Before anything this morning
Take a quick minute, right now, to find something to be grateful for in yourself.
For showing up and going for this. For spending any amount of time on what you set out to do. That’s big deal.
This week is done, and it probably wasn’t perfect, but that’s not the point of it at all.
Alright back to sleep, and why it’s so hard to get a regular bed time:
Why the hell is it so much easier to get excited about what we want to pull off in the morning, and then continuing to do all the things during the afternoon / evening than it is thinking about going to bed…
It’s definitely not always easy to crawl out of bed in the morning - but there’s energy and vision behind what we want to do there.
How many people have put similar energy and vision into how they get to sleep every night??
Coming up with something we’re looking forward to each morning can pull us out of bed and kick-start our morning. Could be a coffee, could be a hot shower or could be the joy of just sitting down to spend time on your project itself and feeling the life that gives you, or lacing up and getting over to the gym through the quiet streets.
That first thing, whatever it is, starts the domino effect of the other elements of the morning. Alarm —> checkin/dailydose/jam —> enjoyable thing —> all the other pretty enjoyable things —> satisfaction.
Routine accomplished. And feels pretty seamless once it’s in motion.
What do you have in the evening, to kick off winding down, to look forward to? Like legitimately look forward to - that excites you a little, or a lot.
Having something that you look forward to, that kicks off your evening routine can be a huge help.
Just one example - Tim Ferris has a cold shower 1 hour before bed (Stanford study proven that it’s more effective than a hot shower before bed but you need 1 hour to let norepinephrine levels calm down) , and at the same time drinks tea with apple cider vinegar, honey and 3mg of melatonin.
He’s struggled with genetic onset insomnia and says “It’s like getting hit with an elephant tranquilizer”.
For him part of the excitement is in just starting this process because it means that the day can be left behind with what he calls “afternoon closure”.
Then it produces pretty immediate rewards of feeling tired or sleepy and falling into a great sleep, and waking up refreshed.
His cue, has a minimal action he enjoys (making the tea) which leads to the cold bath, which all leads to getting nicely tired and ready to finish the routine by going to bed.
A lot of people have been saying getting to sleep on time is a serious challenge. Same.
With a bit of this in mind, and also realizing for a lot of us, the sun and that summer we’ve been waiting for all winter is finally showing up, making later nights a huge attraction.
A couple options:
Have an evening goal that you’re actually stoked to accomplish - I’m going to meditate, paint, or read for 1 hour / night: which then leads into the routine.
Have a killer sleep inducing routine that you can can initiate even if you had a “later” night out. Sleep quality will go up, stress will go down, and burnt time messing around will be kept to a minimum.
Remove distractions for both. Put the iPad away, the phone on airplane mode and sink into that space however short or long.
So what’s a little pocket of time (not too long) look like for you?
Something that you could look forward to every evening, that is easy to start, isn’t too demanding (1 hour or less) that sets you up to get rested, removes all distractions, and lets you drop into sleep mode?
Try to build it around the Habit model built by Charles Duhigg and others:
The Habit Loop
1. First - what are you craving (enjoying your damn life)
2. What is the cue (the goal of the check-out message is meant to be this for you)
3. What is a minimal but enjoyable action to kick it off
4. What other element(s) do you want to add to this routine that would make it awesome and effective for you
5. What reward would make it enjoyable (being super tired and falling asleep asap)
PS Here’s that Tim Ferriss article if you want to check it out!: Tim Ferriss: Relax Like A Pro: 5 Steps to Hacking Your Sleep
Would also love to hear what some killer sleep routines are: