one women’s shower room)? I won’t know until it’s too late and I’m left sweaty and gross on the way to the office; 3) There’s a chance that splitting up cardio and weights won’t be as beneficial for me as doing both at once; etc.

I know it’s fine to try it out for a day or a week just to see if it’ll work out, but I don’t want to unnecessarily stress myself out either. That won’t provide a reliable result because I’ll wear myself out rushing around and worrying about getting to work on time every morning.

My other theory is that I’m not eating enough plant and other energy-rich foods. And while that’s probably TRUE, I didn’t do that at home either and felt much better every day of the week than I do now, so I’m not convinced that’s the major factor here. I ate leftover pizza, summer sausage, cheddar cheese, tater tots – a whole slew of fatty foods – and then went straight to the gym and killed myself for two hours. I managed much better than I seem to here…

Does anyone have thoughts on this? I’m really frustrated with the return to feeling bad. I’ve never been a high-energy person, but I did feel OK in Michigan, and I’d prefer to continue feeling OK. I don’t know if the early rising will help, since I really don’t seem to do well with that unless I know I have to do something important (e.g. drive a long distance, go to a meeting, get together with friends, etc.), but it’s worth a shot. Sigh…

Also, my TV is dying. I brought it back from MI, and my mom revealed at the last minute that it had fallen from its roost in the basement while in storage. The front of the case is cracked and, upon turning it on, I could see immediately that the display was blurry. Any text (unless massive) is unreadable and all images are at least a little bit out of focus. Then today, when I turned it on again, the colors were gone. I cranked up the color level in the menu and managed to get back some of the blue. Now I can see very faint shades of all colors, but only in certain spots. So bizarre. I looked on Craigslist for TVs today (hence the earlier rant), but didn’t find anything promising. (And, no, no one requested I come pick up their TV; it was just an example.)

I also went on a sort-of date on Saturday night with a guy off OKCupid. It was fun. We had food, drinks and coffee; took a walk around the University of Memphis campus; and he shared with me his favorite lakeside spot in the suburbs. We’ll see if/when we go out again. Hopefully we will.

Apparently we have a chance of ice tonight. It rained all the live long day today, so freezing overnight will cause those puddles to become huge sheets of icy death, so I hope that doesn’t happen… Mer.

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3 Comments

Filed under dating, exercise, fun, health, recap, thoughts

3 responses to “sleep, energy and wondering

  1. On the topic of sleep and energy amounts: I have a feeling it might be subconscious and mental. While back up here, you did not have to wake up to go to work, you got to relax and have fun. I’ve noticed such things with myself. Especially when I worked at the mall. I did not want to be there, and the days dragged on and on and I usually felt dead. But if I know that I’ve got something going on the next day that I’ve been looking forward to quite a bit, I can get however many hours of sleep the night before, and when the alarm goes off at 5AM(or whenever) Ding! I am up. And not usually feeling tired even if I only managed a few hours sleep.

    Other than that, all else being equal, quality of sleep can make a big difference as well. I’ve had nights where I have slept like 3 hours and woke up feeling great, and nights where 9 hours have not done a thing for me.

    Good luck on figuring out what can be done to help it. And on finding an ok TV on the CL.

  2. e. autumne

    Only problem with that theory is that I LIKE my job. I find it much more fulfilling than getting up and doing nothing every day, so I’m not sure if that’s the problem. I don’t even consciously look forward to fun days more than I do for regular days at the office. It’s kind of odd.

    I didn’t manage to do the early-morning thing today. I stayed up way too late for it, then snoozed my alarm way too long. Great start! :P

  3. Yeah, that was the flaw in my theory, that you like what you do. So I guess it could be down to quality of sleep, or maybe other factors.
    Heck, if I knew what I was talking about I could be an Occupation Therapist. But I dont.

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