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  • Shane Dillon

The Sleep Routine and Intermittent Fasting

Why are we told to eat three meals a day? Why are we told to get at least eight hours of sleep each night? Why are we told to wash our hands after using the bathroom? Shouldn’t we wash our hands before and after? Okay, that might have been a bit much, but I think you get the picture. We are all different, and sometimes there are alternative methods to maximizing our happiness and potential in life.

My Sleep Schedule

I am all about thinking a little differently to optimize my life. Currently, my sleep schedule is a little wacky. At night, I sleep from one in the morning to seven, getting six hours of sleep. Then, in the afternoon I take a thirty-minute siesta when I get home from work. I have found this sleep schedule optimizes my day because I am most productive at night. We’re all different and it is important to figure out what works best for ourselves.

Sleep is something we do about a third of the day. For whatever reason, we have bought into the idea of eight hours of sleep each night. Most of us are lucky to get that, but it’s our goal.

Sleep to me is one of those variables in life that needs to be challenged. I am not saying to see how little sleep you can get. Why do we accept the eight hours/day sleep schedule without question? I have discovered that sleeping 5-6 hours at night and taking a thirty-minute nap in the evenings makes me more productive and more energized. This schedule works best for me. You may find a different sleep schedule that works best for you. We’re all different!

Challenge the Norm

We grow up forming habits that other people have already developed for us. For whatever reason, we take it on faith to be true. Take the liberty of challenging these habits. Stop for a second and think about what other patterns in life may not necessarily make sense to you.

For example, the Spanish eat five small meals a day! In the USA we eat three rather large meals a day. I’ve tried both ways and the results were both very similar. I always felt sleepy because I was eating more than I needed, and more often than needed. My digestive system was always struggling to catch up with my eating habits.

Intermittent Fasting

About six months ago I discovered intermittent fasting. Basically, intermittent fasting is eating whatever you like from the hours of 12:00 to 18:00, then not eating anything for the other sixteen hours of the day.

I’m not a nutritionist or a health doctor, so please don’t try this without doing your research and talking to your doctor.

What I found is that intermittent fasting has stabilized my weight to what it should be. I weigh 165 lbs, which is the ideal weight for my height. And I have more energy. The energy being used for all that digestion is now available for me to be more productive.

Intermittent fasting is not a new thing. It has been around for thousands of years. Like my sleep schedule, I decided to change my eating habits to optimize my lifestyle. Lo and behold! My life changed for the better.

We are each individual with different schedules and habits. If something in your life doesn’t seem like the right fit, try something else for a bit to see if it makes you feel better.

Just make sure to do your research and talk to the necessary physicians before trying anything extreme.

I will tell you what is not healthy. Sitting at a desk 8-10 hours a day. Eating big meals three times a day. Having bread at every meal. Drinking a few beers every night while camped out in front of your TV. Not exercising.

The human body is designed to generate energy, not store energy. Our muscles were designed to work, not sit.

The need for material possessions and laziness have invaded too many of our lives. It may be time to re-evaluate our lifestyle and make the decisions that will make us happier and healthier.

Action Item:

Are you always tired? I felt this way and it led me to re-think my sleep schedule and eating habits.

On a piece of paper, make two lists. One list is for foods that make you feel good and the other list is for foods that make you feel bad.

After each meal or the end of each day, make a note of the foods that optimized your day and ones that slowed you down.

For example, I used to eat hamburgers and fries a couple of times a week, but it always made me feel horrible. After a while, I smartened up and stopped eating them.

The key is learning to be conscious of how we treat our mind and bodies.

Reading Material:

The Way of the Iceman: How the Wim Hof Method Creates Radiant, Longterm Health by Wim Hof, Koen De Jong

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