Sleep stuff

See also my notes in clare-tech (Clare only) - for advice and questions specific to me.

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I highly recommend Why we Sleep by Matthew Walker. Full of very useful science and facts about how sleep works, how important it is and how to get more of it.

The book contains a handy list of things you can do to improve your sleep - see the image below. The list is reprinted in the book and was originally published here (follow the link then scroll down to page 20).

Personally, I follow the following advice and it has made a MASSIVE difference to myn energy, motivation, mental and physical health.

  • In general:
    • I now have a consistent sleep schedule 7 days a week
    • I avoid alcohol, food, liquid and device screens close to bedtime
    • I aim to be in bed 8.5 hours per night (aiming for 8 hours sleep)
    • I avoid caffeine (including decaf, which is not caffeine free) in afternoons and evenings (7 hours before bedtime)
    • Keep the bedroom cool
    • Low lighting at bedtime and night light outside the bathroom so I don’t need to turn the light on when I go to the loo during the night (light wakes you up)
    • Pay heed to my chronotype (ie lark vs owl). This is biological and innate and important. Larks need to go to bed early and get up early. Owls need to go to bed late and get up late. Capitalism be damned. I’m an owl, so I now refuse early morning meetings and will not get out of bed before 9am.
  • If I wake up and can’t get back to sleep:
    • Relaxation exercises
    • Meditation
    • I have a couple of little tricks that I invented and work really well for me:
        1. I have a teddy bear next to the bed, I cuddle it and imagine that it’s myself as a small child. I’m giving myself unconditional love and kindness and banishing all self criticism.
        1. Word association: I list random words and phrases in my head, no rules, just free association. Focus on that and only that. It seems to put my brain in a creative dream space and often morphs into dreams.
    • If it’s prolonged, get out of bed and have a hot bath in low lighting.

Sleep tips