How has your week been? Have you noticed an impact on the happiness and calmness of your mornings since my last blog post? If not yet, your morning routine may still need some tweaking. Review it and decide what you could adjust, add, remove, or change.
Today I want to talk about how to wake up in the flow.
First, when do you wake up?
For years we have believed that we need 8 hours of sleep in order to be at our best. Recent sleep studies are challenging this belief. As you sleep, you cycle through brain waves that are either closer to being awake, or closer to being completely asleep. If you wake up while your natural sleep cycle is closer to being awake, you can flow into your awake state with more ease and less resistance.
Your complete sleep cycle lasts 90 minutes. So, if you are trying to wake up more in the flow, start by determining what time you should wake up based on what time you are going to go to sleep. Calculate this out in 90 minute increments. For instance, I like to wake up after 7.5 hours (which is 5 sleep cycles). Some people prefer 9 hours (6 sleep cycles) or 6 hours (4 sleep cycles). Try it out to see how many cycles suit you best, and then try to wake up on the schedule that works best for you.
Next, how do you wake up?
Your subconscious is at its most vulnerable, receptive state when you are between being asleep and awake. Whatever is fed into your mind in those first minutes of waking will have a big effect on your day. So, what are you waking up to? Are you waking up to music, an alarm, talk radio, the news? Consider what ideas go into your subconscious when you wake up to these things?
The aching of an unhappy love song, advertising about a random product, news about some atrocity in the world, fear from alarm that just jolted you out of sleep? If you are listening to any of these things consider instead to wake up to something more positive and reinforcing for your mind and body. For instance, you can record an affirmation and set it as your wake-up sound. Or wake up to some lovely instrumental music. The key here is to positively affect to the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing first thing in the morning.
We’ll discuss this more in the next blog post. Until then, play with these ideas and see how they impact your day. Pay attention to whether you feel more rested, more in the flow, and generally more relaxed and joyful. I’ll see you in part 4 of this series soon.