“Is it 5am? You’ve got to be kidding me! I need to get some sleep.”
Does that sound familiar?
I stressed out about how I still was awake. The sun was coming out and I was still wide awake. The story of my life. I could never fall asleep. I could never get enough rest. Being up until 6am sucks when you have to wake up early in a few hours.
I’ve learned over the years that sleep is so critical to health, living forever, and being successful in life.
This is my story of how I’ve worked on getting some damn rest.
What are the benefits of sleep?
- Increased focused.
- More recovery for your muscles.
- Being well-rested.
- You not being a little bitch the next day.
You can check out our colossal post on living forever for more 411 on sleep.
I’ve never been able to sleep. I hate it. Ever since I was a kid I would spend all night tossing and turning. The other problem is that once I do fall asleep, it takes me forever to wake up. It sucks.
I’ve done insane amounts of research on sleep over the years. It’s actually shocking as to how little we know about why human beings need to spend so much time with our eyes closed.
How can you get some sleep in finally?
Turn off the lights.
This isn’t The Simpsons where Ned forces the kids to go to bed when the sun is still out.
To properly fall asleep it’s important to turn off all of the lights (this includes your cell phone or laptop). Get your room as dark as possible. You don’t want any lights interfering and keeping you up. You might have to leave your phone in the next room. Luckily, this helps me wake up because I have to walk to turn the phone off.
Make your room colder.
How’s your room? I personally can’t sleep when it’s too warm.
It’s much easier to fall asleep and stay asleep when you’re cuddled in under your blankets. Turn the AC on in the summer and pass out. You’ll wake up feeling great.
Cut out what you think about before bed.
“I should’ve done that!”
“Why didn’t I call John back?”
I used to think about a million useless things while in bed. Stop stressing about every little thing!
Anxiety is just experiencing failure in advance. It’s not worth it and gets you nowhere.
This happens to all of us. We try to sleep but can’t because we think about our car and if it’s locked. We think about how the day went and what went wrong. We think about the next day. And it goes on. And on. It gets us nowhere. Stop it!
How can you stop stressing out about crap in bed?
- Create a ritual. It’s key to have a nightly ritual. This can be sex, reading, or watching your favorite show.
- Let go. Just let go my friend. Forget about it. If you can’t solve something, sweat it.
Read fiction before bed.
Reading before bed really does help. The trick is to find some fiction or something for pleasure/entertainment. Turn your brain off. Have some fun. Zone out and close your eyes after a good reading session.
This site is too damn entertaining to read before bed!!!
Watch the caffeiene before the bed.
This is where I mess up huge. I need to stop drinking so much coffee before bed. The trick is to get your caffeine in during the morning before work/the gym.
Stop chugging coffee close to bed time! Those evening meetups are a killer. You already know this though because we have all felt the caffeine buzz before bed and thought oh crap!
These tips should help you pass out and get some quality sleep in so that your muscles can recover.
However, if you’re anything like me, you still might struggle!
What if you still can’t sleep? What happens now?
You have to set a schedule.
It’s difficult to fall asleep when you always try to go to sleep at a different time. This screws up your body.
The trick, which is admittedly difficult, is to have a set sleep schedule.
What I try to do is to keep myself up as long as possible one day. I run on no sleep. I sacrifice the day. I ensure that I last until 11pm or so. Then I pass out. The point here is to create a schedule. It’s key to sleep at the same time every day or else your body won’t know how to react.
Yes, I’m looking at you weekend party-goes (myself included). That one night of partying and going to sleep at 5am can screw up your sleep schedule if you let it. You might have to sacrifice one day of being tired to keep your sleep patterns in check
Squeeze in naps.
Maybe you’re just not meant to do the whole 8-hours per night sleep?
Sometimes I truly believe that one long sleep isn’t for me. So I try to get some rest from 4am until about 10am. Then a power nap after an afternoon workout (BJJ, weights, or kettlebells).
I love my naps. I operate better under this system. I squeeze in a few naps here and there. This works well for me when I have big projects/tough training on my plate.
Have you embraced napping? The Mexicans are huge fans of the afternoon siesta and I’ve become a fan of them myself. There’s nothing like a nice snooze on summer afternoon.
You might not be training hard enough. The whole point of working together is to get the most out of life. If you’re going to do something, you might as well go all the way. Why train half-ass? Push yourself to the limit. Work your body. You won’t have any choice but to pass out and get some quality sleep in.
Don’t go to sleep until you’re tired.
DUH! Captain Obvious checking in once again. Don’t laugh just yet.
The biggest issue with sleep is that too many of us go to sleep when we’re not tired. We feel that we should be sleeping. But why? Screw what the clock says.
Go to sleep when your body tells you to, not the clock.
Let’s sleep better… just not together!
I don’t want us to have to turn to pills or drugs or to be dependant on anything to fall asleep. Let’s try to fall sleep naturally and get lots of rest so that we feel amazing the next day and don’t have to chug a RedBull before work.