Counting Sheep

Counting sheep.

I almost talked myself out of going running last night while I was doing the stretches. I was tired. The night before this last one, I didn’t sleep well. I woke up with a start after 5 hours of sleep. After fifteen minutes of agitated tossing and turning, I got up, made myself a cup of Echinacea and Chamomile tea, put on headphones to listen to music, and worked on something for a couple of hours. Then, I set the alarm to avoid oversleeping and slept another hour. I have found it is better to get up in these situations than spend the time trying unsuccessfully to fall back to sleep. If I haven’t managed it in fifteen minutes, it isn’t likely to happen. I wouldn’t mind waking up in the middle of the night if it was due to a sudden flash of inspiration. It is usually, though, an excess of worry bubbling to the surface.

I hadn’t been running since Saturday. It was too cold from Sunday to Tuesday. Last night, it was a temperate 18 degrees with no wind. The flags in front of the building at one of the turn around points were hanging still. I went 4.8 miles. I ran out of steam about a mile from the end. I could have curled up on the spot and fallen asleep. I made it home alright. I showered, ate, and cleaned up with my eyes half closed and then went to bed. For the first 5 hours, I was oblivious to the world. I was awake every half of an hour looking at the clock and then turning over for the next two. A good night’s sleep is currently the weakest link in my healthiness plan. It does happen that I sleep deeply for 8 hours with only one sleepy break in the middle. I am paying attention to how well I sleep and the circumstances of the day. I have eliminated all the obvious impediments to a good night’s sleep. I don’t have caffeine any more. I don’t watch movies or TV before I go to bed. Running in the evening has increased the frequency of the good sleeps. The reason for Tuesday night’s interrupted sleep might have been that I hadn’t been running in a few days. Time will tell. I have my focus on it now.

Once I was running last night, I was happy to be out there. It was a peaceful night. Eighteen degrees felt warm after the sub-zero temperatures of earlier in the week. There was a light cloud cover and only the moon was visible in the night’s sky. The predicted temperature for this evening’s run is 24 degrees with the wind out of the northwest at 11 mph giving a feels-like temperature of 13 degrees.

Take care and thanks for reading.


About Sarah

nature, outdoor, and health enthusiast, book reader, and story teller
This entry was posted in Health, Nature, Running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Counting Sheep

  1. Sarah says:

    Hi Shady 🙂

    My days don’t go very well without sleep either. I am curious about something. If you were to have some herbal tea like peppermint tea or chamomile tea in addition to the other tea you drink during the day does it still give you a headache? I think the hot water is calming as much as anything. There are times when I have just hot water or hot water with a little bit of lemon. I stopped having honey mostly because I didn’t feel like buying it anymore, but I also like hot water with a little bit of honey in it or honey and lemon.

    I have to stay completely away from salt. It messes up my sinuses and digestive system and makes me feel headachy and sluggish. It takes forever to get out of my system. One way I can tell if my body doesn’t like a particular food is if I crave it. It sounds backwards, but almost all of the foods that give me trouble are ones I would crave if I ate them. For example, I love cheese. I haven’t eaten it regularly since my early 30s. If I ate it now, I would have a very bad reaction to it: stuffy sinuses, upset digestive system, headache….. the list goes on. It is something I can’t have a little of. If I have just a taste, I immediately want more. Eliminating the foods that my body can’t handle has improved sleeping considerably. I suspect that my trouble sleeping now is mostly stress related and that is a tricky one.

    I find that going running at the end of the day is better for my work productivity. This is a surprise. I used to think that running in the morning woke me up and improved my mood and this was a benefit. What happens, though, is that I feel rushed when I am running. I am in a hurry and thinking about what I have to do in the day. Whatever good mood I generate going running usually disappears quickly with the day. It is completely different going running in the evening. When I go running, the day is over. Whatever was going to get done is done. All that is left is stretches, running, shower, food, and bed. If I am early enough, I might read or write before I fall asleep. In theory, I am not supposed to be thinking about anything of a stressful nature during this time. It doesn’t always work that way, but if I go running far enough (say 6 miles or more) I stop thinking about stressful things because I am tired. Last night, after I took a shower, I was noticing how much more relaxed I was than earlier in the day. It tells me that even when I feel too tired to run like I did last night that it is worth the trouble of going. And I am a morning and day person. I think best when I first wake up. It is downhill all day. It is better that working is closer to when I wake up.

  2. Sarah says:

    Your dog is crabby from being cooped up all day is she? 🙂 I can’t blame her. I don’t like being cooped up either. I had four dogs bark at me last night. Perhaps they were also crabby. Two were the usual suspects. The third was a very small dog running around the front yard of her house. The fourth was a large dog barking out of the half open window of a passing car.

    Strictly speaking, herbal teas aren’t teas 🙂 It is just easier to say tea than herbal infusion or herbal decoction (boiling the water with the herbs in it). We all have different sensitivities to things. There are herbal teas my sister won’t drink because they make her feel odd in some way or another.

    I only started running in the evening all the time this summer. It was an experiment and I was skeptical. How well it works has been a pleasant surprise and I wish I had tried it sooner.

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