Most of my life I have had major problems with insomnia. Naturally I have tried anything and everything under the sun to help myself fall asleep and wake up feeling like I actually got some... sleep that is... or the other thing, that would be nice too. In the first quarter century of my life it was a miracle if I wasn't running late to school, missing a test in college, showing up late to work, or missing an early flight because I had slept through my alarm after spending most of the night failing to fall asleep because I was afraid that I was going to do just that or not get any sleep at all. How I've gotten beyond my insomnia is a whole other problem that requires a much more in-depth article for a later time, lets crawl before we walk so we don't fall flat on our faces too many times. Shall we?

One of these late nights I had an AHA! moment while worrying that I wasn't going to wake up for a very important Thermodynamics exam (I was failing the class at the time so the worry was in full force). It wasn't as world-changing as Einstein's lightbulb that led to the Theory of Relativity but still pretty amazing for a guy that wears T-shirts that he gets for free. I realized if I drank a bunch of water I would be forced to not only wake up in the morning but get out of bed and go down the hall to do a number 1, or in a worst case scenario I would wake up in a puddle of my urine, but I'd still wake up. Like Allen Iverson I've never been one for too much practice, but this is one of the many situations that have taught me practice has its merits. The next morning I did wake up to go to the water closet. Only problem was I drank the water at midnight and woke up at 4am, went back to bed and proceeded to sleep through both my alarm clock and my cell phone alarm that set around 6am for a 7am exam. Yeah, I drank too much water. Needless to say that was the only class I have ever dropped.

After about a month of practice I got to the point that I could gauge how much water I had to drink to wake up at a given time based on the following criteria in this order. First, how thirsty are you as you are going to bed and how much will you drink? I.E. how much fluids have you consumed since the last time you urinated? If you've had plenty of water it won't take much, like a quarter of a pint glass, and if you haven't had anything to drink I'd go for a full glass to a glass and a half depending on your size (I'm averaged size for a white male in the US to give you some bearing). This is what we will use to wake you up. The second criteria will help you to dial in the time that you wake up and this is the rate at which you consume the water. I've chugged a glass and a half that woke me 2 hours later. On a normal night I'll slowly drink a quarter to a half glass while brushing my teeth and reading a book before falling asleep to wake up 6 hours later. Play with it and before you know it you'll have it dialed in and you won't even realize it.

Now that we've gotten you out of bed it's time to keep you out of bed. First, something that doesn't involve water is stop pressing snooze! Snooze is like heroine.... it's wonderful, addicting, and destructive, probably in that order, and you look like you shot up after hitting it 4 times. Yeah, I know it sounds hard, but you don't have to quit it cold turkey, you can shoot up with ice water to satisfy your urge like Anthony Kiedis in "Scar Tissue". So here's your ice water syringe in a glass, well I actually prefer room temp. This time I don't care how big or small you are, or how thirsty you ain't you are going to chug an entire glass of water the second you wake up in the morning. After doing your dues and drinking your water go ahead and lay down in bed after you press that snooze button, I dare you. I give it about 5 to 10 minutes before I'm wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. How does that work you may ask? We've all heard that you should eat breakfast 30 to 60 to 90 minutes (depending on the source) after waking up to kickstart your metabolic system.  Well essentially we are "tricking" our bodies into thinking we have eaten and there is something in our stomachs that we need to digest so our blood gets pumping and innards moving to collect the lovely morsel. Do I have a published scientific or medical article to reinforce this statement? No, and if you find one, congratulations... you probably could have experimented on yourself in a shorter amount of time then sifting through the internet to come to your own conclusion. If a sugar pill worked to cure cancer solely because I thought it worked I'd take it. 

By now your all probably saying WTF mate! I want to know how to lose 5 pounds. Well I just told you. Miraculously in the first week that I started chugging a glass of water in the morning I lost 5 pounds as a bonus! Now I was probably over my ideal weight by about that much, so what could it do for you? Just be sure to keep eating breakfast or use some of Tim Ferriss' tools in "The 4-Hour Body" to eat great and lose weight for if you don't eat breakfast you may actually be making your body think it needs to store some of the energy from the food you eat later as fat since your body isn't sure when it will get its next meal. Just remember to keep a glass of water by your bed, chug it in the morning, and see where it takes you. Enjoy your water and your body I sure do.


Allen Iverson on Practice

Embodiment: The Manual You Should Have Been Given When You Were Born
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