Get Better Sleep

Summary: Sleep is one of the most important things in our lives. Here's how to be a little better at it. (Tweet This!)

If there's one topic of Be Better Now that I don't know how to categorize it is sleep. It naturally seems to fit in health. However, one could make a strong case it fits in the mind section. It has a large impact on productivity and hence money.

Most sleep experts seem to recommend that we get 8 hours of sleep each night. The simple math tells us that 1/3rd of our lives is spent sleeping. If you live to 75 years old, approximately 25 years could be spent sleeping.

Any way you slice it sleep is a Big Deal.

My dog sleeps like this.

With anything as big as that any kind of optimization multiplies itself substantially. If you be effective in 7 hours of sleep you'll get more than three years of your life back.

I shouldn't need to convince you any more, so here are a few ways to get better sleep:

  • Take a Nap - I am a huge fan of naps. I have them planned into my day. With the nap, I can get be productive until 11PM or later. Without the nap, I start to wind down right after dinner.

    My wife isn't a nap person. Sometimes she gives it a try and just wakes up more tired than she was before. Do what works for you.

  • Time Your Nap Right - Almost Bohemian tells of Salvador Dali sleeping with a key. You sit in a chair to fall asleep holding a key. When you fall asleep, the key falls and the sound of it on the floor wakes you up rested. It's timed so that you get to your most relaxed point. The best part is that you don't oversleep.
  • Fight Back - Try to stay awake. Your body wants to sleep and you may be anxiously trying to get to sleep. If you try to stay awake you won't be anxious and hence fall asleep. It even has a long name and scientific research: paradoxical intention. You can read more about it here
  • Enlist some Technology - There are apps for your smart phones and devices like the Fitbit Flex that will track your sleep. I'm most excited about the Luna Smartbed, which is just a cover over your mattress that delivers a lot of data without having to wear any uncomfortable gadgets.

Further Reading:

The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night's Sleep has only 18 reviews on Amazon with is typically too small for me to recommend. However, reviewers collective rate it at 4.3 stars... and there's the Harvard Medical School aspect going for it.

Looking for something with better (and more) reviews? Sleep Smarter: 21 Proven Tips to Sleep Your Way To a Better Body, Better Health and Bigger Success has 88 Amazon reviews and an incredible 4.7 stars. The Kindle price is currently a penny under a fiver which seems like a very good deal.

This post involves:

Health / Fitness

... and focuses on: