Why I Make Sleep a Priority

“This simple exercise can really help you to relax your mind.”

yulisitsa / Shutterstock
yulisitsa / Shutterstock

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, getting a good night’s sleep starts the morning you wake up. No, I don’t mean pressing snooze and getting an extra hour…

As you wake up, open the curtains or go outside and expose yourself to some natural sunlight. This reinforces your natural circadian rhythms and not only sets you up for a good day, but a good sleep. On top of this, make sure you’re limiting your caffeine intake after lunch and having your last cup of coffee before 2pm.

But speaking of light, let’s start there:

I normally start transitioning out of work mode into chill mode through cooking dinner. As you’re finishing up dinner, ideally on the earlier side (before 7-8pm), transition to dim lighting or candle light around the house. If you’re watching TV or using electronics, I recommend wearing red glasses to block the blue light and help stimulate melatonin production.

For me, putting my phone away at 7pm is important. As an entrepreneur, I feel like there’s always more I could be doing or catching up on, especially as some of our team are in the UK. I have to be firm with boundaries in order to perform at my best, so “off time” is essential. I put it on airplane mode and don’t turn it back on until the next morning, after my morning routine.

If you’re finding yourself stressed or overthinking before bed, pull out your journal and start to free write and take everything out of your brain and onto pages. This simple exercise can really help you to relax your mind.

Right before bed, I love to do 3 gratitudes. You can do this out loud with a partner or in your journal. Say/list three things you’re grateful for from that day — gratitude is a game changer and can really help shift your state.

Supplements I love include Lions Mane, Reishi, CBD and magnesium. My favorite brands are Life Cykel and Soul CBD, plus I love to drink an Organifi Chocolate Gold after dinner to curb my sweet tooth.

There’s no one size fits all with supplements and I really believe that we should track our own data to make informed decisions about what actually works. I measure my REM and deep sleep on different supplements to decide what to continue with or what to leave behind.

For me, sleep has always been a big priority and I’ve always made sure to get between 7-8 hours… but what I didn’t realize until last year was that I wasn’t following my best sleeping times. I would go to bed early and wake up at 6am, after 8 hours of sleep, but not feeling rested at all. I started to track my sleep with an Oura ring, and soon noticed that my REM sleep didn’t even start until 5:30am, so waking up at 6am was waking me up right in the middle of a REM cycle and meaning that I wasn’t getting enough of it per night. I adjusted my sleep schedule instead to wake up at 7, which has been such a game changer for me.

High performance in my opinion all starts with sleep. When you’re rested and feel energetic, you’re more focused, productive and positive. Plus, you’re less likely to be reaching for sugary or unhealthy foods which are going to give you the blood sugar crash every work day doesn’t need.

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