Episode 291

How To Become A Better Sleeper

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your ability fall asleep? How about the quality of your sleep?

If you’re like many folks, sleep does not come easily. The act of getting to sleep can be frustrating and can have you thinking that you need sleeping aids, drugs or a whole host of other things to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

I struggled with sleep for many years, and I turned to a number of things to help me out. But the one thing I didn’t try until many years later, was investigating the ways in which I had taught myself to be a poor sleeper. That idea of conditioning myself for bad sleep didn’t even cross my mind.

In today’s episode I’m going to share with you what has helped me become one of those people who falls asleep instantly and wakes up feeling rested and energized! I believe it’s totally possible for you to change both your relationship to sleep and the quality of sleep you’re getting.

Episode link:
https://www.matthewbivens.com/get-better-sleep/

Full Show Notes
MAGIC

Receiving stimulus check. Reminds me that financial abundance shows up in many ways. Might he attached to money showing up as a result of me selling my course, and if I’m too attached to it looking that way then I can miss it showing up as a stimulus check or a tax refund or found money on the side of the road or as a cash gift from a friend or money saved as a result of growing my own food. Abundance simply is.

LISTENER LOVE

Holbie, author of The Legend Of The Curl Girl (buy on Amazon).
He wanted to create something to promote self love, natural beauty and cultural literacy.

Sent me a signed copy of the book! Maya’s reaction was priceless (she’s already “reading” it to us!)

EPISODE

Sleep is a super important part of health!

I used to consider myself a troubled sleeper. Felt like it took me a long time every night to fall asleep. My mind was constantly racing. Never quite comfortable enough. From about 18-22 I’d use weed most nights to fall asleep, and I convinced myself that it was necessary for me.

Today, I sleep much MUCH more easily and soundly. I’m one of those people who can fall asleep pretty much anywhere.

To get to where I am today, I changed up some simple things about how I think about my sleep, prepare for my sleep, and actually sleep.

Common reasons it may take you a while to fall asleep:

  • Anxious mind
  • Less than ideal sleeping environment
  • Poor “pre sleep” habits (you’ve taught yourself to be a bad sleeper)

“If you want to make a turn in a car, you have to slow down first,” he says. The same is true when trying to drive your brain toward sleep. “You’ve got to tap the brakes and give yourself time to slow down before you turn in for the night.” – Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine

Habits to help you sleep better:

  • #1 recommendation – Have some wind down time before bed. Give your brain some free time to wander and decompress from the day. Help it along with some journaling or writing down your to-do’s for the next day well before bed. How much time depends on what you need, no one size fits all here.
    • If bed time is the first time your brain is getting a chance to wind down and process things all day, it’s going to keep you up (unless you’re truly truly exhausted)
    • Grandner says “It’s not necessary to spend an hour sitting quietly and meditating, But going for a walk, doing the dishes, or folding laundry — without simultaneously listening to a TV or firing up a podcast — are the types of activities that facilitate productive mind-wandering, and so can help your brain clear out whatever accumulated thoughts it’s been storing up throughout the day.
  • Avoid anything that spikes your emotions, like arguing with a partner, using social media, watching anything that makes you feel anxious, alarmed or emotionally charged up.social media before bed
    • Social media is a big contributor to spiked emotions before bed. Check in with yourself: are you surfing social media right before bed? What are you normally doing in the hour before bed?
  • Read. It’s great because there’s not a lot of visual stimulation, it’s not a social activity (so you don’t run the risk of being emotionally triggered by someone), and it doesn’t require much light (which can keep you up and make it harder to fall asleep). If you’re going to read, probably don’t read things that agitate you too much!
  • Make sure your room is ideal for sleeping. whatever you prefer, set it up so that it works for you. is your pillow awful? get a new one! is it too hot? take off clothes or get a fan. too noisy? try white noise machine/app.
  • Start using your bed primarily for sleep (not eating or doing work or hanging out). This worked wonders for me! I trained myself to associate my bed with sleep, so that when I got into bed at night my body knew what we were there to do.
  • If possible, try to go to sleep and get up around the same time each day. Your body will get used to it. Having that regular time can help set your circadian rhythm and internal sleep clock.

That’s it!

Remember that not getting enough sleep is like starting your tank at 75% — you can drive, but you’re going to hit E more quickly and will then be dragging through your day.

By paying attention to the sleep habits you’ve currently built and being mindful to what is creating a less than optimal internal AND external sleep environment, you can begin to make small changes that can truly impact your sleep, your health, and your quality of life.

Shoot me an email if you have any feedback or questions about today’s episode.

I have the notes from this episode on my website at if you want to https://www.matthewbivens.com/get-better-sleep/ read over each point again.

I love you! Have wonderful sleep tonight!

My name is Matthew Bivens, here’s to you Having It A.L.L.

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