Getting enough sleep is incredibly important — if you’ve ever gone through a day trying to caffeinate yourself and get by on many, many cups of coffee, you probably know how terrible it is. Except a vicious cycle continues — you drink a lot of coffee to get by, get your second wind in the early afternoon / evening and then stay up late because you have too much caffeine. As a result, you sleep late or not at all, and end up repeating the cycle the next day. Or even if you know not to drink too much caffeine, you feel absolutely terrible approximately 7 hours after you wake up (i.e., the afternoon lull) and find that you have to fight through that meeting trying not to pass out.
Where does a good night’s sleep come from? It comes from developing the right night time routine for yourself. I’m not the foremost expert in sleep but I can tell you what works for me (and I know that these practices will work for you too if you give them a shot).
Wear blue light blocking glasses
I wear glasses so I thought it would be particularly difficult to wear blue light blocking glasses that I see advertised through Twitch and other sites. I did manage to find blue light blocking glasses that clip to my existing glasses. When it turns 6 PM, I put on my blue light blocking glasses and then go about my normal day — whether it’s working on my laptop or responding to e-mails on my phone. I have to say, and it might be a placebo effect but I doubt it, I get to sleep much faster after wearing the glasses to block out blue light.
No food or drinks after 6 PM
I remember reading an article about a CEO who focuses on sleep. He eats dinner at 4 PM. No food or water after 6 PM. In bed by 8 PM. All too often, I work late, eat dinner late and then sleep late which adds up to less sleep time. You do not want to get up to pee in the middle of the night from drinking too much water. You also don’t want to sleep right away after eating.
Changing into my sleepwear recovery
One thing that I’ve been trying is the Underarmour sleepwear recovery clothing. It’s not that I work out a lot or need the recovery (though I think that’s a good side benefit) but I do think that it helps me sleep better. I find that I’m sleeping faster and for longer while wearing the sleepwear recovery clothing.
Maybe you don’t have the sleepwear recovery — instead, wear something comfortable, light weight and not too warm.
Wind down by meditating or reading fiction
In the past, I’ve read non-fiction but have been so excited and motivated by what I’ve learned that I end up staying up late. So now I’ve switched to lighter reading — fiction or poetry. But nothing too exciting. I also like to use a meditation app that has sleeping stories to help me relax — I’ll turn it on, listen to them and then lay in bed breathing and relaxing and then I’m out.
Close the blinds and drop the temperature
If it’s way too hot, I don’t sleep well. If it’s way too bright, I can’t sleep at all. I not only keep my bedroom dark but I also wear a sleeping mask. And I like to keep the bedroom very cold because I know that the optimal temperature for sleeping is a cooler temperature.
How about you? What kind of things do you do to get better sleep? Let me know in the comments about what small or weird things that you do to get a good night’s rest.