Life’s too short to miss out on good times and great experiences, so I want to give you the confidence to make these decisions and have the flexibility not to worry about getting to bed ‘on time’ or stress about ‘sleeping well’.
The first question most of us have is: Why do we sleep at all? What is the purpose of spending a third of our lives unproductive? But the need of sleep is critical to our survival and well-being as much of the regeneration processes happen there. The drive to sleep is so strong that your brain will just go to sleep, despite all of your conscious efforts.
I used to ask myself, how can you reduce conscious efforts to prevent sleep deprivation by not thinking at all to get most out of your sleep (regeneration). The first thing in mind should be “your surrounding” as it brings challenges that take its toll on your mind. Life without schedules and system is hard if you strive for being your best at what you do.
Everything comes with hard-work and sacrifices. And those actions must be progressive and consistent. Concentrating more on YOU and creating powerful connections of like-minded people will bring more positivity in your life.
The other way around is to understand how your body works when it wants to be under stress and when it wants to rest. Getting up early and being active will put you more likely to sleep early and you take advantage of deep sleep (10pm-2am) where most of the regeneration goes on. You can check more on “Timing” for refreshing.
This can answer other popular question: How much of sleep is enough? If you focus on quality rather than quantity, you can do well in life or fitness, both mentally and physically while sleeping less (around 7h if bodybuilder). Giving your body right nutrition at right timing, being active during a day and having more relaxing activities before sleep will give you the edge.
I always found focus sharpest in the mornings between 9-10am but perform best in the afternoons 5pm-6pm. If you are beginner, starting gym in the mornings improves focus on “mobility” which makes it more efficient and right. Once you become progressive, you can focus more on weights and do evenings instead.
In the picture below you can see cortisol level which set your body for more productive mode due to alertness. Training, when cortisol at its highest, your focus and motivation is improving. In Circadian rhythms, you can see how to set your schedules ideally by taking advantage of your body signals.
Hitting bed around 9-10pm as Melatonin secretion starts, avoiding light, especially the blue (2h before bed) and not drinking caffeine 6h before bed sounds almost impossible. I cannot teach you discipline but can give you some useful tips on “Self-discipline.” If staying up late you can still take advantage of cortisol in the afternoons (gym). I believe, making it fun and setting your day to your needs will keep you more driven rather than being 100% all the time.
The other thing is human body sleep cycles where each last for 90 minutes and repeat four to six times per night where each stage has its purpose. Therefore, sleeping 8h a day is not necessarily right as everything between 6-9h is good if you focus on quality rather than quantity.
I sleep normally between 9:00 p.m. -5:00 a.m., which is 7-8h of sleep but always make evenings less stressful and try to avoid screens to fall asleep easier. It takes me around 30 minutes to fall asleep which means I sleep 450 minutes altogether ( 5 stages of sleep cycle). If you feel groggy when waking up it is probably because of your lifestyle or you interrupted one of the stages. For example, if you go to sleep at 10:00 p.m., set your alarm for 5:30 a.m., and you will likely find that you feel much better than setting your alarm at 6:00 a.m.
The other thing worth consideration is sleeping posture. I spent 4 years sleeping on my back which I find more natural than sides. The point is to use flat pillows and firm mattress or even gym mat. This caress your spine and prepares it for the next day and bring better circulation flow directly influencing regeneration of the body and muscles.
Practicing “breathing and correct body mechanics” could be also used as relaxing tool before sleep as it improves focus (clear your mind) and reset your body ideally before bed. As our bodies are connected on many different level, applying more of less will fix most of your problems as you are unlocking your full potential 🙂