Sleep Hacking – How to Hibernate Like a Bear
Are you suffering from what could be America’s top health and wellness related problem? Snuggie got you down?
It’s crazy that so many people have a problem sleeping. Nevertheless, at least a 1/3 of the population has sleep issues. This isn’t just limited to adults. Kids are also suffering.
The typical sleep treatment
What seems to be the most prevalent treatment for insomnia and sleeping problems?
Pills and drugs. Yep, pharmaceutical business as usual. If it’s not sleeping drugs from big pharmacy companies, then some people try alcohol and other substances to fall asleep. Lastly, you have many natural and herbal supplements on the market to combat sleeping issues. Of them all, the supplements would probably be a person’s best and safest bet.
However, what if you could get to sleep without anything?
That would be awesome, right? Of course, it would. No one wants to pop pills with a long list of side effects to get to sleep; however, when push comes to shove, the majority of people shove down a bunch of pills to get a night’s rest. Does that mean they’re bad, weak, or stupid? No, not at all. It’s just that most people haven’t learned how to sleep well.
Learning how to sleep well
Really, do we need to learn how to sleep?! The answer is yes. Sometimes the simplest things must be taught or learned again. Society has become so fast paced that sleep has taken a backseat to being productive.
If you’re not a skilled multi-tasker, than you’re a loser, right? Not really, but that’s the attitude, especially in America. America’s a great country; however, it probably also wins the award for “The Country that Never Sleeps.” After all, there’s so much to do and see.
Once upon a time, television channels would simply shutdown at a certain hour – about 1 or 2 o’clock. Not any more. You can now watch whatever you want around the clock. Some restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores are open for business 24 hours a day. The Internet allows us to keep busy and entertained all the time as well.
Don’t get me wrong. These are all great conveniences, technological advances, and opportunities. However, the human race is just a bit too stimulated – some of us are way too stimulated. So what’s the solution?
We need to go back to sleeping like our ancestors.
There’s a lot you can learn from cavemen and cavewomen. In fact, if we simply go back a few hundred years, we could embrace some great sleeping remedies – without drugs.
Fade to black
Light interferes with sleep.
You’re best bet is to get to bed before midnight or a few hours after sunset. The quality of sleep you obtain during nature’s normal “dark hours” is the best. If you’re already doing this, yet still have sleep problems, then:
- Cut the television off. The light and noise from it interferes with the deep and rejuvenating level of sleep required for ultimate health and energy. Cavemen didn’t have TVs. They had dark caves. How lucky they were! No joke, I’ve even slept in my closet before. Scouts honor.
- Make use of dark curtains or blinds if street lamps or outside light tends to illuminate your bedroom at night.
- Shut down the computer, cut off the monitors, and even cover up the alarm clock. You want your room pitch black. Cool as the North Pole
- You ever wonder why we love air conditioners when the weather gets warm? Probably not. Well, the fact is when our bodies become too warm or even hot, it’s difficult for us to relax or focus. If excess warmth and heat causes us a bit of discomfort during the day, just think about what’s happening when we’re sleeping.Your sleep is terribly disrupted when you’re too warm or hot. In fact, many people complain about the inability to sleep when it’s too warm. Although you don’t need your room as cool as the North Pole, you do want a cool room in order to maximize sleep. You can do a few things to combat this problem:
- Take a cool bath or shower before going to sleep. Some people actually recommend taking a 5 to 10 minute ice bath. It’s up to you, but either method has received rave reviews from many people.
- If you don’t have central heating and air, then be sure to set your room’s thermostat to a comfortable temperate an hour or two before going to bed. During the winter or fall months, it’s easy to overheat the house and your bedroom. Warmth is good, but it’s not so good for sleep.
Eat or not to eat – that is the question
You’ll find some advice that says not to eat 2 hours before bed.
Others will tell you to eat a light snack prior to sleeping. It all depends on you, your health, and your ability to sleep.
A general rule of thumb is to enjoy a small (100 to 200 calorie) snack before bed. Make sure it’s low-glycemic, as sugar will interfere with your sleep. This is the perfect remedy for those who find themselves rummaging through the refrigerator at night like a bear. Also, some studies show that a small snack provides better sleep for people with hypoglycemia.
Other tips to sleep like a hibernating bear
- Hydrate yourself, but don’t over do it. The result of too much water or fluids is 2 or 3 trips to the bathroom at night. This is horrible for a sound nights rest. Plus, if you have a weak bladder you may not even make it to the restroom. Gross!
- Sleep at least 8 hours each night. If you must sleep less on occasion, never cut your sleep below 6 hours.
- Take naps. Naps aren’t just for children and the elderly. Even a 20-minute afternoon power nap is excellent.
- Sleep in silence. Cut off radios, TVs, etc. If necessary, use a fan or white noise machine to block external or other noises.
- Cut the crap out of your diet. Avoid alcohol, sugar, salt, dairy, and gluten. If you must have these items, then be sure to avoid consuming them 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. Caffeine should even be avoided after 3PM as it has a half-life of up to 6 hours.
- Take the Paleo approach
I’m sure if you take this Paleo approach to sleep outlined here, you’ll wake up revived and refreshed. You’ll be ready to rock the world in the morning.
More importantly, you’ll receive the benefits from a quality night’s sleep that include:
- Better performance in athletics
- Increased energy
- Improved mood and attitude
- Stronger immune system
- Higher tolerance for stress
- Enhanced memory and mental focus
- Decreased risk for obesity, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes
- Improve your health and life with quality sleep. If a caveman could do it, than so can you!