One of the biggest health issues that people share with me is their difficulty getting a good nights sleep. Statistics show that well over 50% of the population have difficulty with their sleep. People tell me they have trouble falling to sleep, they wake up during the night, they can’t get back to sleep or wake up super early. In my book, It’s Never Too Late To Be Healthy , I devote a chapter on the best practices that have helped me and thousands of others have a great nights sleep.
It is no wonder we have difficulty sleeping as our brains are overstimulated with all of the noise, computer screens, cell phones, Wi Fi signals, EMFs that are all part of our daily lives. Based on all of the external stimulus that we are experiencing, I find the most effective technique is to do things prior to bed that “trick” our brains and bodies into believing that it is time to go to sleep. Think of our ancestors when life was simple, they went to bed when it got dark and got up with the sun. Due to all the overstimulation we are experiencing we need to trick our bodies and our brains into the state our ancestors were in prior to them going to sleep.
I and many others have found that by putting these simple tips into practice that they have a very deep restful sleep and wake up feeling great with tons of energy.
My 9 Strategies To Trick Myself To Sleep
1.Turn Screens Off In The Evening
When people ask me what is the one thing they should do to have a better nights sleep, I share this with them. This is the number one thing I have personally done in order to have a great sleep. In the early days of Covid I was having sleep issues. I was working all day on my computer or phone doing virtual meetings, emails, doing work on my computer. Then at night I would bring my computer and phone out again and be “plugged in” and I was having difficulty sleeping. My business partner Aastha suggested to me that even when we are doing pleasure activities on our computers in the evening, our brain “interprets” it as the same type of activity that we engage in when we are working due to the fact we are on the computer.
Since then I have tried to make it a habit of keeping my computer in the office and my phone charging at the front door so that I am not tempted by my screens during the evening. I found the first night that I did this I had a great sleep and find when I do this combined with my strategies below I have a great nights sleep.
2.Relaxing activities In The Evening
Based on all the overstimulation all day long, it is important that “wind down” and relax in the evening. Think of the best activities that relax you and incorporate these into your evenings. This could be a simple walk with your spouse, family or dog, watching a Netflix movie or T.V., reading, a hobby, a craft or a musical instrument. It is simply doing anything that will allow you to wind down and avoid outside stimulus.
3.Trick Your Muscles to Sleep
In order to trick yourself to sleep you need to relax your body and muscles. An effective way to do this is to have a soak in an Epson Salt Bath (which is Magnesium) or take a Magnesium supplement. Magnesium has the effect of slowing down the nervous system and relaxing our muscles. It has been a game changer for me and so many of our members. I typically have my magnesium supplement about 30 minutes prior to going to bed in order for it to get into my system prior to bed.
4.Trick you brain to sleep
I brew a “Nighty Night” tea and take it up to bed with me. The idea of using this type of tea is to relax our brain neurological activity and “trick it” into a state of relaxation so that we can have a restful sleep. There are many different sleep tea’s out on the market that include sleep inducing herbs such as Gaba, Passionflower and Camomile to name a few. I typically brew my tea and take it up to bed with me and sip on it while I read.
5.Trick Your Body Into The Night
Think of our ancestors that went to bed when it was dark as they did not have any lights other than a candle. It is important to try to trick the body into this same type of environment. I suggest that you do this by getting your sleep environment ready for you in order to have a restful sleep. Barb and I have black out drapes and also hanging drapes to block out all light. In addition I put some pillows against any openings in the drapes to ensure that no light comes in. I also ensure I shut off any electronics in the room or cover up any type of light that is on. This includes shutting off the satellite dish, as well as covering the small light on the TV that picks up the remote signal. I also put our WI FI on a timer so it shuts off every night from 11:00 p.m. through 7:00 a.m. I do this so there are no Wi Fi signals and EMFs circulating around us while we sleep.
6.Do The Wheels of Health Daily Log
Once I climb into bed I complete my Wheels Of Health Daily Log. You can access a copy of this in my book or link to it below. It is a great summary of my day whereby I can measure how I did on each of my Wheels of Health and summarizes my plans for the following day. This only takes 1 or 2 minutes and I find puts me in a very positive mindset heading to sleep. To get your copy of the Wheels Of Health Daily Log, Click Here :https://advicahealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/the-wheels-of-health-daily-log.pdf
7.Relax your mind – Read
I used to read business books prior to bed and found it didn’t help with my sleep as I was trying to sleep while thinking of how I could implement the ideas and concepts I was reading about into my business. I made the decision a few years ago to read for pleasure prior to falling asleep. I have found this to be a great strategy as it takes my mind off any of the stressors of the day and is relaxing to my mind. I typically read for about 30 minutes and based on all I have done up to this point to prepare myself to sleep, I typically find myself yawning which is telling me my body and mind are ready for sleep.
It is important that we fall asleep in a positive mind set in order for us to have a peaceful and restful sleep. Once I turn the lights out I spend about a minute thinking of three things that I am grateful for that happened that day. These are not typically monumental things (although they could be) but are usually very simple things that happened during the day that you are grateful for. For example, a good workout, a walk with your spouse, a productive business meeting, a compliment you gave someone – anything that you are grateful for that day. I find that this puts me in a very positive state of mind prior to falling asleep.
The last thing I do prior to falling asleep (unless I am already asleep by now!) is practice some deep breathing. This engages our parasympathetic system which is our relaxed state. I typically do one of my favourite techniques – either box breathing or 4/7/8 breathing. I usually only do this for 10 breaths or 1 or 2 minutes and often I am sound asleep before I finish the 10 breaths. To find out more about the benefits of deep breathing and my 3 favourite breathing techniques, you can access it here: https://kevinbradyhealth.ca/my-3-simple-techniques-for-stress-reduction/
10. Drift Off To Sleep
There you have it. My 9 strategies that have worked to help so many have a deep and restful sleep. In Summary:
1.Shut Down All Screens
3.Magnesium or Epson Salt Bath
4.Nighty Night Tea
5.Prepare Room For Sleep
6.Daily Wheels Of Health Log
Wishing you and your family a great nights sleep,