Hey Farnoosh! Thank you so much for the comment. 🙂
Wow, 4:30am?! Now that’s what I call an early riser! I’ve been struggling to develop an early-rising habit myself, but I need to stop trying and just do it!
As for how much sleep, I’ve found that our bodies naturally tell us how much sleep we need (assuming we’re not confusing our body with caffeine or late-night eating!). I’ve heard that younger people need more sleep and older people need less. I’ve also heard the amount of sleep varies between 6 hours per night and 9 hours. (Through experimentation, I’ve discovered my own optimal number is 7 hours.)
Everyone also has different, but specific, sleep cycles that can vary from 40 minutes to 3 hours. If you wake up in the middle of your sleep cycle, you’ll wake up feeling groggy and very tired. But if you wake up at the end of your cycle (even if you haven’t gotten enough sleep for the night), you’ll wake up feeling somewhat refreshed and awake. Like you said, sleep is a whole topic unto itself!
Your other suggestions for healthy living — yoga, loose-leaf tea, not oversleeping, not giving into negative thoughts, and eating raw foods — are an absolute must!