How the CEO of the National Sleep Foundation Prioritizes Sleep

It’s about small changes to your lifestyle.

“The steps I take towards getting good sleep are embedded in my lifestyle. It all starts with the wind-down. There are a lot of different approaches that people use in their wind-down routines, but for me, I like to listen to a little jazz music — maybe it’s because I’m a musician. I also try to go to sleep at the same time every night, and I time my wind-down period to happen just before when I really want to be asleep. I aim to wake up at the same time every morning, too. 

Now, these times are targets. There are always going to be things that pop up. It’s not about hitting the time perfectly every night or morning, it’s about setting a goal and trying to work towards it. But to help us achieve those goals, we can set reminders and triggers for ourselves. For example, we can try not to plan certain activities too late into the evening, or we can recognize that some of the things we want to watch on T.V. can be left for another time (“I don’t need to finish this show right now, especially since it’s streaming!”). I aim to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night.

As a younger person working in advertising and communications, with crazy deadlines and product launches, it was difficult to have a standard evening routine. But as time has passed and as I’ve learned more, my wind-down routine for better sleep has become one of the most important components of my lifestyle. We’ve come a long way over the years. At the National Sleep Foundation, we’ve done a lot of work to increase awareness of the importance of sleep health, and we’re taking the next step so that people have a full understanding and can internalize how their sleep health relates to their overall health. We want people to work sleep into their regular lifestyles — not try to hack or cheat their sleep, but to really respect their sleep. It’s a basic physiological process that we all have within us, and we need to respect that it’s a natural part of our lives.”

For more tips and information on the benefits of sleep, check out the National Sleep Foundation website at

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