Life without sleep...It's rough right?
We've all been there. Laying on our back, staring at the ceiling, and counting down the hours until the alarm goes off and we, by some miracle, grind through the following day.
Let's put those nights behind us. Let's commit ourselves to more, higher quality sleep.
Not just to avoid the sleepless nights, but for the physical, mental, and emotional benefits. For better productivity, quality work, and relationships.
The Circadian Rhythm
Getting good, high-quality sleep on a regular basis is all about establishing your circadian rhythm.
To do that, we need to attack it from both ends- bed time and wake up time.
Bed time- first, establish a no-screens rule past a certain time. It should be 2-3 hours before you go to sleep. That means no phones, laptops, tablets, or tv.
Next, establish a lights out time. Let's say 10 pm.
The key with these will be consistency, so do your best to keep these times the same on all days of the week.
Wake up time- set a consistent wake up time, and stick with it. To really get that circadian rhythm established, do Between 5-15 minutes of light exercise as soon as you wake up (ok, you can pee first).
I like to toss the kettlebell around, but light body weight exercises, brisk walking, jogging, etc will work great. This is to get the heart and day time hormones pumping.
You may be asking- Mitch, if I cut off screens at 7, what am I supposed to do until 10?
The answer is 'anything', but I'll share what I do.
I drink a cup of herbal tea and read a book (preferably fiction. Fiction will help you shut off the analytical part of your brain and allow you to get lost in a story).
If I'm not reading a book I'm listening to some relaxing music. The idea is to wind down the body and mind while avoiding screens, and you can do this however you choose.
This routine, when done consistently, will establish a solid circadian rhythm, which tells your body when to be awake, and when to go to sleep. Once this rhythm is established, you'll experience higher quality sleep on a more consistent basis.