I used to have HORRIBLE sleep. I was tired ALL DAY. Felt sluggish, hella cranky/moody etc. I was getting 4-5 hours on average. And wondered why I was irritable, snappy, depressed and extremely negative.
How you start your day is just as important as how you end your day. Have a solid routine for both. Think of it as a ritual that you must do everyday. If the longevity and quality of your life is important to you, than you will sacrifice some stuff you want to do in order to get better sleep.
Listen, if I could I’d stay up all night watching movies you better believe I would. But I got shit to do, clients to train and that is my living, so I need as much energy and focus so they can get the best of me with my undivided attention.
How did I change that? It took some time, but here is my routine that has changed the way I sleep. Now, I wake up feeling rested, better than before and have more energy through the day:
Each night I do my best to accomplish 80% of this list:
1. Meditation – am or pm. Focus on breathe.
Helps clear the mind from all the noise and stress in our life. When the mind is clear it can relax and rest.
2. Eating curfew
No eating at least one hour before bed. Stay away from heavy carbs, refined sugar and spicy foods.
3. No alcohol
Which raises your heart rate and will affect the quality of your sleep. Often times quality is more important than quantity but both would be ideal for a good night’s rest.
4. Limit caffeine intake
Limit to one cup a day. No later than 12-4pm depending on how sensitive you are to caffeine. Yes I know, extremely hard. What helped me was my fast which gave me a break from coffee which reset my baseline. Now a small cup of coffee in the am is all I need. Coffee detox?
5. Screen curfew – 1 hour before
No blue lights 1 hour before. Yes phone AND Netflix. The blue light resets your circadian rhythm and your body actually thinks it’s daytime.
6. Take magnesium – 1 hour before
Improves sleep quality. Helps body and mind relax.
7. Read (fiction, story based)
Helps body get into relaxation mode. I find when I read stories my mind slows down and it’s a trigger for me that bedtime is near.
8. Foam roll (focus on breathe)
Just like a massage. Full relaxation and recovery of the muscles. The body goes into parasympathetic response which = rest.
9. Dark and cold room
The body sleeps best when the room is dark and the temperature is turned down. So get some black out curtains if you have to. Turn over your phone or place in a different room and get to sleepin’.
Also (which I can write about in another journal entry.) Herbal teas, CBD, are other things to name a few to help you fall asleep. I decided to write things that you can do right now that don’t require anything but yourself and some self discipline.
Plan to get ready for bed, aim for the same time, so that you are getting minimum 7 hours of sleep. Most importantly, you have to believe that will get good sleep. Going to bed thinking your going to have shitty sleep means you will have shitty sleep. Have a positive outlook towards it, take the necessary steps to change and you will, with time, get better sleep.
Getting into a routine where you go to bed and wake up around the same time is huge. Obviously can’t always be the case but try your best to adhere to it.
You can Accomplish so much more when you sleep more. More sleep = longevitiy and quality of life. It also allows you to access your full potential. When you’re sleepy your more hungry and you can make very poor nutrition decisions. It affects mood, metabolism, anxiety, depression , weight loss, just to name a few.
I had one client whose starting weight was 355 lbs. After a few months and lots of hard work with exercises and nutrition we dropped just shy of 300 lbs. But no matter what we couldn’t break the 300 mark. He worked 3 jobs and got 4 hours of sleep. For the entire time we were training him I begged him to get more sleep. He said he didn’t need it. I asked him for just 5 days of 7 hours of sleep. We shook on it.
And guess what? After the 5 days of sleep he broke the 300 lbs plateau! We made it to 295 lbs. How? When the body doesn’t get enough sleep it doesn’t release a chemical called leptin which helps regulate the control of hunger and metabolism. The decrease in leptin brought on by sleep deprivation can result in a constant feeling of hunger and can slow down your metabolism.
Yes, this seems like a lot, but if sleep is important to you then you will do, at least some of this, in order to change your situation. Once you get into a routine it becomes second nature and it becomes easy. It requires a bit of work in the beginning to instill the habit but once you do you’re golden. I know you can do it. If you’re always tired and complain about it. But make absolutely no change, then how do you expect things to change? That’s on you.
“Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is insanity.”
Complain LESS, take action NOW and watch your life change.
Grateful for you.