Words like performance and productivity run the world. Self-help books and, Life-coaches are numerous out there to help you to be "more". Whilst it is a most significant step forward to learn how to be "more" in the external world, it is also a tragedy that people are not taking care very well of their vehicle: their bodies.
Burnout, depression, emotional blankness, and loneliness are sadly too common nowadays, and they have kept rising over the last ten years. There are many factors to that increase.
As self-care, sleep hygiene is as important for our physical body as for our mental health.
Habits to renounce from
Stop screen time, TV, put away video games, and phone and computer screens at least 1h30 hour before you get into bed.
Screens and their blue light keep your brain excited when it actually needs quiet and calm.
Do not dine late, and no eating before at least 2 hours: digestion greatly disturbs the quality of our sleep. When we sleep, the whole body should be at rest. If your digestive system is at work during your sleep, it simply means that the body is not resting and is busy.
Generally, dinner should be eaten by 7pm and you should be in bed by 10pm.
Some men use masturbation and/or porn to help them fall asleep. It works well because the ejaculation process implies depleting you of your Life energy. Ask yourself if this habit has a benefit in the long term or not. Does it serve you or are confined and constrained by the habit?
Do avoid social jet lag. Social jet lag is defined as the time difference between the midpoint of sleep on workdays and on weekend days. Social jet lag promotes practically everything bad in our bodies and profoundly disturbs our natural circadian clock.
Stop or try reducing your caffeine intake during the day. I sleep so much better, and I feel much more energized during the day since I stop coffee.
No need to talk about the alcohol's effect on sleep, health and your mental clarity, right?
Ideas for adjustment
Making sleep a priority is the first step in your approach and a commitment to yourself.
Then gradually implements a few or more of the following adjustments:
- Get enough direct daylight exposure with at least 20 minutes.
- Start by dimming your light where possible during the evening time, and keep yourself away from any bright light that will disturb the body's natural process of melatonin production.
- Stretching: my favourite, it will help to move the gunky energy accumulated throughout your day. 5min stretching goes a long way!
- Reading physical books (on Kindle is fine)
- Meditation before bed
- journaling and/or reflecting on your day
- A short walk (intense exercise will wake your body up and disrupt your falling asleep process)
- Keeping the same routine with a fixed Wake Up time to avoid any social jet lag. Keeping it consistent daily will help your body's biological circadian cycle.
Blackout curtains will provide a pitch black in your bedroom that promotes better sleep quality.
Make sure to have a cool temperature in your bedroom.
Weighted blankets are awesome for promoting the falling asleep process.
Tape off all eventual LEDs in your room.
Switch off all electronic devices; no WIFI, no 4G; if possible put away your electronic devices from your bed.
Swimmer's earplugs for blocking any eventual noisy sound.
Binaural music (to listen to with headphones or earbuds)
(Boring or not) podcast
Taking 1-3mg of melatonin to fasten the falling asleep process.