Everything we’ve done so far with our health will almost become valueless if we don’t get adequate sleep.

That’s a strong statement, but that’s the truth. Sleep heals and repairs way too many things in the body and mind. If I start listing the benefits, I’ll pretty much need this entire post for that!

Insufficient sleep breeds many diseases, including cardiovascular ailments and diabetes. To put it crudely, every organ in the body may encounter issues at some point if we don’t get the sleep we need. 

Identify Your Chronotype

As per the neuroscientist Matthew Walker, understanding our biology is an integral part of getting good sleep. Research studies show that the amount of sleep we need is pre-programmed in our genes.

On average, a person needs 7-8 hours of bedtime. Taking that as the baseline, we must discover our optimal sleep routine. Also, neuroscience mandates sleep regularity. No exceptions for weekends!

If our sleep schedules don’t match our chronotype, we’re prone to mood swings and psychiatric illnesses.

A simple AutoMeq questionnaire can help you estimate your chronotype. 

As most of us might have heard, there are two significant chronotypes:

  • Morningness (Morning Lark): The ones who welcome the sun.
  • Eveningness (Night Owl): Those who burn the midnight oil.

Dealing with Sleep Issues

I had struggled with insomnia caused by postpartum depression and other related situations for more than a decade. After many years of struggle, I’ve recently started sleeping for at least 5 hours each night. I still have some work left here, but things are progressing well. 

Here are some sleep solutions that have worked for me so far:

  • I drink all the fluids my body needs before 5 PM. That prevents me from waking up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. 
  • My body needs a gradual wind down to feel sleepy. So, I have a set night routine, which I follow even on the weekends. At times, I give myself an exception on Friday nights, but that’s rare as well.
  • My husband and son are the morning larks. So, they go to bed early. I’m a night owl, so my winding down routine starts after they go to sleep. For more than an hour before bedtime, I read and then do my Sadhana
  • At my scheduled bedtime, I get into bed even if I can’t sleep. Then, I put on my sleep headphones and listen to an audiobook till I fall asleep.

This Time’s Goal

Identify your chronotype using the questionnaire provided earlier. Considering your chronotype, create a sleep schedule that matches your workday. Above all, please stick to your plan!

A Recap of Habits

When we cultivate new habits, we tend to forget the old ones. It’s essential to keep working on the already discussed habits to achieve our fitness goals. So, here’s a recap of what you should be working on:

  1. Drinking Enough Water
  2. Dietary Supplements
  3. Practicing Vajra-Asana
  4. Fiber and Protein for Breakfast 

I have kept the comments closed on this post because many find their sleep goals challenging. However, please know that sleep is a non-negotiable need for physical fitness. 

After years of struggle with just 2-3 hours of sleep per night, I can assure you that nothing matters more in life than a good night’s sleep. So, if you don’t wish to regret it in the future, please don’t take your sleep for granted. 

Love.
Devi

*****

Image: Photo by Lux Graves on Unsplash

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