How is your sleep? Not just the quantity, but also the quality? Sleep impacts everything. Our mood, our health, our ability to gain and lose muscle or fat, our function at our jobs, our ability to live out our calling… The list goes on. It is not a badge of honor to run on as little sleep as possible. Let’s protect our sleep at all costs and improve it starting today!
1️⃣ Protect your circadian rhythm. Get light early in the morning. Outside if possible, but use a light therapy lamp if not. I posted about a good one here. Power down electronics at night. We all know that the light emitted from our electronic devices is disruptive to our circadian rhythm. It’s best to avoid them 30 to 60 minutes before bed. I know this is difficult, but when it becomes a big enough pain point, you will be willing to try it. Find something else that you enjoy to take its place so it’s not as much of a struggle. This is a great opportunity to practice another new healthy habit like reading, meditation, or prayer. For more ideas and help on this, head here.
2️⃣ Set a schedule and routine. Get your body used to specific times of going to bed and waking up. Think about when a toddler does not get adequate sleep on their set schedule… We are really no different as adults. We may have the ability to refrain from having a meltdown externally, but it still happening internally. Have a bedtime ritual just like you have a morning ritual. This will signal to your body to prepare for sleep.
3️⃣ Create the right atmosphere. Temperature, sound, and light are big keys. Most of us do much better with falling and staying asleep when it is cooler in the room. Some people prefer background noise, others prefer quiet. Whether you need music or earplugs, is up to you, but implement what works best. Try to block out as much light as possible. Even if you wear a mask over your eyes, research has shown that there are light receptors on your body in other places (even👂🏼and🦵🏼!) which can disrupt your circulation rhythm. Make sure you’re comfortable. A good quality mattress and the right kind of clothing (or none at all for some people) make a bigger difference than you might realize. Also, things like a weighted blanket and an eye mask may also help.
4️⃣ Calm your mind. Try not to do anything too stimulating before bed. Instead do something relaxing. For some people, avoiding caffeine after mid-day may be necessary. This just depends on how fast of a metabolizer of caffeine you are. Use lavender on your sheets (unless scents bother you).
5️⃣ Supplement wisely. Supplements are just that—an addition to doing the right behaviors first. However, they can certainly have a role. Things like GABA, magnesium, Kava, Valerian, melatonin, etc. can be excellent for calming your mind and body in preparation for sleep. I like magnesium glycinate because it is not harsh on the G.I. system. Metabolic effect and Now brands both make a good GABA supplement. I prefer melatonin at lower or even microdoses so that it helps enhance your body’s natural sleep cycle. Too much can turn off your body’s natural production and cause further problems.
1/ Do you struggle with sleep?
2/ What is your best tip for better quality sleep?
P.S. If you are interested in working on a specific habit and need someone to help you troubleshoot, keep you motivated, and hold you accountable, I offer coaching a variety of ways, which you can learn more about here. My specialty is habit change and my approach is to work on mindset alongside the habit, so that it is healthy and sustainable, and this is best done via 1:1 Coaching which you can learn about here. Whether it involves your health, finances, nutrition, exercise, relationships, or personal growth, habits are the key to success. We are the outcome of what we repeatedly do. Without addressing that, there can be no change. Learn more here!