How to Get Better Sleep to Perform at Your Best
I was addicted to ZzzQuil.
For a little over a year, I struggled with chronic sleep apnea.
If you’ve ever struggled to sleep for several nights in a row, you know how this can affect your business and performance.
In fact, one study shows how just one night of bad sleep slows down the neurons firing in the prefrontal cortex,
inhibiting your brain’s ability to consider alternate solutions to problems.
Let me share my journey of learning just how to get better sleep, so you can sleep well and perform at your best, too.
For me, it started in 2017, while we lived in Colorado.
Even with a CPAP, I could not get more than 3-4 hours of sleep a night.
I would usually go 4 nights in a row like this until I finally crashed and slept through the night.
Then it would start over again.
It was complicated to work, because my mind was not sharp, not to mention the dangers of lack of sleep.
I researched for hours, looking for a solution other than a doctor prescribed medication.
The Mayo Clinic says that you may experience: depression, irritability, mood swings, or weight gain.
I didn’t want to get hooked on any medication.
So I tried ZzQuil, you know, because it’s not addictive. 😉
And I slept!
Shortly after that, we moved back home to Venice, FL and that’s when I realized that it was the elevation causing my sleep apnea!
Great right!? Now I can quit taking ZzQuil.
If I didn’t take it, I wouldn’t be able to sleep.
This led to my next research project, how to kick ZzzQuil.
But first, I needed some data and what were the key data points I should be tracking?
From my research, a read a report from Rich Schefren
(from whom I also learned a great note saving automation that I’ve updated and plan to share with you all in another article).
He said he had tried all of the sleep trackers on the market and the best one he found was the OURA Ring, so I bought one.
And thanks to the data that the OURA Ring provided, I was able to kick my ZzQuil addiction, praise the Lord!
It showed me the most important KPI’s to track and how to get it to where it needs to be for a great night’s rest, naturally.
The key KPI to track
The most influential key for me was to make sure my heart rate dropped to its lowest point within the first half of the night.
If I did this, I awoke rested and ready to conquer the day.
“Great! But how do I force my heart rate to drop, Steve?”
I’m glad you asked.
Here’s how to get your heart rate to drop within the first half of the night.
- No snacking before bed. Don’t eat anything after 6:30 pm.
- No screen time before bed.
The onslaught of the unnatural barrage of colors blasting out from your phone or tablet screen triggers massive dopamine which is an addictive endless cycle within itself and must be stopped.
Because I work on my phone all day, I turn my iPhone on the black and white screen with 3 clicks of the home button.
After you check your phone 2 or 3 times and the screen is on black and white you break the habit of checking it because it’s not alluring to you anymore.
- Elevate your heart rate for 25 minutes each day.
Here’s the big to-do that makes the most difference, and that’s elevating your heart rate to your target heart rate zone for just 25 minutes, in the morning, or at least within 6 hours of walking.
Just a 25-minute speed walk, light jog, or bike ride can achieve this for you.
I’ll share more on the incredible benefits for your brain of elevating your heart rate for 25 minutes in another article.
- Stop eating or snacking after dinner
- Turn your phone to black and white or lock it away until morning and don’t touch it for at least 1 hour before bed
- Make sure you elevate your heart rate for 25 minutes in the morning.
Have you ever struggled with sleep? What did you do to overcome?
I’d love to hear your story.