Weight gain so far: 9lbs
I did something crazy this week. All you moms out there are going to think I'm completely nuts for doing it. I SLEPT. Every night this week I got between 7-9 hours of sleep (some nights I even got 10!) And it wasn't in 3 hour blocks either - it was solid, mostly uninterrupted (hey, I'm preggers, I gotta pee) blocks of sleep. And I. Feel. Amazing.
The two weeks leading up to last I was averaging about 5 hours per night, and my body sent me numerous not-so-subtle signals that this was definitely not "ok". So I - not wanting to start a fight with a body that could most definitely kick my butt - took heed and made a solid effort to get to bed at a reasonable time. I missed some tv shows, I missed out on some "husband/wife" time, and some chores got left until morning. And if I didn't get enough sleep before my morning workout rolled around, I skipped it and slept some more. Yep, it was that serious.
We mustn't underestimate the importance of sleep - not when we're pregnant, not when we're active, and especially not when we're pregnant AND active. Sleep:
-Helps your muscles recover
-"Poor sleep and depression were both associated with increased risk for birth complications... including low birth weight and pre-term birth"
-Plays a critical role in immune health
-Reduces inflammation in the body
-Reduces cortisol (stress hormone) levels --> http://www.parentingscience.com/Stress-hormones-during-pregnancy.html
-Suppresses thyroid hormone (primary regulator for BMR/metabolism) --> http://www.askmen.com/sports/bodybuilding_300/394_working-out-and-sleep.html
-Your body releases the highest levels of growth hormone when you're at rest
Translation: when you're rested you'll have an easier time losing or maintaining weight, and you decrease your chances of birth complications.
I know that when you're a mom, or when you're expecting, it can be damn near impossible some nights to get a solid sleep. And honestly, I don't have any "tricks" for all you hard-working, busy Mamas out there to get more of it. Heck, you're probably so chronically fatigued that you've completely forgotten what feeling "rested" is like.... am I right? So just consider this a reminder that sleep, if you can manage to get more of it, is so so so important and it feels so so so sooooooooo good. Personally, I felt a surge of energy after the third night of sleeping, my workouts were the most intense they've been in weeks, and I even managed to cut my caffeine intake in half. HALF! I had more energy to play with my son, and my pregnancy discomforts were lessened. It was absolutely worth postponing that "must-see" tv show (which was being recorded anyways), or late-night Facebooking, or putting aside my preconceptions that going to bed at 8:30 was super lame and that I should stay up until 10:30 instead...... oh, the excuses.
JUST GO TO BED!
Seriously. Like, now.