- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How to wake up right
What is sleep?
To better understand why we get tired, we first must understand what sleep is and why we sleep. Sleep is a tool used by our mind and body to recover at the end of the day. While asleep, the body is paralyzed and the mind begins a process similar to meditation in order to cleanse and refresh itself. Sleep has varying levels of strength that oscillates approximately every 30 minutes, ranging from light to deep. It is during deep sleep that our minds get the most recovery and it is during light sleep that we mostly dream. The average person will sleep for around 8 hours per day and most of us will still wake up feeling tired, however it only takes roughly 5 hours of high quality sleep to wake up feeling fresh.
What causes poor sleep quality?
Stress and depression are the number one reasons people don't get quality deep sleep. People who are stressed or worried will have trouble sleeping because their mind cannot get into a state of comfort. People who are depressed will not want to get out of bed because they lack the motivation. People tend to use drugs to solve both of these issues, however there are some natural alternatives that will help you achieve high quality slumber.
Meditation is one of the best ways to relieve stress and help you get a great nights sleep. Here are some tips on how to meditate properly:-
- Find a nice quiet area, that is not too hot or cold.
- Sit in a comfortable position (contrary to popular belief you do not need to cross your legs).
- Repeat a mantra in your head (something like ommmmm or ummmmmm).
- You will eventually begin to feel as if you are spinning; allow it to take control.
- As your mind drifts deeper and deeper you will feel like you're floating (This is meditation).
Meditation works on levels of deepness and the more you practice the deeper your mind will go. Deep meditation will actually benefit you more than sleep and it will improve your health substantially. It is actually possible to substitute mediation for sleep, however this is not recommended as you must be very experienced at holding the deepest of meditative states. If you start meditation and you do not succeed the first time then do not give up, it took me 2 days, practicing 2 hours a day, before I actually experienced the floating sensation. If you would like to learn more about meditation then click here.
Exercise will not just keep you fit and healthy it will also help you to relieve stress and it will give you a good nights sleep. Think back to a time when you have had a really good nights rest, I can almost guarantee it was after exercise. Just doing a 30 minute workout up to 2 hours before bedtime, will help you drift off and hit those deeper levels of sleep. Here are some tips on doing the right exercises:-
- Do not do a cardio exercise as this will increase your heart rate too much and it will cause insomniac effects.
- You need to do muscle workouts such as push ups, sit ups, pull ups and planks.
- Remember to stretch well before exercising to expand your muscles.
- A nice cold shower after the workout, will help cool you off and will make you feel fresh.
The reason exercise is so effective at helping you sleep is because your body has something to heal while you are asleep. If you your mind needs sleep but your body doesn't then you get restless and that will make you feel groggy when you wake up because you have been tossing and turning all night. For more information on how exercise can help get a good nights sleep, click here.
Change something in your life
There is a reason people go to bed tired and wake up tired and it is called depression. If you get 8 hours sleep and still wake up tired then it is most likely depression. Depression is a state of mind that occurs when an individual is not happy with something in their life. The only way to overcome depression is to change something in your life. If you do not change something then you will continue to be depressed and you will have poor quality sleep. Here are some simple changes that you can make today, ready for tomorrow:-
- Ride a bike to work.
- Talk to someone new at the workplace.
- Volunteer for a charity.
- Take up a new hobby.
- Eat something that you haven't tried before.
- If you're shy, talk to someone new over the internet.
- Call an old friend for a catch up.
- Go somewhere that you have never been before.
- Learn a new skill or language.
The reason change is so effective at helping you overcome depression is because your mind learns something every time and that will stop the monotony of daily life. If you think of one change that you will make before you go to bed, then you will wake up feeling fresh and excited to try something new.
Don't use electronics before bed
Most people will watch television or use their phone before bed. T.V numbs your mind and it will cause you to have poor quality sleep. How? Have you ever stared at a screen for so long you get a headache? This is because your eyes and mind are strained; trying to process all of the activity going on. You will want to wait at least 1 hour after watching T.V before going to bed to allow your mind time to process the information it was given. Here are some things to do before bed instead of watching T.V:-
- Read a book.
- Write in your diary.
- Clean the house
- Make your dinner for the next day.
If you allow time for your mind to get over the effects of gadgets and television then you will have a much better quality slumber. This is a very effective tip and it is not widely recognized, however I have done this for some time now and I have noticed a huge difference to my sleep quality.
There are many more tips to getting better quality sleep, however I have found these ones the easiest to do. So before you reach for those over the counter drugs, be sure to try all of the tips listed here. If you find success with any of them, then please fill out the poll below and let me know which one worked the best for you.