Taming the giant: tuning your sleep hours

I was among those babies which have trouble going to sleep. I would stay up till 3  a.m. making it quite hard for my mother for the next mornings work. And I was a baby then, eighteen months of age.

During my early years of schooling in the nursery and upper nursery ( for kids aged 4 to 5), I kept the same routine. The doctors said , there was nothing much to worry as some kids have their natural clock set that way and with time it shall get to normal.

It didn’t.

And I kept on staying awake till 3 am in the morning and some times it would get 4 or 5 am. I had only three or four hours of sleep before I had to leave for school or for work.

And during the school, I was a brilliant kid, who would end reading his story or rhymes book on the first day and then would stare at the face of other kids who were made to recite the same lesson or a paragraph from the same story many many times.

The boredom of going through some thing that I had already gone through combinted with only  a 3 to 4 hours sleep would soon put me to sleep, with my head laid on the desk. My report cards would carry comments from the class teacher: ” He is good but sleeps during the class. “

We, here in this part of the world had not a very sophisticated schooling, where each child could be analyzed psychologically or discussed thoroughly to find out what he was going through. So days passed by without much change.

I kept on sleeping at or around or after 3 am.

And it all kept the same because I did not love myself enough.  I was going through a bad patch in my life and I did not know how to handle that. I stayed in a mourning state or in depression and depression is a state of mental stand still.  I did not change much, neither I did make any effort to change.

Things kept on going the same. Till one day, I decided to start loving myself. During my hard years, I had been reading, I had been trying to find out that what the best people do when they are put to test, but I always would not find myself doing that thing. And I was really beginning to get up set, that why I could not find a reason for not doing what I should do?

After I decided to start loving myself, I thought what’s missing. If I love myself, then my routine should make me grow and support me in what I wanted to do during the day.

Then I read from a Hadeeth, that there were some of the best hours of sleep.  It is how does it go: From an hour after sun set to mid night: one hour equals to two hours of sleep. From mid night to 4 am  in summers  (and 5:30 or 6 am in winters depending on the geographical location) , an hour of sleep equals the same, i.e. an hour of sleep.   Sleep after sun rise is like anti-sleep and has negative impact on mind and body.  One to two hours of sleep after the mid day equals double the sleep time. Sleeping after afternoon till sunset is anti-sleep.  And I read that even a short sleep is enough ( if taken properly).

So I started to follow some of it. It was the hardest thing for me to do, since this habit was some how etched in my bio-clock ( I used to stay up since I was 2 years of age ).

I do not say or would quote any scientific research on sleep patterns during different hours of the day, but I am simply quoting what worked best for me and it might work for many others.

With time my body started to respond back. I would some times sleep at 11 pm, (which was previously an impossibility in itself),  some times at 10 pm and wake up at 4 am or 5 am. Some times I would not be able to put myself to sleep earlier and would stay up till 3 am again. But then I would still get up at 5 am and make the rest of it till noon.

I decided to not stay in bed after sun rise till mid noon and then I would sleep for an hour or two ( it had a multiplier effect of 2x).  In most of the gulf of Khaleej regions where extreme hot season prevails and days are pretty long, this nap during the mid day to after noon is quite a routine.

It was very hard to turn my sleeping giant into an ally but I am glad I did it.

Many of my readers  may have a perfect sleep routine from 11 pm to 6 pm and that may be pretty regular, but many others  are not so lucky. For them this can work . Knowing the sleep hours with twice the impact or effect, they can try taming the giant and harness it to best support their different routines.


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