People are asking themselves this question more and more, with all of the media stressing the importance of 8 hours of sleep a night, for those who aren’t able to accomplish that, they’re left feeling inadequate, or dysfunctional or like there is something wrong with them. I get it all of the time, people coming in my booth looking for insomnia relief products wondering what is wrong with them, why they can’t sleep a full night and most of the time they report being able to fall asleep ok, but then they ‘wake up halfway thru the night.’ And while I can help them stay asleep, I also try to help them understand that for some, that is not really ‘natural.’ Maybe because of your work schedule, you need to be able to sleep in one long continuous stretch, but that does not mean that this is the way that your body prefers. If you begin to understand and acknowledge this, you may begin to realize why this is not something that comes natural to you. Did our ancestors sleep 8 hours a night and what is Biphasic sleeping?
Biphasic sleeping refers to breaking up your sleep pattern into two segments instead of one~monophasic sleep in which one sleeps for a straight 8 hour stretch. It seems that other cultures that live more closely to the ways our ancestors did, sleep 5-6.5 hours per night and then nap later in the day. For some, this kind of sleep pattern is more natural than accomplishing all of the sleep that their bodies require in one time period. Some cultures, such as Spain and Greece, live this way and refer to these as ‘siestas,’ I’m sure you’ve heard that term. People who practice biphasic sleep report being more alert and productive, having better cognitive function, not feeling tired all of the time.
The beginning of the Industrial Revolution, Electricity, the age of Illumination and the current modern day workplace, is where we see the shift from previous sleep patterns, and continue to make it difficult for people to enjoy the benefits of biphasic sleep. Our ancestors went to bed when it got dark, slept a few hours, then got up and did some light activity as they didn’t have the luxury of sleeping much more than that, as the fire might need to be tended, as well as animals, children, etc. They would then take a nap a few hours later. These naps are crucial as this is the other part of your ‘getting enough rest.’ Your body does need a specific amount of sleep over a 24 hour period, but it doesn’t have to be all in one long stretch, especially if it doesn’t come natural to you. I had a woman who had recently retired, in my booth, and she explained the many benefits she was experiencing by practicing this kind of sleep schedule.
For folks who take prescription medication to try to get to sleep, many of them don’t feel refreshed upon waking because a ‘drug induced’ sleep does not have the same physiological effect on your body as when your body naturally falls asleep. Which is why plant medicine delivers such outstanding results as it is familiar molecules and compounds to the ones your body naturally produces triggering neurotransmitters in your brain to secrete hormones specific to the plant’s properties.
A few ideas you can try if you’re experiencing insomnia is picturing the color purple, sometimes I tell folks to imagine they are sailing on a purple sea…turn off your T.V, computer, phone, electronic device 2 hours before you plan to fall asleep….turn off your wireless router….don’t eat any sugar or consume any caffeine related products after a certain time of day so that it does not interfere with you being able to sleep….be grateful, feelings of gratitude shift your brain’s chemistry….meditate daily and let the stress of living go, not tear you apart 😉
Sweet Dreams ❤