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January 30, 2014

(Almost) Everything I need to know about sleep

This blog post is a note to self so that I can read and re-read it to help me get on track.

It is said that man spends anywhere between 20%-40% of his lifetime, sleeping. Now that is a lot and is it required? A big yes. It is during sleep that the body does all the maintenance activities to keep one hale and healthy.




Ok, I need some self-inducing and self-saying statements to make quality sleep a habit in me and here it goes:
  • Quality sleep is one of my top priorities. I understand it is an important factor for the quality of my life.
  • I really am going to have a quality sleep environment, that is quiet, warm, with a comfortable bed to sleep on.
  • I'll take short naps of 10-25 minutes during the day, if required.
  • It is important to expose myself to light wisely. I understand that Light exposure controls melatonin, which is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. For this purpose, I'm going to do the following:
    • Spend more time outside during daytime
    • Avoid any backlight devices at night. Thank you Amazon for the breath-taking innovation of Kindle Paperwhite; you brought in to help me.
  • I'm going to establish and maintain a pre-sleep routine (something that soothes my mind and body) to prepare myself mentally for sleep.
  • I am going to anticipate waking up. I've done this when I've to wake up early to catch that 5.00 am train/flight.
  • I am going to boost my mornings with some thing that peps me up. Yay, I've Sri Venkateswara Suprabatham, that greatly energises my mind and soul.
  • I'm going to exercise for at least 30 minutes in a day.
  • I'm going to take SLEEP VACATION from time to time. Life is what life is, that hampers me from having quality sleep from time to time, creating something like "SLEEP DEBT", which is kind of a sum of deprived sleep time. I clear this debt as and when the need arrives, by taking a short break from the routine life to sleep vacation.
  • I will go to bed early and wake up early.


All said, I guess I have some motivation now. Time for some tips and tricks, do(s) and don't(s). So below are some lessons from early risers.
  • No food intake a couple of hours before hitting the bed.
  • Got to bed early. Journey of a thousand miles begins with that first step and I'll take it.
  • Have an exciting breakfast planned.
  • Have a good reason to get up early. Getting up early requires motivation, at least initially. I'm going to picture my ideal morning. Picture myself as the morning person I want to become: what do my mornings consist of? Jogging? Reading? Coding?
  • Keep my room curtains open, so that the morning sunlight tricks my mind and body to wake up.
  • NO HITTING SNOOZE BUTTON. Those snooze time don't benefit me at all, on the contrary they are stolen moments of my life in bed that only make me tired.
  • Have a consistent sleep schedule - the time I hit the bed and the time I get out of it. I got to hang on to it. I refuse to break this chain.
  • Turn reason into a challenge. I have a reason to be up early and I make it a challenge that come what may, I won't break the routine.
  • Start working out if need be.
  • No naps longer than 25 minutes during the day.
  • Reduce my caffeine intake.

Resources


Note: I've written this blog post in first person, not only because it helps me, but also out of curiosity to see how the readers of this blog post feel about reading a post like this in first person. If you as a reader of this blog post enjoy/hate reading this post in first person, please do share it. Your feedback is heartily welcome :)