Oh, to be able to sleep like a cat – anywhere, any time, on anything. (Sorry Part 3 has been so long coming, so many topics to write about, so little time...)
Our cat Christo
I’m really struggling with switching to Daylight Savings Time this year, and it’s Steemit’s fault. Well, no, not really. It’s my own habit of posting late at night that’s the problem.
You see, I’m in New Zealand, and it seems like the best time for me to post would be about 2 or 3 in the morning. Failing that my choices are just before bed, or first thing in the morning. Last thing at night has been working quite well for the posts, but not so much for me.
If I could click on Post, turn the computer off and go to bed, all would (might) be well. But I’m already a bit of a night owl, and I can’t seem to stop myself from refreshing to see if I’ve got any upvotes, doing a spot of curation, refreshing again, going to the toilet, refreshing again, checking my feed, and oh shit, it’s 1am.
It’s got to stop. So I’m revisiting the sleeping tips of hypnotist Paul McKenna, as a reminder to myself. I’m going to share some of them here, and hopefully they will be useful to you too.
Let’s work through this with a fictional case study. Let’s say you want to go to bed at 11pm, sleep for 7 hours and get up at 6am. But what happens is you can’t get to sleep till 12pm, then you can’t get up till 7am, and then you’re late and rushing.
Tip 1 – Get up consistently earlier
Going onto Daylight Savings should have forced me to do that. But that’s the thing with working from home – if I get up at 9am or 10am, nobody else really cares. So I need to find a way to make myself get up.
Our fictional person is going to get up at 6am, even if they feel like crap. 6am every day, without fail. No matter how much they want or need to crawl under the covers for a bit longer.
Extra tip: It helps to throw open your curtains and get some sun on your face as soon as you wake up, too.
This tip seems a bit counterintuitive, until you put it together with the next two tips.
Tip 2 – No napping during the day
No napping, no matter how tired you get. This is a rule you can’t break, if you want to reset your sleep.
Tip 3 – Don’t get into bed till you’re sleepy
I need my 7 hours sleep, so I need to be asleep by 11pm! Yes, but if you’re not sleepy, and can’t get to sleep, is there any point in lying awake?
So don’t go to bed at 11pm. Find a quiet space to unwind – read, have a bath, do some stretching, whatever relaxes you. And don’t get into bed until you’re sleepy, even if it’s 1am.
You’ve probably figured out where we’re going. Get up early, no napping, don’t go to bed till you’re sleepy. It might take a few days, but eventually you will be tired enough to start falling asleep at 11pm.
Tip 4 – Don’t lie awake
This is also important. In this era of handheld devices, how easy is it to reach out your hand for your phone when you can’t sleep? And what does that tell our subconscious mind? It tells it that it will be rewarded for not sleeping.
So we’re not going to reward our wayward mind, oh no. If we have lain awake for more than 30 minutes, we are going to get up and do some work.
No, not your next Steemit post or some curating. No, not checking to see how much you’ve made on your post overnight. Something boring. Something like cleaning the kitchen floor or doing some filing. Something that you’ve been avoiding, maybe.
Eventually the message will get through – the choice is between sleep and something punishingly dull. So we may as well sleep.
Tip 5 - Listen to his audio
Just listening to McKenna’s melodious, hypnotic voice will be enough to send many people off to sleep in seconds. For the rest of us, it might be necessary to listen every night for a while, and really absorb his material.
There are a couple more tips, but I’ll let him tell you those himself. If you think McKenna’s approach might be helpful for you, the first four tips will be enough to get you started while you wait for his book and audio to arrive.
His book “I can make you sleep” is available from Amazon. (Though that was published this year, and my audio is much older, so it might be a slightly different version.)
These tips will help you reset your body clock if the main problem is that you’ve been getting into bad habits. If that’s not your issue, don’t worry, there will be more tips later.
PS. @sift666, who sleeps like the dead, pointed out that those tips are as unlike the way a cat sleeps as it is possible to get. He’s right of course, but this series is for those of us who CAN’T sleep like a cat, or @sift666, and need to employ some different techniques.
Thanks for reading
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Some of my previous posts:
My other nutrition posts: The wide variety of so-called healthy diets out there and what the commonality is with them all ~ The travels of Weston A Price and his discoveries of what was included in a range of healthy diets. ~ Good fats vs bad fats ~ Salicylate intolerances