The thing I have realized is my levels of rest and sleep depend on too many things other than just the sleeping time.
Here are my experiences.
You have to ask yourself, what kind of tiredness do I have to take care of?
At times when you are having a great time with friends, family on an event or party or day/ night out you tend to not at all feel tired. Try to pick up or do something else and your mind does not want to do so.
We need rest at various levels. The physical body needs its rest and so does the mind. There are times you could sleep HOURS but if your MIND does not go into DEEP SLEEP, then you do not feel rested. Especially, if there is some anxiety or worry in the mind that keeps it in "hyper" mode.
I hope the above highlights some aspects of the variety.
So, what do you do?
At various levels the following things affect each of the above types of rest and tiredness in different ways.
- Body - A physically tired body sleeps better and gets deeper rest
Muscles - Under exercised (lack of physical activity) vs Excess physical labor (rare for most people these days).
.. Food - The kind of food you eat will also impact your sleep
- Breath/ Oxygen / Pure/ Fresh Air - e.g. Outdoors v/s Polluted City with no trees
Mind - Is like the surface of water. It takes a while before ripples settle down. Anxiety, worry, or MENTAL ACTIVITY (e.g. Computers, TV etc) before hitting the bed carry over into less deeper rest.
Emotions - At a deeper level lie emotions.. Much deeper impact on your system and its well being
Things & Solutions that help:
- Suitable exercise, Yoga, Physical Activity (neither over nor under)
- Food - Diet, Naturalness, Quantity, Quality, Activating vs Calming etc.
- Breath - Practice Pranayamas
- Mind - Meditation, etc. (Meditation is more powerful than power naps many times)
Massage helps all of the above as well. Full body massage or self-abhyanga can calm the system down a lot.