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How Can You Sleep Smarter?

Are you getting enough sleep?

When someones asks, “How’d you sleep?”, what’s your answer?
We haven’t been sleeping so well lately and  knowing how important sleep is so for health, learning, and functioning I’m trying to learn what we can do. If you are like me and my hubby, well, maybe it’s time to Sleep Smarter.

That’s the title of a book by Shawn Stevenson. So how do you do that?

Cue the subtitle: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to a Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success.

Sleep has been an issue for me since I was an infant.

  • Light sleeper, fussy sleeper, easy to wake up, hard to fall back to sleep.
  • If I don’t let myself go to sleep when I first feel tired, it’s all over for that night.
  • And no matter when I hit the hay, crack of dawn has me up again.

And sleep – I know is critical for learning and health- that’s why it is one of my 26 essential lifelong learning strategies in the LifeSPARKS Workbook. And why it’s always one of the first questions I ask a parent who asks me about their child’s struggles with learning.

Now some of these things I’d already learned about over the years, but this explained the big picture and the detailed reasons behind issues and even better, what specifically to do about addressing solutions.

I haven’t implemented all 21 strategies, but I’m working on  a number of them and I am sleeping smarter:

  • More deeply.
  • More consistently, with less wake-ups
  • Feeling more refreshed and energetic in the morning.

The easiest and quickest changes for me to make were to go back to taking a first thing in the morning walk and then have my morning coffee outside-getting my sunlight early in the day, and hanging heavy quilts to black out the light from the bedroom windows.

I struggle with putting down the phone and not going back to the computer at night, but on the nights I put them away as suggested I definitely sleep better.

And not to whine about forgoing the wine, but I can attest that eliminating alcohol in the days/evenings equals nights of more blissful sleep.

And, surprise surprise,  since I’ve been sleeping better, my new exercise routine seems to be making a difference, finally, both in gaining muscle mass and releasing a few pounds of unhealthy fat.

It shouldn’t have been that big a surprise because Stevenson’s book also tells his story of recovering his health and how these things are all connected.

The book makes it easy to  figure out which strategies you can tackle right away and what steps to take. Each chapter starts with an introduction for the strategy and why it is important, breaks it down with examples, and ends with Power Tips to get you going.

The 21 strategies and chapters explain some surprising issues that affect sleep such as:

  • Knowing why sleep is so important
  • Sunlight
  • Screens
  • Caffeine
  • Temperature
  • Timing
  • Gut Issues
  • Sleep Sanctuary
  • The Big O
  • Light
  • Training that will support your sleep
  • Get Your Friends out of the Room
  • Weight
  • Alcohol
  • Sleeping Positions
  • Calming inner Chatter
  • Smart Supplementation
  • Early Rising
  • Bodywork that Works
  • Sleep wear
  • Getting Grounded

At the end of the book is an easy to follow 14 Day Sleep Makeover Plan.

I can’t wait for my hubby to read the book and start his sleep makeover, so we can both answer the ritual query “how’d you sleep?”  with a smile and an enthusiastic “Great, thanks, how about you?”

Find links to Stevenson book, podcast and more resources at this link