Today, I want to talk about sleep. Are you getting enough? Are you feeling well rested? Or are you lying awake at night, staring at the ceiling with 80 billion swirling thoughts, and not getting a wink?
If your sleep is a bit of a hot mess right now, let’s talk about it and figure out a way to simplify it for you, so you get better sleep tonight.
Recently, I read the book The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time by Arianna Huffington. Let me tell you, it was EYE-OPENING!
Arianna said she used to only get three to four hours of sleep a night, which is not surprising in the ‘hustle and grind’ society we live in these days.
CEOs and business owners are drilled to ‘work harder, put in the long hours… hustle, hustle, grind, grind! If you want it bad enough, you gotta work MORE!’ mentality, which sadly, gets taken to the extreme by so many of us.
Arianna said that when she was sleep deprived, she was also
“more irritable, more reactive, less present and absolutely less joyful in (her) life… focusing on what is not working rather than what is working.”
It all came to a head in 2007, when Arianna, the found of the Huffington Post collapsed and broke her cheekbone. Doctors immediately told her she was exhausted… and needed to get more sleep.
So, based on simple, practical ideas from Arianna’s book, here’s what’s working for me in my own life.
3 tips for better sleep
1. Create a night time routine
Just like when you’re putting a young child down to bed, there are certain cues which tell your mind and body, ‘hey, it’s bedtime soon!’.
Dim the lights, turn off all electronic devices at least 30 minutes prior to lights out, take a bath if you’ve got time, get in to your PJs, and read a good ol’ fashioned paperback book.
We read stories with our kids all snuggled up with us. Do what feels right for you. Arianna even recommends that this book has NOTHING to do with work… try poetry, novels, philosophy or something light and full of whimsy to help your brain wind down.
2. Cut down on caffeine
I’ve finally weaned myself down to one cup of coffee per day. CRAZY, I know! It’s nothing short of a miracle…
I also shift over to green tea or saffron tea for the rest of my hot drinks throughout the day. I make sure that my last caffeinated hot drink is consumed before 4pm every day, so I don’t have the late night jitters. That seems to be working for me.
3. Recap and let it go
If your brain is whirling, don’t deny it.
Put a journal by your bedside, set a 7 minute timer and then jot down all the swirling thoughts in your head, onto paper. Any nagging to-do’s that didn’t get done today. Any worries or concerns.
And more importantly, write down one triumph you’ve had today, either big or small. Just something that felt GOOD that happened today and you’re grateful for. It’s giving your brain permission to celebrate, to let go, to relax. It’s documented, it’s done, and that feels so good!
And just one final whisper, just from me to you, dear friend… come in closer.
I know you. You are like me. People depend on you to #DoTheThing… heck, you probably do ALL the things!
But if you don’t get regular sleep, you will crash and burn soon. I can guarantee it.
No matter if you’ve convinced yourself that you don’t need much sleep at night… spoiler alert – you do.
No matter if things are big, scary or super stressful at work right now. Trust me, I know that feeling and it sucks.
Can I just give you this one gentle, loving thought to ponder… what if you went to bed tonight at a reasonable hour?
Give yourself the gift of a good night’s rest… and then wake up 1 hour earlier tomorrow. That way you can tackle whatever challenge you’ve got before you, first thing in the morning when you’re bright eyed, refreshed and raring to go?
Rather than pull an all-nighter tonight… give yourself the gift of deep rest (not Netflix binging!). You can get back to it in the morning.
Try it. Let me know how it goes.
You can do this, I believe in you.
It’s time to SIMPLIFY.
If this thought of the day inspired you…
Snap a photo of you doing the thing and send it to me via Instagram, privately or publicly… just tag @thesimplifiers – I’ll be your virtual accountability buddy in your quest to simplify your life.
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As always friends, keep things simple.
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