Updates on Operation Recuperation

June 15, 2011 Oyibo Princess
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Trying to recuperate

After finally releasing my hair blog on Facebook, I received a text from a friend of mine saying that she was inspired by my post titled “Operation Recuperation” to start exercising and, as a result, she printed out the plan to train for a 5k (3 mile) race.  I then realized that although I had been inspiring others to be healthy, I had not been sticking with my own plan to get healthy. This is problematic, because a person’s health affects almost every aspect of a one’s life.  Secondly, I had been reading 7 Habits of High Effective Teens (Yes. I’m not a teen, but that does not mean I should close my eyes to good advice), and it said that first we make our habits and then our habits make us.  That means that I have to work to get into the habit of sticking with my plan.

So I  decided that I should apply the techniques I learned during my Women’s Health Course (PHYSEDU152.01) about behavior change programs.  In the course, for one assignment, we were asked to pick one behavior we wanted to change and create an intervention plan for the behavior based on Behavior Change theories and models.  This involves but is not limited to listing the challenges we face in attempt developing the habit, noting the risks and benefits of developing the habit, keeping  a log of our progress, gathering information about the habit, etc.

I also realized that it can be quite stressful and frustrating to develop several habits at the same time, so I decided to pick one habit and stick with it for at least ten days and then move on to developing the other habits, while still devoting some attention to the previous habit.  While taking the course, I tried to develop the habit of taking vitamins everyday but now I am going to work on the single habit of sleeping properly.

In the class, we discussed three models for behavior change which are:

  • Transtheoretical Model
  • Social Cognitive Theory
  • Social ecological Model
To make this process simple, I am just going to use the transtheoretical model, because I can understand it the best and it involves steps from both the social cognitive theory and the social ecological model.  These are the steps involved in the transtheoretical model for behavioral change:
I. Processes of Change: Experiential (early stage)
  • Consciousness Raising [Increasing awareness] –Gather information.
  •  Dramatic Relief [Emotional arousal] –Emotional reaction to not getting enough sleep or sleeping at awkward hours.
  • Environmental Reevaluation [Social reappraisal] –What are the sleeping habits of others in my environment? What are the societal views surrounding sleep in my social environment?
  • Social Liberation [Environmental opportunities] –What are the social benefits of sleeping well and going to sleep at a reasonable hour? What are the social risks of sleeping well and going to sleep at a reasonable hour?
  • Self Reevaluation [Self reappraisal] Keep a log
  • Self-image, self-talk “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough and, gosh darnit, I can go to sleep on time.”
II. Processes of Change: Behavioral (late stage)
  • Stimulus Control [Re-engineering] Create a physical environment conducive to sleeping well.
  • Helping Relationship [Supporting] Seek social support (instrumental, informational, emotional, appraisal). Get an accountability partner.
  • Counter Conditioning [Substituting] N/A There is no substitute for good sleep. Not even a Red Bull or coffee.  Sooner or later it takes a toll on your body.
  • Reinforcement Management [Rewarding] Will keep a log and reward myself when I can manage to go to sleep on time and wake up early
  • Self Liberation [Committing] Decide on a contract for myself.
I will work on all of these in separate posts, but first I would like to share why I believe developing good sleeping habits are important.  I have been reading Proverbs in the Bible. One chapter per day for the entire month of June.  There are 31 chapters in Proverbs, so I will be finished by the end of the month. I did this in March too, but wanted to do it again, because I feel that I need to be reminded.  There were several verses on sleeping:
Proverbs 6:9-11:
 “How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.”
Proverbs 19:15:
“Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless man goes hungry.”
Proverbs 20:13:
“Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare.”
Proverbs 20:30-34
“I went past the field of a sluggard,
past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
“thorns had come up everywhere,
the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins.
“I applied my heart to what I observed
and learned a lesson from what I saw:
‘A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.'”
In other words, too much sleep = poverty.   Poverty??!! No way! Well, you may be saying to your self, “I thought she was trying to get more sleep, not less.”
That is true. However, I also realized that if I do not sleep enough, I end up sleeping too much during the day.  I also found out about  a disorder called adrenal fatigue, which is caused by stress and causes one to sleep more.
In my experience, not sleeping enough causes stress, so the less I sleep, the more I sleep, especially during odd hours of the day (and I am not talking about a 20 minute nap)   But “homey don’t play that!” because I am trying to start my career and I do not want “poverty to come on [me] like an armed thief.” Even when I can stay awake if I have only slept 5-6 hours, I cannot be as productive as I can when I have slept well for 8 hours.
One of my goals in life is to also become a good wife.  So why not develop the habits of a good wife while I have more time?  Proverbs 31:15 says that the wife of noble character gets up “while it is still night.”
The sun rises at 6:27am in Atlanta for the month on June.    This is also just hearsay, but a friend told me that you get the best sleep between 10pm-2am. Like I said, it is hearsay, but going to bed at 10pm cannot hurt. If I can go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 6, I am still technically getting up “while it is still night”, because it will be dark outside. Additionally, with this sleep schedule, I can get optimal sleep and I can sleep for 8 hours, which is the recommended amount of sleep by the sleep experts. Also, when I get up earlier, I will get more accomplished during the day. So this is why my goal is to sleep from 10pm to 6am.
I have already started the consciousness raising stage, but please expect more information on sleep, ways to get optimal, sleep and why it’s important to get optimal sleep.
Thanks for reading my post and please email me at oyiboprincess@gmail.com or post questions in the comment box. Have a great day.

Entry Filed under: Health and Fitness

One Comment Add your own

  • 1. Donna  |  June 21, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Nicole! I am checking out your blog and so far I am loving it. Love the stress advice and all the hair advice. Everything is so professionally written and thorough. I could not be more proud of you. Love you lots dearest. Keep up the awesome work.

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