Being in the music business and starting my life as an entrepreneur from my early 20s to early 30s caused me to create horrible sleeping habits that eventually came to bite me in the butt. Getting 2-4 hours of sleep per night was my normal life for many years, and for the most part, I always felt great.
“I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is the all-too common mentality that many entrepreneurs follow. It’s okay to pull a couple of all-nighters here and there, but when it becomes your daily routine, you are playing with fire.
Many of us are under the misconception that skimping on our sleep so that we can work more will get us to our goal faster, but many studies have now proven this to actually be counterproductive to what we are trying to achieve. Consistent lack of sleep makes us under-perform. So though we may be working longer hours, essentially the quality of our work and our creativity diminishes (not to mention the damage we’re also causing to our health).
Quality sleep strengthens our immune system, boosts our metabolism, balances our hormones, increases our energy, and improves our cognitive function. Once I was in my mid 30s I found this all out the hard way. Over a decade of crappy sleep had taken a toll on my health. From becoming about 30 lbs overweight (though I was still eating well) to having consistent brain fog and many issues in between; I simply was feeling like crap.
Unfortunately bad habits are hard to break. My inner clock was accustomed to me going to bed around 4am and waking up before 7am every day. So no matter how hard I tried to get to bed earlier, it was almost always impossible for me to actually fall asleep.
Little did I know that certain habits I was doing every day were actually working against me instead of helping me improve my sleep. It’s amazing what a little bit of knowledge can do to change our lives.
Here are the top five things that drastically improved my sleep:
1. Kill the use of electronic screens at night
Our TVs, computers, and mobile devices emit artificial blue light that cause major sleep problems. Turning my TV on was the first thing I always did as soon as I went to my bedroom at night. I had no clue that artificial blue light triggers our body to produce more daytime hormones and suppresses our production of melatonin.
Some of you might argue that you still manage to fall asleep even when your TV is on, and you might be correct. However, just because you might have fallen asleep does not mean that you got “quality” sleep. This explains why sometimes you’re still sleepy even after getting 8+ hours of sleep.
Some of you might also argue that it might not matter if your TV was left on cause your eyes were closed anyway. Hate to break it to ya, but our skin also contains photoreceptors just like our eyes. So even if your eyes are closed, the artificial blue light is still being picked up by your skin and causing havoc to your hormones.
Good rule of thumb is to avoid exposure to electronic screens 90 minutes before bedtime to allow your melatonin and cortisol levels to normalize and improve the quality of your sleep cycles.
Magnesium is most likely the number one mineral that we are deficient in. Getting our magnesium levels up reduces our body’s stress load and almost instantly improves our sleep quality. Research has even shown that one of the main symptoms of magnesium deficiency is chronic insomnia. Supplementing with magnesium citrate worked great for me.
3. No caffeine after 2PM
Caffeine has it’s benefits early in the day, but consuming it in the afternoon or evening is not a good idea. Caffeine has a half-life of approximately 5-8 hours. This means that if you have a cup of coffee at 2pm, by the time 10pm comes along you will still have about half the amount of active caffeine in your system which will disturb your sleep cycles. Caffeine also causes our adrenal glands to produce cortisol and adrenaline (two anti-sleep hormones).
4. Working out in the morning instead of at night
Being able to include some exercise and movement in your daily routine is important, but doing it in the morning does have some benefits for your sleep. Research has shown that people who workout early in the morning have a deeper sleep cycle than those who workout later in the day. Why is this beneficial? Our “deep sleep” cycle is when our body does it’s repair work.
5. HGH Gel
The latest addition to my bag of tricks! After over 3 years of doing the things I listed above, my sleep improved by leaps and bounds and I couldn’t have been happier with my progress. I was going to sleep much earlier and I was starting to feel much better overall with my health.
Just when I thought my sleep could not have gotten any better, I was introduced to this gel. I started using it about 5 months ago and within a week of being on it, I realized how much more room for improvement my sleep quality actually had. For the first time in many years I was having extremely vivid dreams! Prior to the gel, I was lucky if I had a dream I could remember once every couple of months. I now realized that even though my amount of sleep hours had improved, I was actually not really getting much REM sleep. The gel helped me take my sleep cycles to a healthy new level (not to mention the many other benefits I started having)!
I personally loved the benefits of this HGH gel so much that I became an independent distributor of the company. Feel free to get more details here.
Fair warning – as an independent distributor I make a commission from selling this product, but please be clear that I do not promote anything that I do not use or that I do not believe in.
I hope that these tips were helpful and that you are able to improve your sleep as much as I did.
Books I highly recommend:
Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker