Jungle Fever

8 Nov
Djembe is a popular drum throughout West Africa.

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday I chronicled the successful results of Falling Awake.

Waking up by doing the opposite of trying to fall asleep.

  • Think of a bunch of random things
  • Start moving and making noise using a drum of some kind

I successfully woke my reluctant self up quite handily this morning at 5:55am despite feeling a slight cold coming on and muscle soreness from working out yesterday evening.  The random thoughts part did not really do much but the drumming gently woke me up for sure!

I happen to have a wooden Djembe hand drum like the one above.  The Djembe drum I have is about 24″ tall, which seems a little large to be dragging under the covers, but I leave the top out and just start tapping on it.  Pretty soon I want to hear its full sound so I have to pull the covers back to uncover it.  Then to get a nicer pop, I have to focus on hitting it better which engages my hand/brain coordination.  Next thing you know, I am jamming out a groove on it and I am awake.

You could use an old coffee can or something equivalent.  I think any smallish drum type thing would work really.

It is kind of a Primal way to wake up for sure.  Give it a try!

Next I shall have to work on a standard post wake up protocol, something along the lines of the Basic Day Template.  I could probably just use the BDT, but I would like to somehow automate it.

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Falling Awake is a success

7 Nov
Noise Pollution

Image by agroffman via Flickr

To wake up – do the opposite of falling asleep!

  • start thinking of something,
  • start making noise,
  • start moving

I have researched on the internet a bunch on how to wake up and no one seems to know about this technique.

When trying to fall asleep you want to calm your mind, be quiet and still.  If you do these things when trying to wake up you will be sending the opposite message to yourself.

Think of something – I have tried counting to ten slowly, then again faster, then again faster until my brain gets up to speed.  Sort of a brain motor warming up exercise.  This is just a test of the brain CPU and operating system software so to speak.  Try thinking of random things, types of animals on a farm etc.  Don’t worry if you do not increase awakeness at this stage, the next exercise will take case of that.

Move and Make Noise – Get a drum or a pad of paper or something and start playing it like a bongo slowly, then gradually speed up the tempo until you are really goovin’.  (this accomplishes both the noise and the movement part).  This is really where the action is!  Even if my brain will not fire up very well from step 1, step 2 will launch awakeness.  Drag the drum into bed and just start tapping out a simple beat on it.  Get at least a finger from each hand involved.  Then as you climb towards awareness, start hitting the drum a bit harder and try a different more complex beat.  If you progress to where you can sit up a play you have pretty much made it awake.  Congratulations!

Now get up and blow a horn – or – if you might disturb someone put a pillow over your face and yell loudly something fun!

I have only just discovered this, but I think it will work on a pretty consistent basis.  

If you want to read what I think is also a good expose on waking up try Steve Pavlina’s post at http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/04/how-to-get-up-right-away-when-your-alarm-goes-off/

Steve’s post is pretty long, but I believe he has some good points.  Better than the other standard tips I’ve read.

Falling Awake

6 Nov
Awake (Julian Marley album)

OK, the Will to Win idea did not pan out for me today.  I tried, but i could not get into the winning mindset when I was sleepy.

Felt like I was stuck on the sleep train, and I wanted to just keep riding it.

I have a new plan for tomorrow, I am going to try to do the opposite of trying to go to sleep!

  • Instead of being quiet I am going to make noises.
  • Instead of being still I am going to wiggle and start moving.
  • I am going to start thinking of a million things.

All those things that prevent me from falling asleep may in fact help me wake up!

At least that’s my theory. I will post again if this idea works or not.

Fresh Edit:  It works!

I found a small drum and put it next to the bed.  I also found a giant conche horn.

Upon first consciouseness-

  • Counted to 10 silently, then again slightly faster, keep repeating until counting very quickly.
  • Grabbed the drum and pull it into the bed, started a slow beat, all I could muster up, then after a minute sped up the tempo slightly, a little more, then a little more, eventually I was jammin’ on a pretty fast beat.
  • At this point I was pretty darn awake, then I got up and blew the conche horn!
  • went to the kitchen and made coffee, brushed teeth, made breakfast etc.

I am quite surprised at how well this worked!

Will to Win

5 Nov
A muay thai fighter "working his hands&qu...

Image via Wikipedia

When watching a UFC fight the commentators will talk about the fighters “will to win”.

Even in training – always bringing the will to win is a big factor.

On the mornings when I am not wanting to get up I think I am missing this.  So tomorrow I am going to try to bring it.  I am going to win over the hibernation instinct.

Tomorrow is Sunday, I usually sleep in.  But not this tomorrow.  I am going to kick the mornings ass!  Then I am going to kiss my cat and be thankful for something.

I will post tomorrow how it turns out.

Achy Breaky

3 Nov
A bottle of Excedrin's migraine formula. Taken...

Sometimes this is my friend!

Sometimes it is just tough to get going.

Today:

  • reluctantly crawled into child’s pose on my bed
  • scrambled to the kitchen to get some cold coffee
  • pop a couple of Excedrin Migraine because I had a little head ache.
  • Ran some water for a bath because I did not really want to stand up through an entire shower
  • Got dressed after the bath
  • fed the cat
  • started the car
  • got some stuff to eat for in the car – cottage cheese and carrots

    Black Betty

    Black Betty the Sneak!

  • fed the stray cat that sneaked into the house and put her outside again (ala Flintstones!)
  • turned on the alarm and headed out (bringing the Excedrin Migraine just in case I needed some later)
So you see, it was not my finest morning, no stretching, yoga, and even my phone audio-out would not work in the car so I could not listen to my fav tunes as a pick-me-up on the way (crap).  At least I am doing something, and my clients appreciate my being there so off I go.
.

Not sure if there is a lesson here or if this is just a rant!

Wake Up Duty

28 Oct
Ancient weapons of mass destruction

Image by vintagedept via Flickr

Good morning soldier,

Today you must prepare yourself for duty in your own personal quest!

Get you groove on and move out!

Here are your orders:

.

.

Relax!                                                                (calmly assess your surroundings)

Look Alive!                                                       (endeavor to at least look  alert)

Sit Up, or roll over to Child Pose!      (start the journey towards vertical)

Make Ready the Coffee Machine!       (pop some vitamins if you got em)

Prepare the weapon of mass destruction!       (tooth brush)

Engage the enemy                                                            (plaque)

Scrub and suit up!                                                          (dress)

Chow down!                                                                       (eat)

Make a Plan!                                                                 (strategize)

Get additional WMDs HERE.

Sleep Tip #2

27 Oct

Melatonin = “Mellow-tonin”

sleepy_mk

Zzzzzzzz zzzzzz zzzzzz zzzzzz!

Usually Sleep Tip #1 does the trick in about 10 minutes.  That is, alternating listening to the nothingness, and relaxing.  But on those nights that that is not enough I have another weapon.

For the last 2 nights I have tried to go to bed early only to have ideas pop into my head that I felt the need to follow up on such as:

  • looking up the caloric breakdown of peanuts vs cauliflower on the internet.
  • I know it’s kind of geeky, but did you know cauliflower has more protein per calorie than peanuts?

Anyway, I stayed up too late and was tired in the morning two days in a row.  So last night I decided I was really going to get some sleep so I pulled out my secret weapon.  Melatonin.

I buy the 3mg Melatonin capsules and break them in half, and then in half again so I get  somewhere around 1mg.  You have to experiment with the dosage yourself, too little and you don’t notice any difference, too much and you are too sleepy in the morning.  1mg seems to work really good for me.  I only rarely use this method to induce sleep, but man did I sleep great last night!

The great thing about melatonin is it is something your body naturally makes that gives you the sleepy feeling.  Also, if something/someone wakes me up for some reason, falling back to sleep is really easy.  Normally falling back to sleep after a disturbance is as hard as falling asleep in the first place!  I hate that.

So in recap – if Tip #1 is a little lacking in potency at times, try a mg or so of Melatonin and see how it goes.

Hopefully you will find yourself out like the monkey in the pic above!