How to Sleep BetterNov 24, 2023
I don't know about you, but so many clients tell me they don't sleep very well.
Can you remember the last time you woke up after a full night's sleep feeling so refreshed that you didn't need coffee?
When I ask this, folks will say something like,"There are two times in my life that I can really remember sleeping well."
Imagine if this wasn't the case and that every night you wake up feeling refreshed.
You probably know sleep is important, but you live in a culture of toxic productivity.
According to the philosopher Clint Eastwood, "you can sleep when you're dead."
Keep reading if anyone's ever suggested you grind harder, work more, or get it done no matter what the cost.
We live in a culture where, according to the Boston Medical Center, Americans spend 33 billion dollars on weight loss products ever year, and 45 million folks go on a diet of some kind.
When you finally decide it's time to get healthier, most folks typically start with nutrition.
But when it comes to success in your fitness journey, the number-one priority is sleep.
After you are getting deep sleep nightly, you can focus on nutrition.
According to Dr. Brandon Marcello, a high-performance strategist who studies sleep, not getting enough sleep results in:
- Increased risk of injury and lower threshold for pain
- Greater susceptibility to sickness
- Reduced motivation, learning ability and memory.
I'm going to stop at that one for a second.
By far the most common struggle I hear from clients is this one - not feeling motivated.
Feeling sluggish and lethargic and just not up for the task.
You struggle with motivation and beat yourself up when you can't get yourself going, yet rarely do you think about fixing your sleep.
For many people, over the age of 40 years, your sleep is broken and that's just the way it is.
A lack of sleep also leads to an increase of body fat (think belly fat here), increased irritability and mistakes, reverting to old habits (let's do what's easier), and poor judgement.
(*Also, quick side note that Dr. Marcello has worked with the Atlanta Braves, who recently won a World Series. I'm not saying that's why they won, but it's probably why they won...)
And yet, many people start their weight loss journey with nutrition.
How to Sleep Better
Perhaps you ignore sleep because it's been broken for so long.
You may think, why bother?
Truth is, quality sleep improves memory, motivation, muscle recovery, and cortisol regulation among other things.
Me: My memory is bad
Friend: How bad is it?
Me: How bad is what?
So if you are one of the millions of people trying to figure out how to live a healthier lifestyle, start with this:
1. Pay back your sleep debt
Yes, sleep debt is a thing.
If you're like most people, and especially those with small children, this suggestion may incite an angry response.
How do you pay sleep debt back for the past 20 years?
Well, start smaller.
The ideal amount of sleep is anywhere between 7-9 hours.
If you have two nights where you are only getting six hours of sleep, that means you have two hours of sleep debt to pay back.
Marcello also notes that the greater the urge to sleep after lunch, the more sleep debt you have. It may also mean you should not eat pancakes for lunch.
2. Establish a nighttime routine
Turn off screens, take a hot shower (my favorite), read a relaxing book, go to bed by 10:30 PM.
These are actions you can take to help set yourself up for a better night of sleep. As with all habit change, consistency is key, and sleep is no different.
3. Pay close attention to your environment
Ever consider wearing a sleep mask?
Many clients think this is a crazy suggestion, especially when your room is "pretty" dark.
As it turns out, your room probably isn't nearly dark enough.
The addition of a sleep mask (one that wasn't too tight, as this may encourage headaches), will make an enormous difference in your ability to fall asleep faster.
Another suggestion is to add a white noise machine (a real one, not an app on your phone), and take magnesium every night as well.
Two more recommendations to sleep deeper.
Keep the temperature in your room pretty cool and listen to a sleep meditation podcast.
Combine all of these strategies to establish a better sleep routine.
Many people see reminders of the wrong things all the time.
They find reminders that they have bad luck.
Or that they are somehow destined to be mediocre.
Or that they are victims of crappy circumstances.
Or that it’s not worth it to even try. They look for "excuses."
They find them and they fixate on them.
Maybe it’s time to look for the right reminders.
Reminders that you are blessed.
That you have the ability to do incredible things with your life that only YOU can do.
Realize that there are opportunities all around you to make a difference.
If you look for them, you will find them.
And if you want something to fixate on, fixate on positivity.
I don't know about you but I need to read this five times per day.
Hopefully it helps to brighten your day.
When life gets crazy, you must always prioritize your sleep.
If this information can help a friend, please pass it along.
To your success,
Joseph Arangio helps 40+ men and women get leaner, stronger, and happier. He's delivered over 100,000 transformation programs to satisfied clients around the globe. If you want to lose weight from home, with the best online personal trainer, or you want to visit the best personal trainer in the Lehigh Valley, you can take a free 14-day trial.