Here are my top 10 tips on how to sleep better - so you can orchestrate some more shuteye in your life. This is important for a healthy mind and body, besides improving your chances for lucid dreaming.
Everyone needs a different amount of sleep to function normally - on average this is about 7.5 to 8.5 hours per night. If you have to press the snooze button in the morning, or drag yourself out of bed feeling exhausted, then you're probably not getting enough shuteye and are suffering from sleep deprivation. Give yourself a fair chance of getting sufficient sleep by going to bed earlier, preferably before midnight.
To sleep better, aim to go to bed at roughly the same time during weekdays and weekends so your bodily rhythms can get into a routine. To help this process, put up curtains that allow some sunlight through, so the sun naturally wakes you up at the same time each morning and keeps your Circadian Rhythms in time.
The main culprits are coffee, tea, chocolate and soda drinks - these all contain caffeine which will keep your body and mind alert for hours. This will also prevent you from getting deep non-REM sleep. Be conscious of your caffeine intake and how it causes any sleep deprivation and you will soon understand how to sleep better naturally.
It is totally unnatural for us to be immersed in bright light before attempting to go to sleep for the night. This tricks our brain into thinking it's daytime and interferes with our Circadian Rhythms. So if you must read before bed, use a low wattage bulb (15 watts should do the trick) or install a dimmer switch. Make it easy on the eyes.
A heavy meal forces your body to crank up the digestive system while you actually want to be getting your body nice and relaxed for better sleep. What's more, if you lie down on a full stomach, you're more likely to induce acid reflux which can disturb your sleep and even trigger Night Terrors and nightmares.
A regular routine tells your mind and body to start winding down for the night. Make it a relaxing one - don't sit up on the computer til your brain is frazzled and you want to pass out. Some people like to have a light snack about an hour before bed so as not to sleep on an empty stomach. Also try a cup of herbal tea to relax jittery nerves. Always empty your bladder before bed so it doesn't wake you up during the night and disturb you.
We all have an optimum room temperature for better sleep, so make sure yours isn't too hot or too cold. Wear enough layers to bed in the winter and switch your thick duvet to a light sheet in the summer. It's better to be slightly on the cooler side so you can wrap up warmer if you need to.
If you're tossing and turning in bed, unable to get to sleep for whatever reason, don't torture yourself for more than 30 minutes. Get up and go do something to occupy your mind. You'll eventually feel sleepy enough to fall back into bed.
Don't lay in bed worrying about the fact that you can't get any sleep. It's likely that your mind is already buzzing with thoughts, so stressing about how to sleep better will make things worse. Try listening to some isochronc tones to silence your mind chatter and create a relaxing meditation. After that, visualize a lucid dream intention.
Ask your partner if you ever snore, temporarily stop breathing, talk, shout, or move about a lot during sleep. It could be that you have a sleep disorder (ranging from sleep deprivation, to sleep apnea, to REM sleep disorder) that is preventing you from enjoying good quality sleep. See a doctor and you may discover how to sleep better for good.
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Books are a powerful way to increase our understanding and generate new perspectives. Good books are immersive and profound: they can change the way we live our lives. In teaching us new lessons, stripping away fallacies and inspiring independent thought, the following books on lucid dreaming are bestsellers for a reason - they are groundbreaking and thought-provoking reads to expand your awareness and develop your lucid dreaming skills.
Galantamine is best known for its ability to improve memory and provoke intense lucid dreams. Research by Dr Stephen LaBerge has found that taking galantamine intensifies your dreams on many levels, including cognition, lucidity, recall, control, bizarreness and visual vividness. If you want to boost your dream life, and maybe prompt some lucid dreams, it's worth taking the occasional galantamine supplement.
Why write a book about how to "hack" sleep? Well, I've suffered from sleep issues throughout my entire adult life. Sleep was such a tough thing to figure out. It didn't respond to willpower. I could beg and cry and kick and scream to myself to fall asleep, but my body would not listen. Finally, I realized that enough was enough and that I was going to fix this very important area of my life for good, or at least do my best to try. I spent nearly one year constructing a system to improve the quality of my sleep.
Humans are unique in our endless capacity for imagination. According to Steven Mithen, an anthropologist at the University of Reading in the UK, we needed to evolve seven critical mental skills before we could have imagination as we know it. Each of these abilities serve a distinct purpose in their own right, while imagination is the culmination of them all.
This dream starts out pretty violent but then suddenly goes all profound on me. I'm having a nightmare in which a thin, gray-faced man is trying to kill me. I become lucid and battle him with ease, firing shots of lighting out of my hands and hitting him in the chest. He falls to his knees and I lock him in a gated prison using only my mind. But then my lucid dream evolves into a lucid nightmare. Another villain, who looks like Krang (or Krang's body at least) from that delightful cartoon about giant mutant turtles, frees the gray man using his telepathic powers. I am no match for him.
Experts agree that everyone is capable of having lucid dreams. Dreaming itself is a normal function of the mind. We all dream every night, even if we don't remember. And we all achieve conscious awareness while awake every single day. So what does it mean to combine these states? Why, the amazing ability to have conscious - or lucid - dreams. Sounds simple, doesn't it? So why do I keep hearing from people who say they can't achieve their first lucid dream?