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Sleep Better, Sleep Like a CavePerson

 

 

 

By: Dr. Eeks

Want to know how to sleep better ? It’s to sleep like a Cave Person.

Truly.

Below is a “Fall Asleep” routine that I use. It is all natural and may be useful to you. It also may not be useful to you, as there are no guarantees. Good sleep is elusive and mysterious for many, made all the more complicated by diet, stress, hormones and underlying health issues. It’s best to have multiple “tools” available and to keep in mind that a lot of trial and error is  involved. I also recommend exhausting natural approaches to a good night’s sleep, because sleeping pills can be addicting and come with an awful hangover feeling.

  1. Cavepeople went to bed when the sun set and woke up when the sun rose. Modern life doesn’t often allow for such a beautiful and simple routine. Still, set a time for when you plan on going to bed and stick to it.
  2. Do you drink coffee? I do. Don’t have any coffee at least 5-6 hours prior to your designated bedtime, because coffee has a very long half-life. This means it stays active in your system and keeps you up.
  3. Caves are dark. Survey your bedroom and make sure no light can get in. The smallest hint of ambient light, whether it’s from your phone, an adjacent room or from the street, will keep you aroused and make it difficult to fall asleep. Light inhibits melatonin, the “vampire hormone.” ( It’s called the vampire hormone, because it only comes out when it’s dark.) Melatonin is necessary for a good night’s sleep, which is why your room should be very dark.
  4. Cavepeople had no technology. I know that’s impossible today, but it’s possible to have no technology in your room. Phones, TVS, kindles, and computers all emit blue light which inhibits melatonin release. Using technology even only a few hours before bedtime can keep you aroused! Some studies suggest wearing blue light blocking amber lenses if you work at night to help minimize arousal.
  5. Caves are cold. Drop the temperature in your bedroom. Mine is very chilly. Studies have shown that  higher temperature makes it harder to fall asleep; increases night-time awakenings and inhibits deep sleep.
  6. Cavepeople didn’t wear much, let alone to bed. About an hour before your designated bedtime, put on what you wear in bed. Less is best: t-shirt, underwear, birthday suit. Keep it light and cool.

 

What if You wake up or can’t fall asleep? 

It happens. A lot. Every cognitive behavioral sleep program for insomnia will tell you that the WORST thing you can do is STAY in bed. Get out of bed and do something else, until you get tired. Only when you get tired, get back in bed and try to sleep again. One thing I tell folks is if you can’t sleep, get out of bed, put on the ZENBand and try listening to one of the Fall Asleep ZENTone tracks WHILE doing a chore. The chore can be anything: sweeping; washing dishes; polishing shoes; folding laundry, etc. The other thing you can try is listening to our new guided imagery designed to help clear your mind of ruminations, or unhelpful, repetitive thoughts that keep us awake. I tapped into my experience with writing digital programs for insomnia; hypnosis; progressive muscle relaxation; deep breathing exercises; positive affirmations; and elements of CBT and ACT ( but not CBT or ACT themselves) to write a 12 minute guided imagery designed to help clear the mind before bed. I teamed up with a professional voice actor who recorded it and, well, now it’s available to you! The most important thing to do is to make sure you get out of bed if you can’t sleep. Do not lie there and struggle, as it is proven to make insomnia worse.

Thanks for reading, guys.

If you have any questions, email me: erin@bloomingwellness.com

 

And feel free to follow me on Instagram where I often share health-related stories. 

Have you read Manic Kingdom, my book based on a true story?

Based on a true story, Kirkus Reviews calls it an “eccentric read” that burns bright and fast. I recommend it for anyone interested in novels featuring characters with symptoms of mental illness and readers open to rethinking conventional knowledge about mental illness and potential cures. Fair warning: It is not a comfortable read. Can grab a copy now on Amazon.

Manic Kingdom by Dr. Erin Stair

 

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