I have something to confess.
I struggle with sleep.
And when I say struggle, I’m not talking about it taking a while to fall asleep or I have a bad night here or there. I mean it has been a lifelong battle that plagues me to this day. In fact, recently, I’ve only been sleeping 3-4 hours a night.
You’re probably saying, “But Shawn, you’re a biohacker! Don’t you have “hacks” you can implement to help?”
My answer to that is, yes, I’ve tried so many hacks and many of them have helped me improve my sleep but even following all the biohacks have not fully conquered my sleep battles.
I’ve found that for myself sleep really starts to suffer the most when traveling and when I find myself falling back into old habits of too much work and not making self-care a priority. I’m always amazed at the people who can sleep on planes, trains, or in cars. The biohacks I mentioned I use are really my saving grace. It’s hard to sleep when I don’t have my ChiliSleep pad and other hacks available to me. Hotel rooms can get noisy, my brain can get distracted… and sometimes, I’m just too busy.
It’s important to note that quality of sleep determines the quality of life. You can’t be fully awake and alert if you haven’t gotten proper sleep and it’s not just about the number of hours you spend in bed, but also about the quality of your sleep while you’re getting those zzz’s. There is a natural detox and repair that’s happening during this time and when we’re not sleeping, our body can’t do what it needs to.
We are all human though. We may have all of the knowledge in the world but that doesn’t mean we will be perfect, and this includes me.
We get tied up in the culture of always needing to be hustling. The expression “sleep is for the weak” is way overused. The need to always be busy is a scary misconception as sleep could not be any more important.
The first step to take is granting yourself a little grace. Remind yourself you are human, and we will all occasionally fall into these bad habits. Second, figure out what other forms of self-care you can do, or refocus on, that will ultimately also help you with sleep. I’m not talking about just making a spa appointment but rather going for a morning walk so you get the morning sun, making time for exercise (but avoid late in the day exercise as that is counterproductive to your sleep goal), and zeroing in on your diet to make sure you are fueling your body correctly. All of these can help.
Next, explore some tools and tips that can help optimize your sleep.
A hot shower and some relaxing tea are also nice additions.
Working on improving and optimizing your sleep is one of the biggest self-care gifts you can give yourself which is why I personally will continue to work on fixing my own.
If you have any other tools or tips that have helped you with your sleep, please share them in the Facebook group. I’d love to hear what they are.