[Read original post at www.robertkoebke.com]
We live in a world where it’s a badge of honor to pull an all-nighter at work. We brag to our peers how little we sleep. Hell, I’ve been called lazy on numerous occasions because I value my midday naps so much.
The truth is, we need sleep. There’s no way around it. And, not only do we need sleep, but a lack of sleep is keeping you from being a super productive, healthy, fit, sexy, BAMF (bad ass mother f-er, in case you didn’t know). As paleo diet expert Robb Wolf put it, “If a person sleeps well, you can’t kill them. If they sleep badly, you can’t keep them alive”. The consequences for missing out on sleep, both long term and short term, physically and mentally, include:
- increased blood glucose levels to pre-diabetic status
- increased cortisol levels & decreased testosterone levels, aka holding onto unwanted body fat
- decreased mental acuity and increased cognitive impairment
- decreased ability to recover from workouts
- decreased performance during workouts
- decreased sexual desire
- increased risk for cancer
And the list goes on and on.
Listen – cutting short your sleep so you can have more hours in the day may seem like a great idea for getting more accomplished, but are you actually putting out a high level work with those extra hours?
Study after study demonstrates you aren’t.
In order to accomplish more throughout your day, you’d be better served to master certain techniques and principles such as Pareto’s Principle, Parkinson’s Law, leveraging, and delegating (more about these in later posts).
Now that I’ve outlined the importance of sleep, let me give you some hacks you can use to improve your quality (I’ve experimented with many of these. Some work better than others, and it will vary from person to person. Experiment and see what works best for you).
- Eat more animal fat throughout the day. Besides the other benefits that are outlinedhere, increasing your fat intake has been shown to drastically improve sleep quality.
- Consume a few tsp of honey about 15 minutes before going to sleep
- Sleep in a completely dark room. No cell phone, alarm clock, TV, or LED lights of any kind before bed
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol (duh)
- Consume roughly 5,000 IU’s of Vitamin D when you wake up
- Lift heavy weights and/or sprint
- Stand for 8 hours a day OR stand on one leg until exhaustion
- Sleep in a cool room
- Along similar lines as above, take a 15 minute hot bath before bed for the rapid cooling effect that takes place immediately after
Like I said, experiment with these different hacks and see what works best for you. Post to the comments below if you’ve used these, or other techniques to improve your sleep quality.