What’s the first piece that needs to be in place in order to harness more energy?

Proper sleep!  Alongside nutrition, it is your brain and body’s fuel.

The successful path to better sleep hygiene comes from a congruent 3 point approach in mindset, structured environmental framework and habitual routine. This suggested method can be learned and applied consistently for long term health benefits.

As previously discussed in my prior blog ( click here) , proper sleep is a keysone habit because it is so closely linked with other important habits that involve raising energy levels such as good nutrition, improved posture, exercise and enlisting cognitive focus and awareness. Understanding and accepting that sleep is just as vital as food to our brain and body is the first perspective shift needed to open and elevate the mindset. No more cutting corners on sleep. It is too important to our objectives and goals to compromise. 7 to 8 hours per night no matter what. That’s the value. That’s the truth .That’s the mindset.

The next point we can elaborate more on is the structural framework. The choice architecture and environment that is deliberately prepared for maximizing optimum REM sleep. Here are five key strategies

  1. Use a single pillow and cradle it under the arm and touching the shoulder to maintain the straightest cervical spine alignment
  2. Use a high density coiled mattress and make sure it is flipped every 6 months
  3. Do not watch TV once its been turned off for the night. The bright light and volume with stimulate the limbic centers in the brain and will impair ability to fall back asleep. A good architectural strategy is to bury or hide the remote so that it is not readily available to use should you become awakened
  4. Use a heavy or several layered blankets. Studies show that weighted blankets limit the body from changing positions which allow longer intervals of deeper REM sleep. Wear loosely fitted clothing
  5. Avoid caffeine and nicotine 2 hours before sleeping as they are stimulants on brain activity and increase heart rate. Alcohol should be avoided because it is a depressant which also dehydrates and causes thirst. Salty and spicy foods should be avoided before sleep and heavy meals should be consumed at least 3 hours before bedtime. Do not drink excessive water before retiring for the night. KEEP SNACKS AND BEVERAGES OUT OF THE BEDROOM. If you cant see it, you wont reach for it.

What are good sleep habits? a rhythmic routine is what you want to strive for. Sleep rhythms can be successfully established if you practice going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. The timing can vary depending if you are a morning person or a night person. That should remain in keeping with your values. As long as its consistent Early to bed and early to rise is fine if that is your lifestyle choice, Be consistent.
These strategies should be practised nightly for the best longterm results.Circumstances may arise even to the most regulated individual from time to time. What strategies can you further try when you are awoken and cant fall back to sleep?

  1. Change the channel in your head. Your nighttime thoughts can create elaborate stories in your mind which may increase anxiety and stimulate restless emotions. “Thought storms” can evolve which can potentially keep you up for hours, especially when stressful emotional upsets prevail. Practice changing your thoughts to lighter unrelated matters that are consistent with your recent dreams. This may be difficult at first and will get easier with practice. Remember, no matter how disturbing the thought, you are safe tonight in your bed and nothing bad will happen in the next few hours.
  2. Practice deeper meditative breathing. Diaphragmatic , belly breathing (like in meditation) increases oxygen levels and shuts of sympathetic nerve stimulation which will cause slower heart rate
  3. If disruptive patterns persist, change the environment. Read light content but do it in another room so that there is no visual or auditory association of disrupted sleep in the bedroom. If all else fails, take a short walk outside and get some fresh air

Which sleep strategies ( mindset, environment structure, routine habit) could you implement that would help the most? Please share