I've been pretty tired recently. I'm usually something of a night owl, heading off to bed some time after midnight and catching up on lost sleep at the weekend. Just recently though, I've found myself heading off to be bed before 10pm. Even stranger is the fact that I've also really enjoyed the feeling of waking up in the morning feeling properly refreshed.
This time last year, I was finding myself almost nodding off in meetings in the early afternoon, between about two and three pm. I'm sure that was partly to do with the incredibly tedious presentations I was attending at the time in stuffy, windowless rooms, but getting more sleep has clearly helped. I also more or less stopped drinking at all during the week at the start of this year. I never really had more than the odd bottle of beer in front of the telly, but cutting it out has definitely left me feeling brighter eyed. Not that I've stopped drinking altogether, you understand.... that would just be ridiculous.
It's not a foolproof regime: I inject myself with beta-interferon every Tuesday night, and although I take a 1000mg of paracetamol and 400mg of ibuprofen before going to bed and sleeping through the worst of the side-effects, I still often wake up on a Wednesday morning feeling as though I'm being gently pushed back into the mattress by an invisible hand. MS-related fatigue also strikes me at strange and unpredictable times. Last Saturday afternoon, I was pootling about the shops with C. when I suddenly found myself so tired that I was almost unable to speak. A cup of tea and a sit down and I was soon back to normal, but it's not a pleasant feeling. I think the fatigue accumulates, and if I do too much, it reaches a critical mass that spills out irresistibly.
So, if I'm sleeping more and drinking less, why am I feeling so tired all of a sudden?
It really doesn't take a genius to figure it out: since September 5th, I've been cycling to work. It's not as though I don't take much exercise already, but a quick peak at some of the stats really gave me pause for thought.
I usually run three times a week for a total of something like 12 miles. I'd like that to be further, but I'm building my way back up after a load of injuries over the summer. Far better a few shorter runs than no runs at all. Anyway, since September 5th, according to my Garmin, I have been out running 19 times for a total of 75 miles and a calorie burn of 11,081. Bearing in mind that I likely wouldn't have spent any time on my bike at all before I started cycle commuting to work, since the same day, I've done 78 cycling activities for a total of 392 miles for a total of 22,386 calories.
I've essentially trebled my calorie output. No wonder I feel tired. I also seem to have lost a few kilos.
Perhaps I should eat some more cake?
After a few weeks off to let my tattoos heal, I'm also back in the swimming pool too.....