How To Win At Sleep
Okay, so the last 2 weeks we talked about the importance of sleep. This week’s post provides our power-packed solutions!
We all know that doing anything requires motivation. And, though this post tells you what to do, those first two posts provide enough background to get you motivated to follow through with today’s action items.
Remember how we talked about sleeping pills allowing you to access only light sleep, but not deep sleep and REM sleep?
Listen, would you go to the hairdresser and tell her to skip the toner?!
But seriously, those last 3 stages of sleep are the MOST important.
Sleep isn’t some sort of time-out where you disconnect from your daily life. And it’s not just about getting rest or trying to be alert the next day. Your life is built in DAILY increments. EVERY day counts. During that REM sleep stage, you process your life… your thoughts and emotions. If you don’t process them daily, they will spin out of control as they are left to thrash about in your brain and take over your nervous system.
Worst of all, you CANNOT hear your Inner Champion – your soul! – trying to speak to you!
Try the following for the next 21 days:
DIGITAL DEMONS. According to a 2015 Consumer Mobility Report survey, 71 percent of people keep their smartphones by them while they sleep. Yup, those digital devices are oh so useful during the day. But at night? Pure evil. Just stop for a moment and actually pay attention to how your eyes and head FEEL when you’re gazing at that harmful blue light that’s amplified by the darkness in your room. Artificial light reduces melatonin production, which is absolutely VITAL for regulating your sleep cycle. No melatonin, NO SLEEP! So, by the time the sun sets – at least 1 hour before bedtime – you should:
- Put your TV, phone, computer, and iPad AWAY.
- If you must access the device after dinner, put on a pair of blue-light blocking glasses 2 hours before bedtime. However, you MUST take them off and put ALL devices away 1 hour before bedtime. (Here’s a link to the glasses that I have.
- Don’t let the SNOOZE Give you the Blues. Set a FIRM time to wake up. If you’re randomly using the snooze button, STOP!! Hitting the snooze button reinforces the “I can’t do it” mindset. You’ll find yourself waking at a different time each day. This is how the snooze button insidiously breaks down your discipline and strips your mind of the incentive to fall asleep quickly the next night.
- STRESS YOUR BODY, NOT YOUR THOUGHTS! Exercise isn’t just for fitting into those paint-on jeans! Remember the Yin Yang concept we discussed last week? Well, the same applies to your physical energy: your excess energy must move outward.. NOT inward. If you don’t do this, the excess energy WILL go inward and start thrashing about. You MUST revere the energy that is flowing through you. If you don’t, it will damage you. Think about it: when this energy marinates your brain, your ruminative, stressful thoughts, will get supercharged… and so will your stress level! So, what do you think, your brain is just going to somehow turn off those supercharged thoughts?? Physical exertion is the key. Besides all of the positive hormones that your body produces when you physically exert yourself, exercise reduces the production of the bad ones, too. Because you exercised, that excess energy won’t be internalized and then less stress hormones – such as cortisol and adrenaline – will be produced by your body.
- EXERCISE CAN BE EASY, TOO: WALK! Brisk walking increases the brain’s production of endorphins, which are the chemicals that relax you, improve your mood, and act as natural pain-killers when needed. Pain-killers? Yes, that’s how powerful endorphins are! With each passing year, humanity invents new conveniences that cause us to move less. So, you must WALK whenever possible. Not only does this provide a physical release, it allows you to contemplate solutions and hear your Inner Champion’s guidance. There’s a reason why the likes of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg put so much emphasis on this when problem solving! So, put that excess energy to use by walking…and then sleep like a baby at night.
- Keep a small JOURNAL. This requires a little bit of effort, but you will find that the amount of effort it requires decreases with time. Why is it important? The most amazing thing about being human is our capacity for conscious thought. Conscious thought allows us to CHANGE anything we want about ourselves. But, and here goes that Yin Yang business again: conscious thought is a potentially vicious double-edged sword. Let’s put it to work FOR us. Take your little journal and write down any negative thought or life problem that pops into your head, so that it can be consciously scrutinized. If it is a negative thought, follow it by writing a belief that empowers you and is more in line with reality. (Yes, that bad thought about yourself is almost certain to be unrealistic!). If it is a life problem, ask yourself – your Inner Champion – to provide the next step or a solution…. and then wait. When your mind is quiet, your Inner Champion will deliver that solution to the front of your mind. Write it down. Use this process to iteratively solve any life problem.
- Put that Journal to Work on Building Your Life. BEFORE BED, review your journal entries for the day. Instead of focusing on the problem, VISUALIZE yourself waking up FULLY RESTED the next day and then ACTING on the potential solutions that you have written down…. as well as the solutions that will come to you while you sleep. Do NOT focus on the problem… focusing on the problem will simply cause you to laser in on and magnetize all of the potential bad outcomes that could happen if you don’t get to work on solving it! Focus on SOLUTIONS.
- Try our bedtime spray. When it comes to supplementation, always check with your doctor first. But, there are some natural sleep aids that work. In fact, we created one! It's a dermal, all-natural sleep spray that has been a hit with our clients. You can find out more about it by clicking here.
So, give it a try, and let’s put those worries to bed!
Shakespeare put it best…. “Innocent sleep. Sleep that soothes away all our worries. Sleep that puts each day to rest. Sleep that relieves the weary labourer and heals hurt minds.
Sleep, the main course in life’s feast, and the most nourishing.”