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Volume four: Your better sleep action plan    

[ The best strategies, techniques and idea’s in the world, only work.., when you do! || Start with your bedroom || New sleep promoting habits ]      

Your comprehensive guide to a better nights sleep with advice on how to sleep better if you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep.

This series is in four volumes that compliment each other.

Volume one: ‘Your sleep environment effects your sleep’ covers how to maximise the benefits of where you sleep.

Volume two: ‘Your daily habits effect your sleep’ covers what you do outside of sleep that can impact your sleep quality.

Volume three: ‘Getting help with your sleep’ covers getting help, supplements and alternative methods.

Volume four: ‘Your better sleep action plan’ takes a few basic idea’s and sets you the goal of doing them.

*Please talk to your medical professional if sleep is a major cause of interruption to your life. This is not a replacement for such advice but rather a list of added methods and idea’s for you to add to your knowledge to help improve your sleep.*

Volume four: Your better sleep action plan

 

Simple idea’s that you can action now to start the journey of improving your sleep and reduce your levels of stress or anxiety.

 

The best strategies, techniques and idea’s in the world, only work.., when you do!

This should be so obvious right. That title should be a quote on a poster, haha. The idea’s in the previous three volumes that you use, will be the ones that work. In fact the title of this section is fundamentally the key to progress in anything including a life of fulfilment.

They say knowledge is power.., but actually knowledge without action is more often frustration, stagnation, stress/anxiety and depression. All of which will significantly effect sleep patterns.

And when talking about the two biggest challenges of our time, anxiety and depression.., do you know what the single most effective technique found by experts to help people is..?

Progress! Yep, it’s as simple and as challenging for some as that. Even when considering getting outside help, the therapeutic methods that work the best long term are the ones that put the control and responsibility back into the clients hands.

It doesn’t matter how good a coach or therapist is, if they ‘change you’ and you choose to do things to ‘un-change’ yourself.., you will win.

Persistence and consistence are key to sleep improvement

This is about a decision to be consistent and persistent. And the willingness to realise that if you do something and have what you would consider to be a failure.., now do something else. Rather than letting that be the reason to give up, choosing instead to know that you have just increased your odds of finding the action that does help.

That’s part of the reason why many of the studies I read about, show that giving the person advice is way less effective than having the person commit to a multi week program. It’s just obvious, but so many forget how obvious it is.

So in this volume I will suggest just a few easy to implement idea’s from this better sleep series and expand on a couple of them. You can always choose to do more, but doing anything different from before is a potential win. Doing nothing but read all this will not change your life.

Want to change anything including how you sleep.., start now.

Obviously as I have mentioned at the beginning of every volume in this better sleep series, if your sleep challenges are significant and not due to something obvious like bad habits, then see a doctor.

With that satisfied..,

Start with your bedroom.

Tidy your bedroom if it is a mess, put things away and if you have to have your computer in your bedroom then make sure it is off and your desk is tidy and clear. Make your bedroom a sanctuary, not a game of hide and seek as to where things are.

Reduce noise If you can and if you can remove electrical equipment from your bedroom then do so.

Change your light bulb to one that is of the warm white variety. Usually it will also say on the packaging what the Kelvin value is and for warm white will be somewhere between 2000k and 3500k.

Make your room dark. If your room is not completely dark at night try wearing a soft eye mask like what they give you on airlines sometimes. Better than this are blackout curtains although this involves a bit more effort. For blinds or curtains, where you can, go for ones that cover the outer frame of the window rather than being inside the frame where light can still come through the edges.

Install blue filter apps on your phone and computer that filter blue light in the evenings. It’s easy and doesn’t have to be thought about again.

Keep your room cool. A gentle fan can help or air conditioning if you have it. Preferably if you can, have fresh air as well with an open window. Look up cooling sheets for some idea’s on linen that can help dissipate heat from you as you sleep if you get hot during the night.

New sleep promoting habits

Go to bed at the same time every night from now on as often as you can, and get up at the same time also! And try to make your bedtime close to 10PM with the natural spike in Melatonin. This will be a big step toward better sleep.

Create a bedtime ritual if through your work or circumstances you can’t help but have irregular bedtimes. Start doing something that you do every time at least half an hour before you go to bed. This will add to the effectiveness of a regular bedtime also if you can in fact keep the same timings.

Maybe that ritual is reading a fiction book or having a hot shower or turning off all the lights and reflecting on what you can appreciate from your day. The key is that it is relaxing and consistent. The effect of this is twofold. Firstly it will help relax and de-stress you, and secondly it takes advantage of what in NLP is called anchoring and traditional psychology is called conditioning.

This is the effect of linking specific actions, sights, sounds or other senses like smell to an emotional state or feeling so that the two go hand in hand. IE: In this case with sleep, your body and mind get used to the idea that every time you do these things, it is time to wind down for sleep. Do this and it will become easier and easier to fall asleep whenever you want to.

Adopt a morning routine too. Maybe it is just 10 minutes that when you first wake up, you head straight to the shower and use your favourite shower products while you practice slow deep breathing. If you can extend it into a morning walk or exercise then even better.

Speaking of exercise, what if you left for work 15 minutes earlier and purposely parked further away or got off public transport a stop earlier and walked the rest?

And the comment on breathing leads nicely to a new habit you can adopt during the day.

Breathing on purpose can have fast and significant effects on your state of mind and body. Meditation and breathwork are closely related so this is a great little technique you can use anytime during the day. Just 2 minutes is all it takes.

And we can all take 2 minutes during the day even if it’s excusing ourselves to go to the bathroom.

For just 10 breaths follow the following protocol and notice how it calms you. Exhale for longer than you inhale. It’s that simple.

So for example, inhale/breath in for a count of 4 seconds, and exhale/breath out for a count of 8 seconds. Do this through the nose rather than through the mouth if you can. Sounds too simple to be effective right? But this is scientific not just wishful thinking.

Our central nervous system is linked directly to how we breath. As we inhale we trigger the sympathetic nervous system known as the flight or fight state.., and as we exhale, we trigger the parasympathetic nervous system known as the rest and digest state.

By extending the time spent in the rest and digest state we tip the balance and calm the body and mind very quickly. You can do this at any time even without closing your eyes if you prefer.

You can even use an app or alarm on your phone to remind you to do this at regular times during the day. Try it now. Just 10 breaths where the exhale is about twice as long as the inhale. Simple and effective.

More breathing practices in another article here >>

Drink more water and less coffee!

Stop eating within two or more hours of bedtime if you can and if you can’t then keep them light.

Try a supplement like Magnesium Glycinate and Vitamin D. In fact, I would recommend Vitamin D as a minimum if you are serious about your health. The amount depends on where you live (IE: how much natural light you get) and your skin colour. A darker skin colour absorbs less UV and therefore creates less Vitamin D so you may need a slightly higher dose.

And remember, none of this is a substitute for medical advice so please see your doctor if simple changes such as the ones in this better sleep action plan don’t help.

Give things time though. If you have developed a pattern of not sleeping well then you need time to develop a new habit of sleeping better.

And remember also, the first title of this article…

The best strategies, techniques and idea’s in the world, only work.., when you do!

So make the changes above and then as you get momentum if you need to do more then refer back to the first three volumes of this series.

May you all sleep well from now on.

Pleasant dreamzzzzz…

Learn more:

Better sleep and insomnia relief with audio visual brainwave entrainment >>>

Breathwork and audio visual brainwave entrainment >>

Mindfulness, and changing personal reality through observation >>

In LIGHT we trust – volume one >>

My sovereignty is my breath >>