Sleep, a very commonly neglected component of a healthy and happy lifestyle. It’s usually one of the first things to de-prioritize. While this may not be optimal, sometimes it just can’t be helped. In this article, you’ll learn how to optimize your sleep and wake up fresh ready to tackle the day.
This past weekend I found myself in my beloved state of Texas. Honestly, it was everything I remembered it to be. I was in Big D (a.k.a. Dallas) for an IDLife convention. I stayed at the Gaylord Texan. Super nice place.
Thursday I woke up early. I drove in to Texarkana to film some new workout content for you guys. (Should be available soon! Be on the lookout!). I had several meetings in Texarkana and then I moseyed my to Dallas; met up with my brother and had some dinner and about 8:30 PM finally made it to the hotel. I was exhausted.
I found myself lying awake, flat on my back, contemplating the marks on the ceiling. I blamed my inability to sleep on being too tired to sleep. I’m sure you’ve experienced this. It wasn’t until the following night I realized the culprit.
There was an iHome alarm clock right next to my bed. It displayed the time with a light blue light illuminating throughout the darkened room. This light was to blame. I even turned away from it the night before but it still disrupted my sleep patterns.
The next night I put a shirt over the clock (honestly, didn’t even think to just unplug it). But, in this case, I knew too much for my own good. Sometimes that happens and I’m not one to sugar coat things. Call a red bird, a red bird.
Perhaps, the main reason why I was unable to sleep was because I have optimized my bedroom for sleep. Rest and recovery are BIG deals if you want to achieve optimal health and wellness. Here’s how I have optimized my bedroom to provide me the best environment for sleep.
1. Very Dark Room
Darkness is the absence of light. That’s exactly what we’re looking for here: no light. Not even a light from a digital alarm clock. In fact, I don’t use a digital alarm. I use the one below. Fancy, I know. I picked it up for about $3 at Bed Bath & Beyond. I also have black out curtains on my windows so no light can sneak in.
2. Cold Environment
Personally, I can’t sleep if I am hot. I’m pretty hot natured by design so this one is a necessity for me. I put the fan on full blast and have thin cool, covers. There are also devices out there that will sit underneath the blankets and keep you cool. I have not used these devices but they are out there if you would like to explore.
3. No Screen Time Before Bed
I look at a screen the majority of the day, whether it be a computer or phone. I like to give my eyes a break at least 30 minutes before I decide to go to bed. I elect to read a book before bed. It calms me down and allows me to unwind a bit.
My genre of choice is a “fiction-y” book. I’m not a huge fan of fiction so I have developed my on style called “fiction-y.” It’s a genre that includes true events that happened but told in a story format. For example, Extreme Leadership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. I also like Walden by Henry David Thoreau. If you have any recommendations, I would love to hear them!
4. Comfortable Sheets, Mattress, and Pillow
This may be the most important. I have selected a set of sheets that keeps me cool and are very comfortable. My mattress is a Tuft & Needle. It’s a firm mattress but allows just enough give. I love it. My pillow is what I’m most proud of probably. Unfortunately, I can’t remember where I got it or what brand it is or anything. Against the manufacturer’s wishes, I ripped the tag off.
When choosing a pillow make sure that it supports your head just enough to keep the spine in line. Ideally, you should sleep on your side and if you were to see a snapshot of your spinal cord, it should be parallel with the ground. This is a critical element to maintaining your posture and muscular/joint integrities.
After all, you embody the positions you are in the most. Sleeping takes up quite a bit of time so be mindful of the positions you sleep in. Perhaps, the 5th should be positions? This may need to be covered in a separate posts. If enough readers get this far and inquiry about this matter, I will oblige with a follow up post.
Until next time my friends, stay #Relentless