One of the questions I’ve heard most often from people with miserable sleep lives is this:
How can I wake up rejuvenated, having slept deeply, and not need multiple cups of coffee just to be barely functional in the morning?
The fact is, the answers are pretty simple. I know, I can pretty much hear you rolling your eyes as I write that, but it’s honestly not that hard. Just bear with me and let’s break it down to 3 main goals:
- Get on schedule. Make habits of waking up at the same time every day, going to bed at the same time every night, giving yourself at least an hour without electronics to unwind before sleep, and cutting out caffeine 8 hours before the time you need to fall asleep, etc. This isn’t the sexy “sleep hack” kind of advice, but it works, and it’s advice that you’ll find anyone happy with their sleep has factored into their lives. One of the big theories about why this works is that it gives us consistency in terms of light and darkness exposure in our schedule. And on that note…
- Avoid the light. Have you ever pulled an all-nighter or started a road trip before the sun came up? You probably noticed that as soon as the sun started rising, you started to get a rush of energy. That’s how we’re wired biologically – our bodies respond to light – and even seemingly harmless things like streetlights that bleed into our shut windows or alarm clocks with blue or green numbers can make a substantial impact on our sleep. There’s a lot of science to digest here (and we’ll cover it in a more in depth article soon), but the short version is: avoid blue lights (computer, tv, and phone screens) in the evening, beware all those tiny LEDs, cut out as much light as possible but use red/orange lights if you absolutely need to. If you can’t get rid of some light, check out our next goal…
- Love your bed. Do you do work in bed? Then it probably stresses you out unconsciously. Do you watch tv in bed? Then it probably keeps you excited, waiting for the next big bit of action or drama. Your bed should be a sacred place that’s only for relaxing and sleeping. Make it as pleasant as possible – clean, comfortable, inviting (if that means making the bed every morning, then do it!). Don’t forget to be cool – with fans or some type of temperature control. And if you just can’t get the room dark or quiet enough, a sleep mask and ear plugs are a very affordable way to get a good night’s rest.
Like I said, simple. If you focus consistently on improving these 3 areas of your life, you will see an improvement in your energy levels and sleep quality. In fact, you’ve probably heard all this before. So why haven’t you put these into practice yet?
Because simple doesn’t mean easy, right? That’s why over the next few weeks I’m going to be rolling out my completely free course on creating and implementing an Optimal Sleep Blueprint for your life. We’ll have a private Facebook group that you can join to ask questions, share what’s worked for you, and help keep each other accountable so change can be easy.
If you’d like to be notified the instant the course is ready and start taking control of your sleep habits, click the button below to pre-register. You’ll get early bird access to the course and maybe a few other bonuses along the way.
Please share your success and struggles with changing your sleep patterns in the comments below. If you have questions, I’ll do my best to answer them here or in an upcoming blog post.
Want to learn more? Check out this study on the effects of electronic lights on our daily schedules. Participants were taken to the wilderness with no sources of light and the results were pretty startling (enough that NASA took notice).
Featured Image is 215/8: Good morning Molly by Loren Kerns.