I was listening to a talk by Ariana Huffington (The Huffington Post) last week, and so many of her thoughts held so much truth for me. I greatly admire the journey she's been on and the way she shows up in the world to enable others to break out of destructive cycles they might be going through. I guess this is why I resonate with her.
One of her keystone habits when she began her transition back from burn out, was to increase her sleep from 4 to 5 hours per night to 7 to 8 hours per night.
She says the greatest piece advice she can give anybody, is the knowledge that you can literally 'sleep your way to the top’.
She states that success in her life endeavours would not have been possible it were not for these simple changes she brought about. In addition, she says that by increasing her sleep by three hours a day, she actually had more time not less, as she was more efficient, more productive and made less mistakes then if she had been functioning in a state of sleep deprivation.
She also used the example of a mobile phone...
We take more care of our smartphones then we do have our own bodies and minds. Most of us know exactly how much battery we have left on our phones and when we get to less then 20% we start panicking and wondering how soon will be will to make it to the next charging station.
Yet we never pay this attention to our bodies, we don't even realise how much charge we have left in us. Often this means we have zero charge left, yet still plough on ahead regardless, pushing when there is nothing left to give.
Allowing sleep and allowing space awakens our bodies and minds to the subtleties of life, it allows us to be in tune with our intuition to think steps ahead instead of firefighting problems as they arise. In doing so this puts us in a position of 'owner' and control instead of one of playing the victim.
Overwhelm and anxiety has become a significant thing for me in recent months, yet I have noticed a few aspects in my life which can trigger the spiral of overwhelm onset. The biggest of these is the absence of a simple but powerful morning routine. Underlying a powerful morning routine is good quality sleep. They say to make a significant change in your life it was begins with tiny steps, a single keystone change that can then have the ripple effect into creating others.
I am taking a note out with Ariana's book and listening to my body instead of listening to the voice in my head that tries to tell me that 'I'm not a enough' and that I have more to get done before I have ‘permission' to go to bed.
This also aligns with research that indicates that 'one hour before midnight is worth two after’. The earlier the better. This sets me up for the potential of a great day ahead. Every day.
The small change to go to bed one hour earlier each night started just over a week ago, and for the first time ever I have been able to honour that change (most nights) and override the inner voice. I have also changed aspects of gym routine, which I'll touch on another time, that has helped as it has removed super early starts. P.s I tried this many times before... I even set this challenge yet this time it feels different!
So far so good.... I'll keep you posted. I'm still working on the powerful morning routine. One step at a time!
Tell me, what is your relationship to sleep and a powerful morning routine?
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