Archives for posts with tag: Sleep

Many times we think that we need to be doing something all the time in order to be productive or just to prevent wasting our time. But even so, every so often we think we don’t have enough time or that we haven’t done enough.

What if the thing we haven’t done enough is to not do anything? The thing you’re worried about not having had time to do might just be that you haven’t taken your time to be still, to think, to not think, or to just enjoy being.

I bet there are hundreds of things in your head that you’d like to have time to process, but so many things are left untouched because you don’t have any time for your brain to work with what’s already in it.

When I ride the bus, the train or the subway, I barely see anyone without a phone in their hand, checking up on mail, communities, talking to someone somewhere else or playing games. People are desperately trying to fill out the ’empty’ time  while going somewhere.

Once in a while just try to consciously do nothing when riding the bus or the subway ( or at other times as well! ). Just be still, see if there are something you want to just think about, or just be, without thinking about anything. It’s strangely refreshing and your brain will probably like the time off from all the constant focus shifts that it has to withstand every day.

Spend some time with focus on yourself, just being aware of yourself, how your body feels, how your mind feels. Many times we’re so busy doing things that we don’t understand what we really need or that we’re getting stressed. Maybe you’re having trouble sleeping because you’re stressed without even knowing it or because your head is whirling with thoughts.

By being still and quiet you can sometimes realize that something’s going on inside you, and that you might be able to fix it before it blooms, or think through things so you don’t do it the time just before you fall asleep. When being still and quiet, you may also come up with ideas and solutions that you wouldn’t have otherwise because you were too busy doing something.

Try to leave some space. Sometimes the most productive thing to do is to do nothing at all.

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Do weird things! Stand upside down!

Do weird things! Stand upside down!

I’ve been in Japan now for almost 10 months now. I took a trip to Korea for 18 days not long ago.
Since I started to live abroad I’ve started to appreciate lots of things I never even thought of before when I was in my old life with the perspective I had back then. Since I moved away I’ve gotten perspective on my own life, on the world, and insight in many other things. I’ve become interested in improving my self, my way of thinking, my mind, my life, the world and in nature.

I’ve become aware of habits and mindsets that I have that I thought was common in the world even though they’re not, and because of that I’ve begun to appreciate them too. Things my parents told me and taught me when I was younger have suddenly sunk in through the thick layers of my own “perfect ideas” I had when I was little, and I’ve started to see the value in them.

I love that I’ve become aware of these things and I love that I’ve started to appreciate them, and I can’t express well enough the awesome feeling of having lived abroad and get perspective! It’s amazing, and I feel that my life has become so more interesting since I came here!

I’ve started reading books that’re contributing to my life, and not just for fun (that doesn’t mean they’re not fun, I enjoy every second I spend reading them!).

Small things I’ve suddenly become thankful and happy for:

My parents’ teachings:
– I chew with my mouth closed. Not everyone in asia does that, not even many.
– I clean up after me. As we all know, people in the world who cleans up after themselves are pretty rare
– I believe in myself.
– I like myself
– I cover my mouth with the crook of my arm when I sneeze. This is common for people in general, at least in Sweden, but I haven’t spent much thought on it before. In asia people mostly sneeze in the flat of their hands which they later use for, well, everything; opening doors, holding on to something to keep their balance on the train etc.. I’ve heard that it doesn’t matter much in asia because people don’t greet each other with handshakes… unless they greet a foreigner. I feel a bit of terror every time I grab on to something on the train or when I shake hand with someone here. At least I think it helped me to finally stop biting my nails!
– I cook my own food. My teachers have been impressed even by a egg+salad sandwich I made myself. I was embarrassed ^^
– I keep my room and my possessions clean.
– I take time for myself to just be.
– I value myself over mindless work.
– I say no to things I don’t want to do (unless they’re really unavoidable).

Other things:
–  I get filled with joy when I see children playing and often wave and smile at them.
– I often seek eye contact with strangers, just for a moment, and often offer them a smile.
– I try to help others as much as I can.
– I’ve been inspired to live my life.
– I like watching nature.
– I get shivers when I hear about nature friendly energy sources (solar power <3<3) .
– I’ve started sleeping regularly.
–  I’m me.

These are things that came to mind just now, but I feel now that I am way more aware of small things now, that I didn’t spend much thought on when I was still in Sweden, and had no bigger thoughts on life itself.

I’m so happy that I’ve come in contact with the people and blogs that changed my life, and are still changing it!

Love your life! Pay attention to things around you and feel inspired by them! Enjoy life’s moments and don’t settle for something you don’t feel is right!

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At the moment I live in Japan, the land where 5 hours of sleep each night seems to be considered as normal. Therefor I want to talk a bit about sleep, it’s advantages, and how to get up in the morning. You might have trouble getting up because:

1. You’re not getting enough sleep
2. You don’t like what you’re gonna do this day after you’ve gotten up
3. You don’t have a plan for getting up
4. You don’t have a sleeping routine

The first one can be solved by going to bed earlier and plan what you do before you go to bed. Even if you don’t like what you’re getting up to do in the morning, it won’t make it better by being tired. Most things feels easier and better when you’ve had a good night’s sleep, and it’ll also help you think during the day what you could do to improve your life so you can feel excited about them again. It also boosts your performance, both physically and mentally.

I’ve noticed an increase in my learning capabilities since I started sleeping well. I don’t have to study as much, because when I sleep things I’ve learned get stuck in my memory easier. And I can also focus better in class which also contributes to not having to use as much spare time to catch up on studying you forgot during class because you were tired. Of course it also gives you more free time.

This might sound like it would be the opposite though: Getting more free time by spending more time sleeping? How is that possible?

You boost your performance so you don’t have to spend as much time doing things as if you were tired
You feel energized so you have energy to to what you like when you have free time, instead of just slacking
You remember things easier so you don’t have to rehearse as often

Things you can do to fall asleep easier and go to bed in time:

– Have the last meal a couple of hours before bed time
Read a book instead of chatting online the last thing you do before sleeping (Internet will still be there in the morning. Maybe?)
– Try to do exercise a couple of hours before bed time
Keep your bedroom cool. It’s both easier to fall asleep and to stay asleep in a cool room rather than a hot one.

The second one can be harder. If you don’t like what you’re getting up to do, maybe something needs to change? Find another thing to do or at least work towards it. Try change the things you don’t like into something you do like, or change your mind about it. At least try to find something that you can do in the mornings that you look forward to for a start!

The third one can be solved by getting a plan. “But I already set the alarm!”. Yes, but even I think it can be hard finding the energy to get up just by an alarm in the morning, and I’m pretty good at getting up!

The thing I do now is to set the alarm a bit earlier than I want to get up, then I sit up in bed, turn on a lamp, pull away the curtains from the window, and just sit there. It’s totally okay to still have the blanket on. Maybe it takes five minutes, or ten minutes, but eventually the tiredness will have dropped away, and by sitting up you’re activating your body and mind a bit more than if you were laying down, so you’re getting ready to get up while still being in the cozy bed! It’s also way more easy to fall asleep knowing that you don’t have to rush up the first thing you do when you wake up.

Avoid snoozing. It gives you small periods of sleep which doesn’t do anything but make you even more tired in the long run. If you like snoozing, try to put the alarm 30 minutes forward before you go to bed and get 30 minutes of extra sleep instead. You’ll be more energized and it greatly reduces the risk to oversleep!

– You can also prepare things you have to do in the morning the day before. Pack your bag, prepare your clothes, put the coffee brewer on a timer so it’s all set when you get up, and you’ll feel less pressure about things to do when you get up!

– Another option is to have a “cut the crap” rule. You don’t find excuses for yourself for staying in bed! You get up! You go away from the bed! And there, once you’re up, you’re up, and it’s way easier staying up than it is getting up. Over time it’ll become easier. This is a great post that can help, not just for waking earlier, but also for getting up.

The fourth one is not an action that will get results immediately, but it will over time. It’s about keeping about the same sleeping hours most of the days. Your body will get accustomed going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time and will aid you in falling a sleep and waking up by it self. It’s important to note that you should have a sleeping routine that gives you enough sleep. If you need 8 hours of sleep (which I mostly do) every night, it might be a bad idea to have a routine that gives you 5 hours of sleep.

I think you’ve reached a really good sleeping routine when you’ve stopped needing an alarm clock. If you wake up by yourself after having gotten into a good sleeping routine, then you will probably have gotten the sleep you need and should be well rested for the day. If you always need an alarm clock, then you’re probably not sleeping well or enough and it might be a good idea to try to fix it.

Getting into a good sleeping routine and being a great “getting out of bed” person can be achieved, but it might take some time, but it’s worth it. You will be sleeping and getting up pretty much every day in your life, so it might be worth a shot to try to be good at it.

Other awesome posts on sleeping and morning routines:
Zen Habits: My morning routine
How to kickstart your day by rising early

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