A well-spent day brings happy sleep. – Leonardo da Vinci
Over the last year, I have been working as a waitress. My hours were long and late. But in June I made the decision to be back at home and working on my business, so I quit working at the restaurant. However, my body clock didn’t register the change. I would stay up too late, get up too late, and then I’d be a bit groggy and out of sync. I found I was just getting up and struggling right into the day, rather than gently waking up and having the time I needed for things like yoga or running and my juicing. I have been struggling with going to bed at a reasonable time – 10:00 pm – and waking up at a reasonable time – 5:00 am. So I became my own client and did some research on the things I needed to change. I share with you these things in case you might find yourself in the same dilemma. I have also found that my thinking has become more clear and I have more energy to accomplish many more things on my ‘ta-da’ list.
1. Eat Your Last Meal Earlier
The earlier I eat my last meal of the day, the stronger my digestion is and the less energy my body has to use in order to break down that food while I lay in bed. I usually try to finish eating about 4-6 hours before bedtime, and then just drink water to keep me satisfied. This may seem difficult at first, because it was for me, but this is a strong habit to adopt. I can only suggest that you try it for a while and then decide if its right for you.
2. Eat Light
A diet high in nuts, seeds, and other plant fats, as well as any diet high in animal fats that would include meat, eggs, and dairy, would make me sleep more. These foods would slow me down. Instead of 7 hours, I would need 8-9. Still healthy eating, but I was not as vibrant and totally on point and awake in the morning. Just because we are ‘eating healthy’ doesn’t mean that there is no longer any room for improvement. A diet high in juicy fruits and leafy greens always gives me the best results, especially if I combined these two items together in a green smoothie.
3. Wake with Sunlight
As annoying as it may seem…waking with sunlight on your face will dramatically affect your mood and productivity for the day in a positive way. You will need much less sleep and be in a better mood. Rise with the sun and you can’t go wrong. I would sometimes sleep in places that were totally closed off from light and it was so much easier to stay tired and lay in bed an extra few hours. Our brains need the light…don’t deprive.
4. Breathing Exercises
I have always felt my best while I was consistently doing breathing exercises. I take 10-20 DEEP breaths before I go to bed, and when I rise in the morning, and by doing so I feel that I am really oxygenating my blood and my brain… therefore giving me that extra “Ooomph” in the morning. How many people regularly take big deep breaths everyday? Hardly anyone that I know. Do you think this could make a positive difference? Would it be worth trying for a week?
5. Daily Moderate Exercise
When we exercise, we oxygenate our blood, organs, and, of course…our brain. It helps to rid our bodies of toxins, and, according to a recent Duke University study, is just as effective at fighting depression as Prozac. Hmmmm….
6. Super Hydrated
Again… It comes down to oxygen….
Most people are quite dehydrated, but because they’ve never been super-hydrated they have no idea just how dehydrated they really are. I would even go as far as saying that people who eat more fruits and vegetables are just “less dehydrated” than the average person. Sure raw fruits and vegetables contain tons of water, but that doesn’t mean that your body doesn’t crave direct water consumption. How does this effect your sleep? The more dehydrated you are the harder it is for your body to recharge and detoxify. The longer it takes for your body to detoxify the more sleep and energy your body requires. So here’s the thing – you’ll never know how dehydrated you really are unless you get super-hydrated. For non-active adults and youth that means 1 Liter of water per 45 pounds of body weight. And for active adults and youth that means 1.5 Liters of water per 45 pounds of body weight. I also like to put a pinch of my pink Himalayan salt in there, as well as some fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
As for my sleep pattern right now, I’ve been staying up until 10:00-10:30 pm and wake around 5:00-5:30 am. I think it will also help for me to do some mattress checking to get a firmer mattress.
My theory is if I cut one hour of sleep per week, that means I get an extra seven hours to do something. That’s like an extra work day. Couldn’t you benefit from an entire extra day each week to take care of all of your goals and things on your to-do list? Think of what you could accomplish!
And also… if you can sleep near plant-life, or better yet – outside, by all means do so. Oxygen!!!
Experts love to come to the public with facts and figures about how we need X amount of sleep because of this or that. But from my first hand experience this may not be the case. And you don’t need some expert telling you what is and isn’t possible. I’m here saying – try it for yourself! You simply can’t sleep anymore when your eyes open up after 7 hours. The body wakes up when it is ready, and you just have to trust it. Again, try it and let me know. I’ve only experienced this while eating more raw foods. Talk about a quality and quantity of life enhancer!
We have the tools now to be more productive, more joyful, and more effective in our lives. And the best part about it is we don’t have to wait for some future pill or seal of approval. A new life awaits you right here, right now! Are you ready to embrace it?