Sleep is arguably a topic that already has enough coverage. I mean, you probably don’t need another person telling you you should be getting more sleep or giving you random advice for sleeping better.
But… I’m kind of going to do it anyway. My reason being is that if I can share one tip on this podcast with one person that helps them get a better night sleep, then it’s worth it.
In addition, I’m on my high horse about sleep at the moment because I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that since I’ve been travelling, my sleep hygiene has taken a real hit.
The truth is, sleeping in different places every few weeks not to mention different time zones, makes it nigh impossible to keep up the kind of military-like sleep regime I had pre-January 2019.
And I’ve had to admit to myself: it’s affecting me. I know my energy is dipping way quicker than it used to, I know I’m abusing coffee in a way that isn’t doing me any favours, and I’m sure my memory and attention span aren’t what they once were…
Where was I again? Oh yeah, sleep!
I recently took matters into my own paws and decided to dive into the much-recommended best-selling book, Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker.
For someone who thought they knew everything they could about getting a good nights sleep, this book blew me away. I learned SO much, and not just about getting a good night’s sleep but about dreams and our body clock and a whole host of other fun facts I don’t have time to dive into on this episode, but in short: read the book!
Why sleep is so important for creativity
Oh and before I dive in to my recipe for an excellent night’s sleep, I should mention: I am not a natural good sleeper. I always found it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep even as a child, and I’m still a very light sleeper to this day.
I struggled most with sleep in my late teens, and resorted to herbal sleeping pills which didn’t seem to help me sleep, but did seem to make me feel drowsy the next day… Oh and as a side note on sleeping pills, I’m not one to preach but after reading Why We Sleep I can honestly say I wouldn’t touch those with a barge pole. Really – there’s some scary stuff in that book regarding sleeping pills – it’s worth giving it a google and making your own mind up though.
I’m also not someone who can get by on 4-6 hours sleep. I have friends who claim to be of that genetic ilk, but I actually don’t believe them. I can’t help but think: sure, you’re great and all on a few hours kip, but what would you be like with a solid 8? You’d probably be a superhuman!
I seem to be at my best with at least 8 hours sleep, even closer to 9. In the book, Walker makes it quite simple to figure out if you’re getting enough sleep. Quote:
“First, after waking up in the morning, could you fall back asleep at ten or eleven a.m.? If the answer is “yes,” you are likely not getting sufficient sleep quantity and/or quality. Second, can you function optimally without caffeine before noon? If the answer is “no,” then you are most likely self-medicating your state of chronic sleep deprivation.”
Yeah. I realised that of late, I can honestly say I’m not getting enough sleep, so I’ve decided to do my very best to put together a sleep-regime that will work for me on the road, and that will hopefully be of use to you too, regardless of where you are.
Here are some resources for some sweet dreams:
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