So before I start saying something you already know, which is « you should sleep more », I must explain why this article means so much to me, and how I’m going to approach this sleeping question.
Here’s what happens when you read advice somewhere :
- Usually the writer tells you what to do,
- and you knew already what you had to do,
- and them telling you won’t help,
- because you already knew it, so what difference is it going to make?
You still won’t.
I’ve been there.
So I’m simply going to share my story on why I got to sleeping long hours at night, how it utterly changed how I felt, and ultimately got me to work faster, better, and happier, get stronger, leaner… basically making my life 120% better in just two weeks.
The story :
I have struggled with motivation ever since I can remember. Looking for answers, and telling myself « why don’t I have enough energy? what’s going on? why am I unhappy? I eat healthy, I exercise, I shouldn’t be feeling like this! How come I can never push myself to do anything? »… You get the picture.
I’ll spoil the ending : All this disappeared in the space of two weeks where I decided I would sleep as much as I could in the time I had.
This came about because all I wanted to do was take a holiday, do nothing, tell the world I wouldn’t be available… but I had just been on holiday for a month, and the money was getting short… So I couldn’t. Then I thought : « Ok, I can’t go on holiday, I have just been, I’m still tired, so I’ll just NOT do anything in between sessions except SLEEP as much as I can. I’m dead tired I’m sure it’ll help. » So this litterally means 9-11h per night for two weeks.
I’m never going back to low sleep ever again.
I feel like a veil has been lifted off my eyes. Like a bear just lept off my shoulders, and that my body has been washed clean inside out. That my mind has become clear as a mountain stream. That might have gone a bit far, but you get the picture.
Lets back up and understand why I used to sleep so little….
I have always felt guilty of sleeping. I felt like all that time wasted in neverland could, and should, be used for better things like changing the world, working more hours, going out, having fun with friends, clubbing, living la vida local. That just didn’t happen. Not every day anyway. Truth is most of the time it just meant wasting time on facebook, youtube, or watching whatever movie or series I might be into at the time.
I felt like I might as well only sleep when I felt like I really just couldn’t do any otherwise right? Push it to the limit. I would binge watch The Walking Dead until 1:30am, or 2am then get up at 5:30 crawling out of bed and wondering why I felt so crappy all day long. It felt like sleeping wasn’t living.
So here’s what I figured out after having slept all my lost hours : Truth is if you AREN’T sleeping enough you are wasting your time. There is a quality to life once you know you have caught up with all that lost sleep that I would describe as :
- my joyfulness as 8/10
- my energy as 9/10
- my motivation as a 7/10
Doing things is much easier, I get them done FASTER, and I ENJOY the process. I feel like I’m actually alive and an actor of my life. That I have control over my actions and that is sooooo fulfilling…. So please, before I get into the whole why, and how you should sleep, I challenge you to a 30-day challenge of 9h+ nights. Turn off you TV, tell everyone you have some catching up to do, and reset your body to be the best YOU ever.
See this as a staycation, a detox, a meditation retreat, and a full body massage everyday, for 30 days.
So BEFORE starting to exercise, or change your diet, SLEEP. This should be the number 1 priority on your « get healthy » list.
And this is WHY :
1) Sleep rests and boosts your immune sytem.
If you’ve been ill it’s probably because you haven’t slept enough.
2) Reset your hormone levels.
Testosterone, oestrogen, insulin, cortisol…. If you are tired and feel upset, sad, depressed, cranky, sleep it off. When children are like that we tell them to go take a nap. Lets follow our own advice.
3) Lose weight.
Not sleeping enough makes you cortisol level low in the morning, and make you crave carbohydrates, both of which spike your insulin through the roof, which make you store fat, which makes you diabetic, obese, get heart disease and cancer. Sleep.
4) Get smarter.
Your dreams are basically you storing the data you processed during the day. Remembering what you learned is basically you getting smarter.
5) Get stronger.
Build muscle, stronger neuromuscular pathways, and better recovery. There’s no secret to becoming a better version of yourself. Stress your body, eat healthy, and sleep.
This is HOW you get good quality sleep :
1) Pitch black dark room.
Turn off any small red electronic device LED, block out any light that comes in through the shutters. ANy source of light be it artificial or natural will decrease the quality of your sleep.
2) Cool room.
I went a bit beserk on this one, but it makes it really hard to get out of bed the next morning. Just make sure the room you sleep in is not too hot. 3) Sunrise lamp. Great for a natural delicate wake up. Much nicer and more natural. They are now much cheaper than they used to be.
4) Go to bed before midnight.
This is personal, probably unscientific, unconcious, but I feel a huge difference between going to bed BEFORE, or AFTER midnight.
5) Turn your phone off.
This is the one I had the most struggle with. Just put your phone on « Plane » mode. Turn off the wifi. If possible keep it at a distance. So there you go 🙂 enjoy your little break and reset your internal clock. If you find this has been helpful you can also read « LIGHT OUT » by T.S. Wiley, which is the bok that inspired this article.
Take it easy.