Recently I interviewed an expert on the best ways for optimizing sleep. I was blown away by how much I didn’t know about this topic.
As entrepreneurs, we tend to take the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” approach more often than not. Before my interview with this expert, I knew better than to think that way about sleep. However, I had no idea how powerful effective sleeping was. Nor did I know that there even was a more effective versus a less effective strategy to sleeping.
It turns out sleep plays a role in everything from our ability to think effectively, to being happy, to maintaining a healthy body weight and so much more. Instead of going on about why sleep is so important, I will hope you take my word for it because I am going to instead use this article to teach you the 5 Steps to Optimizing Your Sleep.
1) Work out early.
A study conducted on people who exercised in the morning versus people who worked out later in the day showed that those who worked out early slept significantly better. By better, I mean they spent 75% more time in deep sleep compared to the other subjects in the study. That deep sleep is amazing for recovery after a long day.
How early? 7 a.m. is optimal, but try to get it in before 6 p.m. at the very latest.
2) Optimize your sleeping environment.
Make your bedroom a place that promotes sleep. Keep all electronics out of your bedroom. Darken the room with black-out curtains and make this room a place for only two activities…sleep and sex.
3) Hit the sleeping sweet spot.
Between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., you can get the most rejuvenating sleep possible. This occurs through the optimal hormone secretion and recovery that occurs during those hours. If you can add a few hours stacked on top of those, that’s a bonus. I can’t tell you how much sleep you need, but I can tell you when the best time to sleep is.
4) Cool it.
Keep your house at about 68 degrees when you’re sleeping. If you are super hot, then opt for cold showers in the evening as well. These strategies help promote thermoregulation. Thermoregulation is imperative for deep restorative sleep.
5) Set a caffeine curfew.
If you’re going to consume caffeine, then set a hard time every day you cut yourself off from consuming more. I would suggest only consuming it in the morning, but if you must consume it later then cut it out by 2 p.m.
Remember: Caffeine is a stimulant. It’s designed to make your body produce hormones that promote activity, not sleep.
There are a ton more tips out there for optimizing sleep, but I’m a big proponent of mastery instead of overload. Apply these five tips as a starting point.