Isn’t it annoying that some people can hit the sack at the blink of an eye (pun-unintended) while the rest of us have to try a gazillion sleep inducing methods like rubbing Vetiver oil on the tips of our toes (don’t ask), adjusting our pillows to make sure we’re breathing correctly, drinking a glass of warm milk to talking a hot shower. Yep. Been there. Done that. And I’ve lived to tell that none of them worked.
Since popping sleeping wells was never an option (it ain’t healthy dude) I tried going natural to only realise it doesn’t really matter how much milk you drink or showers you take. If you sleep at random hours every night you’re never going to sleep well nor wake up like a hummingbird in the morning.
So what can you do to become a morning person? There are a few things you can do to sleep better and wake up fresher.
But first…a little story.
Have you ever thought of why our ancestors were not plagued with the problems that we face today. If anything, we lead far more comfortable lives than our cave buddies did. Yet we find it so hard to get a good night’s sleep.
Let’s try to back track a little, shall we? So, many years ago our ancestors i.e cavemen slept like rocks (pun intended). I’m talking pre-historic, pre-smart phone, pre-comfy beds era. A time where they didn’t need an alarm to wake up.
Mr. Caveman and his buddies went out to hunt for food and returned to their caves just before sunset. Their only source of light in the dark was the fire created by rubbing stones together. The thought of it tires me out.
The reason all the cave people fell sleepy at the same time is because of the way human bodies are built. Post sunset, our bodies produce Melatonin – a sleep hormone that makes us drowsy and helps us fall sleep. It controls both our sleep and wake up cycles. So far so good.
Simply put, sunset created darkness which then led to Melatonin production
Thomas Edison invented the light bulb and effed things up. His invention got in the way of darkness. It disrupted the production of Melatonin which can only be produced in the dark.
Well I’m not asking you to give up modern living and move to the jungle. But you should understand the cause of a problem before trying to find a solution.
So here are a few things you can do to sleep better and wake up early:
1) Set a fixed time to sleep and wake up
Calling all night owls to get their @$$ in bed at a fixed time. You wake up late because you sleep late. Yes I know there far too many things to do post dinner. From catching up on the 100th re-run of FRIENDS to browsing through movie gossip to catching up on all your social media sites. Whatever your excuse is, just drop it and GO TO SLEEP. Choose a time and stick to it. If you’re restless like moi, then try getting into bed 30 minutes before your nap time to help your body unwind.
2) Quit bingeing at least 3 hours before nap time
Your body isn’t a machine. It needs time to digest food and digestion is hampered when you lie down. To ensure your digestion doesn’t interfere with your sleep, avoid eating a couple of hours before you sleep.
If you’re hungry, have soup or a warm class of milk with 1/4 tsp turmeric (haldi).
Turmeric has the amino acid tryptophan
which helps increase serotonin levels in the brain.
Serotonin is a hormone which helps regulate sleep and research has proven that an imbalance can lead to insomnia.
Although milk contains tryptophan, it’s not available to the brain because of other amino acids present in the milk. Turmeric helps change that and hence helps induce sleep.
3) No phone, 15-30 minutes before you sleep
4) Baby turn off the lights in your bedroom
Lights from any source tricks your body into thinking that it’s day time. Install thick dark curtains in your bedroom to block outside light and switch off all artificial lights in your bedroom.
Instead of supplementation, the best way to address magnesium deficiency is by applying magnesium oil all over your body which gets absorbed directly in your skin/blood stream and hence works more effectively. The idea is to spray the oil 2-3 times all over your body before you sleep.
7) Think positive
This isn’t hocus pocus. And nor am I asking you to move to the mountains for inner peace. Your thoughts affect the way things pan out. If you go to bed angry, you’re going to wake up angry. Stop over thinking about your life, work, that hot guy or girl or both (whatever floats your boat buddy) who have no idea you exist. Leave that all behind and clear your mind. Trust me you’ll wake up well rested.
Start with one step at a time and be consistent. Doing the above once every 10 days isn’t going to help. Like I always say, it doesn’t matter what you do but how often you do it.