Updated: May 11, 2020
Something that I'm very interested in is SLEEP. And more specifically, finding what works best for me in order to have restful, high quality sleep on a consistent basis.
Last year, I went through a horrible phase of only getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night - which was no where near enough for me. I am now getting between 7-8+ hours of quality sleep per night and it has made a huge difference to my mood, focus, decision making skills and athletic performance. I used to think I was the type of person who could easily get by on 5 hours. The truth is - I am. But 'getting by' isn't optimal. 'Getting by' doesn't lead to high performance and 'getting by' just wasn't cutting it for me anymore. I wanted more from myself that that.
Since then, I have done an extensive amount of research on 'sleep hacking'. I have tried and tested many different options now. Below are my top tips that have worked for me personally (in no particular order)
1. Blue light blocking glasses. I have been wearing the orange tinted lenses for 2 hours before bed nearly every night for the past 6 months. These alone are what have transformed my sleep the most for me. As someone who spends a lot of time looking at screens, I hadn't even realised how damaging this can be for your eyes. I have since also bought the clear blue light blocking glasses for computer use throughout the day. I have purchased mine from blublox.com
2. Whoop. If you haven't already looked into what Whoop is all about and are the type of person who is motivated and driven by data and how you can apply this data to optimising your Stain, Sleep and Recovery (Whoops 3 main metrics) - then now might be the time! One of my favourite quotes - 'You can't manage what you're not measuring' could not be more true. Whoop is a game changer. Do yourself a favour. I can now view a summary of each nights sleep - this includes information like duration, disturbances, and different phases of sleep e.g. REM sleep, Deep and light.
3. Light blocking curtains. They are rubber backed and block out all light. Complete darkness aids in higher quality sleep. I even had them professionally altered so they would sit at the exact perfect length!
4. Separating sleep/work space. I am very guilty of working on my laptop from the comfort of my bed! It's not a great habit to get into. Beds should be used for two things: sleeping or sex. Ideally, your bed should be a calm place of rest and relaxation. If you're constantly working on your bed, this sends mixed signals to your brain about what this space is meant for. Cut out the mixed signals and buy yourself a desk.
5. Sunlight. In my opinion, one of the largely underestimated factors of getting a good night sleep. Sunlight enters the body through your eyes and regulates your circadian rhythm - this lets your body know it's daytime and sets the sleep schedule for your body. When i go on my morning walks, i always make a point to (attempt) to look into the sun. This is also why artificial light at night time is damaging for our sleep schedules - our bodies automatically think it's still day time and often will keep us up (This is why blue light blocking glasses are so important!)
Ultimately, everyone will find different things work for them. It's all about trial and error. Sleep is one of the most important factors needed to optimise our health. Here's to better sleep and high performance ;)
Further reading: Game Changes by Dave Asprey