Updated: Jan 4, 2021
I love to sleep. But I like to wake up refreshed, energetic and ready in the morning for action. Unfortunately, this was not always like that. I remember times when waking up in the morning did not feel much better than when I went to sleep the day before.
Many factors contributed to the improvement of this condition. I did not realise at that time, that what I needed the most was the proper sleep conditions and the proper sleep itself.
The repair processes in our body occur while we sleep. This is one of the reasons why when we are on various detoxes or changing our diet to a healthier one, we may feel a greater need for sleep. When we train intensively, the body also needs to rest and regenerate. And what is interesting is that sleep helps you lose weight, because we are burning fat in the sleep!
I remember, when I lived in Germany and our car broke down, I had to travel to my German course by bike (5 times a week, 40 km a day on hilly terrain, sometimes with quite steep climbs) for almost 2 months. After a few days, I felt that I could not function normally if I did not go to sleep after returning from my ride. I needed about 1.5 hours of sleep to wake up full of energy and strength. I must admit that my body was shaped very nicely then, and I had no shortage of strength. I ate my first meal after I returned from my German course and that was at around 14:00.
When we are imbalanced ("disease"), our bodies often crave sleep as well. It is important not to eat anything 4-5 hours before bedtime, so that the body can digest everything and rest at night. If we eat anything before going to bed, our body will first spend energy and strength on digestion. Then, we can be sure that we wake up tired and exausted. Because when was the body supposed to rest, if it had to work all night long?
Referring again to the imbalance in our body, note that when we are in this state of "disease", we do not feel like eating. Only sleep. Sometimes drinking, but not always. The same applies to other animals. Because in this state - without food and during sleep, the body rests and repairs the best and the most effective. I try to be in bed at 22:00. Children go to bed between 20-21.30, it depends on the day. In fact, I should be asleep at 22:00, but I won't always make it. I get up differently. During the weekend I allow my body to wake up by itself, which takes place between 7:00-8:00, depending on what time I went to bed. During the week I get up between 5:00-6:00.
It is worth mentioning the stages of sleep on this occasion. There are two main phases of sleep: the NREM phase (where proper regeneration and deep sleep take place) and the REM phase (light sleep). These phases alternate one after another and usually repeat 4-5 cycles during the night. The length of REM sleep is about 15 minutes, and NREM varies, but most often it is 90 minutes (studies show that depending on the person it can vary between 90-120 minutes). If we set the alarm clock and it rings in the morning during the NREM phase, we wake up tired and sleepy. The best phase to stand up is REM. With this in mind, you can plan your sleep to be effective. For example: my NREM phase is 90 minutes. I want to get up at 5:45. So I have to be in bed at 22:00. (I assume I will fall asleep in 15 minutes). The sleeping time is therefore 7 hours and 30 minutes (5 cycles). The length of sleep is counted by the multiple of the NREM phase, adding the time needed to fall asleep (i.e. 15 minutes). How to check how long your NREM phase lasts? Go to bed at 21:45, asking your family members not to disturb you and not wake you up in the morning. Try to fall asleep in 15 minutes (unless you need more time, don't forget to include this in your calculations). Suppose you are asleep from 22:00 and you wake up at 7:00. You slept 9 hours, which is 540 minutes. Divide this by 5 (5 cycles) and the result should show you the length of your NREM phase - in this case it's 108 minutes. You may repeat this exercise several times for optimal results. I recommend it, it is worth testing.
It is equally important not to eat 4-5 hours after getting up, as not to disturb the body and not disturb the morning processes that take place in it. Sleep should last between 7-9 hours. If it lasts longer, it is a signal for us that something is wrong. If we feel the need to nap during the day (I am not talking about taking naps after eating, because it is related to the pancreas), then it is worth monitoring yourself and taking appropriate steps to find the cause.
What we sleep on is very important. It shouldn't be too hard or too soft. Grounding mattresses are a great idea, but you have to invest a little bit in that. It's definitely worth discarding the pillow. I have been sleeping without a pillow for almost two years. The differences I noticed were that I stopped waking up with muscles tentions (I used to wake up with a sore neck often). Any pillows that adapt to the shape of our upper spine section are pointless. Why? Because our muscles loosen, become softer and more flexible when we enter a deeper phase of sleep, and thus our spine "falls" to the ground. If the ground is straight, our spine rests in a normal position. If the ground is crooked (e.g. when sleeping on a pillow), our spine is crooked. The best position to sleep is on your back. Of course I don't control it at night, so nothing will happen if I lay on my side. But mostly I sleep on my back. I rely on my intuition. If you need to lay on your side, put your hand under your head. The best side is the left side. The reason for that is because our liver is situated on the right side of the body. When we lay on the left side, our liver can relax, and nothing is pushing it.
Last but not least, we need to shut down all electrical equipment in our bedroom, together wit cell phones (we can use the fly mode if we are too lazy), routers and other. Additionally it should be minimum 1 meter away from us.
The best optiom would be not to drink anything from 19:00. Thanks to that we will not wake up to go to the toilet at night (or at least not so often), and we will manage to keep our non-eating window (Intermittent Fasting) untill 7:00 (and it is miraculous 12 hours). I stop drinking between 18:00-19:00 and I make 16-18 hour dry fast every day. It is a bliss for my kidneys and I am sure my body will gain a lot of profit from this.