Shane Dowling : Sleep as the fundamental habit

Leo Babuta describes meditation as the fundamental habit, the underlying habits beneath all others. Personally, I disagree. I wrote recently on how I cope with meditation when you haven't had a particularly good nights sleep.

Realistically washing your face is like taking painkillers after a serious injury, it's only painting over the cracks of a deeper problem. Meditation and mindfulness truly can unlock the potential of your day, but a good nights rests can even more. Sleep is a physical process that underlies every waking moment. So to actively take the time to develop good sleep habits should improve every other aspect in your life, including meditation.

I only began to appreciate a good sleep routine when it was gone. Four months of hopping from towns, cities and countries has destroyed my good sleeping habits. I can't remember the last time I slept in the same bedmore than two nights in a row. I return to a more permanent base soon enough but even now I'm trying to develop a rough sleep routine.

Analyzing your sleep patterns and logging how you feel is a great way to discover what works for you. How many hours do you need? When is your ideal wind-down time? Be curious about it. To help I found Sleep as Android and Pzizz, they're very helpful but just being curious and exploring your sleeping patterns can do wonders for your well-being. Nailing down a good sleeping habit has been one of the biggest fundamental improvements I've made, everything flows from there.