When I was a soldier I didn’t sleep for 5 nights and 6 days in a row. That was one of the most traumatic and, at the same time, transforming experiences I ever had. I’m not going to talk about the specific context of this event, you can go read a small recap of what happened in this article. Today, I’m going to talk about sleep, and how sleep is influencing our lives.
I remember that during those nights without sleep, my consciousness started to shift away at certain intervals, without my control. I don’t think that those were hallucinations, but somehow, I started to see things that doesn’t really existed. Those episodes may have been triggered by the extreme pressure too, but I think the loss of sleep had also a considerable impact.
After those 5 nights, I slept only one night and felt back in shape immediately. All the turmoil that generated that situation ended in a few weeks, and I thought I was back to normal for good. But I wasn’t. Somehow, my sleeping routine has been irreversibly modified. I started to have 24-48 hours periods without sleep at almost no energy cost. Didn’t feel any fatigue whatsoever, the only downside of those episodes being that my body started to heat more than usual. I was literally warmer after those 24-48 hours without sleep.
Sleep Patterns And Travel
20 years later, I started to travel a lot. Introducing jetlag, if you know what I mean. I visited 4 continents and started to do business on 2. During those trips, my sleep patterns were completely messed up. Let me tell you why and how.
During my first trip to New Zealand, I arrived in Auckland at 10 AM, after 25 hours spent in 3 airplanes. The total trip time was around 30 hours. Knowing that I am pretty good at those 24-48 hours without sleep, I didn’t pay any specific attention to my body signals, just went on without worrying too much.
After 2 hours of visiting Auckland (I was with some friends) I felt an incredible powerful sensation of cold. There were 25 Celsius degrees outside, so it must have been something from the inside. Almost already asleep I asked my friend to take me somewhere where I can take a nap. After 3-4 hours of sleep, I felt energized and warm again.
I don’t know the explanation for the warmness I experienced after the 24-48 hours sleepless episodes, not for the sudden cold I experienced during my first jetlag incident. All I know is that sleep plays in incredible role in our lives, and we should not take it for granted.
For A Sleep Discipline
So, 20 years after my first major sleep disruption experience and 1 year after my first serious jetlag experience, I finally came up with some conclusions regarding sleep and its importance in our life.
First of all, sleep is not something that just happens. It’s a very important part of our life. Just because we’re not conscious during sleep it doesn’t mean we cannot control its quality and effectiveness.
Second, sleep is responsible with a lot of stuff that happens within our bodies, and every deviation from the normal course can have totally unpredictable effects. See the warmness and coldness I experienced without any specific reasons.
And third. sleep is a powerful and effective tool for enhancing our conscious life. Whenever your sleep patterns are neat, your energy levels are high. So, not only we can control sleep in itself, but by controlling sleep, we can control the awake part as well.
And this is how I came up with what I call a sleep discipline. A way to control sleep and enhance my daily routines. I did many sleep experiences during my life, most of them not yet described on my blog. For instance, when I was a student, I completely reversed my life cycle for 3 weeks, sleeping during the day and writing during the night so I can finish a novel I was writing at that time.
But from all these experiments, all this pushing and learning, only one thing came up really strong. Waking up early seemed to be the most effective sleep routine of all.
Benefits Of Waking Up Early
Why? Let me give you some of the benefits of this.
1. Social Advantage
We’re social animals and a lot of our life is unfolding in groups. These groups have routines and rules. For instance, work starts at 9 AM, this is a widely accepted social routine (I know some work doesn’t start at 9 AM but for the vast majority of the population, this is the case). So, waking up early will give you an enormous advantage in front of your colleagues. You will have a few hours for yourself just before the whole group will start to move.
2. Diurnal / Nocturnal Pattern
If you’re waking up early, when there’s still dark outside, something subtle will happen. You will always witness the nocturnal / diurnal melting. I’m not talking only about witnessing the sunrise, which is in itself a very powerful experience, but about witnessing this transformation of darkness into light. Even if you don’t realize it consciously, being a constant witness of this transformation will give you much more confidence.
3. Broaden Day Vision
Every time you wake up early, you put some distance between your “normal” day and yourself. It’s like taking two steps back and observing what’s to unfold before you before the actual unfolding process starts. This gives what I call a broaden day vision. Which in time will become just a broaden vision of stuff, period. If you wake up just before your day starts, you’ll feel a little bit trapped, if not more. It’s like you don’t “have” time.
4. Implementing New Habits
The first part of the day is the most suitable for implementing new habits. During that part of the day you’re much more aware and available, because your normal routine didn’t kick in. Yet. So, if you can “enlarge” this period, by waking up earlier than what what’s usually the norm, you will give yourself more time for new stuff. The effect will be, in time, overwhelming. Those tiny habits implemented during those solitary mornings will pay off big time.
5. More Choices
I don’t know about you, but I really like to have more choices in life. Doesn’t matter the exact situation, I just don’t like to be put in front of a situation with only one answer. I want to have many choices. Waking up just before your work day will start will drastically limit your choices. The only reasonable choice would be to shower, eat and go to work. Well, waking up early will give you so many new possibilities to start your day.
Now, these are only the visible part of the iceberg, things that you can see and experience in the moment. But the most important, long lasting and powerful effect of waking up early is that you will grow an eye for the opportunities. You will learn how to wake up on something just before anybody else does. Being it a career opportunity, a new relationship opportunity or just something that nobody sees yet. You will be trained to spot that subtle movement which will lead to something extraordinary. Yes, you will. 😉
How To Become An Advanced Early Riser
I’m going to finish this article in a slightly different way than I usually do. I won’t draw any conclusion and I won’t try to find an inspiring and motivating punch line. Nope. This time I will be very practical. Since you’ve been already convinced of all the benefits of becoming an early riser, it’s time for you to start doing it. Like right now.
Becoming an early riser is just a goal. And if you master the art of properly setting goals, you will make this happen. If you do it the right way, it’s just a matter of time. You will become an early riser and you will start to enjoy all the benefits listed above.
For the next 2 minutes I invite you to have a look at the video below.
Until recently, the course was live on Udemy, where it was taken for more than 150 people. Recently, I moved it to another platform, mostly because this new platform gives me the opportunity to set up a better price. On Udemy, the course was selling for $69, now the list price is $49. I also made a few enhancements to the course.
And since you had the guts to make it until here, I want to give you a little something, as a token of appreciation. I will make a substantial discount to the course. Instead of $49, I will give it to you with $39. That’s right, you get the course at basically half the list price on Udemy.
All you have to do is to click the link below:
If the link doesn’t work, add this code to the Coupon Code entry box under the course title: “2016“.
Looking forward to see you there.
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.