Let's face it: today, we live in a highly interconnected and digital world.
We are supposed to be available almost 24/7, running around with our cell phones, answering texts and emails and watching YouTube videos late at night.
Sleep is often seen as an obstacle, many times neglected and not taken seriously. Nowadays, most people can’t wind down and sleep in well at night.
Let’s consider some stats from the US National Sleep Foundation...
Did you know that 48% of Americans report insomnia occasionally? What’s even stronger is that 22% of them say to have insomnia almost EVERY night.
Aren’t these numbers crazy?
Nevertheless, research shows that quality sleep is a critical factor for success and well-being. A good night's sleep strengthens your immune system, boosts your metabolism and raises your energy levels for a productive next day at work.
If you CAN’T fall asleep at night and this happens regularly, you risk all kinds of health issues, including obesity, diabetes, depression and even cardiovascular diseases.
You can work your way around.
In his book “Sleep Smarter”, Shawn Stevenson recommends 21 proven strategies to optimise your sleep. The principles of this book have been applied by high-performing entrepreneurs such as Tim Ferriss, Lewis Howes and Pat Flynn.
Below, I will explain the three most important strategies, using two fictional characters: Jim and John.
To be clear: Jim does everything wrong and doesn’t sleep well. John does things right and sleeps like a baby.
Ready? Let’s go.
1. Absorb more sunlight during the day.
Jim doesn’t allow natural daylight to hit him after getting out of bed. He stays inside most of the day.
As a result, he not only has difficulties waking up, but finds it challenging sleeping in at night.
This is because of the sleep hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone your body naturally releases in the evening — around 6PM — to get you ready for sleep.
As Jim doesn’t get outdoors during the day, his body’s natural rhythm gets confused. The result is a drop in the production of melatonin. Therefore, Jim risks the quality of his sleep.
John, on the other hand, understands and respects his circadian rhythm or biological clock. He knows that human beings have evolved to get up when the sun rises, and get to sleep when it goes down.
So, the first thing John does after waking up is getting exposure to sunlight. As a result, his body starts to release the hormones cortisol and serotonin, which tell his body that it is time to get up and become active. In addition to that, the sunlight exposure boosts his melatonin levels at night, setting him up for a good night of sleep.
Key message: Expose yourself to at least one to two hours of natural sunlight every day.
2. Say goodnight to screens before bedtime.
Before Jim goes to bed, he finishes the remaining work of the day on his laptop while watching television. Because of this, he often faces difficulties falling asleep.
John, on the other hand, realizes the danger of these electronic devices. He knows that the screens of his mobile phone, laptop, and television emit artificial blue light.
Research has shown that exposing yourself to artificial blue light 2 hours before bed can suppress the natural production of melatonin. As you remember: this is the hormone that makes you ready for a good night of sleep.
So, two hours before bedtime, John holds a complete shut-down. He switches off all his electronic devices and puts them in a separate room. In this way, he allows his body to produce optimal melatonin levels and get ready for a great night of sleep.
Key message: Instead of watching television or YouTube videos, opt for reading a book, taking a bath or having a chill conversation with your family, spouse or friends. You will sleep better.
If you find it hard to make this transition, you probably need to train your self-discipline muscle. to read a book summary on Brian Tracy’s work “No Excuses: The Power of Self-Discipline” and train those muscles!
3. Focus on 'money-time' sleep.
Jim often stays up until 1AM to finish work on his laptop. He rarely goes to bed before 11PM, which makes him feel drowsy and lethargic the next day.
John, on the other hand, knows that 'money-time' sleep happens between 10PM and 2AM. He has learned that the body releases the most beneficial hormones during these hours.
One of them is human growth hormone. The release of this hormone is a critical part of the repair and restoration function of sleep. In other words: the real rejuvenating reward of sleep is find between these hours.
Every day, Jim sets his alarm around 8:30 PM, winds down and makes sure he hits the bed before 10PM. As a result, he feels well-rested the next day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is Anthony Perez. I'm the creator of book-success.com, an online platform for personal development and business book summaries. I always believed in self-education. By absorbing the thoughts and ideas of the smartest individuals on this planet, you can truly move forward in life. My mission is to deliver these key insights to you. In that way, you can grow and prosper in all life areas.
Sleepenvie is a Canadian online mattress-in-a-box and bedroom lifestyle brand that focuses on customization, convenience, and charitable contribution.
We make the mattress-buying process easy by delivering it directly to your door in one easy-to-handle compact box. We strongly believe in customizability, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. An easy one-minute quiz matches you to the ideal mattress for your lifestyle and sleep habits.