The cold hard truth is you are probably sleeping wrong. Yes, I said wrong. The good news is that you can start making changes tonight as soon as we teach you how to sleep better. One of my mentors and best friends, Shawn Stevenson, released his phenomenal book Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to A Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success.
Let’s keep this simple: you are doing yourself a disservice by not reading this book. Just one tip I shared made a dramatic difference in my life. So, just imagine what 21 tips will do! So, here you go, watch the video below, and start working these tips into your life tonight.
How to Sleep Better – 10 Tips (+1)
I challenge you to implement at least one of these tips on how to sleep better in your life tonight. A well-rested mind and body makes life so much easier to live. Are you up for the challenge? Leave me a comment if you are.
Here are the 10 Tips on How to Sleep Better in summary for you. If you want to read more, just scroll down or click on the tip:
- Know the Value of Sleep
- Get more Sunlight during the Day
- Avoid the Screen
- Use the Blue Light Blocker
- Have a Caffeine Curfew
- Be Cool
- Get to bed at the Right Time
- Sleep on a Quality Mattress
- Make it Midnight
- Create a Sleep Sanctuary
- The Bonus Tip, click here to see it…..
Tip #1 – Know the Value of Sleep
Most people don’t get enough sleep simply because they truly don’t understand the benefits they’re getting from it.
So what is sleep? And why is it important?
Well, defining sleep is a lot like trying to define life. No one completely understands it but, of course, we have a dictionary definition….
Sleep is (actually) defined as a natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body, in which the eyes usually close and consciousness is completely or partially lost, so that there is a decrease in bodily movement and responsiveness to external stimuli.
Lots of big words, but the most important takeaway is that it’s a natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body. If you’re not doing it, then you’re being completely unnatural, and that is just weird!
If you’re like me, I know what you are asking: what are the real benefits?
- Sleep rebuilds you and keeps you youthful
- Fortifies your immune system
- Balances your hormones
- Boosts your metabolism
- Increases physical energy
- Improves the function of your brain
With all the essential benefits that sleep is giving you, you will never, I repeat NEVER, have the body and life you want without giving your body the right amount of sleep.
Tip # 2 – Get more sunlight during the day
One of the most vital things that induces great sleep is your body’s natural secretion of a hormone called melatonin.
The production and secretion of melatonin is powerfully affected by light exposure. Sunlight provides the natural spectrum of light that we need to help coordinate the cycle of melatonin production. Let’s make it simple…..
Get more light during the day, less light at night, and you’re on your way to having a magic sleep formula.
Tip # 3 – Avoid the screen
Don’t hate me, and I know I need to take my own advice here.
This is likely the #1 thing you can do to improve your sleep quality immediately. The artificial “blue” light emitted by electronic screens trigger your body to produce more daytime hormones (like cortisol) and disorient your body’s natural preparation for sleep.
Computers, iPads, televisions, smartphones are kicking out a sleep-sucking blue spectrum of light that can give you major sleep problems.
Want to sleep, turn off all screens a full hour before bedtime!
If you want to give your body the deep sleep it needs, make it a mandate to turn off all screens a full hour before bedtime. If you ignore this and continue to have problems sleeping, I promise you the Kardashians are not going to pay your hospital bills.
Tip # 4 – Use a blue light blocker
Extenuating circumstances come up,
(NOT FACEBOOK) and you may need to be on the computer later than you want. This is where cool advancements in technology can come in to help smooth things out. On my Mac, I have a free application called f.lux that automatically reduces the problematic blue light from my computer screen at a certain time each day. Apple automatically has the same feature built into iPhones now, which is called Night Shift.
Again, the best solution is to shut down the technology at least an hour before bed if you’re serious about getting great sleep. But these are tools you can use that can definitely help you out along the way. The glasses I recommend you wearing are these ones.
Tip # 5 – Have a caffeine curfew
Caffeine is a powerful nervous system stimulant.
If your nervous system is lit up, you can forget about getting high-quality sleep. Set an unbreakable curfew stop time to make sure that your body has time to remove it from your system.
For most people, it’s generally going to be before 4 p.m. However, if you’re really sensitive to caffeine, then you might want to make your curfew even earlier or possibly avoid caffeine altogether.
If you are like me, this may seem like a challenge. However, if I can do it, so can you. Join me in the No Coffee After 4pm Club, and we can support each other.
Tip # 6 – Be Cool
I hate sweating when I sleep, and it never results in a good deep night’s sleep.
Something called thermoregulation strongly influences your body’s sleep cycles. When it’s time for your body to rest, there is an automatic drop in your core body temperature to help initiate sleep. If the temperature in your environment stays too high, then it can be a bit of a physiological challenge for your body to get into the ideal state for restful sleep.
Studies have found that the ideal room temperature for sleep is around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above 75 or below 54 will likely cause some difficulty sleeping.
Tip # 7 – Get to bed at the right time
This is key! You can literally get amplified benefits of sleep by sleeping at the right hours. It’s been shown that humans get the most significant hormonal secretions and recovery by sleeping during the hours of 10 pm and 2 am. Let’s call that your “Money Time.”
You get the most rejuvenating effects during this time, and any sleep that you get in addition is a bonus. This is based on the seemingly lost realization that we humans are a part of nature. When the lights go out on the planet, that’s a cue from the universe that it’s time for us to turn our lights out.
Today, however, we can trump nature and light up our house like Times Square. We can be up until 3 a.m. in a fluorescent light laboratory of a home and not even realize it.
That is abnormal. We are designed to go to sleep when it gets dark. So, if you’ve made a habit of ignoring this innate law, fix it tonight.
Tip # 8 – Sleep on a quality mattress
The average person spends ⅓ of their life in their bed. That is a LOT OF TIME.
Conventional mattresses are pretty much full of nasty, toxic chemicals and made of materials that are linked to a huge list of serious health complications including:
- SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
- Reproductive toxicity
- Respiratory problems
- Skin irritations
- Cancer, and more
Not a conspiracy, it’s insane how much marketing is done to hide the fact that our mattresses off gas so many chemicals that we breath for 8 hours a night. Just to name a few……
- Petroleum-based material that emits VOC’s
- Formaldehyde (linked to asthma, allergies, and lung cancer)
- Flame retardants (linked to cancer and nervous system disorders) such as PBDE’s, which were very recently banned in many countries. Unfortunately that’s not much help since other equally toxic chemicals are easily used instead, without any real regulation for health hazards.
- Boric Acid (roach killer)
After months of research and testing, our family decided on our favorite Safe, Non-Toxic and Non-off gassing bed, Intellibed (Coupon: Caveman). We have slept better than ever and we can sleep soundly for the next 30 years knowing we are supporting our health.
Do yourself a favor, stop sleeping so intimately with chemicals and watch your life change.
Tip # 9 – Make it Midnight
It’s a well established fact that we sleep better in a dark environment. Yet, so many people aren’t taking full advantage of this.
Having light sources of any type in your bedroom can disrupt your sleep patterns including the LEDs on your alarm clock. Even using an eye mask is not going to be 100% effective for most people.
Did you know that your skin actually has receptors that can pick up light? If there’s light in your bedroom, your body is picking it up and sending messages to your brain and organs that can interfere with your sleep. The best solution is: Black it out!
Get some of the now popular “blackout” curtains that are available from most retailers. In addition, get any other sources of non-stop light out of your room too. Do this one thing tonight, and I promise you that you’ll thank me for it tomorrow. Sleep experts suggest that your room should be so dark that you can’t see your hand in front of your face.
That is right adults (and children), no more night lights.
Personally, this is the one thing that INSTANTLY had a beneficial impact on my sleep. I blacked out my bedroom and have been getting the best sleep of my life ever since.
Tip # 10 – Create a Sleep Sanctuary
If getting rejuvenating sleep is a high priority for you, then you need to take some essential actions to treat it as such. The bedroom should be for two things primarily…
- Not Sleep (children read this blog)
Stop making your bedroom the entertainment hub of your house. And NEVER bring work to bed with you. No TVs, phones, tablets, fighting or any negative associations.
Humans are creatures of habit AND habitat. Our 10-year old daughter knows that when we go into her bedroom at night, it’s sleep time.
If you create the environment where miscellaneous activities can take place in your sleep area, you are not creating a neuro-association that it’s time to sleep when you go in here. You may think that you are a big “grown-up” adult, but we are all just super size babies with the same basic programming.
Make your bedroom a sacred place where peace, calm, and relaxation are overflowing. When you walk into a sleep sanctuary, it’ll be easy to peacefully drift off to your dreams.
Bonus Tip – Get up early
As Benjamin Franklin said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
Ironically, one of the best things you can do to improve your sleep is to get up early. This goes back to the fact that humans have had certain patterns of sleep and wakefulness that we’ve only (within the last hundred years) found a way to override.
By waking up early, you start the process of helping your endocrine system link up with the diurnal patterns of the earth. Get up when the sun rises. You might start off having a challenging time, but after less than a couple of weeks, your body will adapt to that pattern and have you feeling more rested and refreshed when you wake up.
You can get out of the old pattern of being up at night “tired and wired” by being early to rise and having a natural release of cortisol and going to bed earlier and taking advantage of the natural release of melatonin (that we talked about above).
So Now What?
This can be a lot of information and the easiest way to accomplish amazing sleep is to tackle this list and the rest in Sleep Smarter one by one.
I can’t overstate the importance of Sleep so please, RIGHT NOW, make a choice to start improving on it immediately. For anything you have questions on not covered in the book, go follow Shawn Stevenson and listen to his podcast.