It's commonly known that good-quality sleep is extremely important, since it supports our mental and physical wellbeing, stress levels, alertness, ability to think clearly and safety (for example, driving a car whilst tired is dangerous*)
During our sleep, our brain goes through sleep 'cycles', periods of alternating deep sleep then light sleep. When we wake up during a period of light sleep, we generally feel well-rested and energised. If we are woken during a period of deep sleep, we generally feel badly-rested, tired, possibly grumpy, exhausted and irritable.
If you have a smart mobile phone, there is a cheap and easy way you can improve your chances of having good-quality sleep using technology: there are various mobile apps which can monitor your movements, sounds, or both whilst you sleep and determine which sleep cycle you are in at any time whilst you are asleep. The app then gently wakes you up when you are in a 'light' sleep, at a time approaching the latest time you want to wake up by. In case you remain in a deep sleep or the app cannot detect it correctly, it will act like a standard alarm clock and play a sound to wake you at the time you chose before going to sleep.
The other advantage of these apps are to get a better idea of your quality of sleep over time: they typically show graphs and statistics about your sleep (longest sleep, shortest sleep, average sleep time, etc.), which may help you identify any issues which cause you to sleep poorly.
The app I personally have used for this and highly recommend (it has worked great for me) is called 'Sleep Cycle'. It is available on iOS (iPhone, iPad, etc.) and Android devices – I have used it and it worked consistently well.
Note: if you are concerned about the radio-waves emitted by your smart phone and having these near your head at night, switch your phone to 'airplane' mode (which disables transmitting/receiving of radio-waves) before you sleep, and switch 'airplane' mode back off when you wake.
Thank you for reading.
I wish you a life of fulfillment, and good sleep.
* Article “Prolonged nocturnal driving can be as dangerous as severe alcohol-impaired driving” by Joris C. Verster, Jacques Taillard, Patricia Sagaspe, Berend Olivier and Pierre Philip
For each problem that we face in life there is often a small yet important change of behaviour which can make a huge difference in solving it.
There is a guideline in life called the 80-20 rule, which says: for many things that happen, about 80% of the results come out of about 20% of the causes. This means it is really important to identify which causes are within the '20%' to get the outcome you want, far more easily.
I'm here to share with you one very common–yet often overlooked–example of this today, that will help you live a life of fulfillment.
Do you think these are caused by different things?
Is there one thing you know to try first in all of these cases, rather than perhaps reaching for a snack, a pain relief tablet, or pushing through the tiredness?
Next time, try this:
Lack of water (dehydration): this one simple thing is very often at the heart of hunger, headaches and tiredness. Your body–especially your brain–is made up largely of water, so even the beginning of dehydration has significant effects on your feelings, health and wellbeing.
Here are some things to consider:
An example of this in action: recently, a workmate who gets migraines felt one coming on and I suggested he try drinking two or even three large glasses of water within about 15 minutes. He tried this and said that after half an hour, the migraine went away and stayed away for the rest of the day. Normally, he would have taken pain relief and whilst it would have reduced the pain, he would still put up with a lot of pain for the rest of the day. He was very grateful to see how a simple change of awareness and behaviour to address the real cause was able to relieve his problem, something difficult he has been 'living with' for a long time.
Learn to React Differently
Learning to react differently to these things will help improve your life with little cost. If this is not already second nature to you, I suggest you print the following, stick it up on the refrigerator or some other place you will see it regularly and say this to yourself each time you read it:
Fill your glass and drink to live a life of fulfillment
Even better than learning to react to the feelings of tiredness, hunger/thirst or headache is to be proactive about getting enough water.
The amount of water you need may be different than what I need since it varies based on your own body and also the climate/conditions you are in each day.
I find that a good basic level if (like me) you spend most of your day in a fairly sheltered climate (e.g. indoors or at least not out in the hot sun) is to drink a large glass of water (about 500 ml/17 oz) immediately after you wake, then a large glass of water every hour-and-a-half throughout the day.
To do this, I fill my (reusable, aluminium) water bottle before I go to bed and leave it on my bedside table. I have pre-set, repeating alarms on my mobile phone which go off at the following times with the message “Feel alert & alive: drink water” at these times:
Another idea is to identify any habits/routines you are already in which happen several times throughout the day (evenly spaced), and add drinking a glass/bottle of water to the existing routines.
There are also water reminder apps you can get for mobile phones – if you think these may work for you, please try them and see what works (I have not tried any myself, but would be interested to hear of anyone's recommendations – please contact me to let me know.)
As you become in the habit of drinking plenty of water regularly, so many things become easier: it helps with energy levels, alertness, digestion, happiness, strength, health, creative thinking and overall wellbeing.
Thank you for reading.
I wish you a life of fulfillment. Sometimes, filling a glass with water and drinking is all it takes.
The Importance of 'Why?'
The question 'why?' is one of the most powerful basic questions we have, because it's at the heart of our life as human beings, because it is about purpose, one of our most core needs.
The purpose of Technaturally is:
So, why am I writing and sharing this article?
Because there are many useful, powerful, interesting and inspiring ideas that have made a huge positive difference in my life, I want to share them with you in the hope that you will gain something valuable.
You deserve a life of fulfillment.
Sharing good ideas with each other benefits you, me and others we connect with.
Since technology is one of my great passions, many of the ideas I will share here will be about how to make life improvement easier and better by using technology in various ways, whereas other ideas don't involve technology except as a means to share the ideas with you. This article is the first in an ongoing series of sharing positive ideas.
My wish is for you to take from these articles the ideas that resonate with you. To do that, I suggest paying attention to your own reactions to any of the ideas by doing this:
Some ideas may make you feel positive feelings, and you may feel a sense of harmony & resonance. I suggest paying attention to those ideas and over time integrating them into your life – I will talk more in other articles about ways to do this.
In certain cases, an idea may bring you negative feelings. This is when it somehow challenges or threatens your existing values, beliefs and/or personality type, and the negative feelings are trying to protect you in some way from the idea. In this case, I suggest still paying attention to the answer to the question “Why am I feeling this feeling?”, and it may reveal a clearer understanding of your own values/beliefs/personality type, and what you need to feel safe.
Maybe the idea really does not fit with you. Of course, then, please choose not to take that idea on board.
However, you may find in some cases that the negative feelings come about because you have underlying beliefs that are challenged, and the beliefs themselves are unhelpful to you and have been hindering you in your life. This is very common, since we all grow up learning a multitude of different beliefs, and some are helpful, whilst others are unhelpful and get in the way of our success.
If you identify that you have some of these unhelpful beliefs causing resistance to learning a positive new idea, please have the courage to allow that new idea space in your world anyway, gently, bit by bit. Doing this over and over again will gradually make your life easier, happier, more successful (whatever you consider 'success' to mean) and more fulfilling.
In future articles, I will talk about ways to replace unhelpful beliefs with more helpful, more powerful beliefs, since that is key to leading a fulfilling life.
There is a huge amount of power in asking the question 'why?' more often. There is also power in asking 'why?' again to each answer you get until you get to the heart of a matter. Each time you ask, it's like peeling away another layer and it reveals a deeper, more focused meaning behind an answer.
“I'd really like to own an electric car.”
“Oh, why is that?”
“Well, I would like to reduce the amount of pollution that I am adding to the planet, as well as having a car that feels so nice to drive. Plus, I like technology and would feel good to be an early adopter of a technology I respect so much.”
“Interesting. Why it is important that you reduce pollution?”
“Because I see that as humans we are completely out-of-balance with our world and nature, and it's causing pain and suffering to each other, to animals and it's harming our world.”
“Hmm, so I think you're saying we'd do a lot better to be in balance with our world and nature. Why is that, exactly?”
“Because balance with nature means sustainability, equality and respect for each other as people, for all the animals we share this world with, and for nature as a whole system.”
“Okay, that makes sense. Why do you want that?
“Well, I want to have a future of abundance, connection and harmony. I want to know that my life is important and brings joy to others, and also that I am doing all I can to minimise any harm I cause in the world – directly or indirectly. I want to be treated with respect, so I need to treat our world with respect.”
Do you see how asking 'why?' digs deeper and reveals more about a person's thoughts, feelings, beliefs and values?
More about who they are?
It is a great way to connect and get to know another person better, which means they are more likely to connect and get to know you better, too.
Simon Sinek's insightful TED talk 'How great leaders inspire action' gives insight into why the question 'why?' is so powerful and why it benefits us to practise putting it at the centre of our thinking process.
Watch it here:
So, as you go about your week, I suggest asking variations of the question 'why?' more often - to yourself and to others - and paying attention to what you discover: it may surprise and fascinate you!
Thank you for reading.
I wish you a life of fulfillment.