If the sleeping shortcuts are actually intentional, they come from an influence outside our own. That should provide NO obstacle to your tapping into this magnificent "finding" of thousands of additional hours in which to live, love, pursue, and achieve.
By the time we're 21, we can expect to have invested at least eight to ten of those years working very hard at the human practice known as sleeping. Think about it. Even as an adult, where each day may find you preparing for sleep, arising from sleep, or actually sleeping... for a full 480 minutes per day.
Whew! That means at age 27, you've already slept away 9 years of your life. At 36, you've slept 12 years; at 45, you have slept fifteen years. This is, to those who determine to excel, those who decide to make this day more productive than yesterday, an unacceptable waste.
Obviously, we need sleep; at least most of us. the question is, how can we increase the quality of our sleep by an amount sufficient to naturally lower the quantity of sleep required for a healthy life.
I was very grateful for my insomia. By the age of 27, it's fair to estimate that I had already enjoyed an extra four years of travelling, dating, climbing, playing, working, etc. At 42, the majority of us have slept for a whopping 14 years. In that time, there's little chance I slept more than six years. Those additional years, comprised of some two and a half thousand ADDITIONAL days of living, loving, laughing (and crying), all included at no extra charge.
At 42, the insomnia disappeared, and I suddenly "required" up to six hours of sleep per day. What to do, what to do?
Again, the question kept coming back to: How can we increase the quality of our sleep by an amount sufficient to naturally lower the quantity of sleep required? So, the PowerGem is universal: find people doing it better and find out how they do it. Duplicate the recipe, you duplicate the result. Always work backwards: if the result is not identical to the recipe, then your recipe was not applied identically to the original recipe.
Naturally, the instant shortcut, the PowerGem that offers itself here is to find people who are doing it better and ask them how they do it. Starting with 31 research-focused universities, moving on to NIH (National Institutes of Health), and a dozen of the world's top universities, and was surprised to find that this niche of the important subject of sleep is largely untapped. Hence, the decision to share with you this vitally important shortcut, because, let's face it: there is no resource less replaceable or more valuable than time. ALL other resources spring forth from this one most vital item: the incredible edible minute. Up until now, you, I, and every one of us humans has gobbled up too many of these non-replicatable, non-reproducible treasures. What we CAN do is to use more of them to a fuller capacity, true? Let's do it.
In the interests of saving time, explanation is limited as to WHY these following items are useful. You're welcome to do the background research is you have the time and inclination. I've already done it, and wish to move on to other subjects, so here they are, compressed:
1) Stop sleeping on your stomach. It's stupid, unhealthy, and robs you not only of energy and creativity, it tends to shorten your life span. Sleep on your back!
2) The natural position and "shape" of your spine while in a supine position on your bed (flat out) is not at all flat. Your spine has natural curvatures, one in particular, cervical, that is disproportinately important to maintain. Why "disproportionately?" Because too many of us ignore it, and lose the massive benefit of higher-quality, lower-quantity sleep that leads to so many more hours every week and month and year in which to fully live our lives.
Your neck actually curves inward (toward the brain) as widely arced as a grapefruit. Don't mess with this by laying flat on the bed. Instead of focusing on elevating your head, focusing on providing a moderate elevation for your NECK, providing the support it naturally requires. However much this may be out of your standard comfort zone when preparing for sleep, you'll be thrilled at the difference this makes. When we slightly elevate the neck during sleep hours, supporting the neck as it requires, your sleep is of a measurably higher quality. Within two or three days of doing this, you will specifically note that you're getting better sleep --- in less hours!
3) PROGRAM YOUR BRAIN!
So stupid, so stupid! How many times do we fall asleep with the cares of the world weighing down upon us? This is one of the five most foolish things we do in life, because the cost is greater than most of us recognize, until we hit our sixties and seventies, at which point the proverbial light bulb goes on.
In conversations and interviews with inordinately active people in their seventies, eighties, and nineties, the distinct majority of them report a greater appreciation for sleep as they grow older, even in the face of their wish for less sleep in order to engage in more activities. They understand clearly, in effect, that they must lay their troubles outside of the bedroom door!
Make sure before you go further here that you have a good realization, a comprehensive grasp on the undeniable and scientifically-proven fact that, whatever we're thinking about in the moments just before sleep arrives --- that's just what the brain will be chewing on during the sleeping period. A negative multiplies as prolifically and promiscuously as a positive. This means that we humans, including you, have a distinct choice on what level and quality of programming will take place during the next sleep cycle. Never underestimate the power of this. In Maxwell Maltz's "PsychoCybernetics" we see a number of highly-regarded humans claiming that many of their best ideas, developments, and creations have occurred as a result of proper "sleep programming."
The concept is simple to understand, and even simpler to implement: YOU get to decide, on a day-to-day, or in most cases, a night-to-night basis, whether you will fall asleep worrying about a child acting out or a bill needing payment... or whether you'll enter that special healing zone with empowerment and joy, anticipation and hope.
It's a choice, and it's powerful; so powerful as to affect each day of the rest of your life.
As always, you're reminded that you have considerably more power at your fingertips than you seem to credit yourself with.
This is the day, this is the hour, this is the minute to make the decision ("cutting off from any other possibility") to take more and greater control of the tools and resources, the powers and techniques we all have at our instant disposal.
Never mind the rah-rah "Oh, what a great idea." Just get with it!! Get with yourself!
Get into your own higher gear of productivity and shortcuts,
to free up your valuable minutes for more important pursuits....
... more important to you and yours, hm?