Tap into a sense of pure possibility. What are your hopes and dreams?
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by J. Balla Photography
Over the past several months, I’ve been finding it more difficult sleeping through the night. I usually wake between 4 and 5 a.m., still tired but with an active mind that makes falling back to sleep difficult.
After about 20 minutes of tossing and turning, a visit to the facilities, a drink of water, and maybe a visit to the kitchen for a nibble to calm my growling stomach, I try again.
One sleep strategy that often works is listening to the sleep stories on my Calm app. These guided journeys take me on a variety of adventures and back to dreamland, well before the stories are ended. Upon rising refreshed, I do my best to keep this hopeful state of possibilities throughout my day.
What hopes and dreams do you want to realize today?
What possibilities can and will you turn into reality with your imagination and creative intentions?
“When you get tired learn to rest, not quit.”
—Banksy, an anonymous England-based street artist & political activist
Image from Unsplash by Adrian Swancar
How tired are you at this very moment? How tired have you felt physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually this past year? Besides your overall levels of energy, how would you rate your health, mood, ambition, motivation, and productivity?
These days, few of us are at our best. Some of us may be at one of our lowest points ever, with many having quit due to exhaustion and burnout.
Banksy’s coaching at such times is to rest, to take better care of ourselves, and to help others do the same.
We all may also wish to lower our expectations of ourselves and others, embrace our humanity, and know that our best can differ from time to time.
Where would more sleep, a few more naps, and more “you time” for rest and recharge keep you moving forward even if it is at a more moderate pace?
“Laugh and world laughs with you. Snore and you sleep alone.”
Image from stopsnoring.com
Do you or your life partner snore? How often do you give or receive a nudge or a comment to shift your position and silence the racket emanating from your nose or mouth?
Today’s technology has come to the rescue with all sorts of gadgets, including noise-cancelling ear plugs, mouth guards, and of course, the ever popular c-pap machine.
It turns out snoring is often a symptom of a partially or completely closed airway during sleep, which can potentially create serious health consequences, including pulmonary hypertension.
If you or others in your life shake the airwaves and wake those around you, please consider discussing it with your physician. A more peaceful and potentially healthier night’s sleep awaits you!
“A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.”
—Charlotte Bronte, 19th Century English novelist
Image from Unsplash by Priscilla Du Preez
Perhaps no single part of our sleeping ritual is more important to a good night’s sleep than a comfortable pillow.
There is actually a pillow market 2019 Global Industry Report that covers the latest statistics and trends in this very competitive marketplace, with far too many details to even scratch the ten-billion dollar surface in this post.
A company called Scandia Home manufactures the St. Petersburg Pillow, with a cost ranging between $900 and $1,500. This unique piece of heaven can be customized for your yacht or private plane, with only the finest imported materials, including Siberian Down, and 439-thread-count silk!
Beyond memory foam, thread count, and perhaps pharmaceutical intervention, what strategies can and will you utilize to unruffle your mind, and sleep more peacefully in the future?
Feel free to reply to this post with the strategies and techniques you choose.
“Does refusing to go to the gym count as resistance training?”
Image from Unsplash by Julie Johnson
How much sleep do you get on a typical night during the week? What about the weekends? For most people I know, the numbers vary considerably.
Yesterday morning, my body woke at the normal time, but given it was the weekend and I was extra tired, I passed up my morning workout and went back to bed for two more hours of needed rest.
My resistance to going to the gym was completely appropriate given that I needed more time to refresh and recharge after a full work week, which had already included numerous visits to the gym.
Where do you push, stretch, and challenge yourself to grow and expand your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual potential?
Where might stepping back and saying, “NO” to some of these growth opportunities be the best choice, needed to progress optimally through your life?
“When things aren’t adding up in your life, start subtracting.”
Image from Unsplash by Antoine Dautry
A few nights ago I was watching a Netflix documentary series titled “A User’s Guide to Cheating Death,” with Tim Caulfield.
This particular episode was on sleep, and its importance to our overall health and well being.
Through various experiments and interviews with lay people and members of the scientific community, it appears that many, if not most people, have unfortunately subtracted various amounts of sleep from their lives, with considerable consequences in their physical, mental, and emotional well being.
Where might subtracting other aspects of your busy life and adding considerably more time with your pillow help things add up far better in your life?
Consider checking out the series on Netfix or at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7532396/ to see what else you may wish to subtract for some other “cheating death” strategies.
“Time is the wave upon the shore. It takes some things away, but it brings other things.”
—Amy Neftzger, Author, researcher, drummer
Image from Unsplash by Ivana Moratto
The other night I couldn’t fall asleep. I tried numerous sleep strategies but still couldn’t catch any zzzz’s. The strategy that finally worked was to listen to an app on my phone that recreates the sound of waves rhythmically lapping against the shore.
Equating time to a wave upon the shore has appeal, a calming effect, as compared to the abrupt and fast aspects of our days.
How can you better and more fully embrace the flow of time and the comings and goings of life?
“A difficult problem at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”
—John Steinbeck, American Novelist
Image from Flickr by Or Reshef
A growing body of evidence demonstrates the ability of the unconscious mind to work on a problem that requires a creative solution. Similar results have been gleaned in studies on daydreaming, and its value in producing creative and more original ideas.
Turning inward mobilizes the right hemisphere of the brain. The sleeping or relaxed brain cuts out many distractions, which leads to greater capacity to solve problems.
How can you invest in a good night’s sleep, a power nap, or even a bit of daydreaming to more fully tap your creative problem-solving powers?
“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
—Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father
Benjamin Franklin portrayed by Dean Norris, www.history.com
Ben Franklin was one of the wealthiest men of his time. He lived 84 years, which was unheard of in those days, and credited part of his longevity and success to his adherence to today’s quote.
The need for rest and recovery is an often overlooked aspect of health and well-being. It is a time in which our bodies magically heal and repair themselves. Lack of sleep and the associated stress it places on our bodies has been proven toxic.
Early risers clearly get a head start on their days. How many races would you likely win if you were able to determine the amount of “lead time” you needed? What could you learn through study, and what masterful, valuable skills could you develop and contribute to the world?
Consider going to bed and rising 30-60 minutes earlier for at least a week, and see what you discover about following Ben Franklin’s coaching.