My fancy smancy most recent incarnation of a heart rate monitor is a Fitbit Blaze. It’s kind of large for my wrist, but it also works without a heart rate strap, making a huge boon over my prior incarnations of the tool. It’s also a pretty swell watch the rest of the day.
While at the gym or the yoga studio, I dutifully turn it on to keep tabs on my heart rate. But after months and months of J reminding me that it’s just data points, I no longer freak the Hell out over whatever it might say to me. It is still highly judgmental, or at least my interpretation of its data makes it highly judgmental, but I have developed some levels of resistance to it’s harsh delivery of information. When I turn it off after a practice or a training session or a yoga/pilates class I glance at the average heart rate and calories burned, think “that’s nice” and turn it off. I rarely look at my steps or anything else it tracks.
But as I said, it’s a pretty swell watch for telling me what time it is during the day.
The thing I have found most interesting about having this is what it tells me about my sleep. I have always known I tend to sleep pretty well, pretty soundly, and I know when I am shaving sleep and needing more. Seeing it in the colorful displays and graphs and hours and minutes spend sleeping, awake, and restless is kind of curious. Most of the time I apparently sleep like a dead – no restless, no awake – until about 2:30 to 3 in the morning, when hyper-responsible mind starts getting fidgety about the alarm and waking up on time. The little blue lines start popping at that point.
Except for Saturday nights. Saturday nights I typically get 8+ hours of sleep, whereas the rest of the week I’m averaging 6.5 hours of the course of a week. Not terrible by any stretch, but I love my sleep and look forward to Saturday nights and sleeping until as late at 7 on Sunday mornings.
I know – could my life possibly be any more pedestrian?
Still, I do not do well on sleep deprivation. I am not someone who can get by on 4 or 5 hours of sleep per night and be pleasant to be around much less fully functional. Most days I really do not have the luxury of time to take a nap in the middle of the day, so I have to be in bed by 9 most nights if I have any hope of making it through the gym’s doors by 5:30, and my preference is to be there by 5:15.
I think shaving sleep is one of those things we adapt to if demands on our time or our desire to have more awake hours in our days press the issue. Like so many other things in life, it comes down to personal choices and trade-offs in what we can or will tolerate. M has never been a good sleeper and has lived an entire life based upon sleep deprivation. I understand that, and as the years have passed I have been torn between feeling as if I am the weaker link because I need more sleep or if I am empowered because managing my own self-care in this regard is more important than staying awake for longer stretches of time.
We have been on the go most of the day today. Between working around the house – M doing various little repairs that have been put off too long and me with my decluttering and deep cleaning efforts – I have had plenty of time to think and to process a lot of niggling issues. Made some decisions about work, figured out encouraging, neutral advice for a couple of different friends, decided on and (just now) ordered a baby gift, and meal planned in my head for the rest of the week. Crockpot is being deployed overnight tonight. Put that way, it does not seem like I should feel as pleasantly fatigued as I do right now. Maybe it was pilates?
But honestly, it’s been a really pleasant, relaxing weekend. Worked some, played some, got a lot of chores and to-do items off the list. And sleep, my guilty pleasure? Looking forward to getting a solid 6+ hours and off to a good week tomorrow.