Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May Area of Opportunity: Spark People Sleep Challenge

Okay, so on the first of the month I usually pick an Area of Opportunity to work on for the month. On the 29th of April I hinted that my opportunity  was going to be to kick my massive Diet Coke addiction. Well, the first came, and went, and I tried for about 45 minutes to not have my morning soda...and then decided I didn't care. 

My life is a going to be nuts for the next few months. I'm starting grad school, finishing up the teaching year, I'm going to take a month off work and try being a stay-at-home mom, then I'm running a 2 week summer camp (while still taking grad classes), then I have one week to get ready for a 10 day backpacking trip, and then it's time to either go back to my current teaching job or start a new one. Oh, and somewhere in there I'm going to be moving. So, needless to say, my goal for the summer is to hold on for dear life to my sanity. 

Soooo...I'm not giving up my Diet Coke. 

However, I found a recipe nutrition facts calculator at on Spark People  that somehow signed me up for their e-mail list. When I actually went today to see what the rest of the site was all about, besides the recipes part, I  was impressed with the huge amount of resources they have available in terms of healthy lifestyle choices. I put it this way because I'm not specifically trying to loose weight, but I am taking serious steps towards being more healthy and in turn I have lost weight. 

One of the things they have on the site is different challenges, and, because I haven't slept more than 6 hours a night in about a month, I signed up for a Better Sleep Habits Challenge

Each week I have different goals to accomplish. This fits perfectly with my "walk a bad habit down the stairs" philosophy. 

So, my Area of Opportunity for the next month (4 weeks starting May 9th, so not quite just the month of May) is to follow the Better Sleep Habits Challenge. 

The week 1 action steps are: 
1) Complete sleep quiz (done, this wasn't anything earth shattering. But it was a good reminder of the things that actually affect sleep and the urban legends that people tend to use as a crutch. 
2) Start a sleep journal to keep track of the factors that affect my sleep, looking at energy level, stress level, quality of sleep, and mood. They said the fourth should be self-esteem, but I know that my mood is directly effected by the amount of sleep and my self esteem is fairly consistent. I need to track these factors and the number of hours I slept. 
3) At the end of the week, I need to look at my sleep journal and set my goals. 
(the fourth is about earning trophies on the site, but I'm not super into external motivation so I'm not really worried about this one.)

So, last night I got 6 hours of sleep, I would rate energy level a 2 out of 5, my quality of sleep at a 5 out of 5 (I'm to the point where I'm too tired to not sleep like I'm dead), my stress at a 3 out of 5 and my mood at a 3 out of 5. For example, I'm currently blogging instead of doing the things on my to do list. I'm trading productive activities for self-soothing activities, which  implies a higher level of stress than I like and, therefore, a lower level of motivation. 

Man, I really need to start sleeping more. 


  1. Hi, Teresa!

    I am one of your followers out of so many other people that, I follow! I'm taking some time to just touch base with blogs that, I follow that I haven't visited in a long while!

    Wow - you have a very busy schedule! Doesn't sound like your doing that well with inner balance. Which is so important. Inner balance is everything to me. I simple go to pieces if I allow anything to take me to far away from my inner peace and contentment. I can always tell when, I've allowed things outside of me to pull me away from inner balance.

    It's hard when you have so many balls to juggle at one time. I have to stop and remind myself - Betty your trying to juggle too many balls at one time. That usually brings me back in focus!

    Do you meditate at all? Taking a few moments/half hour a day to simple focus on the inner you or simple to be still and quiet? Mediation is always great for getting away from it all.

    Another thing that might be helpful to you is to eat a lot of antioxidants. You won't believe how much energy you will have as a result.

    Blueberry's keewee are both very high in antioxidants. If you like seeds there are two that are great for providing you with energy. One is - Chia seed and- wow, forgot the name of the other one. Anyway just research "seeds" I'm sure you will run a cross it.

    I'm a vegetarian. I'm never out of energy- never! I'm very grateful for that. Eating nutritionally does pay off!

    I hope that you are able to have inner balance amid all of the things that you have to do.

    Much success at grad school!!

  2. Oh excellent!! I have gone through periods where I don't get good sleep, and it just makes me a crazy person. I miss staying up later, I LIKE staying up later. But I cannot get up at 6:30 to get everyone ready for school if I'm doing that...

    Good luck with your sleeping!!

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