Over the years working as a psychotherapist and business coach, I have witnessed a common pattern with many of the prospects that have requested my services; they sleep very poorly.
Now there could be numerous reasons that contribute towards their insomnia but either they are struggling to get off to sleep or they wake up in the middle of the night. A majority don’t have a problem getting off to sleep. The problem seems to be waking up and being wide awake with a 101 thoughts racing through the brain.
Often it is worries or concerns about money and business. Sometimes it is about family members. Invariably though it is about business and money.
Now there is a whole host of panaceas and sleeping aids that on account don’t tend to have limited success. People may go as far as to start researching about all the different methods of being able to get a good night’s sleep, sometimes spending considerable amounts of money.
What I am curious of is the fact that very few people know anything of bi-phasic sleep. This I believe is fundamentally down to commercialism and money.
Here is a little information about bi-phasic sleeping.
This is a fact that some people find hard to grasp. Evolutionary we are not designed to sleep mono-phasically (One long sleep). People do not recognise this for two reasons.
- They do not realise that they already bi-phasically sleep because the time they should be up and about is the period when they experience light (pointless) sleep.
- Culturally we are accustomed to sleep in one big 8 hour batch because it suits commercial players like pharmaceutical companies and bed manufacturers etc. This culture changed since Thomas Edison created the light bulb in the 1800’s.
If you fall asleep as soon as you hit the pillow and you are waking up during the night then in my experience that is saying several things.
Firstly your subconscious is not settled and there is a drive to resolve something outstanding in your life that causes you some bother.
If this is the case then a pill will not find you your answer, it will only help you suffer a little less.
Talking to someone professional is essential here.
Secondly your body and natural circadian rhythm may be telling you that you need to bi-phasically sleep!
There are a lot of different sleep schedules out there but my advice is don’t mess about with them as you could really screw yourself over.
For anyone who is pretty much an active day professional or business owner, standard bi-phasic sleeping would be a good way to go.
Now here is a warning. If you are going to experiment with bi-phasic sleeping do it with the intent of changing your lifestyle permanently. This will get you through the difficult transitional period at the beginning.
I am going to talk you through a brief structure of what I do and then go into more detail afterwards.
The basic structure:-
Bed and asleep by 10.30pm
Alarm and up by 2am
Assigned (purposeful task) till 3.50am
In bed and asleep by 4am.
Alarm and up by 5.30am
Carry out normal working day.
Siesta (if possible) any time between
11am and 1pm for 25 mins (no more, no less)
Now it is essential to make your own structure and timings based on your own requirement and you have to stick to it religiously 7 days a week for the rest of your life.
The only time you can deviate from it is if you have been out socialising and drinking. Just miss out your new biphasic sleep pattern if you’ve been out. Go back to it the day after.
So here is my normal routine.
From 9pm I try to wear red lensed glasses over my normal glasses (if wearing them) and continue watching TV or whatever else I am doing. Takes a little getting used to but it works. The reason for this is I want my body to start producing melatonin which it should do once the sun has set but the use of white or blue light (TV’s, overhead or laptops etc) tricks my body into thinking it is still day light so therefore my body does no produce its natural amount of melatonin.
Then at 9.30pm (if going to bed by 10pm) take 1 x 5-HTP supplement that aids in getting better sleep density and your body producing melatonin whilst you are asleep.
DO NOT TAKE 5 – HTP IF YOU ARE ALREADY ON ANTI-DEPRESSANTS!
Then I prepare an area where I have easy access to some clothes to slip on when I wake up at 1.30am and is not disruptive to my partner.
Get in bed but you need to have no blue or white light on such as tablets, TV, room lights etc when you go off to sleep. (otherwise your body will not produce melatonin whilst you’re asleep.)
Make sure you have set your alarm for exactly when you know you will hit your head on the pillow to 3.5 hours later.
The alarm device has to be something you can reach to instantly to minimise disruption to your partner.
When it comes to getting up don’t rely on the snooze button. Literally get up straight away and grab your clothes items prepared earlier and go to where ever is quiet and still to carry out your assigned tasks.
Make sure you are wearing your red lenses glasses otherwise your body will not produce melatonin whilst you’re awake.
For me I have to have something purposeful to do when I am awake. Don’t screw around with watching TV, playing games etc. If you are going to improve your sleep and create more time, do something useful with it.
For me it is either sending important emails to people I want to work with or are of use to me and my business etc.
Or read a really good (educational book); at the moment I am reading either something to do with marketing or with coaching etc.
I am also producing new documents for my business, writing articles or short books. Sometimes I write to reflect or even just sitting in peace or silence and noticing your breathing and oscillating thoughts.
You could do some light aerobic exercise for 30mins. Make sure you factor in warm up, warm down, shower and having a protein based meal or supplement before you go back to bed.
Just make sure you give yourself something worthwhile to get up to give your mind and body something to focus on.
My advice is introduce exercise when you wake up once you are fully immersed into being able to bi-phasically sleep. Take one step at a time because you’ll either make yourself ill or fail to stick to the new routine.
Anyway I go back to my area where I can leave my clothes and creep back into bed by 4am.
Get in bed and count up to ten. Literally try to see the numbers in your minds eye drifting in. I rarely make it to a count of 10.
Then my alarm goes off at 5.30am. Again don’t mess about with snoozes. Get up and about.
I eat immediately, then shower, then off to work.
Depending on my schedule I will either have a 23 minute nap around 1pm in my office or parked up somewhere in the car.
For me I have improved the quality of my sleep, strengthened my immune system and stamina (I don’t seem to get colds any more, touch wood!) and my productivity has gone through the roof.
Here is the link I used to prepare myself with the theory behind bi-phasic sleeping. If you like facts and science, then this website is all you need.
If you’re going to do this, do it with discipline. For all those that have come to see me with insomnia, after about 4-6 weeks people have really responded well to this new sleeping routine.
There will be a transitional period that may test you psychologically and physically, but work through it with obviously with considerations of certain things you will find on the polyphasic website.
Now let’s look at the big picture. If you have an issue with sleeping and you’ve tried various methods to remove it and to no avail, why would you not explore bi-phasic sleeping. Especially when there is so much to gain from it?
Most of the time it is because current culture is so powerful. When Edison created the light bulb it changed the habits of society forever. On a commercial basis so many people prospered on everything and anything to do with sleeping and also to do with light and electricity.
But the argument is if you are struggling to stay asleep and when you wake up your mind is racing, then is this not your natural circadian rhythm and evolution crying out to get back in alignment with it?
Most of the health related issues that arise from poor sleeping invariably is because we fight back against nature when it is actually when we should be embracing it.
Having an open mind I always seek to work with what works, not with what everyone else is doing. Am I my own person doing my own thing or am I co-dependent on what society is doing and not doing very well. I am becoming more and more the former as I start to see through how much the media and culture has got a grip of the masses of what is meant to be right and what is wrong.
It is very liberating being my own person and achieving what I am achieving, even if some of my methods are raising eye brows of those who prefer to maintain the status quo.