Today, let’s talk about sleep and its impact on your overall success in life.
Sleep is at the top of my mind for a couple reasons.
First, I just had a business trip where got out of my normal sleep routine, and noticed a distinctive difference in my energy and performance.
Second, one of my online clients has been struggling to overcome her past sleep habits.
For many years she has been used to staying up until 2 or 3am, and then waking up later in the morning.
Like me, she’s naturally a night owl, but hadn’t realized how the late nights and lack of rest/recovery had been impacting her health, happiness, and performance across many areas of life.
As a successful young business owner, she is focussed, driven, and has the ability to set her own work hours.
With the drive and focus on her business, she neglected her health and fitness. Over the past few years, her health, happiness, and energy have slowly declined.
Lately, she has been having many more physical symptoms consistent with too much time in front of a computer, and not enough time moving her body.
She is also finding it hard to maintain her desired body weight while keeping her energy high and remaining focussed at work.
Originally, she approached me for some fitness and workout advice. When we dug into the details of her life, challenges, and goals for the future, it became pretty clear that fitness and diet advice were not the solution.
On our recent coaching calls we’ve been working to set up a new work and play schedule that’s more effective to boost health, happiness, energy, and productivity. This includes:
- Getting to bed earlier
- Creating an evening and morning routine
- Adding consistent movement, mobility, and activity throughout the work day
- Raising her HR above baseline at least a few times per week
While some of the old habits have been challenging to overcome, she’s doing great and has noticed significant improvements in how much energy she has, how much better she feels in the morning, and how much work she can get done without the normal fatigue that had been present for years.
For more info on FRESH! coaching, click here.
I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating…
Sleep is the most underrated factor in personal performance.
It’s also something that’s largely within our control. The exception may be those with very young children or clinical insomnia. Even these have some aspects that you can control.
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize how much a sleep deficit is impacting their performance. The human body can survive on very little sleep, but this existence isn’t fun, and people aren’t thriving.
The challenge is that many people in this situation don’t really know anything different. They’ve been doing it for years and think that this is what life must be like for everyone.
When you have unproductive sleep routines that are sapping their energy, enthusiasm and performance in life, everything becomes more difficult. Motivation decreases, moods and happiness decline, you feel tired all the time, and your goals seem too difficult or impossible to accomplish.
It’s common for people to try fixing each particular symptom with a quick fix.
They will self-medicate with coffee to wake up in the morning, eat more sugar to get a burst of energy, take a sleeping pill to get some rest, or try a crash diet to deal with the extra pounds of fat that have been accumulating.
When we look at the bigger picture, sleep, rest, and recovery is the link between all of them. With clients, this is one of the fundamental skills I help them work on.
After a 2 week “sleep challenge”, the difference they notice in their energy, enthusiasm, motivation, and purpose is incredible.
It’s like their body is finally “awake” and ready to take on the world, instead of lumbering around like a zombie all day, every day!
We all need sleep (approx 7-9 hours), but everyone is slightly different. The amount of sleep needed also shifts based on many factors such as: Activity level, stress, illness, circadian rhythms, medication, etc.
While there are some people who can function on less sleep, the middle of the “Bell Curve” for sleep is about 8 hours. For me, that’s about right. If I get less than 7.5 on a consistent basis, I experience a noticeable difference in health, happiness and performance.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your sleep!
Top 10 Tips for Sleep Success
- Get to bed early (ideally before 10pm)
- Practice great sleep hygiene (room set-up, evening routine, etc.)
- Keep your room as dark as possible
- Keep your room cool
- Avoid screen time within 60-90 minutes of bedtime
- Keep your sleep schedule as consistent as possible between week and weekend
- Do 1-5 minutes of mobility, and breathing/meditation before bed and upon waking
- Eat right for your Metabolic Type (http://bit.ly/MT-Report). Your evening food impacts your sleep.
- Plan for and minimize noise distractions. Use a white noise machine if needed
- ENJOY sleeping. Sleep is time invested in your future productivity and performance!
You task RIGHT NOW is to take 1 Minute and set a reminder for 8pm this evening.
This reminder will be for you to start your Evening Wrap-up Ritual™. This will help you wind down from the day, prepare for sleep, and set you up for success the following day.
Full details on this and other performance boosting routines can be found in my book The Fitness Curveball (www.thefitnesscurveball.com).
So, set your reminder, have a great evening, sleep well, and practice these skills for the next 2 weeks.
Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to consistently do this for 2 weeks and then report back to me (via email or social post) with the impact these sleep habits have had on your life.
Simple, easy to do, it costs nothing, and it’s highly effective. Plus, you will feel great!
The choice is yours.
Try these tips and tasks over the next 2 weeks and then report back to me! I’d love to hear your results!
To balance your sleep-success equation, and learn other performance boosting routines, check out my book The Fitness Curveball www.thefitnesscurveball.com. Use SLEEP35 for 35% off the digital version (download it today).
Happy sleeping (just not at the office). 🙂