The Unconventional Guide to Sleep

The Unconventional Guide to Sleep

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You know what you have to do to be more productive? More happy, have more energy and live your dreams?  To be smarter and more nice person, not a grumpy old fart that hates everybody from coworkers to the boss to partner at home?

It’s one of the things everybody does it, but our lifestyle destroyed it! Reclaim your happiness back!

How? Get some sleep 🙂 When I was in kindergarten we have to sleep after lunch, I had too much energy for that, boy what will I give now to somebody to offer me 20 minutes sleep after lunch 🙂

Our life’s, got busy, we need to work, we need to hang out with our friends and we need to keep up with our tv shows, so the sleep and eating food got sidetracked. But as this two things got far away from us so is our health

What  will you learn in this article?

  • What you have to do before you go to bed to have a good night sleep?

 

  • What is happening with you when you are sleeping

 

  • What to do to wake up refreshed and full of energy

 

  • and many more tips and tricks 🙂

 

Let’s get started

Our brain is producing a hormone melatonin, which tells our body it is time to go to sleep mode and the body can do some very important task of maintaining our body. This is going on since we lived in caves, so when the sun got down, this was the sign to get home and lie down. The brain produced this hormone and everybody got sleepy and went to bed.

But then we invented a light and electricity and we prolong our days with artificial lights, our brains got confused and the result is that we are not sleepy at 23:00 and would just surf a little and watch  tv just 10 min more.  

We go to bed at 1:00 and wake up at 7:00 cursing everybody and everything. There are people willing to kill anybody that is speaking to the theme before the first coffee and that is not a healthy way of living 🙂 I could get arrested sooner or later so something had to change.

So here is my quest for better sleep:

Before sleep

1.) Respect the dark

I installed on my android device Twilight. This is an app that removes the blue light from our LCD monitors, this blue light is preventing brains from creating melatonin. This is a smart app that turns its self on when your sun is down.

You can use Fulx for your PC or MAC for big screens. Your monitor will get somehow more of yellow color, but that is okay. Point is that this production of melatonin is not started the minute you turn down the light, but it takes from 1 to 2 hours. You can feel this as turning around in bed, not being sleepy and have too much energy in the evening.

Close your blinds or get a curtain that does not let the light thru. This will help your brain to maintain the production of hormone and your sleep. Keep TV and most electronic out of the bedroom, not because of some radiation or something, but LED lights on this things could upset your sleep.

2.) Don’t eat after 18:00 or at least 4 hours before sleep

You should give your stomach the chance to digest everything that you eat past few hours, so don’t eat at least 4 hours before bed. If you are hungry go for fruit, nuts, water.

If you have not eaten anything in the day and you come home at 22:00, yes you have to eat, since food gives you energy and you need your energy the next day and also for body repairs.Still try to avoid heavy food, like steaks and potato, those will digest longer.

3.) Lots of people can’t sleep because they are couch potatoes.

They come home, park their behinds in a couch and wait for the time to go to bed. They wish they would have time to do this and that and are thinking in bed how fun it would be to have more energy …

The truth is, that you have to do something to have something, so exercise here is very important.

If you done your workouts thru the day, congrats! But if you planning to have your training at 22:00  this will hurt your sleep. An hour or two before bed, you can go for a walk, and think about the stuff you need to do, how to do it and stuff like that. If you go with somebody talk to them about your day and what’s been bothering you and stuff.

This will get your anxiety levels way down and you will sleep like a baby and not wake up until you need to.  Getting some sunshine and fresh air is the best medicine for sleep. You can take a warm shower if that is what you like after the walk.

4.) Some more application that can help you go to sleep.

Pzizz → http://pzizz.com/  the point of this app is not that you actively listen to whatever is playing but, to get you in some kind sleep state, that will turn your brain in sleep mode and you are not thinking about 100 other things that happen today and 100 things that you have to do. You train your brain that when you lie in bed it’s time for sleep and this will help you a lot.

You can also use calm.com it is the same thing.

This one is based on some more recent discovery about brains and it’s called a brain.fm, there are three modules for work, rest and sleep. Try it I like it 🙂 

There are some that advocated that in order to fall asleep quicker you have trained your brain before you actually go to sleep. You put your PJ on, you make your  room dark and go to sleep, but you don’t go to sleep but after 5 min you get up and do this all over again.

This way your brains will now what to do once it is the real thing and will go to sleep mode once all the conditions are met.

Make a plan how will get yourself in bed in time.

  1. stop all electronic devices,
  2. clean your teeth, shower,…
  3. put on your PJ
  4. get your sleep mask if you need one
  5. meditate
  6. read
  7. set your alarm clock

Follow this and you will train your brain to go to sleep mode until 23:00 and you will just close your eyes and fall asleep.

More consistent that you are, the more your “brain muscle” will be ready to cooperate and work with you. You are not going to spend 2 hours to fall asleep and you will have a quality of 7 hours sleep.

 

brainfm
Brain.fm webpage you get a medal if you listen 3 times a day

 

Share this post, to see video why do we sleep and how to succeed? Get more sleep!

During sleep

There is not much that you can do during sleep if you did the front work, that was described in upper part then you have all the tools.

But what if you wake up during sleep?

It’s important, that you don’t bother yourself with questions, have I slept enough, will I manage to go back to sleep? Just relax and let the brain and body do the rest. Don’t check on facebook, emails or something like that.

A lot of people suggest that you don’t even look at the time. For me it helps to know the time if I wake from a bad dream or need to go to the toilet I go faster to sleep and easier when I know that  I have a few more hours of sleep ahead of me.

When you wake up and need to go to the toilet, try to use minimal lights, I installed led strips that light the only the floor so I can see where I’m going but are easy on eyes so I don’t wake my brains too much.

This is the right time to talk about REM sleep patterns.

You have at least three stages of sleep. There are light sleep, deep sleep, and REM phase. REM is rapid eye movement and is believed that this is the stage that body repair itself,  also brains do some house cleaning, the memories that you have got either tossed away or they get more into your memory, there are a lot of processes that are going on about feelings and what happened that day.

You get a 4-6 cycle of this light-medium-rem sleeps in a night. Each of cycle  is long about 90 minutes so if you only sleep 6 hours you get 4 cycles. For some, it is enough, for people that do lots of intellectual work not so much.

If your sleep is bothered or you don’t have a 90 minutes in one piece, you don’t reach one cycle and you don’t wake up rested and your brains are all over the place.

One of the important things is that you wake up in a phase where you in light sleep. How do you say? I don’t have any control over this! Aaaa but you have, at least your phone does. You are already using it as an alarm clock, so it might be a smart alarm clock. Because of the sensors in your phone, the program is able to determine, how much are you moving and based on this it knows in which state of sleep you are.

In the state of REM only your eyes are moving, you could have deep dreams about the events of the day and it is natural defenses that the body is paralyzed during this stage so you can’t hurt yourself. This lasts for around 30 minutes. If you awaken in this phase via alarm clock you will be groggy all day and feel like you were run over by truck. Alarm clock that has built in this sleep cycle will get you wake up on the time and in the light sleep phase.  I’m using Sleep as droid

Sleep cycle application sleep as droid
Sleep cycle application sleep as droid (click to enlarge)

Waking up

This is one of the most important habits that you can learn in your life. It is a life changer and if you master this it is gold. Some people rise up early, but most of us don’t and we hate the first group so much for this.

Where is a will there is a way!

The snooze button problem.   

When the alarm goes off, you better be in light sleep or the hell of the day is just starting. You snooze and go on dreaming and after 5 to 10 minutes you are only more into the sleep and the story goes on and on until you are late for work, don’t have time for breakfast or some other morning activity and you are pissed off early in the morning.

Great start of the day ha? Let’s make it better. When an alarm goes off on your phone is either in the other side of the room or better jet you have captcha system in place so you can’t turn off your alarm if you don’t do some task. This could be you can do some math (early in the morning :)), or you have to shake your phone, or you have to do two 360 degree turns or something like that.

Mine have QR code scan option enabled, so I have to scan some code like in the supermarket to get it stop. This code is taped in my bathroom and since I’m in the bathroom already I can start my day, brushing teeth and — this is gold, take it to the bank advice — wash my face three times with cold cold water. This is one of the tricks that I picked up from my buddy Nik.

When I started doing this, there was no going back to bad, lying on the couch for just 5 minutes, I was awake and ready for next step that I planned.

Again you can try and train your brain, alarm sound, you get up, you do one thing and bum you are awake and ready to rock the world.

I suggest to have some natural sound, like birds or something, if you have mp3 with some song, you will hate that song and if you have some annoying ringtone you will hate it even more.

There was an app that send message to your facebook stream, that you are lazy  and won’t get up, so you deserve to get punished if you did not turn your alarm clock off at the right time 🙂

But that did not work for me 🙂

 

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