I love doing human guinea pig stories. The problem is that they tend to cause my body to fuck up in pretty spectacular ways. My attempt to go without food for 9 days caused crazy bouts of constipation, and had me wondering if I was ever going to take a dump again, while my current attempt to mess around with sleep cycles is disrupting my circadian rhythms.
Thankfully, we live in an age where there’s a tech solution for everything, even self-induced insomnia. Here are 4 possible solutions that have helped me get my sleep cycle back in check.
How: Understand your sleep cycle.
Tech to download: My Sleep Bot
While it’s unlikely that apps like My Sleep Bot are sophisticated enough to detect REM sleep, it does function as a useful sleep journal, tracks sound and movement, and lets you know how much sleep debt you’re in. Alternatively, Entrain was developed by researchers at University of Michigan to help you better understand your sleep cycle.
Eliminate Artificial Light
How: Blue light bad. Orange light good.
App to download: F.lux
Research has demonstrated that nighttime light exposure suppresses the production of melatonin, the major hormone that controls sleep and wake cycles. “Blue” light – the type emitted by devices like your laptops and cellphones- is generally considered to have the most negative effects on your sleep.
Eliminate The Internet
How: Stop going online before sleeping.
App to download: Freedom
If you’re a compulsive bugger like me, Freedom is a good way for you to impose some restrictions on yourself. You can use the app to lock access to your social media accounts, your email, or just sites that you tend to browse instead of sleeping.
How: Learn mindfulness exercises.
App to download: Various, but we suggest
Studies suggest that mindfulness meditation may help alleviate insomnia. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on breathing and anchoring your mind’s attention in the present.
There are quite a few free meditation apps on the market right now, so I’d suggest shopping around for one that you feel comfortable with. And if you’re interested in learning how to start meditating, check this out.