I hacked the secret behind sleeplessness while I went through a 7-day power cut.
I hacked the secret behind sleeplessness while I went through a 7-day power cut.
A bad day starts with a bad night.
A disturbed sleeping pattern is not just about making a night horrible, it is about being a victim of an unproductive life.
Not just taking those endless turns in your bed out of anxiety, it makes you throw a fit when you wake up with a cringe feeling in the morning.
When the day stands in front of you like a mountain to climb, the frustration of the disturbed sleep cycle haunts you even more.
Wishing to run the day full throttle, the bad night makes you puff out even before starting the day.
And the disturbed sleep pattern puts you again in the same picture the next day.
If these words prickle you somewhere deep, you’ve reached the right place.
I have struggled with sleepless nights so much that I felt slave to them.
And Sleeping sound became my dream.
After giving countless hits and trials, I had my epiphany with sleeplessness just a couple of weeks back.
More than implementing the right path, the bigger task was to find the cause that was refraining me from reaching the right path.
What is sleeplessness and how much does it affect Life?
When endless thoughts choose to be your guest for the night, you wrestle with sleeplessness.
When your body is ready to sleep but the mind fails to follow the body, you become a victim of Sleeplessness.
The state where your body squabbles with the mind to shut it down but all you face is a standoff between the two.
The sad part is, we keep focusing on making the day productive but overlook the disturbed sleep pattern that is stopping it from becoming one.
The real trouble is our broken sleep, but we keep pushing it under the rug, normalizing it.
It does not merely make the night a mess but botch the day as well.
The 8 hours of sleep in which you do nothing contributes to almost everything that you do in the entire day.
The inert state of sleep is the compass that shows how good or bad your active state of the day will turn.
If you haven’t been dead for those 8 hours, you will fail to be alive for the rest of 16 hours.
And what stirs the pot more is, when you don’t understand why your day turns dead every time.
A sleepless night is a trouble for life.
Despite the fact, that you have no mental and physical exercise to do while you sleep, it still stands like a herculean task to get through.
A bigger challenge than a long exhausting day.
The pain is real and underrated.
A sleepless night is not just the 8 uncomfortable hours, it makes you cringe the entire day.
If your night is disturbed, your life is unhealthy.
My struggle with Sleeplessness
I don’t exactly remember which chapter of my life came up with tormenting sleeplessness.
But it was probably in my early thirties.
I never had an encounter with sleeplessness until my twenties but when I stepped into it, it felt like an age.
I did not realize there was something turning malfunctional early on.
I anticipated sleeplessness as a sign of my active, energetic body until it started to harass me.
The nights started to haunt me.
I started fearing tucking into my quilt.
And if there was something like an event or a major plan for the next day, the trouble to sleep would increase manifolds.
Countless thoughts would hover over me and I would get more awake with every passing hour.
Being a newbie to this unusual pattern of sleep, I stood clueless about how to work on it.
It slowly started showing me its symptoms.
The sleepless night made my day look cranky and shitty.
My bones felt the ache, my face looked like a squeezed lemon and the glowing skin that I was once known for turned into a dry patch.
It started bothering me so much that I started feeling anxious whenever I went to sleep.
I started craving for a sound sleep because I got clear on the fact that my disturbed sleep was making me:
Look bad, Feel bad and Perform badly.
There were even instances when a friend would come over and we would plan for an evening. I’d thought of taking a nap so that I would feel fresh but my fear of sleeplessness wouldn’t let me sleep.
Sleep became my beauty serum but the one that I was not able to afford.
The more I wanted to sleep, the more I felt awake.
The moment I’d planned to sleep, the very thought of falling asleep would make me awake.
I was clueless about what exactly was going wrong that was making my sleep cycle dysfunctional.
No matter how tired my day would leave me, my night made me feel as if I were a superwoman.
But it was like a mirage.
A false image of mine.
There was no superwoman but a woman whose overthinking trapped her in sleeplessness.
Despite this being a struggle, I kept overlooking it and never thought of finding a way out.
I assumed it to be a disturbed pattern that would get better with time.
But it did not.
The worst chapter I experienced was at my brother’s wedding.
We were so engrossed with the preparations that by the time we reached close to the wedding day, each one was extremely exhausted.
There was anxiety and fatigue.
My extended family had come over, and we all slept in our main hall.
Within half an hour my entire family was asleep and some of them had started to snore as well.
And I was lying amidst them all awake with countless thoughts racing in my mind.
The next day was the wedding, and I was failing to sleep out of anxiety and my ongoing disturbed sleep pattern.
I kept turning from one side to another with the hope to fall asleep, but nothing worked.
My mind was glued with thoughts about how the next day would go.
It was almost midnight and I felt more awake.
I reached a point where I eagerly wanted to have a deep sleep so that I could feel fresh.
Time passed by and I kept fighting with my racing thoughts.
My entire family was done with one-half of their sleep cycle, and I had not even started yet.
With the hope that I’d soon feel dizzy, I kept my eyes shut but shockingly, I felt more awake.
Time lingered and it was almost morning.
My family had started to yawn and chirp, and I was still the same, striving to have a little nap.
But it turned into a nightmare.
The sleepless night made me feel terrible when it was almost time to get ready for the wedding.
I could not believe I had a sleepless night, and I was supposed to take charge of the biggest event of my family.
I had to keep my frustration in the back seat and get my excitement back to the front seat. The only way to jam up for the day.
I tried to not think about the night and just looked forward to the wedding.
Fortunately, despite feeling cringe I did not look that tired and dull.
But at the back of my mind, I knew I had to work on this matter seriously now.
These weird experiences with my sleeplessness gave me a signal that I honestly needed to find some serious measures to combat it.
The several measures I tried to overcome my Sleeplessness
When I ascertained that my sleeplessness was a serious issue, I started to look for remedies.
Initially, I gave the hit and trial to all the remedies that I invented all by myself.
I started reciting certain Mantras, tried chanting God’s name, and tried to whisper words of manifestation but nothing worked out.
I was clueless why I failed to hit the nail on the head.
But I had no choice but to keep looking for alternatives.
After having several failed attempts, I started to become vocal about it with the hope someone would have a better way to deal with it.
And to my surprise, my eldest brother gave me a great remedy and explained how it worked as well.
He told me to play a game.
The game was about imagining taking hens from one room to another one by one.
What this game exactly would do was, it would keep the person busy in this activity on repeat.
And after a while, the repetition of carrying these hens would make the game boring and once boredom swept in, the mind would shut down.
The logic is, that the mind needs something boring that it does not feel excited about. Once you do that, it starts feeling dizzy.
I gave it a try.
And the next few nights turned into a sports activity.
It was weird but it was the only option I had.
Imagining picking hens from one room to another in my bed instead of letting the mind wander free wasn’t easy.
But I commanded my mind to focus on it.
I had to stop myself from imagining anything outside this boring activity.
In some of the attempts, boredom would seep in and I would start feeling dizzy.
But many times, the boredom was just not enough to help me fall asleep and I would begin to wander again in my thoughts.
And this would get me back to square one.
So, it worked sometimes and sometimes it was a bigger pain.
When this strategy didn’t work, I opted to chant God’s name, but nothing worked out much.
I searched for various tricks and remedies that could help me sleep soundly but none of them relieved my stress.
I declared it was never going to work for me.
I’ll have to struggle all my life to get that instant sleep.
I hacked the secret behind Sleeplessness while I went through 7-day of power cut
After having tried countless ways to hack the sleeplessness code, I stopped finding a solution for it.
And when I stepped back, all of a sudden, I came across a life-changing experience that gave me an answer to my long-awaited unanswered problem.
Putting up in a small village far from noise and distraction, I had been living a secluded life for the past few months.
Recently the village was tormented by a heavy rainfall that resulted in severe landslides and many other Nature’s Havocs.
The situation went so terrible that roads were blocked, trees fell, mountains slid, and houses were dismantled.
While all this was happening, there occurred a power cut that did not resume for almost a week.
And this brought a whole lot of new experience with it.
All the electrical devices stopped working.
All my activities were reduced to almost nothing.
The last resort was to grab those books on the shelf that I had been postponing every time.
The mobile phone that I was completely dependent on for my work was lying dead.
I had no option but to look for an alternative to keep my mind active.
From writing on my laptop screen, I switched to manual writing.
Everything just appeared to slow down.
My mind was no longer being fed with instant dopamine.
When there was a complete disconnection from the internet clickbait content, (even the informative content interferes with your mind), my mind started to feel evacuated.
I started feeling a lot of space in it.
And the only matter I was filling it with was words from the books I was reading.
The long pending books got a chance and I read them all.
My mind was in a different realm.
There was no noise inside but a deep silence instead.
This did not mean that I binge watched the trash but the fact that I was taking in all sorts of information I required was also consuming a lot of space in my mind.
The constant curiosity to check notifications even if they were work related, interfered with the peace of mind.
After a few days with the same routine, without the power, I started feeling dizzy during the day and I started taking small naps.
Just after 2 to 3 days, I found a strange thing happening to me.
The moment I slumped into my bed in the night, I was off to sleep.
I still remember the moment when I felt that instant rush of melatonin which induced dizziness and I felt intoxicated by a deep sleep.
My heart was pounding with ecstasy even when my senses were shutting up.
The only thought I was having was that feeling of triumph.
It seemed something that I was struggling with, for so long came so naturally to me.
But I did not know what exactly induced that instant sleep as it wasn’t possible without a reason.
I did not crack the code yet, but I knew that something had happened which worked well for my sleep stress.
The power did not resume the next day too and I was back to the same routine.
There was no consumption of the internet.
What felt monotonous on day one started to look adventurous on day 3.
I found it was a chance to be more with myself, to connect with Nature, to give my mind a pause and not dump it with an overdose of internet, be it entertainment or work.
My mind felt at rest, not juggling with so many thoughts.
The disconnection from the world helped me connect with myself which would have never been possible out of choice.
Human minds love things that tempt them and excite them but then they also derail their minds.
They are so habituated to consuming worldly stuff and extra information about their subject that it becomes impossible to voluntarily go for solitude and practice mindfulness.
The extra noise is stopping us from coming closer to the silence that is healing.
Unless we are thrusted upon situations where we don’t have access electrical gadgets, we will never succeed in being away from it.
And the internet is one of the biggest sources that stops our minds from being at rest.
The truth is, we have become addicted to the internet, social media, screen time, and electric gadgets and we do not see the repercussions of it.
We are blindly feeding our dopamine without knowing what this cheap dopamine is giving us in return.
The reason why we don’t take measures to minimize this addiction is that we don’t see any instant negative effects. It has been so much normalized that it looks like another human activity.
But it has an extremely damaging undercurrent.
I could contemplate all this only because I was forcibly distanced from this trash when the power went off.
Otherwise, I wouldn’t have ever voluntarily chosen such an experience.
My experience was getting beautiful with every passing day.
Even after taking small naps in the afternoon, I was off to sleep the moment I tucked myself in my quilt.
And each night I was feeling surprised.
The power did not resume for 7 long days and I was thoroughly shocked to see myself sleeping so well for those 7 days.
When something that was troubling me for so long had suddenly been resolved all by itself, I was pushed to think about what exactly happened to me.
And I started to think deeply about the entire experience. To find out what was making me fall asleep so fast.
And then after a lot of introspection and contemplation, I had my revelation.
Boredom replaced excitement!
I discovered that the constant feeding of my mind with the internet, stuffed it so much that it would start wandering with countless thoughts.
It consumed the content, stored it and then started processing and thinking about it.
And the more stuff I gave my mind to think about, the more active it remained.
The result was, it destroyed my sleep hormone, melatonin.
We need our minds to be silent so that sleep can take over but when we stuff them with countless things, they get active and start processing the stuff.
Our minds don’t seek our permission before they start thinking. If we don’t limit the stuff we are sending to our Minds, we cannot stop them from processing it further.
For 7 days, when my mind was fed with no extra information from the internet, it had nothing to process further.
When the source was blocked, the further activities came to a halt.
And when my mind had nothing much to process or think about, it started to shut down instantly.
My Sleeplessness was a problem because my mind had been infected.
Now when I treated my mind, sleeplessness fell apart.
Giving your mind the least stuff to think about is the only way to deal with sleeplessness.
This chapter helped me reach the root cause of my problem.
But it did not guarantee me to work on it once the power would resume.
And when the power was back after 7 days, my inner animal was ravenous again for the tempting internet stuff.
Not that I consumed it all day, but I did consume it enough that it would interfere with my sleep cycle.
I knew the reason for my sleeplessness now but slowly I was being engulfed again by this demon.
Even if I consumed healthy content, it was giving my mind an exercise to process it.
When I knew I had access to binge-watch stuff, even at the cost of my sleeplessness, I could not resist myself.
But the fact that I knew the root cause was enough to relieve me and it was now all in my hands to take an initiative against it.
I just had to make up my mind to start a healthy routine with minimal consumption of content and not explode my mind the whole day long.
But despite my attempts, I found my mind was sold out on the idea that I’d miss out much if I did not keep myself updated.
And I felt the need to have a strong plan in place that could help me improve my schedule around sleep and data consumption.
On a random evening, I chanced upon one of the podcasts by Mel Robbins “The #1 Hack for Being More Productive Tomorrow“.
The one that was quite long but something that I was desperately in need of.
I played it and I took up the task of applying a hair mask on my scalp along with it.
And this turned out to be a big-time saver as I made it productive.
The first bang-on statement that hit me home was “A great morning starts the night before“.
The way Mel carried out the entire podcast and made so many plausible statements, I was awestruck hearing each one.
She made platitudes that my mind was swayed by. I could feel the impact of every word on my mind.
It appeared to me like a strong counselling, the one that I was catching up on positively.
The next best thing she came up with was “Just because we worked the entire day, we end up taking revenge in the night for all the work we gave to ourselves”.
And I was the one who felt the same. I would feel that if I had worked my ass off the whole day, I deserved a treat at night. And the treat was binge-watching social media and scrolling the screen mindlessly.
We treat our bedtime as a fun time to enjoy the cheap dopamine content but are unaware of how we are changing the trajectory of mind the wrong side.
At the point when you need to secrete melatonin, the sleep hormone, you consume stuff that secretes dopamine, the pleasure hormone.
And this is how you Hijack your sleep pattern.
I have been doing this ever since I started to hustle.
I chose bedtime to give me that pleasure because I fed my mind with so much work information all day.
Clueless about how it was scientifically malfunctioning my entire hormonal system,
I presumed it was a problem that I was not responsible for.
Mel spoke about a lot of things that we do wrong but are unaware of how much they affect our sleep.
My mind felt like it was being unlocked and receiving the information that would effectively resolve my problem.
She guided certain rules for the night so that we could own our Mornings.
If the bedtime is 10, your screen should be shut by 8, 2 hours before the bedtime.
You have to stop feeding your mind with internet content 2 hours before sleep time so that it does not have anything to process and start with the thinking activity.
The other thing that Mel pinpointed was, that there are people who when they lose their sleep in the middle of the night start checking out their mobile phones for notifications and sweep into blind scrolling.
And I was one of them.
When suddenly I would lose my sleep, I’d feel awake and fresh.
I’d assume I wouldn’t be able to sleep easily, so I would start checking my phone. And this would be a trap that would shove off my sleep completely.
Mel Robbins guided us to keep the mobile phone at arm’s length so that it feels like a herculean task to grab it in the middle of the night if at all you feel the craving to binge-watch.
I was shaken so hard after hearing the entire podcast, that I was desperately wanting to make a strict change in my night routine.
I just could not afford to let her guidance go to waste, so I made up my mind to make some strong and effective tweaks.
My new routine that dozes me off right away
Reading books is the key to great writing.
I had been seeing many great writers harp about this, but I just could not get into a habit of reading.
I felt I did not have enough time.
I wanted to use all my available time to write as much as I could.
But now after having a tremendous experience and learning about my sleeplessness, I decided to recreate myself for a new night routine.
I made certain rules that I strictly commanded myself to abide by.
No matter how much work output I had in my day, I would not push it after 8 p.m.
I gave myself a time limit to shut down my working hours even if the day was not that productive.
Earlier I would keep working until I slept.
This change in my work mode somehow created a positive pressure on my mind to not squander the day so that I have to compensate for the loss by overdosing at night.
I made plans and scheduled my work that would not cross 8 p.m.
After 8 pm, I fixed the time for dinner, and other kitchen chores and at around 9 pm I decided to get into my bed with a book.
I made a firm decision to disconnect the internet and plug my phone in the opposite corner of the room.
I gave myself one week’s challenge to follow this new recipe for the night routine.
And to my surprise, one week passed without breaking it.
It was a feeling of triumph.
I restricted myself from grabbing a phone in the middle of the night whenever I lost my sleep no matter how awake and fresh, I felt.
It was honestly a life-changing experience to find myself falling asleep in just a few minutes.
Each night, I could not thank God enough for giving me all the experiences that guided me to reach this point where sleeplessness was no longer a problem.
One week then two weeks and then three and I had slowly gotten a strong grip on this new routine.
The best part was, that my sleep cycle became stronger and deeper, I completed books that I would have never been able to turn a page or two of.
My skin started looking fresh and youthful.
The whole transition filled me with so much joy and I just could not think of not receiving it forever.
The journey had been extremely transforming. Everything I worked on was in micro shifts and it had radical results.
It was not the day after the night but a different season.
Sometimes we fall into the abyss to only become a great climber.
If you are someone going through sleeplessness, I would not claim an instant success by reading this blog.
Because patterns take time to dismantle and create better ones.
But I have given you my personal roadmap which will help you to design one for yourself.
If you resonated with my advice and my words, I would love to see you receive my weekly Newsletter “Evolve and Elevate” where I share lessons from Bhagavad Gita, one inspiring story and one great idea that’ll make you pause and think.
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Hi! This is Sarita Mian.
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