Did you have a good night’s sleep last night?
Did anything that’s going on now prevent you from sleeping well? Are you generally sleeping well, or does mental chatter influence the quality of your sleep.
Some people always sleep well, no matter what’s going on in their life. I’m not that person. I’ve always slept light, and if something bothers me, sleeping gets harder.
Why do I tell you all of this?
Because today, March 18th, is World Sleep Day.
Sleep Day may not have been the first thing you thought of this morning when you woke up, but that’s why it may matter even more.
If you’re one of those, no matter what, sleepers, this insight may not be for you. But if you struggle with a good night’s sleep frequently or even if just irregularly, this post is for you.
Provided you want to do something about it.
Let me start with a disclaimer that I’m not the resident expert on sleep; I haven’t studied for it, I’m not a doctor, not a professor, nothing like that.
I just have a lot of experience with sleeping.
I do it every day for a significant number of hours. I easily reach the 10.000 hours of practice that Malcolm Gladwell claims are needed to get to a mastery level.
But so do you, so we have a master-to-master dialogue here.
My opinion is as good as yours; feel free to ignore mine, but I have a few things to say. I also had the privilege to experience some teaching by Els van der Helm, the founder of Shleep (www.shleep.com).
Here’s what I learned.
There are more lessons out there, but these are the lessons that made sense to me and stuck with me:
Consistency is key. As much as you can, try to go to bed and wake up more or less at the same time every day. That includes the weekend. It’s better for your body if used to a steady rhythm. You feel less rested with big fluctuations. Sleeping in during the weekend makes it worse. It’s proven.
Leave your phone out of the bedroom. Don’t go to bed with your phone, and don’t wake up with it. It helps to unwind gradually. Your phone is a distraction from what you’re trying to do. And the blue light it creates doesn’t help your sleep either. Getting your screen time down is anyway good for you.
Eat healthily and eat wisely. Leave a maximum amount of time before you go to sleep, so your body can digest.
Buy good curtains. I sleep light, but since we invested money in curtains that darken our bedroom completely, I sleep significantly better. It’s a good investment.
In the end, we all want to do our best work during the day, whatever that means to you. A good night’s sleep is a good starter, and the tips above will help you with that.
And a final little tip from a sleep master.
Take 15-minute power naps. They energize provided you don’t extend them longer, or your body will go in deep sleep mode.
Your turn: How do you sleep?
Do more of what makes you happy! Sleep better!
What are you waiting for?
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