Quality sleep is one of the most important aspects of both physical and mental health. We rest our bodies, repair our bodies, while dreaming to help interpret our lives. I’m writing this because I’ve been on a bad sleep streak, but last night I slept like freaking Greek god and I want to shout it off the rooftop.
You don’t need to read Matthew Walker’s, “Why We Sleep” in order to know that sleeping is vital for your health, you can feel it. You can feel this rush of euphoria and energy when you awake from sleeping well. On the other hand we’ve all had days where it starts with multiple snoozes and enough coffee to get an elephant buzzing. Here’s to us all catching a little bit better night’s sleep and setting ourselves up for a great tomorrow.
So let’s lay some ground rules for what it takes to maximize your zZz’s.
1. Stop drinking caffeine by noon. Caffeine has a really long half life, it’s different for each person, but safe to say stopping coffee by noon is a good measure.
2. Move your body during the day. Tired body, tired mind. Even if it’s a long walk, it helps.
3. Don’t overdue it on the booze. Heavy boozing can block that sweet sweet REM sleep, so keep it to a glass of wine or two. Pro tip: only drink if it’s really good wine or beer and it’s worth savoring.
4. Optimize your bedroom for sleep. Dark, quiet, cold room is what you want.
5. GET YOUR DAMN PHONE OUT OF YOUR ROOM! It’s like crack for some people, unlock your phone to set an alarm and your sucked into the addictive apps and bright blue light. Pro tip: don’t look at your phone for the last hour before sleep. Also you can change the settings in your phone to dim from certain times. So from 8:30 – 6 am my phone is very dim and not waking me up. Phones might be the biggest issue we’re facing, conquer it.
6. Don’t eat right before bed. Give yourself some time to digest.
7. Track that sleep! Apple Watch has a sleep tracker now, Oura ring looks really expensive but is supposed to be good at this. We have a SleepScore system that was recommended by Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reece a while back and I love it. I don’t like wearing my watch to bed, this is a little speaker looking object that I connect to every night and it measures my sleep and the different stages. If you’re not tracking your sleep and don’t have the data, do you even know what a good night’s sleep is? Probably, but what gets measured, gets managed. You can see directly what your actions did to your sleep. Super valuable, super easy to do now a days.
8. Find a good sleep supplement if you need it. I’ve been using this CBDMD tincture with CBD and Melatonin and I got to say it’s not doing it for me. Maybe one night it was great, but over multiple it wasn’t. What I used last night was 5 HTP, and it is my jam. Works very well with my body. This is supposed to relax the body and it damn well did.
There you have it, my 8 tips to a better night’s sleep. The what works for me, and I hope it works for you list. We need to have a good night sleep if we are trying to be better versions of ourselves and I hope you see some value in this.
If you want to hear from the experts here’s a free podcast with Peter Attia talking to Matthew Walker on all things sleep. There’s 3 parts, it’s very thorough.