52 Days of Paleo – Day 5

Today's breakfast after a 50-mile bike ride; banana and strawberry smoothie.

Is Paleo eating fixing my sleep?

I get up in the middle of the night to pee multiple times, three or four is normal. This is not a new thing; I’ve been doing it my entire adult life. It’s not a problem with my prostate (I’ve allowed a man in scrubs to insert his finger and check for me on more than one occasion - a medical professional, I feel the need to say).

I go to bed in the 9:30 range. Sometimes a little earlier, sometimes a little later. I expect to get up in the night and pee. I prepare for it. I am as confident moving through our bedroom to the bathroom as a blind person might navigate their home; I move with eyes closed, feeling for familiar physical barriers and markers, following a known path. Before I got to bed, I make sure there is nothing on the floor in my path, that the door to the bathroom is open at the right angle, and that the toilet seat is down (I don’t want to boot up my brain to think about any of these things). When I travel, I map the room mentally in the same way before going to sleep.

The first urge usually comes around midnight. The second in the two o’clock hour. The third in the four o’clock hour. If there is a fourth awakening, it squeezes itself in there somewhere (no pun intended).

I couldn’t tell you if the urge to pee is what wakes me up, or if I just a light sleeper and whenever I come up from REM in the middle of a sleep cycle, my body has a Pavlovian response to go to the bathroom. Or maybe it’s because of my lifelong Diet Coke habit (which I am breaking at the moment, mostly successfully but my shame around soda during this Paleo test is something I’m not ready to admit to).

I know these intervals because I peek at the time whenever I get up in the night even though I am unable to remember names after I meet a new person even several times, I can lock numbers into memory from a semi-comatose state and recall them clearly in the morning (left-brain much?).

Waking up to pee several times a night is my reality, so I was shocked (shocked, I tell you) to register the time when I first got up to pee last night. 4:07 a.m. I had slept continuously from 10:15 through to 4:07. Almost six straight hours. I would have told you that this was not possible if you had asked me last week.

What is happening? Can diet affect frequency of urination?

Is the fact that I now only drink one cup of coffee and a tiny amount of Diet Coke (compared to coffee and two or three trips to the soda machine at Circle K every day) have an impact, I drink the same volume of liquid. It’s just that liquid is mostly water now. Or could it be that my constantly bloated gut causes my need to urinate? Could a wheat-and-dairy-intolerant, bloaty, gassy, allergy-triggered intestinal track squeeze up against a bladder and cause it to empty itself more frequently than if everything from sternum to naval was healthy and in its right places?

I don’t know. But if it is related to Paleo, it’s a welcome change. Better sleep means better rest. Better rest means better recovery from exercise and stress. Better recovery means a stronger Steve Medcroft. A stronger Steve Medcroft can take on bigger challenges.

Yay Paleo!

Sleep quality: 74% 6:47 sleep time. Which, interestingly, is only 15-minutes shy of the US average (7:04), but 45 minutes shy of my personal average (7:25).

Breakfast: Coffee, black, sweetened with raw honey. Smoothie; almond milk, bananas, frozen strawberries, almond butter. So good.

Lunch: A ScramBowl at the Black Bear Diner. This is a deep platter-sized bowl filled with eggs, sausage, potatoes, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms. It’s mostly Paleo (it normally comes with cheese and gravy, which I left off). The white potatoes are not Paleo (but they didn’t have sweet potatoes).

Dinner: Cobb salad. A mixture of spinach, romaine, and iceberg lettuce, chopped onions, shredded carrots, mushrooms, avocado, boiled egg, and chicken, with a homemade vinaigrette.

Snacks: Base Culture Cashew Butter Blondie (Paleo approved cake bar).

Exercise: 50.11 mile road ride (2:53 riding time).

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