This Hack Could Help You Fall Asleep Faster & Get Smarter Simultaneously

Posted on March 18, 2013

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Hey! How are you? I’m doing great…ProKine has kept me busy as ever, which feels good. Tiring? sure, I guess?…the fatigue from running your own business is so different from the fatigue I got from working for someone else. There are people cut out for both sides of the fence, to be sure, I just am definitely NOT one to be on the ‘have an employer’ side of that fence. Being able to create something that builds my(our) vision- it’s big, but fulfilling.

One thing I’ve had to work especially hard on though (and frankly, have done a poor job at prioritizing until lately) is my stress/adrenal health. I typically “run hot” anyways, ie I walk fast, I think fast, I react fast, and the things I care about doing are done in a “get it done right now” fashion,  even if especially if that means increasing my anxiety to get them done. And being an owner has only magnified that trait.

No es bueno a largo plazo.

So, I’ve been doing a few little life-hacks for a while to reduce stress & fall asleep faster, and I thought you may enjoy trying one of them. Ya know, in case you ever have stress in your life or a racing mind in the evening. Not that you ever would, right? 😉 I know, you’re as calm as a cucumber. Now, I don’t sleep “badly” almost EVER now that I’m doing the things that “primal”/ancestral health followers do…

– eating a low-inflammation diet
– curbing the nightly wine to a once every few days thing
– doing workouts that support my adrenal & long-term health vs workouts that fall into that “chronic cardio” category
– taking care of my adrenals through minimal caffeine-dosing, supplementation (when necessary) & attention to work/life harmony***work in progress***

But since becoming a business owner, I find there really doesn’t have to be an “off’ switch if you aren’t careful. The to-do list can extend forever if you let it and that can make for some busy little monkeys hammering away in your brain at 10:30PM. I want to have a better bedtime routine – not falling asleep as soon as I sit down (which can actually be a sign of a sleep-health problem) but being relaxed and ready to fully rest within 20 minutes of deciding “it’s bedtime.”

Here’s what I did to improve my ‘fall-asleep-ability’. In iBooks, they have a decent sized “free book” section. Most of them are from ‘the classics’…The Scarlet Letter, A Tale of Two Cities, etc. All the stuffy books you probably read in high school English class. Reading before bed is a good thing when compared to screen time. But, I tended to get sucked up into the books, and find myself awake at 3am finishing the book because I just.can’t.put.it.down. But what if I started reading these ‘stuffy’ old books before bed?…that might put me out quickly!

At which point, you’re likely noting that ‘hey, iBooks means you’re reading, but you’re doing it on a screen-which you’re not supposed to do before bed!’ Here’s the neat thing about iBooks (and probably many other apps for reading, but I haven’t checked so I don’t really know), you can make the screen black and the writing white so it doesn’t stimulate your brain the way the white screen does – it looks like this:

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So I started with Little Women, and would get through 2 or three finger-swiped pages a night before sinking into a dreamy, lovely sleep. It was ‘boring’, written in ‘old, boring language’…it worked perfectly for falling asleep. Until a strange thing happened – the book started to get interesting! I found myself excited to jump into bed to start reading my book, except I was still falling asleep after a few finger-swipe page turns. No 3am reading time, why? Maybe because while still interesting, it wasn’t as interesting as say, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Or maybe it’s because it’s back-lit in black and it really does chill my brain out enough that it can slip off to the land of nod. I don’t really know it works, but it does. And the “get smart bonus”? Scientists have shown that reading increases blood flow to different areas of your brain, especially the areas that help you with concentration. I know I don’t take any real time to read during my day other than for work items, so this is a nice way to get a few minutes of happy-brain time in before bed!

I actually ended up finishing Little Women over the course of a month or two. I started on the sequel, Little Men next. And now I’m on to the Scarlet Letter. All of which were free through iBooks. And like I said, I purposely picked these books because they don’t look THAT interesting; frankly, they look kind of boring and dry, but have just enough interest to keep me from stopping reading them altogether. But I will say, it’s become fun to go back and read these books that I suffered through in high school with those tough English teachers, and it’s fun to have a sleep routine I now enjoy! Win win!

So check on your sleep routine, does it need some tweaking? Maybe give my lifehack a try and I’d love to hear what sleep routines you follow to get a great nights’ rest!

Clearly I’m not endeavoring to carve out more writing time lately, but I’m keeping the convo going over at the Fit for Real Life facebook page so swing by there, would ya?

 

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Posted in: optimal health