1 day until US Shipping! The Online Shopping Cart will be activated Thursday at 9am EST. I will be providing a link from OSG and Glo Bakery websites at 9am sharp.
It’s funny because this week I have been swamped with Canadian orders!
I guess the Canadians want to beat the US rush! Smart thinking! ;)
Be sure to check out the Shopping Cart + Shipping FAQ for the answers to all of your pressing questions!
- Please take special note of item 15 on the FAQ page. Keep in mind that quantities on the shopping cart will be limited to start off with. I am going to make available the amount of bars that I can make in a 2 week period. I want to ensure that I maintain excellent customer service which is why I have decided to control how many orders I will be getting all at once. Please don’t despair if you do not get an order in on Thursday! I will be updating the quantities on the shopping cart as I bake new batches.
How Do You Sleep?
Speaking of losing sleep, I thought it would be timely to do a post on The Sleep Cycle from my book The Owner’s Manual For The Brain.
First, here are a few fun facts about sleep:
- The average person gets 7.5 hours sleep
- Infants get on average 14 hours sleep
- Seniors get on average 6 hours sleep
- Before the invention of electric lights, humans slept for 9 hours on average
- When all cues to time of day are removed (pitch black), humans sleep about 10.3 hours
How do you measure up to these stats?
Personally, when I don’t have my alarm set, I naturally wake up after 8-9 hours of sleep.
The Sleep Cycle is KEY!
- However, it is not the length of sleep that we get that causes us to be refreshed. It is actually the amount of complete sleep-wake cycles that we get!
Each sleep cycle has 5 phases:
The average cycle is 1 hour and 30 minutes, however cycle length can vary from 60-120 mins. depending on the person.
If we truly were to sleep without any disturbances and no alarm clocks, we would always wake up on a multiple of 90 minutes. For example after: 4.5 hours, 6 hours, or 9 hours of sleep.
E.g., 5 complete sleep cycles = 90 mins + 90 mins. + 90 mins. + 90 mins + 90 mins = 7.5 hours of sleep.
Non-REM sleep lasts about 70 minutes per cycle, while REM sleep lasts about 20 minutes per cycle. REM sleep is when we DREAM!
Here is the kicker:
A person who only gets 4 cycles of undisturbed sleep (6 hours) will actually be much more rested than a person who has slept for 8-10 hours but who has not been allowed to complete any one cycle because of being awakened before it was completed.
This is why many top sleep doctors advise people not to sleep with pets in the bed, because often pets disturb your sleep several times during the night and you feel very tired the next day and not know why.
I wish Eric and I could follow this advice! ;) Sketchie happily sleeps at Eric’s feet every single night and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Want to wake up easier? Don’t wake up in REM sleep!
The time between our REM sleep (stage 5) and Stage 2 is called the Twilight Zone (Stage 1). The Twilight Zone is the brief period in between each 90 min. sleep cycle. If you are in Stage 1 of sleep, it is very easy to wake up. You will find that any light stimulus will wake you from a light noise to the sun rising.
Waking up in the second half of your sleep cycle (especially during REM sleep) is often very difficult. Many people report not being able to wake up.
Get this: When we are in REM sleep, our motor output system from the brain is completely shut down (this is why we dream that we are running but we don’t actually run) and also explains why we feel so lifeless when we wake up during REM sleep! Now of course, the motor output system doesn’t always turn off, and we see this especially with sleepwalkers. That is another topic though!
This morning, I woke up in the middle of a dream (REM sleep) and I felt like I was hit by a truck when my alarm went off (even though I had technically the proper ‘length’ of sleep!). I couldn’t wake up for a good hour and walked around like a zombie.
However, if you wake up in the beginning stages of sleep (especially the Twilight Zone), you will find that you wake up easier and feel so refreshed when you get up. I often wonder why some mornings it is so easy to wake up and others it is a battle. This explains a lot!
So fun things to try out:
- Keep a Sleep Journal.
Record the beginning and waking times for each natural sleep episode that is uninterrupted by an alarm or other disturbance. Find the common multiple. For example, if your recorded sleep periods were 400, 500, 400, 200, and 700 minutes, you would conclude that your personal sleep cycle typically lasts 100 minutes, or 1.6 hours. If you don’t want to keep a journal, just assume it is 90 minutes in length.
2. Plan your waking accordingly
For example, if my cycle is 90 minutes and I fall asleep at midnight every night, I should plan to wake at any of the following times: 6am, 7:30am, or 9am. All three of these times are multiples of 90 minutes. I would technically be waking up after a full sleep cycle, ideally. If I got up at 8:30am, I would be getting up in the later stages of sleep and would probably find it more difficult to wake up. Apparently there are devices that you can buy to simplify the process.
This morning, I naturally woke up in the Twilight Zone. I felt awake and ready to get up, but since it was earlier than I needed to get up I allowed myself to fall back to sleep for another 45 minutes. Well, when I woke up 45 minutes later it was almost impossible to wake up (I woke up in the middle of a dream). That’ll teach me! ;)
3. Visualize Waking Up
In an interesting study published in Sleep in 1997, participants were asked to visualize their time of waking on an imaginary clock face. Results found that those who visualized what time they had to get up were naturally able to wake up at the desired time without any alarm (this is SO me!). The key techniques: Get the same amount of sleep nightly, visualize the time you want to wake up, and use a back up (a clock set 10 minutes later than your desired time).
What are you sleep-wake patterns like? Do you think you get enough undisturbed sleep?