Sleep Hacks That Are Suited To The Modern World

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By Chris Veritas

Last Sunday, I was hanging out with Heather Callaghan and Brandon Turbeville, two writers no one who reads this site frequently should be unfamiliar with. We were brainstorming topics for my next article. They suggested I write on sleep. Wouldn’t you know it, I assented, and couldn’t sleep for the next three days!

It’s not that I did anything differently, mind you. But sleep is a fragile thing, and oft eludes, inexplicably.

Backing up a bit, Heather, Brandon and I, first came up with a set of things that don’t aid sleep at all (satirists that we are). But not satisfied with what we’d done, we augmented the list with a second set of tips; this time suggesting ways of achieving sleep; and once achieving it, keeping it going throughout the night. I hope you find they work well for you. .

How not to get to sleep

1: Worry about sleep. The sleep process is not simply biological, it’s also psychological. If you read my article on Ambien Zombies, you already know women suffer from insomnia in greater numbers than men. On this point, a female friend of mine asserted this is because women are more sensitive than men, and therefore worry more. (Whereas I assumed it was due to something like neurotransmitters.) With this in mind, when it’s time for sleep, one must leave thought behind. We’ll cover suggestions for doing this, later.

2: Worry about other things. Easier said than done, I know. Anxiety over daily events, and thoughts about tomorrow, come in crowds. To shut out these voices, many turn to sleep aids to find rest. Excuse me, “sleep aids”. I put these words in quotes because, as I’ve discovered, the leading “solutions” from Big Pharma are pathetic products, and dangerous in the main. When approaching sleep, the day you just experienced, and the day to come, must fade into oblivion. I suggest rethinking the nighttime ritual.

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3: Take Ambien. Some of you may be saying, “Hey, now! I get great sleep when I take Ambien”. Nope. You’re not asleep, you’re hypnotized. My advice to you is, if you take this product, chain yourself to the bed. Because if it so happens that you suddenly “turn zombie”, and, let’s say, run someone over without knowing it, the courts have determined it’s your own darn fault.

4: Take Halcion. Once again, we’re talking hypnosis, not sleep. Plus, Halcion has a reputation for inducing psychotic episodes and suicide. I personally believe when it comes to drifting off, the best way to go about this is to gently induce it, with natural products.

5: Watch the news before bedtime. This can only lead to more worry. In all seriousness, are the networks trying to make Americans insomniacs? Avoid the news, if you want to relax at bedtime.

6: Sleep next to your cell phone or tablet. Certain people swear that doing this disrupts sleep rhythms, due to electric current emanating from these devices. Either way, having them nearby increases the risk of being woken by a call, or reaching down to check something. How about this? Turn them off, leave them in the living room, and go to sleep for goodness’ sake.

7: Drink coffee and soda after 4 PM. It’s 7:35 PM right now, and I’m drinking a cup of dark roast java. Feel free to mock. But let me pass on this bit of information. Caffeine stays in the blood stream for six hours, so if you’re like me, you’ll be dealing with its effects well into the night. Food for thought.

In addition to these detracting factors, I would add that temperature, light, noise, and the comfort of one’s bed, make a world of difference when snoozing time rolls around.

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Now, on to some tips for sleep achievement.

1: Have a sleep ritual. You can’t just bounce from a stressful state to a non-stressed state. Those whose lives are generally relaxing may be able to do this, but for the rest of us, it will take some doing. Which means it’s good to create a transition state, a relaxation bubble, to ease mind and body into. I would suggest devoting an hour to this, detaching from TV and mobile devices. Put on some PJ’s. Sit in a comfortable chair. Or perhaps…

2: Take a warm bath. And…

3: Read a book. While…

4: Drinking sleepy time tea.

5: Take 1 mg of Melatonin, dissolving it under the tongue. It’s paradoxical, but when it comes to Melatonin, less is more. Also, I’ve heard nothing but good things about the dissolvable form.

6: Magnesium spray. This one comes from Heather Callaghan, who swears by this method. One caveat. Some may need to dilute it, if they have sensitive skin.

7: Love, forgive, accept, meditate; and if you believe in God, be sure to pray. My belief is a great source of consolation. Think about it. Everything we do depends on faith. Part of the nightly ritual could be dedicated to looking up and admiring the stars, and at least wondering, “how is it that there is something out there, and not nothing at all?”

You’ll notice the preceding list is primarily focused on ways of approaching sleep that accentuate relaxation, and chemicals come last. It’s this writer’s opinion that sleep must be induced gently. Big Pharma takes a sledgehammer to the process, to get dramatic results. If you’re a desperate insomniac, I won’t begrudge you if you take Ambien. But again, buy yourself a set of shackles, and manacle yourself to the bed. It might just save you serving twenty years to life.

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To round out the article, let’s take a look at…

A few things that can disrupt your circadian rhythms.

1: Cigarettes. If you’re a smoker, don’t you find yourself waking up with cravings from time to time?

2: Alcohol. A misconception exists that alcohol assists sleep, but the opposite is true.

3: Light. The eye is made to detect light. Do all you can to create total darkness, to maximize deep sleep.

4: Foods to avoid: chili dogs and MSGs. At least for dinner. MSG-laced foods give me horrific nightmares, and chili dogs are hard to digest, which can cause the same result.

It’s no wonder so many people have trouble sleeping. The forty hour work week, the war on terror, and the things we eat, drink, and amuse ourselves with, seem allied against holistic rest. But fortunately, the process can be assisted with a few adjustments. I hope this article is helpful to you. Dors bien!

Photo via Visualhunt

Check out more from Chris Veritas

This piece was featured on Natural Blaze as a contribution from the author. Chris Veritas writes informative pieces like this at Veritas Gazetteat his blog, and humorous satire news at Some Cry Wolf

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