5 Keys To Better Sleep

July 20, 2019

Getting the right amount of sleep is really important if you want to look and feel your best and get the most from your life.

Usually, I’m a 6-7 hours kind of guy, but I strive to follow the ancient wisdom wherever I can, which was, to get 8 hours sleep within each 24-hour period.

As a side note, many long-lived cultures believed that each day should be split into three blocks of 8 hours:

  • 8 hours SLEEP (rest and recuperation)
  • 8 hours VOCATION (hobbies, social and family)
  • 8 hours of AVOCATION (work or creation)

And yep, even though it might be impractical in today’s busy world to stick by this rigidly, it’s definitely something to keep in mind if your goal is to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Now, let’s take a quick look at those 5 keys to a better night’s sleep…

I like to practice these myself – and even if I don’t quite make it to 8 hours – they ensure that the sleep I DO get is of the highest quality.

1. Have a sleep routine – Whether it be a cup of herbal tea, a warm bath, or switching on your diffuser next to your bed with a few drops of Lavender, Vetiver or Roman Chamomile essential oils, having a simple ritual before bed can help to trigger a ‘sleep’ response for your body and brain.

Do this regularly and pretty soon you’ll notice how quickly you fall asleep peacefully with a minimum of fuss;

2. Go ‘tech-free’ an hour before bed – I know how tempting it is to lie in bed scrolling through social media or catching up on the fox sport news, but it’s a well known fact that the ‘blue light’ blocks the sleep hormone, Melatonin.

So if you can, avoid using your phone or iPad an hour before bedtime and instead read a book or write in a journal before you hit the hay. Or if the phone habit is just too great, at least make sure you have the ‘Night Shift’ function activated on your iphone, which is a warmer light with less impact.

Finally, on this point, put your phone in the bathroom, laundry or kitchen, not next to your bed so that it does not disturb you in any way during the night;

3. Avoid rigorous exercise before bed – When you do intense exercise, you stimulate a ‘fight or flight’ rather than a ‘rest and digest’ physiological response in the body. Doing this before bed, can lead to insomnia and a very restless night’s sleep.

Instead, I’d recommend doing your rigorous exercise in the morning and winding down (rather than up) later in the day. Something I do like to do at night, is to go for a light 15-20 minute walk around the block after dinner, to walk off the meal and get some fresh air (usually about 2 hours before bed);

4. A few minutes meditation – You don’t have to be an expert to meditate. It’s simply about finding a quiet spot where you can sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor, close down your eyes, and just practice a few minutes breathing deeply and clearing your mind.

Your body needs rest and so does your brain from the busy-ness of your day to bring in a sense of calm before you sleep.

5. Breath electrified air – When you lay down at night, the bronchioles and respiratory passages constrict, which is why many people snore. And the situation is made worse if you’re breathing stale, stagnant air while you sleep!

So, besides diffusing some essential oils (which everyone should do), it’s important that you switch off the air conditioner (or heater if it’s winter) and crack the windows slightly to allow the fresh air to circulate.

In summer, use a ceiling fan or box fan in your bedroom to keep cool and to electrify the air. Electrified air is simply air that MOVES… and opening the windows and/or using a fan is all you need to do!

I encourage you to try at least 2 or 3 of these tips for yourself on a consistent basis. You’ll not only get a better night’s sleep, you’ll soon notice that you’ll awake each day, feeling more energised, more refreshed, more focussed AND more productive!