If you’re a habitual night owl but don’t want to be one, I have some simple tips for you that are PURE GOLD.
For most of my adult life I’ve been a night owl. Going to bed at anywhere from midnight to 3am and sometimes as late as 6am. Yes my sleep times were highly variable.
The only problem was that I really wanted to spend as much time outside in the sun as possible. But when you’re waking up regularly at 10 am and sometimes noon you’ve already wasted the morning hours and by the time I finished working I’d have very little sunshine time of the day left.
Yet try as I might, year after year I could not get myself to go to bed early.
For some reason my previous attempts always lacked the motivation power to get me to stick to a routine of falling asleep earlier.
The only thing that consistently ever worked for me was to have to be at a job at an early time in the morning. If I had that 5 days a week then I would force myself to go to bed relatively early because I didn’t like being tired. But for most of my adult life I did not work such 9 to 5 kind of jobs. I did for a couple of years but that’s it.
Anyways, to make a long story short here’s the tip.
Eat your dinner as early as possible and don’t snack afterwards. And shoot for not eating for 4 to 6 hours before falling asleep. Yup this means a really early dinners.
For instance, if you want to fall asleep at 9pm then you want to have FINISHED your dinner meal by 3pm. And if it’s a big meal you might have to start eating at 1:30 or 2pm to finish it on time.
That was the BREAKTHROUGH KEY for me.
For often I was finishing my dinners at 9 and 10pm or later.
In the past I’ve tried many other things. For instance, one thing I tried with moderate success was to turn off my computer by 10pm and then later 9pm.
But in the end that didn’t work on it’s own. I felt I was forcing myself too much. I had to discipline myself too much and so eventually I stopped sticking to it. There was still something missing.
But with the early dinner meals my goal was and is to finish my BIG second meal of the day between 4 and 6 hours before I fall asleep.
Because I find I sleep better and I need less sleep when I’m not digesting a meal while I’m sleeping as I had habitually done in the past.
Anyways, the whole thing was a gradual process.
And I found this much easier to achieve when I switched to eating just two large meals per day.
I started this process over two months ago. Back then I was recording bed times at 2 and 3 am. Sometimes midnight if I was lucky.
But as I kept eating my second dinner meal earlier and earlier in the day I found it easy to fall asleep earlier and earlier.
What was the motivation?
Well I didn’t want to be super hungry. If I didn’t allow myself to eat more food then I would get hungrier and hungrier. Yet you won’t feel hungry while you’re sleeping. So it was a big and natural motivation to go to bed much earlier just to avoid feeling super hungry.
And miracle of all miracles on August 21, 2017 (the day of the eclipse) I actually got to bed the night before at 8:30pm and woke up at 5am being fully rested. And that worked out great because I took a 15 hour trip in my truck that day to go visit my father in Oregon.
So long as my dinner meals are early I tend to fall asleep early. Waking up in the 6am range on a regular basis is quite a monumental change for me.
After wanting to get up early for more than 25 years and failing, this simple idea turned me into a willing early riser.
I’ve even gone hiking early in the morning and gone to the park at like 6am. That’s stuff I never had the pleasure of doing in the past.
Well this email is getting long.
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