Sleep is the 80/20 when it comes to health, so we’re going to pull at and identify the 80/20 of all the sleep tricks and tips out there to improve your night’s sleep, i.e. health, i.e. capacity to obliterate the day. This will not be the last time I articulate or allude to the following statement: there are a million and one gadgets and tidbits NOT included in below with good reason. Drowning you in a million links and add-ons that you’ll either forget or fail to include in your nightly routine will not help you. As I’ve said before, information without action is typically worthless. Get the few big wins right, and call it a day.
Step 1 is to ensure you turn off or block all lights. This includes seemingly insignificant and small lights. If you can see something emitting light, do something about it. Tape or aluminum foil works well – quality light blockers you can afford. Set up blackout curtains as well if any light is coming through windows. As close to pitch-dark is optimal.
People go to war over the latest and greatest routines and daily rituals. Morning routines seem to get a disproportionate amount of attention, but what you do right before you go to bed truly makes a difference. The good news is you don’t need some crazy nightly routine, just having a routine itself is enough to prompt your body it’s time for rest. I will wind down by avoiding work or other overly stimulating activities (e.g. watching the Walking Dead right before bed may not be ideal, but test for yourself). Secondly, I will throw on my sexy Blueblockers and read my Amazon Kindle. That one-two combo knocks me out, but try a few things for yourself and test how simple you can make it to still be effective. You can get more fruity with it and start doing aromatherapy with essential oils, but most of that stuff is a bonus.
Dim Lights Before Bed
At least an hour before you hit the sack, it’s worth dimming down or turning off the lights in your room. This jives well with your night routine. We’re not going to get too deep with the science of it (this blog is an overrotation towards the answers, not the explanations, to expedite you receiving the life upgrades and benefits) but you are keeping your circadian rhythm and biological sleep schedule on track. In addition to the lights, I highly recommend you download (free) F.lux to turn down the blue light on your computer before bed. This is an infinitely more realistic solution than telling you to avoid using your computer 1-2 hours before bed. Again, a good plan that meshes will with your life is better than the perfect and overcomplicated one that one.
This is one of the few, few supplements I’ve taken where I can definitely notice a difference. I tend to remember my dreams more with I apply this topical lotion before bed. A large number of people are deficient in magnesium and it’s one of those minerals that affects a vast number of metabolic pathways. Feel free to Google around and I promise you’ll find plenty of “10 ten benefits/uses for magnesium” articles. This may be a bit rudimentary, but I do consider it one of the 80/20 supplements/minerals when it comes to improving your health. If you give this a shot, get the lotion version as oppossed to the spray – less itchy.
Not too much, not too little. Enough effort so we are nearly optimizing the most important 8 hours you spend a day, but without all the bloated bells and whistles. What have you found to be most helpful? Post in the comments below.