November 16, 2019
20 Steps to 20 More Min Each Night: Better Sleep Hygiene
20 Steps to 20 More Min Each Night: Better Sleep Hygiene
Sleep is our #1 Focus for December and we could write 1k Articles on “Why” …
Do You not know how Valuable it is at this Point?
Is it a Lack of Understanding?
Or is it a Behavior Issue?
We have a few quotes about Sleep we repeat frequently at IPF:
“You don’t know how tired you are until you get Rest”
“If you are going to Sleep when you are Dead, you will arrive there first”
“Sleep makes Everything Better”
“Sleep is the only thing that Answers more than 1 Question”
“If the Top “Killers” (Heart, Stroke, Cancer, etc.) in the US all Improve Markedly with Better Sleep Habits, Why Are You Not Adapting?”
“Don’t ask Questions about Everything Else if you aren’t willing to Get Your Sleep”
“More than 8 (Doing Great), Less than 7(Getting Closer to Heaven)
Stuck in the Middle, You’ll never solve this Riddle” …
Ok, the last quote shows we will do anything to get People to try and Sleep More/Better…Which is exactly why we are writing this article, so that you can take steps to Improving your Sleep (and Health) Hygiene today!
1.) Wake-Up, set your alarm for tomorrow. No need to play with your Phone before bed, set your Alarms now, and it will also remind you what time you are going to Bed tonight…
2.) Know your “Waking Time” and Backfill! If your Goal is 8hrs, you probably need about 8.5hrs in Bed. Backfill from your Wake-Up Time and Plot your Bedtime accordingly…
3.) Know your Breakfast before you got to Bed. Your “Plan” to be efficient is built on having a System in Place. Know what you will Eat when you Wake-Up so that you maximize Opportunity to Eat Well and minimize moments spent wondering “What will I Eat, Do, etc.?”
4.) Alarm Goes Off, means You Get Out of Bed! We love our 1MinMojos at IPF, but you have 1-Min to get out of Bed when your Alarm goes off. Not to Rush, but to Start! Your Plan doesn’t call for “Lounging”, it calls for Doing, so go “Do!”
5.) Make Your Bed! This ensures 2 things: it saves you time on the backend, tonight when you are laying down, and will make it easier to get comfortable. More Importantly, you start the day with an Accomplishment, the 1st thing on your “To-Do” List is Done! Neat, Organized and Ready to Go-Vamos!
6.) Keep Caffeine Intake to before 2:00pm. Caffeine may feel like it provides a “Quick Jolt”, but it stays in your System for quite some time. The afternoon Coffee becomes the reason you don’t get “Deep Sleep” if you let it!
7.) Exercise your Demons. Or just Exercise. People who Train Regularly or even Move at a Brisk Walk for >45min Sleep much better than those who do not. Train Healthy, Sleep Healthy…
8.) Eat a solid “Dinner” (Last Meal). One that includes Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat. Going to Bed “Not Hungry” is a great way to Stay in Bed…
9.) Eat within 2hrs of “Bedtime”. Whether it’s a Snack or your Biggest Meal of the Day, Eating within 120mins of Laying Down helps ensure you stay Full and Asleep…
Room Prep for Sleep is a Huge Deal, Here are 5 Great Steps!
10. Feel = Make sure your Bed is “Set” for Success. Pillows in the right spot? Covers just like you want them? You want your Bed to be the most comfortable Destination of the Day-Set it up to be Just Right!
11. Temp = Adjust the Thermostat, Fan, Window, etc., to reflect your Ideal “Sleep Temp”. Are you a Cold Sleeper? Mild? Heaven forbid, you like it Hot? Research indicates that Cold is more beneficial for your Sleep Environment, but you need to Experiment to Know what works for You!
12. Dark = our Darkness Test! Shut the Lights Off and immediately look at your Hand fully extended in front of You: Can You See It? If you can see your Hand in the 1st 3-5secs, you need to make your room Darker! If your Hand is temporarily “Invisible”, climb into your Bed and enjoy your Sleep!
13. Noise = Keep it Quiet or Keep it Consistent! We recommend either a Quiet Environment or soothing, flowing, non-verbal, sounds or Music. Natural Sounds (Rivers, Rain, Wind, Birds, etc.), a Ceiling Fan, the AC, or whatever gives you a consistent “Noise” without words. The Brain picks-up on the “Spoken Word”, so your TV, Podcast, or Favorite Station/Playlist is probably not the right idea. Additionally, your TV, Computer and/or Phone is putting put “Light”, so plan on going a different route with your Noise (or “hiding” your Phone) …
14. Final “15” = the Final 15 are the last minutes you are awake each evening. How will you use them? Read a Book? Journal your Thoughts from a Great Day? Write or Review your Schedule for tomorrow? How will you wind down? Reading or writing (Pen to Paper) is always a terrific way to “Wind Down” and finish your Sleep Prep as you head towards Recovery…
The Big 4 ask for Reflection, Routine, Respect and Re-evaluate!
15. Reflection: Continue to Ask questions of Yourself and your Process: What has Worked for Me in the Past? What Can I do Better? How can I continue to evolve my Sleep Hygiene? Your Process isn’t ever “Finished”, it’s always Evolving to reflect the Changes in Your Life….
16. Routine: Let’s Do It Again Tomorrow (maybe even better) … Once you have laid the groundwork for you “Sleep Process”, i.e., the last 4-6 things you do each night before Falling Asleep, stay Consistent to that Routine and Practice it! By repeating the same Actions, your Body will shift into “Sleep Mode” earlier each evening so that Laying Down and closing your eyes is the final, and quickest, piece of the puzzle. A 20min Sleep Process can have you “Ready for Sleep” as you lay down. No Process whatsoever typically leads to Laying down for 20mins. Which works for you?
17. Respect: Respect the Sleep Game. In the most basic terms, You Give Yourself the Greatest Chance for Success (in School, Sports, Life) when You Sleep and Average ~8hrs each night. The Data is voluminous, and you know, down deep, that Sleep makes everything better. Conversely, you know that lack of Sleep doesn’t help anything and has the potential to make you irritable A-Hole in any situation. Your Choice, Your Actions, Your Sleep….
18. Re-Evaluate: Is it Working? How am I Feeling? Is this Pattern Effective some days but awful others? Why am I tired every afternoon? Is my Energy equal to my Desire to Improve? Every 30-Days is a great opportunity to Re-Evaluate your Process and see what is Working, Failing, Happening. Every great Process needs a Critical Eye to see what can be done to improve…
19. “What Gets Measured gets Managed”, so you must Measure your Sleep. Technology has opened up the Management of your Sleep so that there are countless Opportunities to “Organize” your Sleep. Whether via a Smart Watch or Phone, Wrist or Chest “Wearable”, bedside Device or even something as simple as Pen + Paper, there have never been more options for you to figure things out. If you do nothing else, Track Your Sleep so that you Know Where You Are!!!
#20 is really #1: Go to Bed!
- Nobody, in the History of Society, has complained about “Feeling too Good”, or being too “Well Rested”. You can spend 10min among Friends, Teammates, Co-Workers and hear “I am exhausted” 10x! Behavior Experts indicate that the last ~90min of each day are the “Least Productive” Moments for most People. We want to “Wind Down”, “Take it Easy” and Relax. Great-then take your Glutes to Bed! Just Do It! Always Remember, Feeling Better is a Decision Made by You. Go to Bed and Live Your Best Life with Energy….