Tag Archives: Sleep

How to become a morning person

 

I’d be lying if I say I’ve always been a morning person.

I’m a natural night owl. After seeing that the most successful people in the world catches all the worms before anyone else does, I’ve evolved to become the earliest bird during certain periods of my life.

But for the past few months, I’ve been struggling with a vicious cycle of sleep disruptions, insomnia, daytime stress and a reduced ability to focus. I come alive at night, but pretty much useless during the day.

From my past experiences, it takes a lot of discipline and your own effort to convince yourself that tomorrow is going to be a good day as long as you plan ahead. I’m falling off the wagon (and glad that I’m not the only one), but eager to get back up again. Why? Simply because I’m healthier and more productive during the days I wake up at 5.30am.

So I’m lucky to find this super comprehensive guide to become an early bird again, as put together by the Greatist. They even have a 32-page handbook to get you more into the details.

 

39024704215c3924fc55239e791afb54

 

Alrighty then. I’m going to take a warm bath now. I’ll take this slow.

 
 
 
 
 


Stace

 
 

via Pin Up DarlingsGreatist

 

Baby, it’s cold outside…

 
 
Brrrrrrrrr. Looks like the common cold is coming.
 

l-Cute-rat- Image courtesy of Cutest Paw

 
 
 

Stay warm :)

The rain ain’t gonna stop falling.
The snow ain’t gonna stop falling.

So fallfall yourself to sleep …
AND YOU AIN’T GONNA CATCH A COLD.

 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

Update #3: NISIM F.A.S.T. shampoo and conditioner

*UPDATED* I apologize for doing this review with the interference of my personal life. I’ve gotten rid of it – and now here’s a more comprehensive overview of NISIM’s products!

 

 

Please refer to this post, on 2 weeks after using NISIM F.A.S.T. shampoo and conditioner, and this one, 4 weeks after using the products.

Today is exactly 6 weeks since I started using the products.

Again, compare my photos from the beginning till the end.

 

Didn’t seem to grow that much, do they? :(

 

 

I gotta confess: For the past 2 weeks, I haven’t been doing as the instructions told me to do so (as I did on the previous 4 weeks). There were times within these last 2 weeks I was so busy I didn’t leave the conditioner even for a minute before I quickly washed it off. I also used the shampoo only once (when the instructions tell you to do twice) before you use the conditioner, whereas in the first 4 weeks I’ve been religiously following those instructions, in addition to good diet, great sleep, and using my leave-in conditioner. I also haven’t even been applying my leave-in conditioner for the past 2 weeks, except maybe once.

I haven’t had lots of sleep. In case you didn’t notice, I put on extra concealer under my eye to hide my black under eye circles. It’s more obvious on the second photo.

Just in the previous entries, these pictures are taken in the morning after I woke up. I believe on my first entry, my hair was a bit more than 9 inches. In the second entry it was almost 10 inches, and now it’s still almost 10 inches.

So that’s still a much longer hair growth than the average growth of half an inch per month.

It’s humanly impossible for hair to grow shorter, unless you’re losing hair. And if you do, I suggest you start thinking of getting biotin supplements, like the one that I’m taking now from GNC. I find that the biotin content, with the addition to eating enough protein everyday, helps your scalp to grow more voluminous hair. Also I have to give credits to NISIM F.A.S.T. shampoo and conditioner for having less to no hair falling out when I brush them now. I started taking GNC supplements long before I use these products from NISIM, and during that time, on a daily basis, I can see strands of my hair pulled out as I brush them, and they would fall miserably to the ground. Considering how much stress I’ve been lately, it’s amazing that I stop falling out my hair, and I can safely say my hair is at its strongest.

However, according to my picture this morning, I’m pretty much not growing any hair for the past 2 weeks :( On a side note, though, I guess this is just because your hair behaves differently every morning when you wake up.

Overall, I think NISIM F.A.S.T. shampoo and conditioner does help in hair growth, although if you’re not one of those people who wash their hair everyday like me, I do not promise whether it will work for you. The instructions specifically said that you must wash your hair everyday, therefore using both the shampoo and conditioner everyday. This is the instructions as I quote from their website:

 

 

Fast shampoo and condtioner works best when it is used daily. Shampoo: Wet hair, apply shampoo and work into a rich lather. Scrub entire scalp thoroughly and rinse with warm/hot water. Repeat. Conditioner: After shampooing apply the moisturizing conditioner onto hair and massage in thoroughly. Allow conditioner to permeate the hair for 1-2 minutes and rinse with warm/hot water. Style as usual.

 

 

 

Like I said, for the past 2 weeks I’ve only been using the shampoo once, and I did not wait for the conditioner to be absorbed into my scalp for a minute or two like I did during the first 4 weeks I’ve been using these products. Besides this factor, clearly the fact that my lack of sleep completely affects the hair-growing hormones I’ve been expecting and watching the results for those 4 consecutive weeks.

Now I learned that sleeping is a huge part of human hair growth, just because that’s when the human growth hormone levels, or better known as hGH levels, are at its peak the moment when your mind starts to relax and your body’s about to go into a deep sleep, i.e., REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. When you merely close your eyes for the night and wake up to the restroom every 2 hours, that doesn’t count as sleep. When your tinging head gives you headaches throughout the day and all you feel is anger, stress hormones (namely cortisol) affects the production of your body’s GH levels. (See: Growth hormone (Wikipedia)).

Even though I’ve been eating well everyday, diet isn’t as much a big factor as sleep is, because getting enough sleep means regulating a healthy metabolism. Even while still supplementing my diet with GNC products, it is proven here that nothing else will work if you don’t get your quality time of sleeping.

I would buy these products again and is recommending others who are desperate after a bad haircut to use NISIM F.A.S.T. shampoo and conditioner.

Periodically massaging your head with olive oil, coconut oil, and essential lavender oil helps stimulate your follicles to grow too, but do it only when you’re ready to go shower as your hair will become really greasy. On an important note, I conclude and strongly emphasize that if you want to grow your hair longer, faster, these are the most important things you must be doing: Do get your sleep, and when you do, sleep well. Minimize and cope with daily stress, and commit yourself to eating healthy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muchaluva,
Stace

Food Diary: Get your sleep!


 
 
 


BREAKFAST

1 whole avocado

golden apple

1/3 c sliced mango

 

MID-MORNING SNACK

chicken sandwich

 

LUNCH

jajjangmyeon

jap chae

 

WATER:  4 liters + innumerable little cups of green tea and other teas

 
 

***

 
 
 

Notes:

 

  •  I just want to let people know, or remind those who already know, the fact that if you starve all week, you won’t die. But if you don’t get your sleep for a whole week, your body will reject your soul.
  • I know it’s too deep for a food diary footnote!!! But I’m serious anyway. I have a thing for people getting lack of sleep or disrespecting the necessity for a human being to sleep.

 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

What I’ve learned so far as a student

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May 2012

 

 

I can’t believe it’s already May. At this time of the year last year, I was utterly depressed, just relocated to another neighborhood (which is different from the present), and almost gave up school.

Today, this year, a week from now, my spring semester is over. A week after that, I will be walking down the stage in my cap and gown to receive my graduation certificate (blank one, since I’ll still be taking classes through the summer). I’m not that depressed anymore, I’m still stressed, but the healthy kind. I think I learned better at managing stress and controlling my emotions over the year, largely thanks to God for sending me the perfect angel at the perfect time last year, in late May, when I first met my boyfriend.

Anyway, for the last few weeks that I’ve been hiding in my room to keep working on my final art pieces, I haven’t got the time to go out. I missed the world when they’re watching The Avengers. I’ve always been in love with superhero movies, but at the moment my leaving school is first priority. While it’s taking 3 months of my life left, I want to focus on making it useful for me later in life. I know I’m not pursuing this professionally, but still, it’s worth to consider it when all else fails.

Over the years, I found 2 different types of artists. The talented ones, and the hardworking ones. The talented ones are more deadline-oriented, while the hardworking ones need to put much more effort in a larger amount of time to produce a great piece. They will both have the same level of result. The talented one naturally loves art; the hardworking ones depended on their strong character to keep going and achieve their best. They are driven by improving their character so that they’re able to produce great pieces. The talented ones, however, are driven by their intentions out of each individual piece they’re working on and just get in the flow. Of course, nobody’s ever absolutely either one of them. We’re always in-between these two types of artists, or workers, for that matter. But after being 5 years in college, I learned that focusing on improving your character is the best way out. Because a) you’ll have a stronger character in other aspects of your life, and b) your works will remain consistent. You’re not influenced by the ups and downs of external motivations, but you’re driven by your passion from the inside.

You might think that I’m talking about certain people I actually know. Yes. As I was describing both types of artists in the last paragraph, I have 2 friends in mind. Both girls are very well-received in my school department, but in different ways. The talented one is known for her quality of work alone. The hardworking one is known for her, well, hardworking-ness. Whatever you ask her to improve, she will do it. Whatever you ask her to do, or to help you, or just anything aside from making art, she’ll do it, without the grunting.

She goes well with the saying:

 

 

 

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think she’s a very admirable character. I look up to her not because of her art, but her character. She’s my bench mate in class and also a devoted daughter of God.

Also, over the last 2 semesters that I’ve bounced back up from my depression, I learned that being creative matters. Creative people are generally open-minded and open to new things. However, beyond creativity is perspective. Sometimes, we want things to go a certain way and we’ve prepared everything so carefully for it to happen. But it didn’t. And the best way to get out of that negative feeling is to see what you can learn from that experience. Open-mindedness teach us to learn from experience. Creativity can only do so much – when we’re in love with our final pencil rough revisions and get ready to move on with the coloring the piece, sometimes, your whole cup of coffee may just spill on the line drawing you’ve spent more than 3 days to do. It’s tempting to complain; but nothing’s going to solve the problem, especially if you have a deadline.

Every week from the last year, I do more complaining about the difficulty of each assignment than I actually put more effort into the work. That doesn’t help. The only solution I found to the problem is to write everything I want in a private diary during my breaks, and then just keep on doing my best with the work. That’s when I realize that when you’re in art school, you need to be more equipped with your character much more than developing your skills, because skills can always develop but to keep improving, you need character to move pass the skills and keep persevering.

I really admire that hardworking girl I mentioned. I won’t give out any form of identity here, but that she inspires me a lot to be a better person.

Anyway, there’s another third girl who’s talented AND hardworking, and during the next 7 days of our final week, she will sacrifice all her sleeping time everyday. Now that’s just plain crazy. Or maybe I just love sleeping too much to sacrifice it, and she loves art so much that she can sacrifice her most basic human need of all to function properly in our everyday life – sleep.

It’s a matter of perspective, creativity beyond perspective. What can you learn from the reading experience out of this post?

 

 

 

 

Muchaluva,
Stace

Give in and trust

BLOG

January 2012

 

 

 

sophie-s-worldI’m excited about my current addition to the library, Sophie’s World, the Norwegian classic written by Jostein Gaarder. This is officially the first novel I’m reading in 2012.

The question of Who are you? have fascinated philosophers, religions of the world, and many other curious people for ages, which is a central theme to the book. As we read the pages, historical answers to this question begin to surface, as answered by the geniuses ever lived in the past. Through Sophie’s journey of discoveries, she answers the question in the only way that is meaningful to her, and that’s my purpose of choosing to read this book.

I had one of the best sleeps I’ve ever had last night. I think it’s because I leaned on Him before I go to sleep. So then I woke up this morning and asked myself, What can I give today? What can I give the world today, just the Creator has given in abundance?

I spent the afternoon still brainstorming for more ideas about my logo design assignment for my boss. In the end I came up with 5 distinct looks in addition to what he asked for, 3 designs. He said that’s okay, so I guess that’s okay.

I spent the later afternoon reading the first few chapters of the novel, and then I fell into one of the greatest naps I’ve ever had in my entire life, maybe the last time like this was when I was a child.

I have not given that much today. But I have. I believe it’s not enough just yet, but it’s definitely enough to comfort my friend today so that it prevents him from doing something stupid tonight. What have I given there? I’m not sure, but I think I put my trust in him that he won’t do anything stupid to himself.

Trust. That’s what I have living inside me since I came to existence. There’s a living thing, a Spirit inside me guiding everything in light and darkness. It’s not exactly a voice, but a feeling. A nonjudgmental feeling that helps me navigate through life with all decisions I have to make. Maybe that’s what they call confidence. Sometimes, they say I need to tune it down and be humbler. The truth is, many times, I think I don’t deserve a lot of things that I have. Scientific studies, however, show that self-esteem is never a factor of how well or how worse you will do in life. What matters is self-discipline and self-control. I talked about it with a friend, and I immediately knew that I’ve got the perfect solution for this problem: “Take what’s yours at the right moment.” Most of the time, when your ego overruled His Kingdom, you speak of things you don’t mean. So, I figure, maybe trusting the living Spirit is the best way to show that you’re a confident person.

The worst thing I found out today is that my dad has been having high blood cholesterol and triglycerides levels in his body, and that letter was received in 2006, 6 years ago. I see that he’s a bit smaller in frame this year compared to back then. I caught him eating bananas in the middle of the night too, which is a much better decision than eating all that candies we placed just beside those bananas in our house. I don’t want to give my dad too much pressure anymore financially. I’m finishing school real soon, and then soon I’ll be out making money on my own. I already am, but I think I can do it on my own to support myself. Later on in life, I still have a tiny hope that my dad and my mom will take care of each other, settle their problems they’ve had in these 20+ years, and renew their love that can be as healthy as their daughter. In the meantime, I have a responsibility to make myself happy and healthy. It’s no use for me to worry about things that haven’t happen or might never happen right now.

I hope my dad’s doing better. He has always been the one encouraging me to do things I love, things that I am passionate about.

I think I can give passion in abundance to the world. I can show that passion through my writing.

Happy reading, as I happily read my new novel. Then get some sleep after that, because sleep does really great things for you.

 
 

You’ll Be Nicer.
Exhaustion takes a toll on your morals, according to a recent study in the Academy of Management Journal, which showed that a lack of sleep increased deviant and unethical behavior and made people more rude.

 

 You’ll Be Sharper.
Shorting yourself on rest ages your brain by four to seven years, say researchers in London. Middle-aged women who slept fewer than six hours a night tallied scores on memory, reasoning, and vocabulary that resembled those of senior citizens.

 

You’ll Live Longer.
Chronic insomniacs are more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who sleep well, according to new research in the journal Circulation. Other studies have linked lack of sleep to a higher risk of dying from a stroke and developing breast cancer.

 

You’ll Be Slimmer.
Women who slept five hours or fewer per night were 32 percent more likely to experience major weight gain over 16 years, according to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology. “Too little sleep causes an increase in ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone, and a decrease in leptin, which helps you feel full,” says Northshore Sleep Medicine’s Dr. Lisa Shives.

 

You’ll Look Better.
It’s called beauty sleep for a reason! Swedish researchers took photos of people when they were well-rested and then again when they were sleep-deprived. Strangers rated the plenty-of-z’s shots as more attractive.

 
 
 

I certainly feel a lot better after having a great sleep and a great nap consecutively. You can too.

 

You can read the original FitSugar article on the benefits of sleep by clicking here.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

SLEEP for at least 8 hours + CRUNCH 20 times, day and night

BLOG

November 2011

 

 


Stacia’s personal challenge of the week is sleeping for at least 8 hours a day, then crunching her midsection for 20 times, 2 times a day, to suppress symptoms of depression. To see her upcoming challenges, check out her challenge of the week page under the Agenda tab.

 

 

OK. Honesty is the best policy.

I totally failed this challenge.

Hold on right there. It doesn’t mean I didn’t sleep or I didn’t do crunches at all.

Of course, my no-sleep days are over by now. Those were the worst of the worst nights. I still get great sleeps this week, just not enough. Not the recommended 8-hour-a-day sleep. Far than 8 hours.

So, last weekend, starting from Friday evening till Sunday night, I went on a retreat with the peeps from my church. The main theme was “Character is Destiny”. Here are the objectives, according to the flyer:

 

1. Character growth toward Christ (Hebrew 1:3)

2. Managing critical point in self, in order to win from struggle and sin (Rome 5:3-5)

3. Strengthening the destination of life, to acquire the maximum of Christ’s character (Ephesians 2:!0)

 

The guest speakers for this retreat are specialists of the human character, personality, and core temperaments. Yes, you can say that it involves psychology, neuroscience, or whatever you want to call it, and each of us were given about 30-minute personal consultation based on our character in order to determine our destiny.

First night we arrived, we were late. This is a classic characteristic of an Indonesian. Generally, our whole group were divided into four people per room, and the four of us girls stayed up until 4 in the morning just talking. You know, girls. We talk. A lot.

And the next night, obviously I was exhausted. I was happy to have high hopes and determination for my destiny though, after a one-on-one session with my consultants. I went to sleep at about 1 in the morning and was still exhausted the next day.

Anyway, that’s the point. I didn’t get much sleep last weekend.

Obviously, I forget doing my crunches, since I didn’t have a specific time I set to prepare myself to sleep. It didn’t become a habit at all; so I just did my crunches whenever I remember to do it. I didn’t manage to do it everyday, because I do forget. But crunches do help ease the pain of daily stress. So I love doing crunches.

Anyway, that’s that when it comes to this week’s challenge.

Let me get more into the whole retreat.

 

***

‘I am Christ’

 

During the first session, we were given sheets of questionnaires and MCQs about our daily behaviors and preferences in life. The answers are the foundation for the consultants to read our character as a whole, for the purpose of our consultation later on. Then, one of the speakers chanted, and wanted us to chant: “I am Christ.” This helps to remind us that inside us lives Christ. Because more often than not, we forget. And we get lost in earthly things.

Christ lived by good habits. He rises up early, prays day and night, doesn’t eat meat, fully exercises faith, and communicate with Father 24/7. God is always there, 24/7. It’s just how we respond to Him, or do not respond to him, that shapes our life, and that makes up our character. Character is, therefore, the right response, the Christ way of responding to conditions, situations, and all the things life has to give. Time, therefore, is witness. That is the only role of time’s existence.

There are a few signs of a person losing sight of his/her destiny. They are:

 

1. Confused

2. Lazy

3. Wasted

4. Empty

 

Now let’s look at Ephesians 2:10:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

 

Right there. We are created for good works. And we are His living work of art. And the truth is, I’ve been feeling like all of that for the last 2 years or so. But it’s changing somewhere in the middle of this year, and I’m still recovering, replenishing my soul, receiving my hopes from God, as an exchange for my promise to Him, that I shall prove Him right. Because I do believe He does exist in my life, and that I am gifted and were equipped with a vast amount of potential waiting to manifest itself in my life. Believe it or not, He gave me influential powers to prove Him right but I spend most of my time questioning why he chose me to be the one who’s so strong.

 

***

Mercy is magical

My consultant revealed to me the same thing as I did believe. And that makes me yet even more determined about the power and authority I have over my will. But, in the meantime, I’m still battling the 3 enemies inside me, which exist in all of us:

 

1. Desires of the flesh

2. Desires of the eyes

3. Arrogance and the ego

 

(1 John 2:16-17) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

 

And the ONLY way to tackle all 3 enemies is MERCY.

I guess this is a lifelong learning process, to have mercy in all kinds of people, to witness the eyes of Jesus in every one on Earth. It’s a difficult process, yet it makes our souls divine, like Christ.

I somehow suspect that sleep, as a daily review of our life, as the mind awakes at night and our physical body goes to sleep, is a full communication and communion with God – a wonderful, magical experience I will never understand. It doesn’t mean I neglect the growing body of studies in the science of sleep, but it just means that I have a stronger faith and less self-doubt in moving forward in life, trusting whatever may come in the process of learning how to be better and better each day, through the comfortable experience of sleeping, dreaming, imagining better days ahead, and living those tomorrows today.

 

***

He keeps His Word to me

 

So the question is, how do you know whether you are living your destiny? Simply said, whatever you do, you:

1. Enjoy, and it’s all

2. Easy.

And I’m telling you, writing is my purpose. Putting down history to tell the world the passing moments we are going through right now will never again happen twice in the history of the  universe, that’s my purpose.

A definite sign of myself getting mature is that I have learned to be less dependent on people but more dependent to God. He told me, for all of my days, that “I am your only refuge. You have My Word that I will always be here right beside you, inside you, very close to you.” And Jesus told me “I am the only living person who is willing to die for you and I give My love freely for you BECAUSE BELIEVE ME YOU ARE WORTHY. Don’t ever forget that.”

 

(See: Depression, depression…You’re such a killer.)

 

___

Pssst. You wanna know a secret? My boyfriend reminds me of Him, so I’m trying to depend more on him too. How can you not be touched when you are given unconditional love?

___

My consultant made sure I know the fact that I had tremendous strengths. Even though I’ve never known a father’s warmth (long family story), I am made to be able to know His love, despite not fully understanding Him through Christ yet. Then he reminded me that my dad on earth is temporary, but my eternal Daddy lives above. Nevertheless, they believe as I do believe that I am the only glue and the only hope and the epitome of love for my family, holding them together and bringing them back to believe in beautiful things – love, a good family, and a beautiful portrait of us.

Another point to remember is: Stick to my community. Stick to people. Stick to Christ and never let go of His hand. Reveal the fact that I am His masterpiece, or else, if I lose sight of my destination, my character makes me the ultimate destroyer, a self-destruction, and it’s hurtful for everyone.

And I don’t want that.

Because when you’re alone, you see nothing, no God, no life, then you kill yourself, and killing is a sin, and that makes you go through the most direct shortcut to hell, you’re not proving that you’re worthy even on earth, much less in heaven.

I learned a lot from giving up sleep this week.

But the price is… I gained weight… Oh no! They serve buffet all the way and I ate to my heart’s content.

So that makes the next challenge just that: Eating 1500 calories a day. That should be easy, considering I do crunches to distract myself away from food, prioritizing sleep, and that I’m really busy with school, especially now that it’s toward the end of the semester!!!

 

 

 
Muchaluva,
Stace

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