Sleep is one of the most important parts of our daily lives. It is the key to staying healthy, both in body and spirit. Put simply it allows us to stay at the top of our game. I was the person who just couldn’t sleep and I had all but given up. But, one day I realised that I wasn’t living my best life and lack of sleep had a lot to do with it. So, I changed! Change can be challenging but is achievable if you really focus on the end goal.
I built this process for myself many years ago to combat my insomnia. There are 3 basic elements to ensuring you maintain healthy sleep patterns; creating a clear vision each morning, calming down before for sleep at night and repeating the routine every day. Continue reading to find out how to achieve each of these 3 techniques in your life.
1. Create your day
Each morning, create a clear vision of what you want your day to look like. Spend the first half hour of each morning (before sunrise, if possible) imagining what the best version of yourself will look like that day. Whether you are going to work, taking the day off or spending time with the family, when you look back on your day what do you want to see? Create a mental image that feels real to you. Think about the sounds you would hear and how it would smell.
2. A calm sleep environment
Create a calm environment for sleep each night. Working until you drop is simply not the answer. This is called exhaustion and no one has ever said, ‘my best self is always being exhausted’. Creating a calm environment for sleep starts forty-five minutes before you to fall asleep. Use the first fifteen minutes to clear the mind of “have to’s” for the next morning. Use these fifteen minutes to prepare things like; your clothes for tomorrow, packing your lunch or finding your car keys. The next thirty minutes are to prepare your mind for sleep. Jump into bed, switch the lights off and do not distract yourself with a smartphone or TV. During these thirty minutes mentally work back through your day hour by hour and recognise at least one positive thing that you achieved for yourself and/or others. Take your time and find the silver lining of each part of your day, no matter how small. This exercise will take ten to fifteen minutes. The last part of this process is to concentrate on your breathing, counting each breath, in and out, up to the count of ten and repeating until you fall asleep.
The third and final key to achieving a good night’s sleep is probably the hardest – routine. Anything worth having in life will be hard work at first. Commit yourself to the process. Make the necessary life changes to accommodate a schedule that involves rising before sunrise and retiring to bed closer to sundown than you are used to. Start by changing your sleep pattern by half an hour each day until you get to the routine that is right for you. Once you adjust and get used to this new sleep pattern, your body clock will thank you.
Brent’s life training supports people becoming Faster, more Inspired and Tenacious in their daily lives. He has over 20 years experience developing high performance teams with national and international companies.