October 02, 2018
Let’s begin this post by saying it is for those of you that love to work hard all day and want to sleep, but have trouble shutting down your brain when it comes time to go to bed. Or possibly even at various points throughout the night.
If you are a self-appointed “hustler” and regularly trade sleep for more hustling and you’re experiencing some negative side effects…quit being stupid! Make time for sleep in your schedule or you may be in for some serious trouble down the road. Yes, that means you too! It’s going to catch up to you if you don’t give sleep the respect it deserves.
Now, for the rest of you, help is on the way! I know how frustrating it can be when you want to rest but the upstairs computer keeps churning away. You know that sleep is essential and that a lack of sleep can cause a range of health issues. That’s’ a good start, but you need to take some action to get the benefits.
And just in case you were wondering, chronic sleep deprivation can increase your risk of the following health issues.
High blood pressure
Weight gain (from increased cortisol levels)
Depression (On a side note, we have started a new FB Group called The Entrepreneur Effect that is designed to help entrepreneurs deal with depression.)
Another issue is the general mental fog and inability to focus that come with missing out on sleep on a regular basis. These are production and efficiency killers in the best-case scenario and can pose a safety risk if you are out and about and aren’t as sharp as you should be mentally.
There’s the shitty news….now, let’s take a look at five tips that can help you have more sleep and better quality sleep:
Be honest, how many of you have a phone beside your head, a laptop or tablet nearby, a television on and/or other electronic devices on in the room while you are trying to sleep? If you have ever had the power go off in your home for an extended period of time, you are probably familiar with the absolute quiet and calm as that constant buzz goes away.
Now, I’m not suggesting you shut off all the electricity to the house every night. That would be kooky. But having those electronic devices around you while you are trying to sleep is having a negative effect on your sleep. You can search and find articles that go on about the dangers of EMFs, and whether you choose to believe it or not, that energy around you while you are trying to drift off and have a restful sleep is getting in the way. Try shutting it all down for a few nights and see if you get better results.
Didn’t I just say shut the fucking electronic stuff off? Yes, but let’s not argue with reality….most of you are at least going to keep the phone close by. I’m aware that it may be your only phone in the house, it’s your alarm clock, etc. So, if you insist on keeping the phone in the room with you, let’s use it to help the process.
For that you can download some cool apps that are specifically designed to relax your mind when you want to go to sleep. Some are guided; some deal with your breathing and you can even find ones that will balance your chakras! Check these ones out and give them a try:
Chakra Meditation Balancing
If you like to follow one or several of the high-achievers out there, you likely have figured out that they ALL follow rituals on a daily basis. Tony Robbins always says, “rituals = results” and that is true when it comes to getting quality and consistent sleep, too. When you create a bed time ritual and stick to it, your body will respond and that switch will be flipped signalling that it’s time for sleep.
Now, if you currently have a ritual that includes a TV or laptop shining Netflix in your face and you aren’t getting good results, then go back to Tip #1 and start a new one. If your bed time ritual includes worrying about stuff that happened during the day or money issues, go back to Tip #2 and start over.
Aim for the same general time each day and make the conscious decision to separate the day from the sleep time. Whatever happens during the day belongs to the day, but the night belongs to you. Anything you need to think about or solve will still be there in the morning. And keep in mind, this takes practice and it’s not going to just happen after one try. Rituals are cultivated over time, but once you find one that works, it will be well worth it!
This is a handy technique that you could include as part of the bed time ritual, but it may be helpful to do it earlier in the day before it’s time to go to bed. So many of us have a ton of info jam packed inside our brains from the day and it’s nearly impossible to relax…or you get that 3am wake up where your thoughts start churning and you are powerless to stop them.
In the late afternoon or early evening, take some time to empty out your thoughts onto paper. It doesn’t have to be an official journal or diary, just something to get all of those thoughts out to clear the way for a restful sleep. They can be general thoughts, worries, stresses, goals or anything you feel may prevent you from getting to sleep or staying asleep throughout the night. Just remember that once it’s out on paper you no longer need to keep it in your head, so release it and let it go.
Regular exercise is crucial for restful sleep, and if you are one of the people that claim to not have enough time in the day, let me be the first to say you are full of shit. We are all busy and we all have the same 24 hours to work with. The key (here’s another Tony Robbins quote) is to make daily exercise a “must” and not just a “should”. This will also be part of your daily ritual and become a habit over time.
And luckily, today it is easier than ever to exercise because you have access to all the information in the world. You don’t need to go to a gym everyday. You don’t need to join clubs or teams or buy expensive equipment. For many people, just getting up and out and going for daily walks will help. If you don’t have a lot of time and even less money, go on YouTube and search for 10-minute bodyweight workouts or something similar.
Exercise releases all those feel good hormones and will reduce stress and anxiety, making it easier for you to relax at night. Just remember that getting started is what is important…there is no, “I’ll start when” or “I’m just waiting until”. Those are excuses and you need to get a good night’s sleep so get moving!
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