Today, many people are looking for solutions to improve their sleep. We live in a fast-paced society, bombarded with information, and constantly striving for more Here we will cover the science behind getting better sleep, and some tips to help you improve your own sleep, and what to avoid.
What the science of sleep says
Sleep is connected with all sorts of health related conditions, as well just creating a general sense of mind fog throughout the next day. It's exhausting, and highly damaging to the body. We tend to overeat when we're fatigued, can't concentrate or focus, and have increased levels of stress.
Matthew Walker is a Professor of Neuroscience at the University of California Berkley, and author of the book "Why We Sleep". He has been studying sleep and deep sleep for many years and has identified 6 things which will help improve your sleep.
Having a consistent routine is very important to maintain healthy sleep patterns. Because our bodies are automated, habitual organisms, a routine tells your body when it's time to sleep and it can start to become tired around this time.
If the room is too cold or too hot, it's difficult to sleep. This one is obvious, so make sure you monitor the temperature. In particular, having cold feet makes it difficult to sleep, so put some socks on or rub your feet together to warm them up.
Would you be able to sleep deeply, outside in the peak of noon? Maybe for some, but for most, this is highly unlikely. The light is a sign for your body that it's time to wake up, so making sure you're in a darkened room is important.
4. Walk it out
Releasing pent up energy and fatiguing the body throughout the day is extremely effective for sleep. However, be careful not to overwork your body as this can have the opposite effect.
5. Monitor alcohol & caffeine
Alcohol is a sedative, as is marijuana. So, while it may seem like you're getting deep sleep, you're actually not and this is an extremely unhealthy habit. Caffeine has the opposite effect, so it's best to not consume caffeine at least 8 hours before sleep.
6. Wind down routine
A wind down routine is another way of instructing your body that it's time to sleep. Again, as automated, habitual machines, putting your body into a rhythm that doesn't require conscious thought is effective for sleeping when it's time to sleep.
For more information about these tips, check out some of Matthew's YouTube videos.
Yeah, but I've looked at all and that and tried all that and still I can't sleep! What else can I do?
Many people may find the above information frustrating because they're already doing this - they're working a steady, regular job, with the same patterns and same routines, and are avoiding alcohol and caffeine as means to help them sleep better. Yet, they still can't sleep! This is where the mind is the issue.
Have you ever laid there and tried to sleep? It's virtually impossible! "OK brain, now it's time to sleep. Just take some deep breathes.... Slow down.... Feel the body relaxing.... Come on brain will you slow down please?” How long have you laid there trying to convince your mind to sleep? It’s next to impossible right? Perhaps you reach a point of exhaustion, where you fade into sleep, and “wake up” not knowing if you even slept a wink. Who can relate?
Why is this? Because your mind is activated, it’s next to impossible! Just think about it for a moment. It makes sense, right? Of course it does! So now, apply that same principle to the totality of your mind. When you’re attempting to sleep, don’t you have thoughts racing through your head? People call this condition insomnia, but really, isn’t it just because you have too many thoughts? Stressing about the day, about the past, about something totally irrelevant – or worrying about tomorrow, something in the future, planning something that may not even occur. Isn’t this what we do? The past is gone – cycling it over our heads, is that doing any good whatsoever? What about the future – it's not even happened, and does it matter how many times I think about it? Yeah sure, if I just thought about it once, that would be great, but it just keeps popping into our heads unannounced. It’s because you have too many thoughts!
Now I want to share with you the simplicity of all of this. Have a look at this short video clip for an explanation of the perfect solution.
For a person to sleep well, one should move the body all day long. Subsequently, once you eliminate all the life lived recorded in your mind and become the true mind, you can sleep well. You need to sleep well to stay healthy, so you should be a person who moves diligently throughout the day. You should also eliminate your mind, which is stress, and then you will be able to sleep deeply.
So, if you’re already moving your body a lot, then naturally the next step is to try eliminating those minds. You cannot cover it up! If you have a room with a dead fish in it, you can try spraying over the top, covering it with layers of carpet, opening the windows, or blocking your nose and breathing through your mouth – but no matter what, the stench remains. This is your mind! So, you can try take medication, or drugs, or put relaxation music on, but nevertheless, the stench remains!
You have countless thoughts in your mind stored from the life you have lived. Because each person is living inside of their own self-made mind world - this produces 10,000’s of thoughts which all come from that past life lived. And this is what stress and anxiety are. This is why we can’t sleep. Because we can’t switch off due to all those thoughts.
As you release those thoughts from your mind, naturally, you will return to your true state, which is that peaceful, calm state within you, and your body and mind will return to perfect order. Therefore, when it’s time to sleep – you just sleep. When it’s time to work – you just work. When it’s time to eat – you just eat. You don’t need to rely on overthinking to help you along. Each and every thought you have is the right thought – and this is wisdom.
What's the 2 ultimate tips?
1. Move your body and exercise throughout the day!
When you do this, you tire your body out and it can sleep more naturally as the energy of minds is released throughout the day.
There are 2 major forms of meditation. 1 is calming the mind. Type 1 is breathe work, focusing on thoughts or objects and allowing them to “pass through”, listening to music and sounds. The other, more thorough type is to discard the contents of your mind, so you can return naturally to infinitely calm state. With type 1 , we only experience that calmness whilst meditating and for shorts periods following. With type 2, we don’t need to make an effort to calm down when we discard our minds, nor do we only experience it whilst we meditate or for short periods following meditating – it actually becomes your state of being because it is within you! Eventually, the idea is to clear it entirely, so I don't need to meditate any more.
OK screw it, I've had enough, but I don't quite understand all of this.
Perhaps it’s better coming directly from someone who used to take the strongest sleep medication for 8 years and, through the process of eliminating his countless thoughts, now can sleep effortlessly, and lives a much more joyous, and happy life.
So, whilst discarding thoughts will absolutely help you sleep, the benefits are infinitely endless in literally every, single facet of your life. We can show you the way, that’s our job – we will guide you to that place within you. However, you must make the steps. Only you can take the first step, no one else…. So why not start today with that very first step? If it resonates with you, you should start immediately, and I strongly recommend giving it a go for at least 3 months to really see the power of this. With unlimited guided meditation in person and online, unlimited consultations, and a network of support - everything is set up to help you achieve this goal.