This article offers some quick tips on how I learned to get better sleep.
Sleep is a skill.
I have struggled with sleep for most of my life. Because of my early rise time, I had to learn to get quality rest before my eyeballs dried up and I started snapping at everyone. It’s only been in the past year that I’ve got a good handle on it, fully converting from a vampire to a morning person.
The biggest challenge came from lying wide awake for hours because I couldn’t turn off my thoughts or shut down from the day. I noticed certain behaviors kept me from falling asleep so I started to create rules for myself. These rules improved my ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
It should go without saying, but when you’re tired, you’re irritable, grumpy, and stupid. Working out when tired is a terrible feeling, and that’s if you even bother to workout. With some good sleep, your workouts will feel much better, leading to better results for your fat loss and performance goals.
When you’re well-rested, you’ll also be better prepared to face the challenges of the day. I find that quality sleep, above all else, leads to making better choices and improved performance in all aspects of your life.
Rules to Sleep By
I came across an excellent formula, by Craig Ballantyne, that is comparable to the rules I follow. Start with this:
The 10-3-2-1-0 Formula to Get More Done
This system helps you get to bed on time, sleep better, and wake up the next morning well rested.
- 10 hours before bed – No more caffeine.
- 3 hours before bed – No more food or alcohol.
- 2 hours before bed – No more work.
- 1 hour before bed – No more screen time (turn off all phones, TV’s and computers).
- 0 – The number of times you will hit the snooze button in the morning.
Read Article: 10-3-2-1-0 Formula to Get More Done
From the Book: The Perfect Day Formula by Craig Ballantyne
Other Tips for Better Sleep
- Read a book before bedtime, not digital, but actual books. Digital screens produce a blue light that stimulates the brain.
- ZMA Supplement – ZMA (Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate, Magnesium Aspartate and Vitamin B6) is a supplement used primarily by athletes, gymnasts, and bodybuilders. It is most often used as a recovery aid; notably, studies show that ZMA helps the body achieve deeper levels of REM sleep. I like Z-12 by BioTest and take it a few times each week. It helps me relax and fall into a deep sleep. Thanks to Dan John for telling me about this.
- I’ve also had great luck falling asleep listening to audiobooks from Audible.com. It’s like someone reading me a bedtime story.
- Block out as much light as possible with curtains or by wearing an eye mask. If you don’t sleep alone, yes, you’ll get laughed at, but I care about sleep more than how I look while sleeping.
- Sleep in quiet areas or wear ear plugs. Sometimes an air conditioner or fan provides some nice white noise.
- Power Nap – 20 minutes max. It’s like recharging your battery. Practice, you’ll get it down to a science.
One of these days I’ll dive deep into my experience and research on sleep, it will be epic.