THE SLEEP 7 PLAYBOOK
Science says: 7 hours of sound sleep per night is optimal for peak performance of body and brain. Why? Because with 7 hours muscles regenerate, cognitive and motor skills sharpen, immune systems strengthen and you become 60% sharper during the day.
Getting into top sleep shape takes training your mind and body to get in the zone. We’ve used science, Inactivators, and a few tips and tricks to create a routine that will dramatically improve your sleep performance.
Exhaustion is ugly. But we don’t always realize how tired we are. Or how great we could feel with quality sleep. You’ve taken the simple sleep assessment test, and now all you have to do is commit to seven hours of sleep and to wearing your Inactivators.
Writing down goals is proven to better help you achieve it. It’s not hard. Write down that your goal is seven hours of sleep each night wearing Inactivators.
You’re not the only one who doesn’t sleep well enough. A whopping one in three of us don’t get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
Surround yourself with others who can inspire and support you as you work on improving your sleep. They can even share their own tips for making the journey to better sleep easier, and hold you accountable. And when you start showing up more looking and acting more rested, they’ll be the first to let you know.
It’s not easy slaying your sleep demons, but the smartest way to start is to get to the bottom of what triggers sleepless relapses and find new routes to La-La-Land. Lying in bed awake, for example, isn’t going to help you sleep, and can actually create a bad habit of its own by associating wakefulness (and sleep anxiety) with your bed. If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, leave the bedroom and come back when you’re sleepy. It’s a proven method that works to re-establish “bed” equals “sleep.”
Write down a few words analyzing your current sleep situation and where you might be having hiccups, but don’t let them become excuses or rationalizations. Be consistent with your commitment to more sleep.
The right environment for sleep is as important as the right routine. Try shutting off all devices 15-30 minutes before bedtime, and setting your phone to yellow-light or “night” mode. Go to bed at a consistent time each night and even try to make it 30 minutes earlier than your usual. Avoid things that negatively impact your sleep (caffeine late in the day, too much alcohol, not enough exercise). Try out a new way to wind down: meditation, deep breathing, soothing music, and white noise are all good choices (but you can probably think of others).the first to let you know.
Visualize what a good night’s sleep looks like and how you feel when you wake up well-rested. Bonus points for drawing a picture and sharing it with friends. Visualization accesses your subconscious mind; when we imagine ourselves doing a particular habit, it activates some of the same areas in the brain as when we are physically doing the thing. Think of it like a mental rehearsal for real-life.
Every night, your sleep is divided into 90-minute cycles, ruled first by NREM (non-rem) sleep, then by REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. REM is the dreamy state, and the one closely associated with learning complex new tasks, long-term memory, and emotional integration. Dreaming up your dream state will help you achieve it!
Think up a sleep affirmation to put yourself in the right mindset. Focusing on positive, calming messages help you forget about stresses and worries and all the annoying remains of the day that typically result in restlessness. Your affirmation can be present tense or future-focused, and you can try out different ones to find the one that feels right. It may be I will sleep deeply and wake up feeling well-rested or Sleep is my time to restore and recharge or anything else that works for you.
Reward yourself for practicing your new sleep behavior. When you reward yourself, you reaffirm and reinforce the new habit, learning to associate pleasure with the behavior. Even though a refreshing, full night’s sleep will be a reward in itself, you should celebrate your progress (and self-care) with a treat that’s meaningful to you.
A massage, dinner out, extra time for a hobby or other activity you love are good choices. Too many cocktails or lattes are not. So, when we say any treat, we mean almost anything.