12 Sleep Hygiene Tips To Help You Get A Good Night's Sleep 😴
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I’ve talked about getting high-quality sleep a few times on my podcast. Every time I do, I get emails from people asking me about my routine, what I do differently, how I get such good sleep, and so on.
That’s why I’ve decided to put together this resource on getting better sleep. Please feel free to share this with whoever needs it - if it helps just one person, I’ve done my job.
(By the way, if you want to subscribe to the podcast, just search for "Financial Advisor Marketing".)
Why Sleep Is Critical for Success...
Even moderate sleep deprivation is akin to the impairment you would get from being drunk… literally.
Which means if you aren’t sleeping enough, it’s like you’re boozing throughout the day. You’re putting yourself at such an unnecessary disadvantage. The person who DOES get high-quality sleep will eventually come along and crush you.
And even if you’re getting eight hours of sleep per night, it may not be quality sleep. You see, you need REM and deep sleep - this is the “good” sleep. It’s the sleep that repairs your body and your brain. Some people stay in bed for eight hours per night and don’t get the essential repair their body needs.
I know - I used to struggle with sleep. I had insomnia for years. Plus, whenever I DID get some shut-eye, it wasn’t good. I would wake up groggy, irritable, and more tired than before.
That’s when I started tracking my sleep and experimenting with different ways to improve it. Now my sleep looks like this:
So, I’m not just spouting off “theory” here… I’m actually tracking my sleep every single night and using the following information to make sure I get the best sleep possible.
However, before we get started, I want to make it clear that I am NOT a doctor and I am NOT giving you medical advice. I’m only sharing information that has worked for me. If you need medical advice, please seek a doctor. At the end of the day, I’m just a guy on the internet and you probably don’t know me from Adam.
Now, let’s get into it…
1. Go To Bed At The Same Time Each Night
Let the power of habit work in your favor.
As human beings, we have the ability to control various stimuli and responses to condition ourselves for certain behaviors. By developing a sleep routine and going to bed at the same time each night, you’re conditioning yourself to fall asleep easily.
I must admit, I struggle with this… especially when I’ve got a good idea for my Inner Circle newsletter and want to write about it. Yet, I do tend to sleep at the same time each night.
What’s the best time for you to go to sleep? Why, I’m glad you asked. Because the answer depends on your chronotype, so…
2. Figure Out Your Sleep Chronotype
This changed my life.
When I figured out my chronotype, I started learning all the “right” times to do things. It allowed me to rearrange my schedule and go about my day in a way that leveraged my circadian rhythm. No joke, my productivity doubled overnight.
When it comes to learning your chronotype, read this book: The Power of When by Dr. Michael Breus
This book talks about the subject in more depth than I ever could in a brief article. In a nutshell, there are four chronotypes: lions, bears, wolves, and dolphins. Lions, for example, are early risers. Wolves are the ones who like to stay up late. The bottom line is that if you’re a wolf trying to operate in a lion’s world, you are hurting yourself and you’re not operating anywhere near your potential.
I’m personally a bear, which is the most common chronotype. I got a little lucky because most of our modern world is built around a bear’s schedule.
3. Eliminate All Blue Light
Research has found that exposure to blue light suppresses the production of melatonin (the hormone that regulates sleep/wake cycles) more than any other type of light.
The bad news is that our computers, phones, and other electronics emit this disruptive light.
If you have an iPhone or iPad, put it on Night Shift mode.
Install a software called f.lux on your computer.
Also, configure your TV settings to have it show warm colors instead of cool colors.
If you really want to get fancy, invest in a pair of blue light blocking glasses. Put them on in the evening, a few hours before bed, to ensure you don’t expose yourself to any harmful blue light.
In a world where people are used to falling asleep to the glow of a screen, these glasses can help you fall asleep more naturally and wake up refreshed.
4. Get An Air Purifier
I don’t have asthma. I don’t have allergies. I never really had trouble breathing.
Yet, when I got an air purifier, I was amazed at how much better I could breathe.
We’re never really conscious of our breathing, but we’re doing it all the time. What’s scary is that, by breathing, we’re sucking in dust, dust mites, pet hair, pet dander, mold spores, bacteria, and more.
This can wreak havoc on your body and your sleep. After all, it’s difficult to sleep when you have congestion, a stuffy nose, and/or shortness of breath.
The only issue is that most air purifiers are expensive. A quick Google search will reveal some air purifiers selling for $800 or more.
The one I got was the Pure Enrichment PureZone.
It’s got a true HEPA filter which captures 99.97% of dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, mold spores, and even household odors.
Yes… household odors. Which means if you “blame it on the dog” more than you should, this will get rid of the smell. Or if you cook something stinky (like cabbage) you can put it in the kitchen to avoid having the smell go throughout the rest of the house.
And check this out - what you see below is a photo I took when I changed the air filters in my air purifier. The one on the left (the used one) is dark and filled with all types of junk. Can you believe we’re breathing in that stuff all day?
5. Avoid Caffeine At Night
Not only should you avoid caffeine (like energy drinks, coffee, etc.) at night, you should NOT have caffeine first thing in the morning.
Which means you should NOT have coffee as soon as you wake up.
Why? Because after you wake up, your cortisol levels are naturally high. Cortisol is the hormone causing you to wake up and feel alert.
Throwing coffee on top of high cortisol levels won’t do much. That’s why the optimal time to have coffee is around 90 minutes after you wake up. (If you don’t believe me, try it and you’ll notice a difference.)
If I wake up at 7:30 a.m., I will wait until 9 a.m. to have my first (and only) cup of coffee that day. In fact, that’s the only caffeine I have all day long. The rest of the day I’m usually drinking LaCroix. (Berry is my favorite flavor.)
When I make my coffee, I make a homemade “bulletproof” style coffee, complete with butter and MCT oil. This is the MCT oil I use.
That might sound strange to those of you who have never heard of this concept before, but the butter and MCT oil make the coffee high in healthy fats, which helps me feel less hungry and keeps my brain working at a higher level.
Oh, and if you’re interested in ramping up your brainpower, check out this article: How I Gained An Unfair Advantage By Unlocking My Brainpower
6. Get Blackout Curtains for Your Bedroom
I’ve spent a bunch of my own money on sleep experts and coaches, and this was one of the most impactful pieces of advice I got…
Make your bedroom DARK.
Get rid of all light. If you have a cable box, put black tape over the light. If you have a glowing alarm clock, get rid of it or get one where you can turn off the light.
Your room should be so dark at night that you can’t even see your hand in front of you. One way to accomplish this is with blackout curtains.
These are my favorites: Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtains
Plus, investing in a pair of quality blackout curtains will help you save energy because they insulate against the summer heat and winter chill. The ones I linked to above are also machine washable, so cleaning them is easy.
Also, if you live in the city, blackout curtains can help reduce noise pollution, making your bedroom quieter than ever before.
7. Spray Lavender On Your Pillows
Lavender is my personal favorite because it’s been proven to work as an anxiolytic (anxiety reliever) to increase relaxation and calm. That’s why it’s the perfect essential oil to put of your pillows and sheets before you get in bed.
In my experience, lavender has improved my sleep quality and it appears to boost the amount of time spent in deep sleep. Of course, your mileage may vary, but you should give it a try.
This is the spray I use: Aromatherapy Pillow Mist
8. Experiment With Supplements
I encourage you to do your own research and try various supplements because you may have a deficiency of a certain vitamin or mineral that’s impacting your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
For example, some people are magnesium deficient, which impacts their sleep. Some studies have found that magnesium supplements may help elderly people fall asleep faster and help those with restless legs syndrome. Magnesium also plays a key role in regulating the body’s stress-response system, which helps you relax.
One popular supplement people take is melatonin. Again, I encourage you to do your own research because melatonin’s effects have widely been debunked as a placebo for most people. Plus, it’s a hormone. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to impact my body’s ability to produce its own hormones.
One of the only supplements that have helped me personally is Bach Rescue Sleep. They’re liquid melts - you put one on your tongue and let it melt. That’s it.
Using Bach Rescue Sleep has allowed me to get an INSANE 3+ hours of deep sleep on a regular basis. Figuring the average person only gets 1-1.5 hours of deep per night, this means I'm getting more than double the average person.
Another reason why this is such a big deal is because it means I can sleep 6 hours and still feel as rested as someone who is sleeping 9 hours per night because my sleep is going to be higher quality.
9. Keep Your Bedroom Cool
In general, the suggested bedroom temperature should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep.
Unfortunately, running the air conditioner in the 60s all night long could lead to a really high electricity bill.
That’s why I recommend investing in a BedJet.
It’s a climate control system for your bed. It can adjust your bed temperature in seconds, and it fits on any bed (although it’s way better if you can stow it away under your bed).
A BedJet is a lifesaver if you’re a hot sleeper because it can completely eliminate night sweats. I even know doctors who recommend it to women seeking relief from menopausal hot flashes.
It helps you get better sleep because it ensures you stay cool all night long. You just set it up (it’s easy to install), pick the temperature you want, and that’s it. When you create your perfect sleep temperature, you’ll get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer.
And yes, the BedJet is a little pricey, but it’s way cheaper than expensive electricity bills. Plus, sleeping better is an investment in yourself. You’ll be able to function at a higher level because you’ll be well-rested.
You can also get a cooling pad, like the chiliPAD, which also lets you customize the temperature for one side or two.
10. Invest In A High-Quality Mattress
You spend a third of your life in bed, so why skimp on the purchase? The best mattress I've found is the Amerisleep AS3. It's also ranked by Sleepjunkie as the best bed of the year, and I agree.
It's perhaps the most comfortable mattress I've ever experienced. One of their "secrets" is that they use a material called Celliant that the FDA has determined promotes more restful sleep. That alone means you'll sleep your best on this mattress because none of the other companies I've looked at have materials certified by the FDA.
I like the AS3 (their best-selling mattress) because it's a good mix of support and softness. However, if you need something even softer, get the AS5.
Check them out here: Amerisleep Mattresses
11. Stop Snoring (Here's How...)
Did you know that people who snore have an 80% increased risk of insulin resistance? That means snoring is a risk factor for Type II diabetes.
Also, regular snorers face an increased risk of heart disease that is 5X greater than people who only snore occasionally. As a result, chronic snorers have a greater chance of hypertension, stroke, and high cholesterol. 😨
Thankfully, neither I nor my wife snore in our sleep. However, one of my podcast listeners (search “Financial Advisor Marketing” to find it wherever you listen to podcasts) told me about this device and I think it can help a lot of people…
It’s called Smart Nora, and it’s one of the best anti-snoring devices I’ve ever seen.
Forget all those silly mouth guards, nose strips, and straps. It works in conjunction with an expander you put under your pillow. When Nora hears you sleeping, it will gently move your head, so you stop.
The science behind why this works is simple. When you fall asleep, your neck and throat muscles relax. This decreases the size of your airway and causes the vibrations. The slight movement of your head stimulates these muscles and opens the airway, which stops the snoring and gets you breathing normally again. The best part is that you can sleep in any position and on any part of the pillow and it will still work for you.
Seriously, if you snore (or your partner snores), I highly encourage you to check out Smart Nora because it could change your life.
12. Use A Weighted Blanket.
My favorite weighted blankets come from Hush, which has more than 5,000 five-star reviews from satisfied customers, including me.
A weighted blanket is 3-5X heavier than a regular duvet and has been proven to help people reduce anxiety and have deeper sleep. Studies have found they also increase sleep time and decrease movement (which is why my "restfulness" score from above is so good).
A good rule of thumb is to get a blanket that is 10% of your weight. So, if you're a 200 lb. man, the ideal blanket for you will likely be 20 lbs.
The Bottom Line
Those are some of my favorite ways to get better sleep. Again I’m not a doctor (nor do I play one on TV) but these are some of the things that have worked for me.
Getting better sleep is one of the ways you can “level up” as a human being, and I hope I’ve helped you in some way.
Feel free to reach out to me with anything you’ve found that helps your sleep. I can’t promise I will respond to everyone, but I love hearing from people and sleep is one of my favorite topics.
And if you want to learn even more about sleep, check out this book: Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker