Sleep Tips: How to Sleep Better and Naturally Fall Asleep?
For many years, I considered my sleep as a waste of time: 8 hours doing nothing!? Even today I still hardly accept that I’ll spend 8 hours per day sleeping for the rest of my life. It’s a lot of time in our lives.
But I’ve realized that exceptional quality of sleep is a superpower!
In fact, since my early years as an entrepreneur I tried to optimize it. I have tried polyphasic sleep for example.
Polyphasic sleep is a practice where you schedule different phase of sleeps during the day; for example (but there are many variations), 4 hours of sleep at night and two naps of 30 minutes during the day. ‘Poly’ means ‘many’ in ancient Greek and ‘phasic’ = phase.
Anyway, the goal of today’s article is to give you some sleep tips. I want to help you understand how you can fall asleep naturally and improve the quality of your sleep.
Why it’s important to sleep better?
Let’s try to compare two scenarios,
I want to picture yourself after spending a horrible night:
You went to bed at 1am to finish working on one project you have to finish. You’ve had insomnia and woke up after a nightmare at 6:30am… And when looking at the time on your phone, you realize you have to be awake in 30 minutes. You hesitate… but thinking of how late you went to bed, you try to take the best of these 30 minutes left and fall asleep.
And 30 mins later, right in the middle of your sleep cycle, you are woken up by your alarm. Probably snooze it a couple of times before finally giving up and pulling yourself out of bed. You are not feeling good. The only thing you want right now is to go back to bed, but your day is starting and you have to get ready.
It’s probably a horrible morning ahead 🌧⚡️
I want you to picture yourself after a good night sleep.
You’ve just had a full night of straight sleep. It was easy to fall asleep. No interruption during that night. At some point you heard the neighbor’s dog barking but it didn’t bother you, you went straight back to sleep. On that morning, you could wake up at the time you decided. You don’t have to rush out of bed.
It’s a beautiful morning ahead ☀️
So, which morning would you prefer having?
To me, I consider my sleep important because I believe this is what helps us enjoy our days more.
Sleep better = Live better.
After a good night sleep you are full of energy and ready to tackle all the challenges ahead. You may be more enthusiastic, more creative, more present. You also don’t need all the drugs to keep you awake such as coffee, sugar, energy drinks and other supplements.
Think of sleep as your super power. It’s the start of a healthier and more fulfilling life. Only for this reason, I believe this is important to pay attention to our sleep quality.
5 things I do to sleep better
Respecting my sleep schedule everyday
It’s something I had difficulties to implement because I’ve always liked to be flexible and enjoy the freedom we have as entrepreneurs. If I can choose my own schedule, why would I want to implement a series of boring routines and schedules?
But the truth is, having a fixed schedule helps your body to work for you. By creating a habit of going to sleep at the same time and waking up at the same time, over time, your body will help you wake up and fall asleep. Simply because he knows that it’s the usual time for you.
And it is satisfying to wake up 5 minutes before your alarm while having slept enough time.
So I’d recommend to choose a time you want to wake up everyday, calculate how many hours of sleep you need at night… and respect this schedule.
PRO TIPS: You could set an alarm to let you know it’s time to go to bed. For example you can set it 1h before your bed time. As funny as it may seem, I’ve done that and it helped me to discipline myself and stop scrowling on my phone and start getting ready for bed. Or even end a late hangout with friends because it was getting late.
Daily reviews: preparing tomorrow, today
One of the biggest problem entrepreneurs face is anxiety. Especially toward the future. So I recommend that you focus on preparing tomorrow, today.
Preparing your tomorrow is much easier than planning 3 months or 3 years ahead. So that’s why I prepare the next day ahead and get ready to smash my goals.
You can do like me: Take 15 minutes at the end of your workday, review what you’ve done and what is left to be done. And allocate your tasks for the next day.
You may even start journalling about what happened and write down your struggles, your successes, etc. Since I do it, my mind is more calm after this little exercice and it surely helps to go to bed.
It will help you to feel better about what you’ve accomplished but also release some of the possible burden you may have in your head.
After this, you can spend the evening focusing on your family and friends. Then fall asleep, knowing that tomorrow is under control.
Drinking less coffee and banning it after lunch time
It’s a hard one. I know. Living in Vietnam; the land of ca phe sua da, the land of robusta… In Saigon, I don’t know any street that doesn’t have any coffee. And trust me, usually it’s more something like 10 coffee shops per 100 meters…
But I am also coming from France and one of our favorite activity at work is to stand by the coffee machine. And I remember I could drink a lot of coffee too…
So as long as I’ll be in Vietnam, it’s probably going to be very hard not to drink their delicious coffee… I used to drink 3-5 coffees per day. It’s easy to drink coffee when you have meetings all day and you love coffee…
The problem with coffee is that it’s competing with your sleep. If you cannot avoid it, then you can limit yourself.
I came up with two rules to trick my body and mind to stop this madness:
- Lobby for having my meetings in the afternoon.
- Ban driking coffee past lunch time.
So at least I know that during my afternoon meetings, I’ll not be drinking coffee. And eventually, I’d drink only one in the morning. This has helped my body to agree to shutdown in the evening and letting me go to sleep.
PS: after doing this for a while, I’m more into having a coffee from time to time these days. I’ve also realised that reducing my coffee intake has helped me improve my skin beauty.
No phone next to my bed
I am constantly on my phone ALL DAY. It’s a tool for work, for socializing and for entertainment. Our apps are competing for attention. How could I not use it? It’s a hard battle.
The problem with using your phone before bed is that you bring your work, your friends and your entertainment with you while you are supposed to fall asleep. It’s totally contradictory.
So I’ve set a limit: I must leave my phone outside my bedroom, in airplane mode, until the next morning.
Of course it’s hard and of course there are days where I fail. But by trying to implement this I know that I’m going to sleep better.
PRO TIPS: For those who uses their phone as an alarm, well, you can buy a 2$ clock that can ring properly. You can also leave your phone far enough from the bed, so that when it rings, you will need to wake up to turn it off.
Performing my shutdown routine before bed
After 8:30pm, I have a shutdown routine. I’d perform a series of little things that help me to fall asleep. As I like to vary it, I cannot really give you in detail what I do but here are a few ideas:
One hour before bed, find things you could do to calm yourself and prepare for bed:
- Reading a book (a novel)
- Petting your cat or your dog
- Drinking a hot infusion
- Turning on relaxing music
- Giving a massage to your partner
- Practicing yoga or meditation
The idea is not to be perfect right away. If there is one thing I’d like you guys to remember from this article is that sleep is part of our day as much as other tasks we perform. If your nights are difficult, chances are your days are not necessarily better.
What you do during your day has an impact on how your nights will be.
Understand this and step by step, you will identify and try what works best for you to sleep better and fally asleep naturally.
And it’s really depending on the little things. For example, for me, I also decided to move to a new apartment in a quieter neighborhood because of the noise. And this changed everything.
Thank you for reading until the end!
Every morning, after my meditation 🧘🏽and my breakfast ☕️, I sit at my desk for one hour and write answers to my own questions, as an entrepreneur ✍️. Then I publish it on this blog, hoping to help other entrepreneurs to find answers to their questions too. And this, no matter your “level”.
To participate, ask me questions on social medias @nicolasthanhg (click on the icons below). I may answer directly or write an article about it.
Now, you can also go back to the blog page and search for articles related to your scope of interest. 🔍
Have a good day,