There is a lot out there on best practices for a morning routine, or how to manage your work life most effectively. But what about best practices for sleeping? Sleep is essential to health, brain function, and longevity, and bad sleep will ruin your day.
- Avoid any sleep trackers-Fitbit, Apps, etc. If you want to wreck your sleep, start worrying about your sleep performance.
- I try to stop all work activity 2 hours before sleep time-emails, social feeds, photo editing or data feeds, all of it.
- Use night time mode on your phone. Blue light at night will mess with my sleep circadian rhythm.
- Be careful about drinking water within 2 hours of your sleep time. I will usually make it through the night without a bathroom break.
- After dinner I like to go for a fast hour long walk. I’ll listen to music or podcasts.
- I’ll turn the temp in the apartment down to 72 degrees about 30 min before sleep time. A cool room triggers sleep mode, which is the same reason a hot bath before bed helps.
- The last 30 minutes before sleeping I will spend reading quietly- sometimes fiction, but usually some sort of knowledge enhancing book.
- The shades all get drawn so the room is in almost total darkness.
- Depending on how active my brain is, I may take a Ray and Terry Sleep Potion #9, which is just nutrients and minerals. Meletonin is too strong for me and will give me a hangover.
- Our brains are very sensitive to routine, so just keeping to the same bed time and same sleep prep habits helps.
The most important thing is to treat sleep as one would fitness or diet. It is actually probably more important than anything else we do, as lack of sleep will quite literally kill people quickly. Set a schedule, don’t deviate more than 1 hour each night. I notice that even a 15 minute change in my sleep will effect me the following day.
People tend to vary a bit around how much sleep they need. I know when I exercise hard during the day, that night will be more like 9 hours, vs on a slower day it will be 8.5 hours.