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kirkor

2017 Whole9 WholeYear (3rd Annual)

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11 minutes ago, kirkor said:

So one thing I don' think we've really talked about in years past re: sleep is the EQUIPMENT of sleep!

Namely, bed, pillows, sheets, etc.  What are your must-haves, your secret weapons, your perfect combos?

As some of you know, I kind of bounce around a few different states for work, and I gotta tell you, the bed I have in Wyoming is definitely my favorite.  I sleep great on it! It's a decent brand name (maybe Sealy Posturpedic?) but nothing too fancy like pillow top or whatever.

I also love a memory foam pillow --- I have 2, one I keep in Wyoming and one I keep in San Diego.  I need to get a 3rd to keep in Washington :D

What difference do you think thread count in sheets REALLY makes?  Is there a point where you're just paying for the bragging rights of the big number?

That's an interesting question. I would probably think about it more if I, too, moved around more. I don't remember what kind of bed I have, and the pillows and bedding I got at Target. Everything is 3-5 years old and going strong. When my pillows wear out I go back to Target and get another four dollar pillow.

This sleep month got off to a rough start for me. The vog (volcanic smog) was so bad on Wednesday night that I couldn't sleep at all. I ended up staying home from work Thursday because of vog symptoms (like severe upper respiratory allergies, minus the throat closing thank goodness) and exhaustion. Last night I took a Benadryl to get to sleep.  Crazy stuff, that vog.

I'm hoping tonight is a better night with more natural sleep, but we'll see. 

More on my bedding: I have a mattress and box spring on a standard wire frame, nothing that could be called a "bed" in furniture terms (I have always considered the mattress to be the bed, and the rest to be Other Bed-Related Stuff). I have Target's Shabby Chic bedding, and the aforementioned four-dollar pillows. 

I like cotton sheets, but don't pay attention to thread count. I got some bedding for my daughters at Walmart a few years ago, and it had something shiny/polyester-y in it, and that's just not great for the tropics. 

I like a very minimal amount of decor, books, clothing, or anything else in my sleeping space. Honestly, though you wouldn't know if from my having two kids, two cats, and a dog, I prefer minimalism as an approach to life. (I think that's why Whole30 works for me psychologically as well as physically, too - it can be a very simple approach to whole food.) I have fantasies, once the animals are no more and the children are grown, of living in a studio with a single bed (aka mattress plus box springs), and being one of those people who can fit their belongings in a suitcase. 

The point of all of that is that I really like things simple and quiet where I sleep. The vog the other night, and my autoimmune issues generally, have not gotten that memo. But I'm tryin'!!!

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I had a bamboo pillow before I left Australia and it was the best thing ever - it really would have been worth the extra baggage to bring it with me to SA!

I'm generally pretty easy going on beds, as long as it's firm. You do get used to anything eventually though - I even slept on a concrete slab with a thin 1.5in mattress over it in China and was content (they really like hard beds there - the first night we got there everyone complained about how hard the hotel beds were, and by the end we could have slept on the ground easily). For some reason I sleep like rubbish at the boyfriend's house, despite it being a very comfortable bed. I attribute this to him giving off heat like a furnace - it's just too hot for me to sleep!

I remember hearing something recently on the thread count thing, I can't remember the exact number, but it was something like anything over 200 is pointless.

So in conclusion, choosing the right bed partner (or none at all!) is the most important aspect for good sleep!

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@AmyS I googled "vog" --- you are in Hawaii?? Man, @jmcbn was near the top of my "to visit" list but now you are creeping up! :D

How's everyone's sleep doing?

I'm thanking myself for "training" myself to sleep  more consistently through a full bladder.  Well, not even necessarily "full", but I'm definitely getting better at ignoring that urge to pee and just going back to sleep.  Usually I flop from sleeping one side to the other, but can fall back asleep fairly quickly. Still prioritizing left-side sleeping!

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2 hours ago, kirkor said:

@AmyS I googled "vog" --- you are in Hawaii?? Man, @jmcbn was near the top of my "to visit" list but now you are creeping up! :D

How's everyone's sleep doing?

I'm thanking myself for "training" myself to sleep  more consistently through a full bladder.  Well, not even necessarily "full", but I'm definitely getting better at ignoring that urge to pee and just going back to sleep.  Usually I flop from sleeping one side to the other, but can fall back asleep fairly quickly. Still prioritizing left-side sleeping!

Yes, I'm in Hawaii! I'm up for a Whole30er world tour, I'd like to go to Ireland too!

My sleep is still really affected by the vog, but given this month's focus, I'm very aware of the situation and taking it easier during the daytimes.

 

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Guys - it's been AGES since I last posted here so I have to apologise. Whilst I have been around the forums I've just been busy with 'life stuff' and I always feel like I need to put more time & thought into constructing a post on this thread, rather than the type of posts required for moderating, as essentially we're moderating ourselves here so it can be harder to see outside of the box...

Anyways, my month of Personal growth culminated in me deciding to switch gym. It took me until today to actually make the break, but the decision was made before the end of the month. My old gym used to be such a social place, but we've recently lost the fab cafe we had there as the company who had the franchise decided to concentrate on their stand alone cafes, a few friends have had to change their training schedule because of 'life' and one of the PTs really let me down over a group training opportunity, so when an old coach contacted me to go for a trial at his new place I jumped at the chance and confirmed with him just a half hour ago that I'm joining.

It's a semi private set up, all booked through an app, and there is a maximum of 6 people (could be less, could be just you) at any given hour, with one coach. Membership is pricey (almost x3 what I pay now!) but when you break it down its actually not that bad. You get x3 hrly group session week, a weekend circuit/HiiT class, and a 'lifestyle' class on a Wednesday evening. The focus is very much on improving overall health, the four pillars, and moving away COMPLETELY from any kind of IIFYM, or even weighing - my old coach posted a video on FB yesterday of him helping one of his members smash their weighing scales with a kettlebell... :D If I'm not happy with my progress in six months I can always go back to where I was as with this one there is no contract - a BIG bonus.

Sleep wise I'm doing good. This is something I work on constantly as I understand it's importance to overall health, and I make real efforts to get as much sleep as I can every night. I do breathing/meditation before bed, I use the sleep cycle app to help me fall asleep & waken gently, I do the black out blinds, cool room, time outdoors every day, Vit D3 every morning, magnesium every night etc etc etc but my downfall is screen time before bed - so I'm hoping to get that sorted this month, starting with NOT having one last scroll through my phone once I'm upstairs..... Yeah, I'm still working on that one.... :ph34r:

Hawaii, huh? Yep, when I was a little girl I told everyone I'd get married there one day....!! :o:rolleyes::wacko::D

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On 3/1/2017 at 2:30 PM, cottagequeen said:

Hoping to get at least 15 minutes of morning sun? Does it count if it's cloudy?

From what I've read it needs to be doubled when cloudy which is why I've been working at extending my walks.... I rarely get morning sun, but make a point of getting out at the same time every day, which I'm told is the next best thing!

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On 3/4/2017 at 2:29 AM, kirkor said:

So one thing I don' think we've really talked about in years past re: sleep is the EQUIPMENT of sleep!

Namely, bed, pillows, sheets, etc.  What are your must-haves, your secret weapons, your perfect combos?

As some of you know, I kind of bounce around a few different states for work, and I gotta tell you, the bed I have in Wyoming is definitely my favorite.  I sleep great on it! It's a decent brand name (maybe Sealy Posturpedic?) but nothing too fancy like pillow top or whatever.

I also love a memory foam pillow --- I have 2, one I keep in Wyoming and one I keep in San Diego.  I need to get a 3rd to keep in Washington :D

What difference do you think thread count in sheets REALLY makes?  Is there a point where you're just paying for the bragging rights of the big number?

Not sure what brand my mattress is but it's the absolute best I could afford at the time, which is what everyone said was the best option. The mattress sits on linked & tensioned wooden slats - so if the mattress is off the bed the slats arch upwards, and the slats are all attached with some kind of linen fabric so if you hold them up they look like a ladder. There are two sets of slats, one for each side of the bed. I turn/flip my mattress every time I change the bed linen, and swap the slats over too. Pillows are duck down. I'm not sure if thread count effects sleep quality, but it certainly effects comfort - again I buy the best I can afford, which generally means waiting for the clearance sales in TK Maxx so I can get the good stuff for not a lot of cash!!

@GoJo09 - I used real nappies when my boys were little and my favourite were always the bamboo ones (although they weighed a tonne when wet!) so I can just imagine how comfy a bamboo pillow would be!!

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Why doesn't anyone want to visit me in South Africa?! I'm so confused by this turn of events! :) It's not that dangerous, and there are zebra and giraffe in the park 15 mins from my house! Of course, you can't go the park by yourself because it's too dangerous...

Re gyms: I joined my Crossfit gym because I was new in town and wanted to meet people, and I thought it would be easier there than at a big box gym (plus the receptionist/owner was lovely). Hasn't happened quite like I planned, but it turns out my class (the 5am crew) are the nicest people - everyone else is really hardcore, and if I'd started going to the 5pm class, for example (the shirtless class, my friend and I call it), I would probably hate it - they don't help each other put away weights, they're all posers, basically everything bad you think about Crossfit is them. As it is, I love going, have made one friend, I have a blast, flirt with some boys and after only 3 months I look great - and honestly, I go 3x a week and am not exactly setting any records. I eat well and I'm chill AF about it, and I'm finally seeing results. Who knew.

I must go and find a good bamboo pillow here - it has some magical property so that it doesn't get hot or sweaty, and it moulds to your head. I only got the original one because my sister didn't like it - I ended up taking it home from Christmas 2015 in my carry on baggage because I'd slept on it at her place and couldn't give it up. 

 

I got some really bad news today and instead of going to the shops and buying ALL of the junk food, I had a couple of glasses of wine, talked to some friends and am about to go and have a really long bath and listen to the thunder storm rolling in (could be a Garth Brooks song, could be nature - I'll leave it up to you!). Could be better, could be a hell of a lot worse.  Not having junk things in the house is a real blessing.

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I'm not at ALL opposed to visiting you in South Efrica (that's me typing in a South Efrikan accent :D) - in fact it's another on my Bucket List. My ex BIL's ex wife (still with me?) is from SA, and of mixed parentage (if that's the PC way of saying it!) which was extremely rare back in those days and I've seen all the photos and of course my ex BIL and all the family have been out a few times. He always raved about it.

Yeah, I was at this new gym last night and I didn't know a single soul except for the owner. It was busy last night as Wednesday is when they hold the lifestyle class (which I'm hoping to worm my in on giving talks on nutrition & maybe even running a group Whole30) and so I felt a bit awkward, but once we got the work out started and I caught my breath in between sets I pushed myself RIGHT out of my comfort zone & spoke to a few people, and felt a whole lot better by the end of it. There seems to be a good buzz around the place - everyone is there to train & make progress rather than chat and look at themselves... There is not A SINGLE mirror in the place, and no cardio equipment in sight - this makes a bit of a change from the Globo gym I've been going to for the past few years, where 'shirtless' (or at least nipples exposed - for the blokes, although.... <shrugs> LOL) is de rigueur...!! The x3 sessions a week is what is recommended (and what I've been leaning towards since doing the Harder To Kill Challenge with Steph Gaudreau and her 'minimum effective dosage' mantra), but they recommend active recovery on three other days (so steady paced walking, biking, swimming - not cardio cardio cardio...), and complete rest on one day, and of course the focus on sleep.

I hope your bad news doesn't seem quite so bad after some rest & recuperation @GoJo09 - I always find things never seem so bad the next morning, because everything is temporary, and you just have to look bad at some bad things in your past that you thought you'd never get through to see that....

Garth Brooks is a bad word in Ireland. He cancelled on us a year or so ago, and the people were not happy!!!

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16 hours ago, jmcbn said:

I'm not at ALL opposed to visiting you in South Efrica (that's me typing in a South Efrikan accent :D) - in fact it's another on my Bucket List. My ex BIL's ex wife (still with me?) is from SA, and of mixed parentage (if that's the PC way of saying it!) which was extremely rare back in those days and I've seen all the photos and of course my ex BIL and all the family have been out a few times. He always raved about it.

Lol, that's an excellent attempt at an extreme Afrikaans accent, except it would be more Sout Efrika :). I do have quite a few moments at the gym of just standing and staring at the coach, as I can't tell if he's speaking English or Afrikaans. (He claims I'm the only person who has this problem, and that he ALWAYS speaks English when he expects me to understand, but I dispute this! And he doesn't even have that strong an accent! Maybe I'm just distracted by how pretty he is...)

I have a 3 week trip around southern Africa planned for June (Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and the west coast of SA) and I can't wait! And I'm going the Drakensburg at Easter, which has amazing hiking and scenery - no point coming all this way and staying in the cities, right?

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On 3/9/2017 at 8:51 AM, jmcbn said:

From what I've read it needs to be doubled when cloudy which is why I've been working at extending my walks.... I rarely get morning sun, but make a point of getting out at the same time every day, which I'm told is the next best thing!

Thanks! I try to get my walk in before noon. Most of the time I get in about 45 minutes. Am progressing on getting it back to a daily thing instead of hit n miss...

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On 3/8/2017 at 9:35 PM, kirkor said:

Still prioritizing left-side sleeping!

Wow ~ this is interesting!

Long ago, when my husband was seeing the ND, I recall that she had him do various cleanses while lying on his left side.  Too bad the lemon juice/maple syrup/cayenne pepper one did him in ~ and he refused to see her anymore.   :blink:

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18 minutes ago, Brewer5 said:

Wow ~ this is interesting!

Long ago, when my husband was seeing the ND, I recall that she had him do various cleanses while lying on his left side.  Too bad the lemon juice/maple syrup/cayenne pepper one did him in ~ and he refused to see her anymore.   :blink:

Haha! I can understand that!!

 

 

My sleeping is slowly getting better. The vog is still brutal, but I'm finding the right doses of allergy meds so that I'm not (too) groggy, but I can actually sleep. My kids and students are all getting sick. Vog is blech.

I may have to continue the sleep focus throughout the year, just as I'm continuing the January Whole30 focus. 

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Let's talk about an important component of sleep: WAKING!

I've got one of those daylight alarm clocks and it's awesome, but it's in San Diego and since I'm in Wyoming right now I'm just using a relatively peaceful musical tone on my cell phone.

What I want to specifically talk about is waking before one's alarm, and the danger/utility of the snooze button.

For most of my life, if I ever stirred during the night, or got up to pee, or whatever, I would specifically NOT look at the time. I figured if it was still the middle of the night, ok, fine, but if it was ever on the downhill side towards alarm time, I'd have a harder time getting back to sleep because I'd be worried about getting back to sleep in enough time before the alarm went off.  So I'd end up having crappy "sleep".

Now, I do tend to look at the time.  If it's a half hour 'til alarm time, I get up.  If it's 30-45 minutes, I do a bit of debate and check in with my body to see if I am still sleepy.  If it's 45+ I go back to sleep since I figure it's enough for most of a sleep cycle.  This usually works, but sometimes I go back to sleep real deep and the alarm hits when I'm real deep in and I wake up groggy, but most of the time it works.  If it's 45+ but I toss and turn, I give it like 2-3 "attempts" and then go ahead and get up.

This is on my mind this morning because I kinda "half woke" before my alarm, debated to look at the time and/or get up, decided to fall back asleep, and then when my alarm went off if was quite jarring! :-/ I shoulda just got up when I first thought about it.

And to cap off, let's rap about the snoooooooze button eh?  I would say 75% of the time I don't use it, 20% of the time I hit it once and get up before or at the 2nd alarm, and then 5% of the time I hit it a few times or turn the alarm off (dangerous!).

Years ago I heard a thing, from I think Bryant Gumbel when he was on Good Morning America, say he never hits snooze and just gets up right away, the rationale being that snooze never helps --- even if you do get back to sleep it's not like it's quality sleep, and then you end up rushed, so it's just fooling yourself that snooze is a good thing.  I try to keep that in mind, but it doesn't always work.

I've read one technique is to actually practice getting up right away.  During the day or evening, get in to bed and set the alarm for a few minutes.  When the alarm goes off, just out of bed straight away!  This will be easy because you're already technically awake.  But repeating this is supposed to condition you to get up with the alarm.  I've never had a huge alarm problem so I haven't tried it personally, but it seems like a plausible idea.

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I haven't used an alarm in decades. Mostly, though, I haven't used an alarm clock because I had babies, and now I have a dog, so there's that.

I have the same issue with night waking (something I have never outgrown, argh) - I try not to look at the clock, but sometimes those 3:30 a.m. wake-ups feel like 6:00 a.m. to me, and I have to look to find out what time it is. My adrenals/cortisol levels are so wonky.

My sleep issues are as chronic as my thyroid issues, so I'm going to continue to focus on sleep throughout this year, just as I'm focusing on nutrition. Sleep is a much more difficult issue for me. I'm glad it's been a focus this month.

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I'm always torn as to whether to look at the time or not, but I actually like your reasoning @kirkor.

I use the smart alarm on my phone, which starts with a gentle light that gets brighter and then moves to a song, which starts out quiet and gets louder. I never use the sleep function - in fact, it's disabled. I get up at 4.15 for the gym 3 days a week, and if I snoozed I'd never make it (well, not in time to have coffee beforehand, anyway)!

This month I have been sleeping long enough but I wake up unrested. I know the culprits are too much wine, gluten free chocolate biscuits and emotional turmoil. 2 of those I can do something about, so I really should.

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4 hours ago, GoJo09 said:

I know the culprits are too much wine, gluten free chocolate biscuits and emotional turmoil. 2 of those I can do something about, so I really should.

Well, next month's focus will be on stress, so you'll be able to do something about all 3! :wub:

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I've been using the sleep cycle app on my phone since last year's month of sleep focus. It plays the sound of crashing waves to send me off to sleep & then I get woken gently during a 30min window when the app senses I'm in a light sleep. Pre W30 I was wakening on average 3 times a night. Right now I'm down to once and whilst it used to be around 2.5hrs after I'd fallen asleep it's been pushed back to about 4hrs now which divides my average night's sleep pretty much into two equal segments. I never check the time when I waken through the night. Mostly I stumble to the bathroom, eyes half closed, and stumble back again - falling back to sleep is never an issue. My head hits the pillow and I'm out like a light.

I think I've used the snooze button maybe once that I can remember, and I'd been ill through the night, still felt unwell, but really needed to get into work to do the staff payroll...

I've been pretty successful excluding the quick scan of Social Media before bed this month, but really need to better manage my time in order fit in journallng AND meditation. Generally it's one or the other. I'm pretty sure that with a little more effort I could manage both!

 

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I have to say that the majority of the time I don't wake in the middle of the night. I too have the Phillips daylight alarm clock. I love it. I like the little sunset feature and I use it nearly every night. I prefer it over my old clocks white noise/ocean waves/night sounds choices. The birds singing morning alarm with the gradually increasing light is the nicest wake up call.

I used to be a notorious snooze button pusher. Rarely now.

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Well dang, we all just became such good experts at sleep last month that we slept right through the start of April!

RGZlMzq.jpg

But this month we've got an important factor to focus on: stress.

(I was tempted to use capital letters and explanation points, but I didn't, because, you know, I didn't want to stress anyone out :wub:)

Stress management might even be the most important skill we can develop, because it affects every other area of our life.  When we don't manage stress properly, our nutrition efforts can fall flat, our sleep is compromised, relationships suffer, and life just isn't as much fun.

Great article here: https://chriskresser.com/beyond-paleo-7/
To reduce the impact of stress, we can address both the amount of stress we're exposed to, and the way we deal with unavoidable stress.
Avoiding unnecessary stress means learning to say no, limiting arguing, turning off the news, etc.  Dealing with unavoidable stress can occur through reframing, time management, and cultivating acceptance and gratitude. (this is just a snippet from the article, so read the whole thing, and also we'll look at all these different strategies throughout this month.

And here is why our focus on stress management fits well side-by-side with our focus on sleep:

sleep-stress.jpg

https://paleoleap.com/paleo-living-sleep-stress-cycle/

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Love it! This is very much on my mind these days and I'm looking forward to focusing on this. I have been doing some work in this area already and I'm looking forward to more.

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So stress...... yes, I've been stressing about not posting on this thread lately so here I am about to resolve that.... :huh:

March and the focus on sleep worked well for me. I never did master the art of meditation AND journalling on the same day, but what I DID figure out was that the more time I spend outdoors the better my sleep quality is, AND the more naturally I start to get sleepy as the sun goes down - much to my eldest son's chagrin as he likes us to sit up really late on the weekends and watch movies.... But as the weather has improved, and my youngest son and I have been spending more time outdoors, our body clocks have adjusted somewhat and we've been really feeling the need to hit the hay rather than sit staring at a screen for hours on end. Then we're up and at 'em a little after sunrise each morning - feeling refreshed & ready for the day ahead!

So for the focus on stress for April I'm going to continue with the meditation/journalling, continue with my 'daily constitutional' (in  it's original sense - the perfect time to get some clear thinking done and/or clear my head), and work on my 'Stinkin' Thinkin' as @MeadowLily likes to call it - ie. write down my fears/those things that stress me out, and then work on a plan as to how I can manage those things so that they don't have the same impact on my mental well-being going forward.

Ok, so that's one thing off my list! ;)

 

 

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