Ever felt like the guy in the picture? Get about half way through your day and just need to lay down and take a nap? Well, even the best of us need our hustler rest!
Forget smart drugs, the single best way to enhance your cognitive powers and become more focused is to get more sleep. And forget supplements, the single best way to accelerate your muscle gains and improve your strength is to get more sleep. There are countless articles out there that detail ‘life hacks’ and other strategies, but really, you could just use some good sleep.
Some of these stupid 'life hacks' range between lying on spiked mats (which is nonsense), to taking ZMA or zinc magnesium aspartate (which doesn’t do much for sleep, but is good for overall health), to eating honey before bed (which might just be helpful but is negligible, but again, raw honey is awesome for overall health). A more efficient strategy is to look at some small, simple changes you can make to your routine that will have a major impact on the quality and quantity of your sleep. Because if you sleep well, you feel well. And when you feel well, you perform at your best!
So here we go...
Number 1: Take a hot shower or bath before bed
This helps to encourage the production of growth hormone and melatonin and it also helps to relax the muscles – far more effectively than taking valerian root. As your body cools down, you’ll sink into a much deeper and more restorative sleep and you’ll also save yourself time in the morning.
Number 2: Open the window a bit to get some fresh air
We sleep much better when our environment is slightly cool. Let some cool air into your room but make sure you can keep warm with your blankets or with your significant other, hehe.
Number 3: Go for a run or walk in the mornings
Getting more exercise helps you sleep more, as does getting fresh air and vitamin D. You can also supplement with vitamin D in the morning – If you live in the Pacific Northwestern US, like me then there’s a good chance you’re deficient. Exercising early helps pump you up for the day, and will help wear you down so that you are ready to hit the pillow when it is that time.
Number 4: Reading a book or meditating
Take half an hour or even just 15 minutes before bed to wind down and do some reading or just sit still and do some meditation. Avoid looking at mobile screens or computers if possible, as the light from these increases cortisol production and will keep you stimulated... I know, it's hard not checking those crypto prices before you go to sleep...Which is horrible for your sleep in most cases, lol. So read an actual printed book, or just learn to be still with yourself and maybe write down your thoughts from the day in a notebook.
Number 5: Prioritize your sleep
Most important of all is simply to prioritize your sleep and to give it the attention it deserves. Stop watching YouTube or 3Speak videos until 2am in the morning and start getting into a routine. I try to hit the bed most nights around 11 pm, but when I am in building mode, it's sometimes allot later. But when I do that and I prioritize work over sleep, I usually feel like crap the next day and do not end up getting half of what I wanted to get done.
Number 6: Having an environment for sleeping
Of course you also need to look after the environment you’re sleeping in. Comfortable PJs and blankets, along with curtains that actually block out the light and an absence of blinking LEDs will make a huge difference. It is also a great idea to shut off your mobile devices before sleep. Not only will you not get woken up by the random notifications in the middle of the night, but it also cuts out the radiation waves around you which helps your body calm down and sleep.
Number 7: Do not eat late night meals and eat healthy overall
One of my complete downfall is the late night snack or the occasional 4th meal, lol. Having a healthy diet overall is extremely important to your physical and mental health which drives your energy and performance. Health is the truest form of wealth. What you put in your body is what you are going to get out.
The issue with late night meals and snacks is that your body is trying to work and burn energy while you are trying to do the exact opposite. What this ends up doing is allot of times making you feel uncomfortable while laying down, causes heart burn, etc, which causes a lack of sleep. Also if you consume sugar at night, you are likely to wake up in a bad mood because your body is over producing cortisol which can cause you to feel moody or emotional in the mornings. I sometimes wake up angry and ready to fight... No way to get the day started...
Waking up on time
If you get to bed at a decent hour and you are able to calm your mind, shut out distractions, stay comfortable and get some good sleep, you will most likely get up in the morning on time and ready to rock! When I get good sleep, which unfortunately isn't often enough, which is why I am writing this article as a personal reminder, I wake up ready to get the day started. Those are the best and most productive days.
When you do wake up on time and get moving, it tends to keep you on a pace for the day and you will certainly be more productive.
Wrapping it up
So in conclusion, sleep is really one of the most important things you can do for yourself. It is how your body and mind heals from the battles of the day. If you work out or just work your butt off for a living, then your body needs sleep more than anything because that's how your muscles heal is by resting.
So if you aren't getting enough sleep, and you feel like crap most days and constantly feeling fatigued, you really need to prioritize your sleep schedule. Because, if you aren't feeling great, your are not going to perform great.
Eating healthy and not eating or drinking before bed helps you get a good nights rest, but also just makes you feel good overall.
So as you see, your hustle goes completely in line with your health and sleep patterns. You won't have that hustler spirit if you are only rocking on fumes!
Everyday we're hustlin'!