Sleep matters. Sure you can get by on six hours, but getting by won’t allow you to effectively pluck the day.
You know the feeling after an awesome night of sleep where you feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day? Let's have more of those. We can do so by installing three simple curfews.
1. Technology Curfew (Digital Sunset)
Allow at least one hour before bed where you do not use your phone, watch TV, or otherwise use electronics with screens. The blue light in these devices suppresses our melatonin and makes it harder for us to sleep. Not only that, but our devices are very engaging and can keep our minds churning. Let's allow our brains some time to process the day so we don't have to as we’re trying to fall asleep.
2. Caffeine Curfew
Do you have a caffeine curfew (the time in the day when you no longer drink caffeine)? If you do, experiment with making it an hour earlier. What happens? Do you get better sleep?
If you don't have one, let's try setting one. Drinking caffeine late in the day can have significant negative repercussions on our sleep.
If you drink caffeine all day long, start by aiming to be done by 2pm. Then challenge yourself to push your target back to noon to really ensure it's not interfering with your sleep.
3. Eating Curfew
Our bodies need time to digest food. If we eat right before bed, our heart's main priority will be to pump blood to help us digest that food. That means our heart-rate will be elevated and thus, we won't be ready to ease in for a great night of sleep.
We want to make sure we give ourselves at least two hours before bed where we no longer eat. If you’re up for the extra challenge, I encourage you to experiment with pushing that to three or four hours one night.
Experiment Today for Better Sleep Tonight
Experiment with your curfews, find what works for you. Though I’ve provided several universal recommendations, everyone is different and you may find something outside of these recommendations that works best for you. Make a change, notice how you sleep, and adjust accordingly. Is your sleep getting better because of an action you took? Perfect! Let's do more of that. Doing something that is negatively impacting your sleep? Let's do less of that.
Try installing at least one of the curfews above tonight. If you're already doing one of these things, try adding in a second or third element. Let's prioritize our sleep so that we can show up and give the world all we've got.