Sleep Hacking & Waking Up at 3am

Excerpt from this morning’s journal:

Slept at 10pm, woke up to use the bathroom at 1130, 0100, 0200 and 0300. Couldn’t fall back asleep from 3am onwards. Tried saying the rosary then meditating but by 4am I gave up and picked up a book (Earthing – The most important health discovery ever?) to read.

This pattern of sleeping early and waking anytime from 2-3am first started when I was on exchange last year and has been happening sporadically. I wonder if it’s indicative of some underlying health issue or if it is a good thing meaning I am getting enough quality sleep (~5+ hrs) and my body is simply telling me that it has recovered sufficiently as I feel totally rested and do not experience any of the symptoms indicative of insomnia. To my knowledge, renowned bio-hacker Dave Asprey also operates on 5 hours of sleep a day attributed to the various ways he hacks his sleep, of which I implement some but not all, especially the supplements.

To be objective, I shall start making notes and keeping track of these occurrences in the hopes of finding out the root of the problem ( or blessing if I were to think positively – less sleep means more productive time and in a sense, a longer life)

Some possible causes:

  1. Food
    • After dinner, for dessert, I ate 1 Ba-zhang, 1 sweet potato steamed cake, 1 baked tapioca cake, 1 banna rice cake and as much papayas as my stomach could hold. This was a LOT of carbs, much more than my usual just 1 baked tapioca cake for dessert followed by the papayas. (Note: On a normal day without too much strenuous exercise, I eat a low-carb cyclic-ketogenic Autoimmune Paleo Protocol diet. For me, this means only eating carbs at night and lots of healthy fats and vegetables during the day.)
  2. Sleeping conditions
    • It was a particularly warm night and I pulled the curtains to prevent inhaling the secondhand smoke from my neighbours who smoke. This made the room rather stuffy too.
    • Forgot to switch the ventilator function of the vacuum cleaner on. This was a neat idea my mum came up with to circulate the air in my room since I became drawing the curtains.
    • Grounding – I sleep on universal grounding mats to help with recovery and reduction of inflammation and usually I put my legs in the cover so my skin is in direct contact with the mat. Last night I slept with my legs out and on the covers.
  3. Brain activity
    • Finished watching Gods of Egypt with my family over dinner, was terribly exciting and action packed. May have over excited my brain.
  4. Less Exercise
    • My last strenuous workout was on Sunday, 2 days ago. Maybe, for the past 2 nights, my body needed more hours of sleep to recover from that.

Deductions:

  1. I don’t use/like air conditions so I use a fan. When I realized the night was particularly warm, I turned it up a level to cool myself down, which I did after awhile. So maybe the temperature wasn’t the issue.
  2. Covered my eyes with a shirt and wore earplugs to sleep to completely darken the room (from my eyes) and silence it – I can cancel out the sleeping conditions as a cause.
  3. I feel asleep almost instantly as I usually try to say the rosary as a form of mental lullaby to help me sleep but I don’t even recall finishing the first decade or even finishing my night prayer before that for that matter. So overexcited brain activity – out.
  4. That leaves me with the grounding mat leg position, food intake and lack of strenuous activity.

Actions

Will change only 1 variable at a time to see for accuracy – food. So no strenuous activity/workout, sleep in the same grounding position as last night and go back to the usual evening carb dessert tonight.

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