“My, what an odd title,” you may be thinking.
And you’d be right, of course. But it sounds more business-like than “Success begins in bed…” Although, that would at least ensure a following of slimy politicians.
But, seriously…Think prepping and anti-aging in the same context.
One of the great learnings of 70-years is that there are a number of “key rituals” that will help you live to a riper old age that were not taught when some of us “grays” were coming up.
OK, What’s a Ritual?
Simply things you do over and over – day after day – and they serve a useful purpose.
I like to think of my “rituals” by geolocation; where I do them.
The first ritual is sleep. We all do it, but there are some tools of good sleep that are often taken for-granted. Some examples:
- Don’t eat anything for a couple of hours before bed time. We don’t snack at night and if there’s alcohol, it is always before (or with) a meal because I read somewhere long ago that alcohol plays hell on the liver (in general) but (in particular) if the liver was trying to process alcohol alone. No, not medical advice, but just one of those things that stuck. By not drinking after a meal, you may lessen esophageal irritation, and by not over-eating – at least waiting a while – you may lessen odds of GERD (acid reflux). Eat earlier than later and sit up for at least 2-3 hours after a meal. Can’t count how many movie endings I haven’t seen, but does it matter?
- If you are stressed (and two drinks before dinner doesn’t unwind you) and your lawyer will not kill the requested problem, type some HTP-5 – which is related to tryptophan (think full and sleepy after turkey). Increases serotonin.
- If you want to work on lucid dreams, part of good sleeping is one pee stop in the middle of the night. Drink enough liquid before bed so you need to pee in about five hours. I usually have one lucid before, but the ones after the break? Wow-wee!
- General life prepping note: When native peoples need to wake up in the middle of the night for whatever reason, they will drink a couple of quarts of water. Yes, the body is its own alarm clock. (But you should know that if you’ve been reading UrbanSurvival long…)
Next Ritual is getting up;
- First time (middle of the night) involves about 5-minutes or giving myself permission to remember my dream and then I get to flush out the body…
- Second time I get up, the first order of business is always to savor or remember or learn from the dream, but then comes…
- When I’m getting up, I think in general terms about the day and ask myself a couple of solid questions:
- “What would a fully rational person do in my position today given everything I have on my plate?” This forces me to remember there’s always another choice. Normally, I avoid being that “fully rational” person,; but there are days (2 so far this week) when even at 70, there is 16-hours of “stuff” to be shoved into a day.
- “Given I’m not that rational person, what are the ‘Deal Points’ that I really ought to get done today?” This one – not surprisingly – is a whole hell of a lot easier.
By here, the aforementioned water will be demanding recycling so then comes the “dressing ritual. I used to go from bed to shower to coffee to throne-room (as it were) but I have changed my thinking. Why shower and THEN have coffee and that ever so regular visit? Well, the answer is that’s dumb. I changed up my personal ritual.
Now the ritual goes:
- Get dressed.
- Make/ swill two large cups of coffee with the pre-meal vit & med stack.
- Go write a column and stay busy until 8 AM (this will involve one or more visits to the throne). Besides the morning “blasting liquid” (coffee), this routine ensures that I go at least 14-hours a day with no food, something to follow if you have one of the Alzheimer’s genes, as both Elaine and I do.
- Breakfast at 8.
- First round of chores at 8:30-9:30, with a workout if the chores aren’t motion-oriented.
- THEN I NEED a shower and I can take a nice relaxing one with no hurries since part of my day is already done…
After the shower, a cup of “longevity tea” and then it’s “heads down” into work until 4 PM.
The n ext ritual is from 4-5 PM and that’s the two drinks ritual. We just talk with no distractions about whatever’s on our minds. What we did during the day, what’s ahead and…say, what’s for dinner? 7 times out of 10 we have the second drink with something thawing in the ‘wave.
We don’t do this once in a while. This is an every day or the week deal.
Elaine’s rituals are a bit different. Since she has a leg/muscle issue, her “waking up” includes some stretches and the like. You can customize your rituals. But, here’s the main point:
Plan Your Sleep
We are incredibly “regular” in our sleep. Even when traveling, we tend to follow “Texas Time: and eat and sleep at the same hours. By following a never-changing body clock setting, you reduce stress, or so we believe.
And getting rid of stress is one of the best ways to live longer.,
Try to figure Life into your schedule. Not the other way around.
You can thank me in 20-30 years.
OH…also critically important: keep where you sleep as dark as possible:
Read “Artificial Light at Night and Cancer: Global Study” (2016) or more recently (2018) “Long-term sleep habits and the risk of breast cancer among Chinese women: a case-control study.”
If you have medical issues (esp. breast cancer related) and your doc isn’t asking about how much light is on when you sleep, think about doctor shopping…This may all be about melatonin cycling (and hormonal response). While we don’t offer medical advice, you might consider this shopping advice.
Like I said, “Success begins in bed..” But who’d read that?
Write when you get rich,