The plan for day #1 of the mission was simple, I mentioned it at the starting point yesterday. It consisted of 4+1 easy steps, I'll copy them here along with the results of the day:
- Going to sleep early and waking up early: went to sleep at 22:00 pm and woke up at 4:45. Success!
- Drinking 0.5 liters of water immediately after waking up: sucess!
- Morning work-out or evening walk (do both if you have time): morning exercise plus morning and evening walk: sucess!
- Spiritual practice and meditation for at least 30 min: sucess!
- Write a short story about the day and publish it here in the KreativeKafe: doing it right now!
What can I say? Mission completed! Finishing step #5 and done, I think it would be better to talk about results the next day, after the programed plan for the day is finished. Now it's time to write down for the records why I selected those steps. I'll start with step #1 - sleeping well.
Why it's so important to sleep well and wake up on time?
There is a lot of information and many scientific studies about benefits of going early to sleep, waking up early and having a good sleep in general. Actually, I really don't know why do we always need to rely on studies nowadays. Our ancestors were spreading this basic knowledge for centuries, I think every nation has famous sayings like "early bird gets the worm" or "early to sleep and early to rise makes man healthy, wealthy and wise". And here is the major problem: it's so easy, so boring and so common that my brain is immediately rejecting this useful solution as too simple. Not any more!
To tell the truth, I believed I was a night owl for a long time, since school. Come on! It's 21-st century! We have electricity, computers, Wi-Fi and so many things to be done, especially when you have family and kids. For years I was draining my energy little by little until I completely went out of battery. I was chronically stressed and burnt out, but it took me much more time and troubles with health and personal life, till I finally started to look for the solution.
Of course, everyone is different, each of us has a different level of energy, resistance to stress, speed of recovery, health in general and many other factors that affect the ability to have a successful and happy life. Actually, life is so fast now and it's so tempting to find a first fast solution from all troubles in a sort of a magic pill, just look at TV ads!
Pills versus prevention. Prevention takes time and effort, let's skip it! Right, just caught my mind in a typical laziness and in search for miracles. My dear mind, I can propose you one even easier solution: I can get scared, hide from my worries and do nothing, pretending all difficulties will resolve by themselves. Pathetic. Right?
As always, the best way to sort things out is to try them for real by yourself and this is what I was doing for about last 5 years. I could never imagine that this easy basic sleeping task would be so difficult! I can be constant for months and then I fail, after a pause I try again and process repeats. And yes, this mission to find happiness is one more attempt to succeed.
This time I'm testing the other strategy: I hope that cumulative effect of several simple steps joined together will produce enough positive energy to convert this everyday routine into natural way of living, as taking a shower every day or eating meals several times a day.
Right now I'm working on a habit of waking up very early, around 4:30 - 5:00 am and going to sleep at 22:00 pm. Usually I don't have problem of waking up early, a real challenge is going to sleep on time. I think a hundred years ago it was much easier to go to bed early, especially in rural areas. Nowadays sleeping on time is a kind of superhero mission, especially when you have a son who plays soccer pretty seriously and his practices are finishing at 20:00 - 20:30 pm. I still don't know what trick to invent on Wednesdays, training session ends at 21:30 plus there is 30 min drive back home. Anyways, I'm on a mission and I want to succeed! ))))
Just looked on a draft of this page and got impressed, it's becoming too long :).
The only thing I'm missing to finish, is writing down my personal results on managing sleeping habits. I analyzed a good amount of information to make my own conclusions and tried it on practice. This essence was a great help for a complete recovery, recharging my batteries and improving my emotional and physical state overall.
My benefits from a healthy sleeping routine
- Early sleeping is really important. The best hours for me to sleep are from 22:00 pm to 0:00 am. According to scientific studies, this is the only period of time during night that is used by our nervous system to rest and recover. I saw immediate results on myself. First, as a great instrument to manage stress and depression, then I felt more positive and full of energy, my hormone levels returned to balance, my weight became constant and I lost craving for sweets.
- Early sleeping saves you time. Ayurveda states that the earlier you go to sleep, the lesser time you need to recover while sleeping. Something like if you go sleep at 22:00 pm you need 6-7 hours to rest well, but if you go to sleep much later, like at 1:00 am, you need 9 hours to feel rested. Plus if you missed valuable hours from 22:00 pm to 0:00 am, after 9 hours of sleep you will feel physically rested but tired mentally. I felt the difference myself.
- Waking up early gives you time just for yourself. If you have kids and million other things to do during a day, you know what I mean. Sometimes the best rest is simply to be a couple of hours only for yourself. For years I was trying to find a free hour during a busy day. Silly, me, I never considered early morning as a reserve till I was challenged by my good friend to start running early in the morning one day. Feeling this unexpected freedom was a great bonus to exercise.
- Waking up early helps you a lot to be more flexible. For example, I live in Texas and summer here is very warm. I work from home so I can easily adapt to any schedule. One day I decided to reinvent my working day and use it more effectively in the first half of the day, when the day is relatively cool. It gave me opportunity to save myself from the heat of the second part of the day and achieve more than usual.
Of course, there should be even more reasons to set up an early morning bird sleep routine. I prefer to stop at this point, I don't need more time to convince myself with facts and tests, now it's more a question of discipline. Plus it's again evening. Time to prepare myself for the new day.
I'll be back tomorrow, have a wonderful day!