There are the obvious health benefits. We’ve known since childhood to get a good night’s sleep. But if you need extra motivation to improve your sleep quality and length then consider how it contributes to your personal energy.
Personal energy is a term I picked up from Scott Adams’ book and sleep is a key part of it. If I were to describe what personal energy means to me it would be the kind of lust for life which leads to you attacking new problems.
Imagine you’re doing some cardio and you decide to turn the difficulty up just because it feels good to do so. Or if you’re walking up a hill and you decide to attack the incline. Having personal energy let’s me and encourages me to do this. To take on new challenges.
From a Game perspective personal energy contributes to a better vibe, a more positive outlook and enthusiasm for life.
Now onto what I do to get better sleep.
Last year I was getting poor sleep. I’d been dieting for months and my deficit was too large. For a week leading up to Christmas I’d turn the lights off and not get to sleep for an hour or two. Something had to change.
The first thing I did was reduce if not entirely eliminate caffeine after 3pm. That meant no coffee, tea, pre-workout or caffeinated soft drinks. I’m less stringent with that rule on Fridays and Saturdays.
And that seemed to work. I dropped off to sleep much quicker. From there I decided to look at what else I could change.
Blue-light blocking glasses: apparently the blue light from computer screens and TVs tell your body that it’s daytime. The glasses are supposed to block that light so your body knows it’s time to sleep.
Wake-up time range: I set myself a wake-up time of an hour before the alarm goes off rather than strictly stay in bed until it does. This way I avoid sleeping in and feeling groggy when the alarm does go off. It also means that light is more like my alarm clock these days.
Setting an alarm on weekends: I set an alarm but make it one hour later than I’d usually have it for the week. For me that means 8:15 on weekdays and 9:15 on weekends. I want to stay in the routine of waking up each morning feeling energised rather than swinging back and forth in wake up time.
Water and vitamins after waking: once I get up I immediately drink some water and take my vitamins (including vitamin D).
Food before bed: I eat my largest meals in the middle of the day and smaller ones towards the end. I don’t want to go to bed hungry but also don’t want a load of food in my stomach. I’ve found that if I eat too much and hold too much water overnight then I have to wake up to pee more often.
Magnesium: this is supposed to relax you and I have it in my pre-bed meal (normally a casein yoghurt bowl).
As the title of this post suggests this is everything I throw at the wall. If you count caffeine as well that’s seven different things. I don’t care which one works though. All I know is that it is working. I continue to go straight to sleep when I turn the lights off around 11pm. I don’t wake up during the night. When I do get up between 7 and 8am I pee and feel good about starting my day.
If you have any suggestions please let me know in the comments section.