Friday, December 29, 2006

Optimizing Your Sleep Clock

Sleeping Less, and Increasing the Quality of Your Sleep
Okay, now that you know the basics of the mechanics of sleep. Let’s talk about how
you can use this new knowledge to sleep less, have more powerful sleep, and have
more energy in your life. I have given you the previous “scientific” information here
because I wanted you to have a knowledge base with the “right” information. Too
often in life we try to achieve something but with the wrong information! I have a
belief in life that there are 3 fundamental steps to achieving anything, whether it is
getting quality sleep, achieving a financial goal, a personal goal, or anything else,
these 3 steps are...
Step 1) Get the right information
Step 2) Make the right plan
Step 3) Take ACTION!
To give you a personal example of how step #1 is so important:
I go to the gym about 3 days per week, and every single time I'm there, I see the
same people relentlessly working out their abs on the ab cruncher machines. And
these people are doing about 10 - 20 sets of 100 to 200 repetitions of ab crunches
and sit ups, for up to 3 hours! Every time I go past them I laugh a little, and I also feel
a bit sorry for them, because they're wasting their time.
The reason why they're doing all the sit ups is because they're desperately trying to
get a 6 pack of abs on their stomach.
I have a 6 pack myself, but is it because I trained hard for 2 years to get it? No,
actually it took me only about 7 weeks. I learned that the only way for your abs to
become visible is to decrease your body fat percentage below a certain point, about
7% for men and 12% for women. This is only achieved by following a specific diet
and working out ALL the muscles of your body, not just one. This way you're working
out every single muscle, and your body fat decreases all over your body, instead of
following the “spot reducing” method, where you work out only one part of your body
and expect the muscles to become visible through all your fat. This is the only way to
get a 6 pack of abs.
That information took me 3 minutes to learn! 3 Minutes of powerful information
prevented me from wasting my time for months, or perhaps years without getting the
result I wanted.
So this is what I meant by “getting the right information” in life. Often people have the
right MOTIVATION to do something, but they have the wrong INFORMATION. A lot
of people want to have more time and energy in their lives, but they don't have the
right information on how to go about getting that result! This is why I have chosen to
write this book for you, and teach you about the mechanics of sleep first.
In this section we'll talk about all the methods and understandings you must have to
optimize your sleep clock for optimum sleep performance. Afterwards we'll talk about
sleeping problems and finally how to tie all this information together to create your
own sleep optimization plan and reduce your sleeping time. After finishing this book
and filling out your Personal Evaluation Plan, you may feel compelled to explore a
more fun part of sleep: Dreams, in the other book that came in the downloadable
Remember, your main goals are to:
1) Increase the quality of your sleep.
2) Increase the level of energy you have every day.
3) Decrease your sleeping time by as much as you can. (We'll explore this in detail in
a later section.)
Getting enough Sunshine
I cannot over emphasize how important this is! As explained earlier, the amount
of natural sunlight that enters your eyes has a drastic effect on your temperature
body rhythm.

When we're exposed to high intensity light, our body temperature increases, and
melatonin levels rapidly decrease.

Exposure to natural sunlight also delays the temperature drop. This allows you
to stay awake and alert for longer periods of time.

Lack of sunlight results in higher melatonin levels, this leads to lower body
temperature levels, feeling very sleepy, and tired through out the day.
Lack of sunlight will create a flat-line effect in your body temperature, because it will
not get a chance to rise high enough, your body temperature won't fall low enough
during the night either. If your body temperature is flat-lined, this could cause major
sleeping problems, and it will be very difficult for you to sleep deeply for long periods
of time. A lot of people who complain about “poor sleep” usually don't get enough
Consider how for the most part of our evolution we were always outside during the
day, it seemed that nature intended us to be this way, then suddenly over the past
100 years we drastically changed our exposure to natural sunlight. Most of us hardly
get any sun today at all! We drive to work in a car, we wear sunglasses, we work in
offices, what kind of effect do you think this has on our sleep clock?
How Much Light Should You Be Getting?
The intensity of light is measured in a unit called a lux. 1 lux is approximately the
light that your eyes receive when you're locked in a dark room with a single candle.

In an office lit by fluorescent light bulbs, the light intensity is about 200 - 500

At sun-rise, the light intensity is about 10,000 luxes.

At noon, on a bright sunny day, the light intensity is about 100,000 luxes!
Consider how for most of our evolution we spent most of our time outside, in these
high intensity light environments, and how now we spend so much time in low light
intensity environments. Spending the day indoors is the equivalent for our eyes
as spending the day in complete darkness!
Because our eyes rarely get exposed to “real light”, our eyes can't really tell the
difference between night and day. Also, consider the fact that most of us aren't even
exposed to real “darkness” anymore as most of us are exposed to other sources of
light during the night (street lamps, TV screens, Computers). The result is, our eyes
can't tell the difference between night and day, and our body temperature rhythm
flat-lines. As a result, we get poorer sleep, and can't stay awake and alert for very
There are many miscalculations about how much light actually enters our eyes. A
recent study by Doctor Daniel F. Kripke, of the University of California, shows that
most of the time when people measure light intensity in certain areas, they take the
measurements wrong, by pointing the measurement devices straight at the source!
For instance, during a sunny day at noon, the sun provides us with 100,000 luxes of
light. However, most of us don't look DIRECTLY at the sun! Obviously, this
wouldn't be a “bright” idea. The Sun can be damaging to our eyes in high intensity
However, Dr. Kripke states that the light that enters our eyes really depends in the
direction that we're looking at. By measuring light intensity in the directions that most
people look at during the day Dr. Kripke says that most of us get an average of 5,000
to 10,000 luxes of light during the day.
He also says that the same misconceptions come into play when measuring light
intensity indoors. Many people think we get an average of 200 to 500 luxes indoors,
however, these light intensity measurements are often taken by pointing the
measurement instruments right at the light source! And obviously, most of us don't
walk through a super market looking straight at the ceiling. Dr. Kripke says that most
of us experience only about 1 to 5 luxes of light when we're indoors!
So what's the solution? Well, I could hammer this further into your mind by providing
you with more information about light, and the effects of light deprivation, but I think
the best solution to this is just to GET MORE SUNLIGHT! Go out there, and get as
much of it as possible.
If you're working at home and you're doing some thinking, go outside into your yard
and think there instead.
If you work in an office, move your desk near a window.
Plan more activities outdoors
Open the drapes or shades immediately upon awakening.
Avoid sunglasses in the morning and evening. (More on sunglasses below)
Now, let's discuss other strategies for increasing your light exposure...
The Effects of Sunglasses
Sunglasses can block from 20% to 90% of sunlight entering our eyes! Many people
who I've consulted have received a huge boost of better sleep and energy
throughout the day simply from wearing their sunglasses less often, or eliminating
the use of sunglasses completely.
Naturally, sunlight can be damaging to our eyes in certain circumstances. Natural
sunlight is composed of many different types of light, including UV (Ultra Violet) light
which can be very harmful. Over exposure to UV light is a leading cause of skin
cancer and cataract (break down of the lenses in our eyes).
However, most people who wear sunglasses wear them when they don't even need
to. UV radiation depends on the time of day; it's highest in the noon hours. Usually,
the higher the sun is in the sky, the higher the UV radiation. UV radiation is lowest
during sunrise and sunset. Also, the closer you live to the equator, the higher the UV
radiation you're exposed to on a daily level.
Try to minimize your use of sunglasses, and use your common sense as to when
they may be appropriate. If you currently wear sunglasses all day, you are
minimizing the amount of sunlight entering your eyes, which is affecting your body
temperature rhythm.
Artificial Bright Light
If you currently work in an office where light is limited, getting light during the day
may be challenging for you. If you feel really drowsy and tired during the first hours
of work in the office, chances are your body temperature isn't rising fast enough,
most likely because you haven't been exposed to enough light, or haven't had
enough activity!
If you work in an office, or at home, a good idea is to get a “bright light box.” Bright
light boxes are machines that artificially produce light at high intensities, from 5,000
luxes to up to 10,000 luxes. They're a bit pricy, but a great investment if you or your
employer values your energy level while you're at work. If you work in a place where
your employer depends on your ability to function properly and with full energy, you
could give them this book and convince them to invest in a few of them.
They range from $150 to $300 in price, here's a company I would personally
recommend to order these from. (They even offer a minihand-held bright-light generator that you can take with you virtually anywhere.)Bright light therapy also has a connection with our emotions and daytime mood; ithas known to cure depression and other mental disorders. Lack of light in the winteris one of the main causes of winter depression, and why people generally sleep longer in the winter.
Again! I could go on forever about how important light is in our lives, but let’s move
How Exercise Affects Your Body Temperature Rhythm
If you want to instantly increase the quality of your sleep, then start an exercise
program if you don't exercise already. Exercise helps you sleep better in a number of
ways, I'm not even going to mention all the other health benefits! :

Exercise will raise your body temperature rhythm, and make your body
temperature “peak” at a higher level. This will increase your energy levels
throughout the day, you'll feel more awake, alive, and motivated.

As your body temperature levels will max out at a higher level, your body
temperature will also drop more easily and deeper. This will allow you to sleep
deeply, without interruptions.

Regular exercise will prevent your body temperature rhythm from “flat-lining”,
which will allow you to sleep deeply even if you've had a stressful day, or
couldn't exercise on one particular day.

Exercise delays the body temperature “drop” in the evening, allowing you to stay
awake and alert longer without feeling tired and drowsy.

Exercise is also a great relief of tension and stress, which as you'll later find out,
is a major cause of sleeping disorders.
If you don't exercise yet, GET A MOVE ON IT! and start now. The best time to
exercise is in the morning, as this will promote a quick temperature rise. However,
avoid exercise 3 hours prior to going to sleep, as your body temperature will
probably still be on the rise, and you may find falling asleep / sleeping deeply more
If you don't exercise, I'm not suggesting you get up off your butt right now, get a
membership at your local gym and begin a full scale work out program. You can do
that only if you really want to. However, recent study shows that just moderate
exercise during the day has many health benefits. If you can't motivate yourself to
start exercising regularly, you could find a less intensive physical activity that you still
enjoy, like walking briskly, biking, rollerblading, these will still have a substantial
effect at raising your body temperature.
My final point about this would be: What's the Point of Trying to Rejuvenate your
Body, and Increasing the Quality of Your Sleep, if You're Not Going to USE
Power Naps - The Secret to Energy With Little Sleep
If done correctly, taking regular day-time naps will give you a huge boost of
energy throughout the day.
As you may recall, there is a natural “slump” in body temperature during the mid
afternoon. This slump is what makes a lot of people sleepy during the day, and why
so many people feel the need to take an afternoon nap! However, is taking a nap
good for strengthening your sleep system? The answer is yes, and no.
In many siesta countries, taking a regular nap is a normal part of the culture, i.e.:
Spain, Mexico. This has several effects:
As you remember, we sleep through certain sleep stages, and sleep cycles. During
the first sleep cycle, our body enters deep sleep for the longest period of time, it's at
this point that our body temperature begins to drop really low, our respiration, heart
rate and blood pressure decreases.
If you've ever been woken up out of “deep sleep”, you know that it’s almost
impossible to get up. Waking up during or after a major deep sleep phase makes you
feel lethargic, slow, and disoriented i.e.: when you wake up during the night to go to
the bathroom, you stroll in there like a Zombie, and don't even remember it the next
It takes about 45 minutes to enter the first deep sleep phase. If you limit your nap to
45 minutes, you will sleep mainly in Stage 2 sleep. Stage 2 sleep also plays a major
role in restoring physical energy, as you look at the previous chart, 50% of sleep is
spent in Stage 2 sleep. This is why you may have heard before that a simple 10
minute nap can totally re-charge you. If you limit a nap to 45 minutes, you will wake
up feeling re-charged, and ready to go.
However, if you take a nap for longer than 1-2 hours, you will most likely enter deep
sleep. Your temperature will begin to drop, and you'll wake up feeling very sleepy
and disoriented. Also, when you enter deep sleep during the day, you put your body
temperature rhythm out of whack, it may be difficult for you to go to sleep later on in
the night. You'll have difficulty sleeping deeply at night, which will have negative
consequences for the day ahead, such as poor energy, headaches and nausea.
Most likely resulting in more naps.
As you see, taking long naps is not the way to go as you can enter a cycle of
behavior resulting in poor energy levels and poor quality sleeps. This would affect
your health and your life in big ways. Taking irregular naps is one way that sleeping
disorders develop.
The correct way to take naps is to keep them ultra short. This will prevent deep sleep
and re-charge you physically. Some studies even show that taking short naps can
reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease by as much as 30%.
As part of this book, I would personally recommend that you do take a short nap
during the day, you'll be surprised at how energized you feel for the rest of the day
when you do take one! Limit the nap to 45 minutes, if you still feel tired after the nap,

then shorten the nap time. The amount of time required to enter deep sleep varies
from person to person.
Because everyone experiences the afternoon body temperature slump, we can
assume that nature intended us to have an afternoon nap. Perhaps to keep our
ancestors from the mid-day sun and dangerous predators out for the hunt?
Waking Up At the End of a Cycle
This is the true secret to “waking up energized.”
I'm curious, have you ever had an experience where you woke up in the morning and
you felt ABSOLUTELY GREAT?! With no aching muscles, no lethargic feeling, or
that usual slow and moody state of mind that most of us wake up with? The state of
mind that tells you “grab some coffee or you'll die...”
Before actually learning this information, I had this experience a few times, and it
made me wonder how on Earth it happened. I woke up with a sense that I've already
been awake, and I felt completely ready to go.
As you recall, we sleep through sleep stages in sleep cycles. Each Cycle ends with a
period of REM sleep. During REM sleep our physiology and brain waves are the
closest to the ones when we're awake. The longest period of REM sleep is towards
the end of sleep, during which we usually wake up for the final time.
The challenge is, most of us use alarm clocks to “bolt” ourselves out of sleep. Often,
our alarm clocks wake us up in the wrong sleep stage, making it very hard to wake
up. For instance, if a person is in their last sleep cycle towards the end of a night,
and they're in Stage 3 sleep, if your alarm clock goes blaring off at this point, it might
be very difficult to get up, and feel rested. However, if only the alarm clock went off
30 minutes later, in REM sleep, getting up would be much easier.
Obviously, most of us are limited and don't really have a choice as to when we have
to set that alarm clock to. We have busy schedules, work places to get to, and traffic
to beat which unfortunately will not adjust to our schedule.
So the only way to wake up at the end of a cycle is to do some trial and error testing
with the time we go to sleep at. If you currently wake up feeling horrible, try going to
sleep 20 minutes earlier, or 20 minutes later, 40 minutes earlier, or 40 minutes later
than you usually do. By doing this, you'll eventually find a “hot spot” for waking up at
the end of your cycle.
Remember though, your sleep cycle never depends on when your alarm clock
wakes you up, only on your body temperature levels. As you apply the other
information in this book, your sleep cycles will change as well, so you may want to
try experimenting with this technique when you get a solid sleep cycle pattern
The Weekend - Your Sleep System's Worst Nightmare
Ahhh, it's the weekend... I'm curious, have you ever heard... SOMEONE say these
lines? (Yeah, I know you'd never say them...)
“It's the weekend! I can finally get some sleep!”
“It's the weekend. I can finally sleep in bed and veg out all day!”
or my personal favorite
“It's the weekend. I can finally CATCH up on some sleep!”
Sleeping in late on weekends is detrimental to the sleep system for the following

Limits your exposure to sunlight on these two days which results in your body
temperature rising and falling slower.

As a result, it's harder to fall asleep on Sunday, which results in the usual
“Sunday night insomnia”.

Limits your prior wakefulness before you go to bed again. This weakens the
pressure to go to sleep at night, alters your body temperature rhythm, and
further promotes insomnia.

Reduces the ability for your body to sleep deeply.
You should keep your weekend sleeping schedule the same as it is during the week.
This will set your body rhythm in place, and you won't have to “sleep in” to “catch up”
on sleep, as your body will learn to adapt to one sleeping schedule. If you
continuously mix up your sleeping pattern, your body temperature rhythm will be out
of whack, and it will be difficult for you to sleep deeply.
Also, “catching up on sleep” is a myth. As you know by now, It's only during the first
3-4 hours that we experience most of our deep sleep, the rest is comprised mostly of
Stage 2 and REM sleep. If you sleep for 10 hours, this will primarily increase your
REM sleep, which will not be of great benefit to your body.
If you feel the need to re-energize during the weekend, take a 45 minute nap, as
described before! You'll save tons of time by sleeping less, feel more energized, and
your sleep system will be strengthened by this new behavior - making it easier for
you to sleep deeply.
Having a Regular Rising Time & Sleeping Time
This combines with what we talked about above with weekend sleep. If you currently
have a schedule that doesn't require you to wake up at the same time every day
during the week, and you have chosen to get up at different times each day, you're
weakening your sleep system.
Remember, your body temperature begins to rise the moment you get out of bed,
start moving, and allow sunlight to enter your eyes. If you get up at different times
every single day, this is the equivalent of putting your body through jet lag every
morning. If your body temperature rises 2 hours later one day, then it will drop 2
hours later as well, making it harder for you to fall asleep and sleep deeper the next
day if you decide to get up at a different time.
Secondly, I'm sure you've probably heard someone say this before: “I have to wake
up early tomorrow, so I'm getting to bed early.”
A lot of people try to compensate for waking up early by going to bed early the night
before, sometimes lying in bed for an hour or two before actually going to bed, this is
also detrimental to the sleep system, as it reduces your prior wakefulness, which
lowers the pressure of sleep, and makes it harder to sleep deeply.
Although having a regular rising and sleeping time may take some “discipline”, as
you read and reflect on this concept, you may feel compelled to add this simple
strategy into your lifestyle, the benefits of sleeping less, getting better sleep, and
having more energy far outweigh the few extra hours you could spend in bed wasting
your life away in that cozy cocoon of slumber.
How Nicotine, Caffeine, and Alcohol Affect Sleep.
Mmmmmmm Coffee...
Ironically, the substance that most of us chose to consume to help “wake us up”,
keeps us from experiencing proper restful sleep. If everyone simply learned the
secrets to sleeping properly in this book, there wouldn't be a need for coffee!
Coffee contains caffeine, which is also present in a wide variety of junk our bodies
don't need: Cola, Pop, Candy Bars...
Caffeine increases heart rate and blood pressure, it promotes alertness and reduces
fatigue. These effects can last for a few minutes or can last for up to seven hours! If
you're currently drinking caffeine, you're putting unnecessary pressure on your
awake system, which is weakening your sleep system.
Different people have different tolerance levels to caffeine, so caffeine doesn't affect
everyone's sleep in the same way. Also, if you drink one or two cups of coffee in the
morning, it’s unlikely your sleep will be affected. However, seeing how caffeine can
stay in the blood stream for hours at a time, if you drink caffeine at least 6 hours prior
to sleeping, it will affect the quality of your sleep, it will be difficult for your body to
enter deep sleep or spend a lot of time in deep sleep because of the stimulative
effects. You might also experience frequent night time awakenings out of Stage 2
Interesting Facts:
People who drink caffeine tend to frequently get up in the middle of the night to
urinate. This is the result of the body trying to detoxify itself.
The energizing effect that caffeine gives you in the morning is only temporary.
Getting just 10 minutes of high intensity light would be 10x more energizing for the
rest of your day, more beneficial to your sleep system, and your health.
If you currently smoke, you might want to strongly consider the following.
Nicotine harms sleep in many ways, like caffeine, nicotine produces faster brain
waves, heart rate, and breathing rate, and an increased amount of stress hormones
in your blood.
Generally, if you smoke you can't expect to get quality sleep, the stimulant effects of
nicotine will prevent you from sleeping deeply, as nicotine is a poison to your whole
body. Nicotine puts your whole system, including your body temperature rhythm,
totally out of balance.
If you want to improve your sleep, your best choice would be to quit smoking. While
in this book I won't give specific methods and information on that, I would like to point
out that I can provide you with some extremely powerful information to help you quit.
If you want to make the decision to quit smoking, contact us at
Some people think that a “night cap” of alcohol will help you sleep; this couldn't be
further from the truth.
While alcohol may temporarily relax some muscles in your body, it's extremely
detrimental to your sleeping system.
Alcohol Suppresses Deep Sleep, and REM sleep!
Alcohol will suppress the 3rd, 4th, and 5th stage of sleep, which will result in a very
light, un-restful sleep. Reduced REM sleep usually leads to a REM sleep rebound,
in the form of intense dreaming or nightmares, which weaken your sleep for days
Considering that most people combine alcohol with coffee to fight hang-over, this is a
deadly combination for your sleep system!
Alcohol also dehydrates your body, so even small doses of it will produce un-restful
sleep. As you remember, your blood vessels dilate during deep sleep to allow more
blood flow to the muscles. If your body is dehydrated this process is much more
difficult because dehydrated blood doesn't flow as well through your blood vessels as
fully hydrated blood.
Note: Never Combine Alcohol With Sleeping Pills! If You Do, You're Risking
Your life! (More on sleeping pills in later section)
Prior Wakefulness
As you learned earlier, there are two systems which really control your sleep. These
systems work together:
1) Your awake system and
2) Your sleep system
Your awake system keeps you awake and your brain waves high during the day, and
naturally loses strength as you get less light exposure, and your temperature level
drops towards the end of the day. When your sleep system takes over, it works to
give you the most refreshing sleep possible. When you get quality sleep, your awake
system benefits from this the next day!
This dual team works in the negative sense as well. If you're doing things in your life
to weaken your sleep system, your awake system will suffer from poor sleep, which
will most likely result in you feeling tired, lethargic, and lead to an even weaker sleep
system. Most people avoid exercise and outdoor activity because they didn't sleep
too well. They're actually depriving themselves of the life force that feeds their sleep
The more demand you put on your awake system, in the proper ways (as we've
talked about so far) the stronger your sleep system will get.
The challenge is, most people try to cope with feeling tired during the day by taking
long naps, or going to sleep early. These actions weaken the sleep system by
lowering natural sunlight exposure, and decreasing physical activity. The body
temperature rhythm adjusts to this behavior by falling earlier, and rising very slowly,
which makes it difficult to sleep deeply, and to stay awake and energized during the
By increasing your prior wakefulness you will increase the pressure to sleep later on,
and increase the strength of the sleep system. While this may seem difficult at first,
in the long run your sleep system will get much stronger, you'll get better sleep in a
shorter amount of time. We'll explore this in detail later on when you design your own
specific plan in the next section.
Hydration and Sleep - We're Dying of Thirst in Our Sleep!
I can read your thoughts right now:
“Oh no... Another guy that's going to talk about drinking 8 glasses of water a day...”
If you're not drinking at least 8 cups of water a day, chances are you are creating a
water deficit in your body. Here's a break down of how much water your body uses
every day:

Your Intestines: about 1/2 cups of water

Breathing: about 1 and 1/3 cups of water

Your Lungs: about 2 cups

Your Skin: about 2 cups of water

Your Kidneys: about 5 and 1/2 cups of water!
Under normal conditions, the body loses approximately 12 cups of water every
The main effect of dehydration is seen in your blood, your blood clumps together and
can't carry oxygen to all the parts of your body. As an effect, you'll feel tired, low on
energy, and your immune system will be lowered.
Studies show that most people are so dehydrated, they mistake the body's natural
call for water for hunger! Most people find it difficult to start drinking 8 cups of water a
day, and see it as too much of a “chore”. However, this is usually only because your
body has adapted to chronic dehydration. Once you start drinking more water and
give your body the message that “Hey, we have water! We can have all we want!” it
will get the point, and you will actually get thirsty more often!
Speaking from my personal experience, when I decided to quit drinking all the crap I
was taking in every day (Pop, Coffee, Juice), and drink nothing but water, I saw the
effects immediately. I had dandruff and all kinds of skin problems for years which
disappeared in less than 3 days after I started drinking water! I had more energy,
and decreased my sleeping time by 2 hours.
Interestingly enough, after about 6 months of drinking nothing but water, I
accidentally picked up a cup with Pepsi in it and took a sip. IT FELT LIKE I WAS
SWOLLOWING 20 scoops of sugar! It was absolutely disgusting and I almost
The challenge for our bodies that we're constantly presenting is drinking fluids that
aren't part of what our bodies were meant to take in naturally. Our bodies cope with it
and “adapt”. The moment you start giving your body what it really needs and
deserves, it will thank you for it, and it won't want to go back to the other crap!
So how does water affect your sleep?
During deep sleep our blood vessels dilate, and most of the blood which is usually
stored in our inner organs throughout the day travels into our muscles to repair them.
If your body is dehydrated, your blood clumps together and doesn't get to all the
places it needs to, it doesn't carry enough oxygen to all your muscles.
During REM sleep, respiration and blood pressure escalate dramatically, blood flow
to the brain and muscles also increases.
Most people wake up in the morning extremely thirsty. Sleeping without water
in your system is the equivalent of running an 8 hour marathon without a water
Also, a large portion of our energy during the night goes into our digestive system,
which also relies heavily on water! If your system is more hydrated, your body will
spend less energy digesting food during the night, and put more focus into giving you
better sleep. As a result, you'll sleep less, and feel much more ENERGIZED and
REFRESHED in the morning.
Proper hydration also plays a major role in helping your body temperature rhythm
adjust. The more hydrated you are the easier it is for your body to control your body
temperature. Your body temperature is the main underlying clock which controls
when and how you sleep! Proper hydration in your body will help this system operate
at its optimum level, just as motor oil does in a car engine.
It would go beyond the scope of this short e-book to talk about how beneficial water
is to your health, not just your sleep. If you take this message to heart, and decide to
totally hydrate yourself once and for all, here's a quick method:
Buy a 2.0 Liter Bottle of Pop of your choice (Coca Cola, Pepsi, Sprite...), take the
bottle to the bathroom and pour the contents down the toilet, as you do this, say to
yourself “I'm not drinking this crap anymore!”
Clean out the bottle, and fill it with drinking water. This is approximately how much
water you should be drinking every day! Carry this bottle with you around the house,
and whenever you feel like drinking/eating some junk, take a sip of the water. Your
goal should be to finish at least half the bottle in a day.
Also, keep a glass of water by your bed when you go to sleep. When you wake up,
drink the whole glass before you set off on your day.
How Food Affects Your Sleep
There are a small changes you can make to your diet to sleep shorter and more
deeply. While I am not a professional nutritionist, and I do not want to get into talking
about dieting in this book too deeply, here are the facts:
Your digestive system slows down at night, and it becomes harder to digest food.
During deep sleep, a lot of energy is required by our body to pump blood through our
muscles and replenish physical energy. Most of the energy during sleep is sucked up
by our digestive system, therefore, the more demand you put on your digestive
system during the night, the poorer the quality of your sleep will be.
If you currently have any heavy food in your diet, especially food that’s high in
saturated fat, it's most likely diminishing the quality of your sleep.
Other foods that could diminish the quality of your sleep are:

Foods high in sugar and simple carbohydrates, which raise blood-sugar levels
and can cause bursts of energy (obviously disturbing the sleep system).

Food that cause gas, heartburn, or indigestion. E.g. Spicy, Fatty foods.
Some research also has brought to attention that the lack of vitamin B and folic acid
can impair sleep. Lack of calcium and magnesium can also decrease the quality of
sleep. The brain uses calcium and magnesium to produce a calming chemical in the
brain, lack of these will make it harder to sleep deeply.
Your Sleeping Posture
Your sleeping posture can also have a very significant effect on how deep you sleep.
If you sleep on your back or on your side, you should be fine. However, if you sleep
on your front, or need to lie on your front to fall asleep; this could have some serious
repercussions on your sleep and your back!
Sleeping on your front puts unnecessary pressure on some of your vital organs, like
your stomach, liver, and intestines. You'll also put a lot of strain on your neck and
your back, which makes your sleep very un-restful, and often is a major cause of
back problems. Whenever you're sleeping in a position that puts unnecessary
pressure on your body, it makes it harder for you to sleep deeply.
How Does Stress Affect Your Sleep?
Stress is entirely triggered by our mind when we're faced in a situation that could
mean possible pain. In the cave man age stress was very useful at keeping us from
harm and alerting us to danger, it helped us survive through very intense conditions.
In today's society, stress is often a very annoying habit which has major effects on
our health and keeps us from achieving the things we really want in life.
Firstly, what happens in your body when you're “stressed”?

When we're stressed, our adrenalin hormone levels instantly increase. This
gives our nervous system a huge bolt, our level of alertness and muscle tension
instantly increases.

Our heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and blood sugar levels increase

Our brain waves increase for a higher level of alertness and sensory acuity.
Right off the bat you can probably already see how stress can prevent us from
experiencing quality sleep, or even falling asleep! One huge drawback of stress is a
constant high level of brain waves that keep our minds racing all the time. As you will
learn in a later section, this can be very detrimental to your sleep system and can
cause insomnia.
The other reason why stress prevents us from sleeping deeply is because of all the
heightened “stress” hormones. These hormones make our sleep lighter and less
restful. In the cave man ages this would actually be very beneficial, in times of stress
you would be able to awaken quickly and be ready for battle with predators who are
likely out to kill you. However, this isn't the daily situation for us today.
Stress creates a similar sleep pattern as those of mothers with babies, who also
have a higher wakefulness system, allowing them to wake up during the night to the
slightest stir of their kids. However, this isn't always linked to stress.
If we were to go into methods of reducing stress in this book, it would obviously
become a very big book - so we won't explore that much. However, there are a few
simple relaxation methods you can employ on a daily basis that will have a huge
effect on these hormone levels.
It's been proven that practicing daily relaxation can have a very beneficial effect on
the levels of your stress hormones, consequently improving your sleep and your
health. We'll explore mental relaxation in a later part of this book. You can find a
special section on relaxation in the appendix of this book.
Section Summary
Take this short quiz to better learn and remember what you've just read.
1. Getting enough sunlight is important because...
a. We melt if we don't get enough sunlight.
b. Getting a nice tan is good and will attract beautiful people into your life.
c. Helps our body temperature become more balanced, and promotes deeper sleep.
d. It increases our REM sleep.
2. Regular exercise helps the sleep system because
a. Helps our body temperature rise quicker and peak at a higher point and delays the
body temperature drop in the evening.
b. Dehydrates us, and this is good because water is bad for sleep.
c. Relaxes all our muscles which helps you sleep deeper.
d. Deprives you of donuts, allowing you to sleep better as you dream of donuts and
other junk food.
3. What best describes the effects of Sunglasses on your Sleep?
a. Sunglasses help you look more suave and attractive, therefore increasing the
quality of your sleep.
b. Sunglasses prevent light from entering your eyes, which helps sleep because light
is bad for you.
c. Sun-glasses prevent quality sleep because they limit your exposure to sunlight by
20% to 90%.
d. None of the above.
4. Having a regular rising time on weekdays AND weekends is good because...
a. Allows your body temperature rhythm to become more balanced and set in place.
b. It's not good. Kacper is a psychopath who just wants to deprive me of sleep during
the weekend.
c. Allows your eyes to get a normal pattern of light exposure which helps stabilize
your body temperature rhythm.
d. A & C
5. How long should you take your day-time naps for?
a. As long as it takes to feel good
b. 3 hours or more
c. 1-2 hours
d. 10 - 45 minutes
6. Proper hydration is good for your sleeping system because:
a. It makes you go to the bathroom more often and this helps you sleep.
b. Your brain waves make a swimming pool out of the water in your body and have a
fun and relaxing time drinking tequila and pina-coladas all day by the pool.
c. Allows your blood to oxygenate your body better for your deep sleep to be more
physically recharging.
d. Allows your body temperature to adjust easier because of proper hydration in your
e. C & D
7. Alcohol is bad for the sleep system because
a. It dehydrates your body.
b. Deprives you of deep sleep and REM sleep.
c. Creates a REM sleep rebound which results in un-restful and often disturbing
d. It's poison to your whole body.
8. Staying Awake Longer...
a. Makes it harder to fall asleep.
b. Puts more demand on your sleep system and promotes deeper sleep.
c. Gives you a dangerous dose of oxygen during the day which can cause death.
d. Gives you a greater chance to expose yourself to light during the day, and to
increase activity levels during the day; which helps balance the body temperature
e. B & D

No comments: