Hey Guys! This is a BIG One so buckle your seat belts!
How good does it feel waking up after a stellar night of sleep? Not many things match up to it, am I right? Waking up feeling energized and ready to take on the day, man that’s nice. On the other hand, life’s tough if you’re lacking sleep. Sleep deprivation is crazy; depriving oneself of sleep leads to obesity, depression, low sex drive, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and so many more, that’s not even including the fact that it affects one’s appearance too.
When you are deprived of sleep you are unknowingly setting up a steel cage match between your will power and your biologyShawn Stevenson Author Of “Sleep Smarter”, Host of “The Model Health Show”
It’s true, I used to be the Red Bull drinking, late night T.V. Watching, goofball that thought the difference between good and bad sleep was luck. My brain and body were functioning at 50% for a quarter-century of my life, without me even realizing it. Because that was what was normal for me.
If you read my previous post, you know how much I love a good morning routine. It sets you up for Epic days. Well, there happens to be one secret ingredient in the personal mastery recipe that I believe to be just a little more potent than a morning rountine, and that is Quality Sleep. I say this because I can’t even enjoy a good morning routine if I’m doing it half groggy and with a brain that feels like a shriveled up raisin.
Why am I so passionate/obsessed about sleep? Because there really is no worse feeling than waking up in the morning with a beautiful day ahead feeling like a bag-o-horse-dung from the poor sleep the night before. Not to mention, it’s also frustrating not knowing what you did wrong. It came to a point one day, after living 26 years with very mediocre sleep, that I was fed up with not knowing why or how I was feeling the way I was in the morning. So, I set out in search of answers. And boy did I find them. There’s so much research out there about the power of quality sleep. I’m fortunate to say that after not-so-much difficult research, I’ve been able to implement some simple and easy changes into my daily routine to increase my ability to experience restful sleep. And I’d like to share those with you beautiful Beings.
As always, I ask that you don’t take what I’m telling you as the right way and only way to find deep quality sleep. No, no, this is not what I’m here to do. I’m here to share. This is not a lesson, a lecture, or anything else of those sorts. This is simply a friend sharing with another friend. I sure hope this helps you out in some way. If not, it’s all good. We are all dancing to our songs of Truth and if my 90’s rock jam that I’m playing doesn’t resonate with you, then just skip to the next track and I’ll get you the next time around. Here’s some tips, I hope you enjoy.
I also want to throw a disclaimer out here for y’all. None of this should be taken as medical advice, I am not a doctor nor plan to think of myself as one. I give much respect to all those medical professionals out there though! You guys are rockstars. Yeah, I just want to say, although most of the things I’m sharing have been backed up through science and research, I’m only sharing them because they’ve worked for me.
1. Creat A Sleep Sanctuary
Your sleep environment plays a huge role in your body’s sleep-wake cycle. Encourage your body to wind down when it’s time and stay asleep until morning.Bulletproof.com
Before I started traveling, I was no Feng Shui expert, addmitaddly , I still am not. I’m no interior designer either. But, having stayed in hundreds of bedrooms throughout the years of travel, I’ve learned how to take an ordinary room and make it into a “Peace Haven” simply and quickly. With the use of candles, nice music, and sage/incense, I’ve learned how to enhance the ambiance and peacefulness of a room pretty easily. Growing up and throughout my early 20’s, I would make my bedroom the “entertainment hub” of the house. I recognize now, how stupid this was of me and explains why I struggled with low energy levels, without even knowing it. Now-a-days, I NEVER bring work or writing projects to the bedroom. I also never turn the light switch on in the bedroom after sunset because of the “blue light” exposure. And my lady and I, do a pretty damn good job at keeping the bedroom a tech free area. No tech allowed, only nice sounds, smells, and lighting. These things really enhance the relaxation process. So, go out and bring forth the inner sensual ambiance master that hides within you.
2. Increase Sunlight Exposure
I’ve observed that the earlier I can get sun on my face, the easier it is for me to melt into bed at night. I try to wake up in the morning and as soon as the sun comes out, get outside for a morning walk or workout. I want to point out, that I understand how blessed I am to be able to be in an area of the world where I’m able to do this. I’m very aware that there are some area’s of the world that sometimes don’t get sunlight until 9-10am for 3-5 months of the year..cough cough..Midwest, United States. 😉 For those, try and make sure you get sunlight exposure as soon as you can in your day. Even 9-10am sunlight exposure will definitely increase your ability to experience deep, restful sleep at night. And if the sun’s not coming out on that particular day or week, exposure to artificial blue light, meaning the light that is emitted from those handy computers, tablets, and phones will do the trick. Just be careful that you don’t expose yourself too much throughout the day and/or too late at night. This will cause for many imbalances, one of them being the ability to fall and stay asleep throughout the night. And quick side note, throughout the day, make sure you give yourself just a couple minutes of sunlight exposure. This will help massively.
3. Caffeine Smart
I, personally, really enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the morning (with a teaspoon of Lion’s Mane). I listen to music and just feel the warmth of the of cup-a-joe in my hands. I smell it, smile, and just let myself fall into the creative state of Presentness. It’s so nice. We all know that caffine later in the day is probably not the best idea for a good nights sleep. The Journal Of Sleep Medicine did a study that found that caffine being consumed inside of 6 hours before bed negatively affects sleep quality. So, anything past noon is going to affect your sleep that night. Even if you don’t feel like it affects you falling asleep, it definitely affects the type of sleep that you experience and will keep you from reaching the deep stages of sleep. I know it’s hard to put down that afternoon cup of coffee for some out there, but in all honesty, the only reason you need that afternoon cup is because of the lack of deep sleep that you obtained the night before. Start out by staying away from caffine after noon, you will then create a cycle of good sleep habits.
4. Move During The Day/ Activity
Being active during the day helps prime your body and mind for deeper, more restful sleep. But the type of activity and timing are critical in maximizing physical and emotional well-being.Bulletproof.com
I’ve detected, on days that I don’t move, I have a much harder time falling asleep, and staying asleep that evening. If my schedule for the day calls for a full day of writing, I make sure that I get out and enjoy at least 2 walks, usually morning and evening of at least 20 minutes. This movement does wonders for me. Even though, I would say that my perfect day consists of an hour of 5am yoga and meditation, a sunrise walk, writing during the day, workout in the afternoon, meditation and a walk with my lady at sunset. I’ve come to understand that some days my body needs to more than other days. On these days, I make sure that I get my morning, lunchtime, or evening walks in and my sleep cycle stays all good.
5. Eat Right/ Nutriton
Eating the right things at the right times helps you perform at max power through the day and slip easily into a restorative state at night. On the flipside, the wrong foods, missing nutrients, or even a late meal can throw off your entire night.Dave Asprey Founder Of Bulletproof
There’s many ways that I’ve incorporated nutritional hacks into my daily routine to ensure grade-A sleep at night. One way, is that I make lunch my biggest meal of the day. Secondly, I’ve also made a time curfew of no eating 90 minutes before I want to fall asleep. This is for many reasons, mainly science based research. I can say though, that growing up I was a snacker, I took part in the snacking quite often. I noticed how this led to less quality sleep. For that reason, I’ve made the 90 minute curfew for myself of no eating. There’s also certain foods that you can eat 3-4 hours before bed that are high in melatonin and may help you fall asleep. These foods include rice, oats, asparagus, tomatoes, corn, walnuts, and flaxseed, just to name a few. But each person is different so if none of these foods feel like they work for you, don’t force it.
These days, since I’ve become a full time Guide and Writer, I literally have no reason to be wearing shoes. 100% of my day is spent either barefoot or wearing grounding/earthing sandles. Yes, this means I am barefoot when I go to the grocery story, walk around town, and even work out. Basically, the idea behind grounding/earthing is that the earth emits a naturally frequency that balances out our natural body cycle and hormones. We can expose ourselves to this frequency by being barefoot or wearing earthing sandles. Grounding is basically re-connecting our bodies to “The Mother-ship”, that is the earth. So, remember to take those shoes off and walk around outside barefoot for just 10 minutes. Your natural body cycle will thank you.
7. Sleep In Colder Enviroments
Growing up, I found myself rolling around in my bed at night in a puddle of sweat, waking up the next morning angry and tired. It’s no fun. The quality of my sleep is reliant upon the temperature of the room I’m sleeping in. I’m always looking for ways to keep my core body temperature lower. Even if that means jumping in a cold shower for 2 minutes before bed or not eating big meals at night, I’m doing it. Countless studies back this up as well, colder temperatures lead to deeper sleep. So, next time you get the chance to choose leaving the window open or closed at night, take into consideration this tip.
All and all, everything that I do throughout my day now, is centered around one idea and question, what time do I want to fall asleep that evening? I plan all of my work, meals, workouts, and meditations around when I want to be sleeping by.
Boom! There we have it, y’all. Wow, I’m realizing that I really do have an obsession with sleep. I’m also discovering how much I appreciate writing these posts. I enjoy them, in large part, because I Love sharing with you, the readers, what has worked so brilliantly for me. All of these tools have changed my Life for the better and I hope they will for you also, only without having to go through the process of extensive and sometimes frustrating trial-and-error. I want to take a moment to express my gratitude towards the leaders in the research of sleep; Legends like, Shawn Stevenson (modelhealthshow.com), and Dave Asprey (bulletproof.com) and many others.
I also want to Thank You for reading. This was a long one, I know. Thanks for sticking around. As always, feel free to reach out and leave a comment or send an email to say hello. If you’re really getting something from these articles, donations are more than appreciated; just click on the donate button at the bottom of my page or on the top right of my main page. You guys are awesome. Thank you for allowing me to share. Always remember to… B R E A T H E.