Waves of Sleep
What we do during the day will either enhance of hinder the sleep that we would get at night. The chances are, if you have excessive amounts of caffein during the day or especially after a certain time during the day, this will produce a sense of arousal and therefore make sleep difficult. Some people can handle caffein all day long, but others of us cannot, and we can only handle caffein to a certain time limit. For me I do not have anything caffeinated after 3pm, at the maximum 5pm, but you have to run your own tests to be able to know your own limit. The same goes for the last time of the day in which you eat.
Being physically and psychologically active during the day is also an oportunity to optimize your chances of a good sleep, going to bed when you are physically tired because of your physical activity during the day, is likely to help a good sleep. So, having a good exercise routine is an important part of not only optimizing health, but enhancing the oportunity for a good sound sleep. Also, when you increase your body temperature with either exercise, a sauna, hot bath, or hot tub (or alcohol intake) around three hours prior to your bed time, also creates physiological readiness for a good sound sleep.
Situations that get in the way of good sound sleep are to do with anxiety, perhaps it is to do with anxiety with what happened today or anxiety with what will happen tomorrow, then you are less likely to sleep well. The goal is to be able to develop a routine which will help to dissipate your built up stress hormones that have accumulated during your day as well, it is important to create an evening ritual of sleep hygiene of preparing for sleep which might include meditation, yoga, prayer, or relaxation exercises, as well as perhaps listening to music. Everyone needs to find what works for them.
It is important to be able to experiment with a range of calming options. It is important to view sleep similar to how it is that we digest, meaning that it doesn't really take a conscious effort. When you try too hard it means that you are making it a conscious effort, instead sleep is about a subconscious effort, meaning that you don't actually have to think about it, it is something that you allow to happen, just like breathing. Your circadian cycle is your bodies natural clock, the circadian cycle works through a complex interplay of various hormones.
When you have a regular sleep time that you have practiced as a part of your daily routine, you will excrete hormones that enhance sleep into your blood supply in which you will fall asleep at consistent times. As well, you will awake at consistent times. If you have a disrupted sleep pattern, you will wake up at an inappropriate time, in which you will have to start altering your circadian cycle, forcing it into the pattern that you want. You can do this by setting your alarm clock at the time that is your ideal wake up time. You may not be able to force yourself asleep, but you can definitely force yourself awake. The goal of which is to stay out of bed, changing your circadian rhythm which forces you to be more tired when you want to go to bed as long as it is you stay awake during the day and not fall pray to napping.
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