Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Ultimate Skill: Sleeping Well Like a Baby

Finding ways to get the best night of sleep seems elusive, but I think I am close. In the past few months, I have been able to sleep for a few hours a night only with another few hours of sleepless toss-and-turn and occasionally getting that magical night of sleep that seems to turn me into a super human -- really fast at understanding and doing everything. In the past month, I have been doing some experiments with different approaches, and I think I have finally found one that works.

When I don't sleep well, several things are wrong:
  1. I don't feel well.
  2. My body feels slow.
  3. My mind feels slow.
  4. I am moody / easily agitated.
  5. I am not happy. 
You know what I mean? All those happened from a bad night of sleep. Since by having a good night of sleep fixes them, then sleep is the ultimate life skill that we must learn. 

When young, we naturally mastered the skill, and then somehow as we grow older, we lost it along the way. How we do regain / relearn this ultimate life skill? 

After trying some suggestions [huffington], I have found the following to the the most useful:
  1. Exercise - I think it is one of those not-so-hidden knowledge that people just don't realize how useful it is to many aspects of life. I realized it after I got the best night of sleep in a long time after spending a day shoveling dirt back to my yard that my wife paid someone to remove -- too much were removed. Apparently there was a scientific study [huffington] that confirms this -- just read it as I am writing this now, LOL. Aside from physical exercise, I think mental exercise also helps. Perhaps by exhausting both body and mind, the body has no choice but to sleep to recover and therefore sleep better, LOL.
  2. Meditate while sleeping and waking up. It helps to calm the mind from daily distractions. Babies don't have anything to distract them, so make that the same for you.
  3. Comfort your body by fixing anything that does not make you comfortable. Need to pee or a 2nd pillow? Do it. Babies cry whenever they are not comfortable, so they know how to become comfortable.
  4. Consistent sleep/wake time and consistently do all of the above. This puts your body sleep cycle into a rhythm. There are exceptions -- if your body is sick or over exhausted, do listen to it and sleep more -- but generally do be consistent. Nap can interfere with this, so do that consistently or only when necessary -- meditation could potentially be used instead of nap. Most people also don't sleep enough -- I don't have that problem. For adults, if you are not sleeping at least 7 hours, you should consider sleeping more as suggested by National Sleep Foundation
I think the key to the best night of sleep is to exercise body & mind, meditate, be comfortable, and be consistent! In short, E.mc² ;)

This is part of the Healthy Body & Mind and Superpowers blog series.

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