Following The Equatorial Sun

A question from a friend. “I would like to improve my sleep. Are there any herbs you are taking?”

I’m still trying to figure that out. It is a work in progress. A journey of trial, error, and course correction. I am suspecting that quality of sleep is more about behavior and practices that ultimately affect our internal chemistry than what we are supplementally putting in our mouth to alter that chemistry. We really shouldn’t have to add something supplemental to our body to improve the quality of our sleep, but first, figure out what is going on in our immediate internal and external environment that is disturbing our sleep and then, make that correction. As I continue to grow in my knowledge about human physiology and disease pathology I am finding that our body’s own chemistry is what best determines how well we sleep; good or bad. Good chemistry leads to good sleep while bad chemistry results in bad sleep.

To me, it is abundantly clear that the way we are eating is ultimately determining or at least heavily influencing what kinds of bacterial populate our gut and ultimately determine our internal chemistry that affects our sleep. Whether it be related to our gut bacteria producing chemistry that overly stimulates us or by interfering with the signals that would normally tell us when to recline is irrelevant. Bad sleep is bad sleep and nobody needs that if they want to thrive.

And so it is because of these colonies of gut bacteria, yeast, fungi, virus, and archaea that we should be respecting that they also have a time and place to, in some sense, rule the roost we call ourselves. You see, we are not a simple single entity or intelligence but a whole host of intelligent activity that is called a holobiont.

“A holobiont is an assemblage of a host and the many other species living in or around it, which together form a discrete ecological unit, though there is controversy over this discreteness. The components of a holobiont are individual species or bionts, while the combined genome of all bionts is the hologenome.” –Wikipedia

All of these micro-organisms that live in, on, and about our being have rhythms that they follow regardless of when we decide as to the human part of the holobiont. They don’t change their waking and sleeping times simply because we want to work the night shift or be a commercial airline pilot that is constantly jogging across timezones in order to earn an income. They follow the equatorial sun and we should learn to follow their lead. If not, we may find that we will suffer because of their inability to function properly because of our shortsighted behaviors.

Regarding the times and amount of hours per day that we are putting our food into our bodies, we should be following the equatorial sun. 12 hours on and 12 hours off. We should only be letting food kiss our lips if it can first be kissed by the equatorial sun. That means only eating between the hours of 6 am and 6 pm. No matter what latitude one lives at. That in some sense, our body is beholden to a circadian rhythm, not only for sleep but also for eating.

I find that when I do this I sleep better. Give it a try for a couple of weeks and let me know what you think. I’m pretty sure it takes a couple of weeks because we ultimately have to allow time for our microbiome to shift in our gut to start properly synthesizing the right body chemistry as a result of this better practice.

Here’s to better sleep in both quality and quantity.

Zzz Best Sleep EVER

Where do you place sleep in your life? For me I have learned to place it at the top of the pile of important things to do. A little over a year ago I really started focussing on sleep as thee most important 8-9 hours of my day. Everything else took a back seat. Boy what a trip it has been. Here’s a few things I’ve observed.

Sleep has 2 shifts or phases. Without fail I always wake up about 1/2 way through my full nights sleep. It’s not always a full 8 hours but I do allow for up to 9 hours and 36 minutes. I usually get up and use the restroom for good measure, make sure I drink a good amount of water and take my systemic enzymes. Always falling back to sleep immediately.

1:36 before sunrise. Through additional research I discovered some who believe that there is what is called a/the creators hour that starts 1 hour and 36 minutes before sunrise. I don’t personally know of any science behind it, but I have noticed that I am much more creative at that time in the morning and flow state is much easier to achieve at that time.

Bedtime…9:36 before sunrise. What I decided to do is put myself in bed at about this time every night. I’m not very precise because it is an ever moving target by about 6 minutes per day. This has been absolute magic for quality of sleep and it always provides for a solid 8 hours of darkness for sleep.

Sun down; fork down. If it were always possible I would only ever eat during daylight hours. When the sun goes down so does my fork, knife and spoon. This allows for your food to clear the stomach before bedtime. It will also allow for supplements you need to take on an empty stomach before bed.

Sleeping on the job. That is our job. On the other hand we have a whole legion of microbial life living in and on our body that have work to do. And they tend towards nocturnal behavior. In other words, they work the night shift. In contrast the human part of us tends toward life under the sun. All those other living things that make up our existence and wellbeing work while we sleep.

Shift work. It would seem that our best work as a human and legion of microbial life is done in shifts. And that when we observe this obediently our overall health and wealth in life is filled to the top and overflowing. Yup, that human aspect of us has a responsibility to the other 99% of the DNA on this body to simply get out of their way and let them to their job, on their shift.

A cocktail for the ageless. As a benefit our night shift, or microbial partners graciously provide us with a bio-chemical cocktail that helps us fall asleep quickly. It’s hard not to notice if you are observant. For years I just blew past all the signs while looking for my second wind. All the while ignoring my bodies cue’s. My feeling is that this is our body’s window for falling asleep that we have ignored since modern electric and artificial lighting. And that once we blow past that bio-chemical cocktails effects our ability to fall asleep is diminished. I’ve come to appreciate it and almost enjoy it.

These are just some of what I have observed I look forward to learning more over the years. I’ve found that my body repairs and heals at a much more advanced rate when I play by these rules. Once I started seeing the benefits of simply sleeping smarter it became much more difficult to find good reasons to stay awake much later than 8 or 9. I am personally convinced that there is magic to be found in a perfected sleep.