Your Energy is Everything!
If you don’t get enough sleep, you can not have your full energy.
Sleep is how we recharge!
When you get a good night’s sleep, you will feel better, perform better, be healthier, and live a happier life. Undoubtedly, to have your Best Energy requires that you get a good night’s sleep.
Today I am going to share with you somethings you can do to become a Master of your sleep.
As reported by Harvard Medical School, a lack of sleep is directly related to mental challenges from anxiety to psychiatric disorders. In addition, without proper sleep our health suffers. Furthermore we are more irritable and less productive. And yet, Americans are notoriously sleep deprived.
How do I know if I am sleep deprived?
Here are some ways:
- When you sit still you start to nod off
- You yawn a lot, especially in the afternoon
- You feel as if you need caffeine to keep you going
- You get tired while driving
- You have low energy
- Your irritable
- You can’t focus and get things done
Why is sleep important?
WebMD shares with us some of the amazing benefits of sleep. Below is the short answer. Go here to learn more.
Consistent Good Sleep leads to:
- Boosted immune system
- Sharper Brain
- Better Mood
- Healthier Heart
- Steady Blood Sugar
- Weight Control
- Better athletic performance
How much sleep do I need?
The numbers vary a little on this, but in general 7-8 hours or 7.5 – 8.5 hours are what we need to recharge and rejuvenate.
Top 8 tips to Get a Good Night’s Sleep:
#1. Get to sleep by 10 pm!
Yes, I know there is a lot of moaning about this one, yet it is critical to your success. Certainly, I had a hard time shifting this as well. But man, I am so glad I did.
Here is one reason why. We are diurnal beings, not nocturnal like bats and owls. According to Ayurveda, a 5000 year old practice that evolved alongside Yoga, the body will naturally descend toward sleep from 6 – 10 pm. Interestingly, Ayurveda says there is no such thing as night owls, only people out of sync. If you follow your natural circadian rhythm, you will feel a natural tiredness during this time.
Imagine that we had no artificial lights. Then you would naturally start to feel sleepy with darkness. Darkness is what causes the release of melatonin, an essential sleep hormone.
Importantly, if you do not get to sleep by 10 pm then your energy will do back up. You may feel productive, hungry, or unable to wind down. However, if you are asleep by 10 pm, this surge of energy is used for deep cleansing and healing in the body.
In fact, Ayurveda says, “Sleep before midnight is worth double.” These hours will supercharge you. Furthermore, Chinese medicine shares how the adrenals and the liver sleep in these hours, and if you are charging them up with adrenaline or fatty foods, then they don’t get to recover.
#2. Eat an earlier dinner
If you go to sleep with a full belly, then the body gets bogged down by trying to digest food. We are not made to digest food lying down. You will miss out on your immune system cleaning things up and deep healing and repair that should be happening instead of the body trying to digest food. We don’t have much bile production at night as well. So eat dinner 3-4 hours before you want to go to sleep. For example, I like to eat around 5-6 pm and be asleep by 9 pm. If you get hungry before bed enjoy a piece of fruit, or a warm herbal tea with honey. Fruit is really fast and easy to digest.
Quick Tip #1: Set an alarm for 4 or 4:30 pm and get in the kitchen to start making dinner.
Quick Tip #2: Make changes incrementally, move up your sleep and dinner time by 15 minutes a week until you get to your goal.
#3. Exercise Daily
Exercise helps us sleep better, feel better, and function better. The best time to exercise is in the morning. Then it will boost your energy all day. Aim for 20 minutes to 1 hour. Work your way up. If you do strenuous exercise before bed it will boost your energy and maybe keep you awake at night. Light exercise, like a walk after dinner is great. This helps with digestion.
#4. Get sunshine daily – 30 minutes
Sunshine helps the body get all the vitamins it needs, not just vitamin D. We need sun. In turn, melatonin comes from a chemical called Melanin that is produced in the skin through sun exposure. Melatonin is the hormone that triggers the body to sleep.
Quick Tip #3: Get a UV light bulb for your desk or table for days when you can’t get outside.
#5. Lower your Stress, Slow things down
We live hectic busy lives and it is very easy to be stressed and worried all the time. You may even have habits that hold you in a stress response. Habits of thinking, a tendency to look for drama, or a worrisome mind. Watching the news is enough to send any of us into a stress response where the body releases adrenaline for a fight or flight response.
Here are some ways to lower stress:
- Pausing and breathing long slow deep breaths
- Asking for what you need
- Pausing to feel and listen to your emotions
- Writing things down – get it out of your head
- Choosing better feeling thoughts
- Watch less news
- Listen to music
- Sing, Hum, Dance
- Get out in nature
- Paint, draw, art of any kind
- Get a Coach (I have your back – email me)
- Talk to a friend
There are many ways you can do it. Start experimenting and don’t stop until you feel you can remain calm in the face of challenges. You have an infinite well of wisdom in your own being. Ask yourself now, “What do I need?”, and then listen.
#6 Eat more Nutrient Rich, Energizing foods
When the body is working hard to get rid of a bunch of toxins from the foods we eat, then we lose energy. When your blood is clean, your liver is functioning well, and you feel good, then being in sync with nature can happen more easily. I sleep better when I eat tons of fruits and veggies in a day.
#7 Relax and Rejuvenate even when you can’t sleep
This has been so key to my success. I am a light sleeper. Everything has to be just right from my timing, to darkness, to a quiet room. Once when I traveled to Nepal to guide the Everest Base Camp trek, I did not sleep for 6 days. The time change was 12 hours off, and being on planes and in hotels, my body was confused.
Here is what worked:
- I stayed relaxed and meditated while lying there sleepless.
- I practiced slow calming breaths
- I said to myself, “I am whole.”, “I am going to feel rejuvenated in the morning.”
- I drank 1 liter of lemon water when I woke up, followed by a green powder drink. I stayed hydrated.
- I ate healthy foods
- I shifted my mind from worry to calm on a moment’s notice. I caught the old stories and plugged in my new story, “ I am ok.”
This has worked for me many times. If I wake up at 2-3 am, I lay still and totally relax with the most healing, powerful thoughts I can come up with. Definitely, if you are in a light sleep or just resting, the body can still be healing and recovering. So don’t sweat it.
#8 Reduce/Avoid Stimulants & Depressants
I was a big coffee drinker, then I gave it up for green tea, and now I realize I am healthier and happier without it. Pretty much the same goes for alcohol.
We take our bodies artificially up and down. And when we do, we are manipulating the body away from its natural state. We lose the ability to listen to what we may need.
Can you create wellness without the drugs? I mean the diet coke, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, sugar, or whatever your vice is? Start small and work up. You may be surprised by what you are capable of healing and creating when you give your body the best.
Especially avoid caffeine in the afternoon as it can keep you from being able to fall asleep.
Instead find a tea you like. Hibiscus tea with honey is a favorite for me. And a drink 16-32 oz of lemon water in the afternoon is a real win for your body.
If I am driving and I get tired, I have found this works so well to rejuvenate me. I stop at a park, and do a 3 minute workout. 1 minute of push ups, 1 minute of situps, and 1 minute of squat jumps. It totally energizes me. If you try it let me know how it goes.
#9 Create a sacred Evening routine
We thrive off of routines. They are relaxing for the mind and helpful for the body, if it is a healthy routine. Take a moment now to design your ideal routine with some nice self-care in there. Make it a routine that helps your energy descend. Evening is a great time for bonding as well. Here are some suggestions:
- Sit for ten minutes after dinner and relax
- Go for a 10 minute walk
- Spend time with family playing games or talking
- Clean your space
- Take a warm bath
- Read, write, or do some art
- Put oil on your feet and massage your feet before bed (put some old socks on after so you don’t ruin your good ones)
- Of course, brush your teeth and wash up
You’ll figure it out. Be playful and creative.
#10 You need Darkness
Turn off bright lights and blue lights. Go digital down at a certain time.
The body will not release melatonin with bright lights. So put on some ambiance lighting, go dark mode on your devices or detach from them at a certain time so you can be present with yourself or family. Turn off the TV with a hard stop. Let down the blinds. Sleep will come more easily.