1. Find a sleep schedule that works for you and your life and stick to it, Everyday, Even on weekends. This one is the first for a reason; it's the most important. Your body likes routine and sleeping later on the weekends won't make up for skimping on sleep during the week. It will only make it harder to get up on Monday.
2. Aim to get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise or physical activity every day. This way, by the time bedtime rolls around, you'll be plenty tired to be able to fall asleep on time. Please keep in mind, try not to exercise too late in the day. No later than 2-3 hours before your bedtime.
3. Avoid Caffeine, Nicotine, and other stimulants. I want to tell you to give them up completely, but I know for most that is not going to happen. Not only can they keep you up, but they also may limit you to only the lighter stages of sleep, leaving you less rested. Also, people who are addicted to nicotine may wake up too early because of withdrawal.
4. Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed. Even if you think it helps you relax, it's only going to limit your amount of REM sleep. Remember, there is a difference between sleeping and being unconscious (this also applies to many Sleep Meds).
5. Avoid large meals/drinks close to bedtime. Indigestion can cause sleep disruptions, and drinking too much close to bedtime can have you waking up frequently to urinate.
6. Avoid medicines that can disrupt your sleep. Be wary of the potential side effects of your medications and work with your doctor to find ways to adjust your dosing protocol to accommodate your sleep (This is in no way suggesting for you to stop taking your medication, please consult your doctor before taking any action on this).
7. Don't take naps after 3 pm. Napping too late in the day can make falling asleep later more difficult.
8. Schedule time to unwind from your day before bed and make it part of your bedtime ritual.
9. Take a hot bath/shower before bed. This works well with unwinding after a long day, and your body temperate will drop after getting out, further facilitating sleep.
10. Have a sleep environment that is dark, cool, and gadget-free. Purchase blackout curtains to limit outside light and try to eliminate all other lights, no matter how small or insignificant. Further, purchase a really nice mattress pillow and sheets. You spend a third of your life in it; it's worth the investment.
11. Make sure you get enough quality sunlight during the day to better regulate your circadian rhythms.
12. Don't lie in bed awake. If you're having trouble falling asleep after 30 minutes, get up and do some relaxing activity until you feel sleepy and try again.
** Adapted from Why We Sleep By Matthew Walker PhD
Two construction workers are sitting down to eat lunch.
One opens his bag and hollers in frustration and anger and says:
“Son of Bitch!”
“I cannot stand this anymore!”
His friend looks concerned and asks, “what wrong?”
He responds: "Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches again!"
The friend says, "why don’t you ask your wife to make you something different?"
Sadly, the guy mumbles, “I pack my own lunch”.
You alone are in control of your health, fitness, and life.
You are in the driver seat.
If you've gained a little weight, commit to tracking your calories, and work your way back down.
If you keep getting beat up and injured in the gym, prioritize sleep and make sure you're getting enough protein and quality calories.
If you keep getting sick or struggle with maintaining energy, again DECIDE to work on your sleep habits, consume nutritious food to fuel you, and take time to unwind to manage your stress.
You have to decide what's important to you.
Keep making the right decisions consistently, and over time, you'll find success.
Let the little bad decisions creep in here and there, and then eventually, they become the new norm.It's not easy.
It's not supposed to be.
If someone says it's easy, it's probably a scam and too good to be true.
You can't make something easy that is supposed to be hard in the first place.
But I assure you that a little short term discomfort will change your life.