First Steps Towards Your Best Self Part 1- Sleep
July 04, 2018
Where to start learning how to live your life to its full potential. Google? Let’s try “How to start working out.”
Is learning how to better yourself really so complicated, that we need to cipher through millions of pieces of results? How do you even know that any of those articles, papers, blog posts, podcasts, or videos will be the right method for you to achieve your goals?
Splits, HIIT, keto, 3x8, push-pull, anabolic, CrossFit- what is all this? Guess you’ll need to pay an expert to help you get started. Maybe the gym down the road can help, but you don’t feel comfortable working out with others. Oh boy, there it is again: Where do you start?
Keep It Simple
There’s nothing wrong with simple. Simple is effective, quick, understandable, and expandable.
Your health, fitness, and athletic abilities can all be managed, understood, and maximized within three basic pillars: Eat, Sleep, and Move. That’s it. Working to better those three areas is all it takes to level up your health. We’re not going to talk about a diet, we’re not going to talk about sleep patterns, we’re not going to talk about workout routines. All you need to get started is the knowledge that your body wants good nutrition, deep sleep, and to move how it has evolved to over 6 million years.
To Start, Sleep
The easiest way to improve your quality of life is to improve the quality of sleep in your life. If you’re waking up feeling groggy, requiring coffee to wake up, or feeling the fog finally lift hours after waking up- you’re in dire need of a sleep fix!
Here’s my favorite thing to hear, and to be fair, my younger self was guilty of saying it, too: “I’ll sleep when I’m dead!”
There are enough hours in a day for you to get a good, restful sleep and still accomplish everything you can dream of. Sure, there are times in everyone’s life where sleep is sacrificed— You work two jobs, have kids, have a large responsibility to something or someone that cuts into your sleep, but why is it that sleep is the first thing we all think to sacrifice?
Sleep is the only chance your body has to properly restore, recover, and repair all of its necessary functions. This includes your mental capabilities, your physical growth, and your overall sense of well being. Proper deep sleep will improve all areas of your life, allowing you more potential growth than downing another can of sugar-filled, carbonated energy ever will.
Basic Tactics for Better Sleep:
- Stay consistent. It’s said to take 28 days to form a habit. Make yourself get in bed, ready to sleep, at the same time every night and your body will respond by giving you better and more effective sleep.
- Cut caffeine and other uppers out up to 5 hours before sleep. In fact, try to reduce your caffeine intake overall and watch your energy levels increase!
- Dark and Cold will make you sleep long and deep. Think back to the environments our early ancestors evolved through. Before clothes, shelters, and even fire, our bodies responded to the dark and cold of the night by sleeping. Use this evolutionary left-over to trigger a natural deep sleep cycle.
- Have a night-time routine. You have enough time to stress about your day to day work and all the other things life can throw your way. Create a routine that can calm your mind and tell your body it’s time to rest.
- Declutter. Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. Build yourself a hibernation fortress and you will sleep incredibly. Keep your room free of stress reminders such as dirty laundry, used cups, and work-day items. Some people go as far as to remove stressful talk from the bedroom to have nothing but positive and restful associations with their sleep space.
Sleep is Everything
Without getting control of your sleep, you’re going to be pushing uphill against the weight of low performance across all areas of life. You can’t eat your way out of bad sleep, you can’t run yourself back from bad sleep. Get the rest your body needs and you’ll see improvements across the board. Stress management, sustained energy, increased vitality, muscle growth, and injury prevention all start while you’re asleep. Take your first step towards better health with a good night’s sleep.