Lifestyles of the Calm & Focused pt. 1: The Popular Myth of 8-Hour Sleep…
For the next few days, I’ll be doing a mini-series on how to stay calm, relaxed and effective through reaching deeper state of relaxed awareness. As James Allen says in his book, As a Man Thinketh:
“Self control is strength, right-thought is mastery, calmness is power…”
I got the idea from a book I’m finishing up now: Find Your Focus Zone by Lucy Jo Pallidino, PhD. There’s a section in there actually called “Lifestyles of the Calm and Focus” where she talks about several techniques and behavior skills to this same effect.
The thing is, while I feel her on the concept, I disagree with how she presented the advice. So here I’m going to flip it a little bit and share the ideas that I would’ve put in that section myself.
———— Lifestyle 1: Powerful Sleep ————
The first is sleep. While I think the sister is correct when she breaks down how important sleep is (the link between sleep-deprivation and symptoms of ADD, etc.) I disagree with her when she says most people need 8 hours of sleep.
Now I’m no doctor of course (and you should only seek advice on this from medical practitioners you trust), but I’m actually going to go against the social norm here and state that YOU PROBABLY DO NOT NEED TO GET 8 HOURS OF SLEEP EVERYDAY.
Based on my own experience, I believe that the 8-hour-story is only a popular myth, and that most of us would do better if we stopped focusing on how many hours of sleep we got (quantity) and started focusing on how well we slept in and of itself (quality).
I know this sounds crazy, but I was put on to this by reading the book Powerful Sleep: Secrets of the Inner Sleep Clock by Kacper M. Postawski (also known as “How to Sleep Less & Have More Energy Then You Ever Had Before“).
Essentially, sleep is a cycle composed of 5 stages:
>> a “zoning out” period (alpha brain wave state) that’s like the doorway to sleep,
>> a period where we experience something called “sleep spindles” and “K-complexes” (these suppress brain activity to keep you tranquil so you can actually fall asleep…you’re very wakable during this stage).
>> two periods (stages 3 & 4) of deep sleep (delta brain wave state). This is when you’re officially “knocked out”: respiration reaches it’s lowest point, blood is re-circulated through your body to help nourish and repair muscles, etc.
>> and the last period is called REM sleep, which stands for “Rapid-Eye-Movement.” This stage is also known as “dream sleep“, because it’s believed that most of our dreams happen during this time.
So the cycle goes 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2 REM, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2 REM, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2 REM, etc. etc., with each cycle taking about 60 to 100 minutes.
The most important parts of this cycle are stages 3, 4 and REM. (Being deprived of deep sleep causes nausea, drowsiness, muscle aches and prevents your immune system from functioning, while being deprived of REM sleep mainly causes problems with concentration.)
———— Your Body’s Internal Clock ————
Now, your ability to properly go through this sleep cycle is determined by another cycle known as Circadian Rhythm or simply, “The Body Clock”.
You may have heard of this before…it’s basically your body’s temperature cycle:
The book goes really in depth, but basically, because most of us have no idea of the body clock and it’s needs (and thus completely ignore it) it throws our sleep cycle out of control, and in that situation, NO amount of sleep will do you any good, because you’re not entering REM and deep sleep in the right way.
However, once you understand the sleep cycle and body clock, and learn how to integrate the two (nowhere near as complicated as it sounds) you’ll find that there’s no need to go through the sleep cycle 7 or 8 times just to feel rejuvenated.
In fact, once you set your lifestyle up to cater to those deeper physiological needs you’ll find that you feel even more rejuvenated, energized and awake, and you’ll have even MORE time to do the things you need and want to do…
The days will start too feel so open that it’ll feel wierd in a good way…almost like you’re cheating the system.
- getting enough Sunlight (lots of it)
- getting the right amount of exercise
- taking power-naps that coordinate with your circadian rhythm
- eating the right foods at the right time of day.
- and some other cool things you can do…
I really do recommended you check this book out, it’s an easy, short read too. Click here to check out “How to Sleep Less & Have More Energy Then You Ever Had Before” (the first few chapters are FREE).
Tomorrow we’ll cover music, meditation and a few other things…
>> An Introduction to Dream Analysis
>> Dual-Self Journaling: An Easy Writing Technique To Overcome Fears…
>> Good Harmonics to Soothe the Mind
>> Recommended Reading: Scrolls for Mind-Elevation
>> Check out my latest video, “How to Go From Procrastinator to Producer…”