Are You Sabotaging Your Own Sleep With This Common Habit?
Bright lights. T.V. Screens, Computer Glow. Alarm clock haze. Electronics.
They were my lullaby. A soothing comfort of distraction from my racing mind and emotional cloud of instability. They’re hum lulled me to sleep. In the chair, on the couch, on the floor and in the bed, electronics and bright lights cradled me to sleep.
But was I really getting sleep?
Not just some zzz’s but good quality sleep?
Common Habit: Electronics before bed.
In the past I was guilty of checking my phone or being on electronics before bed every single night.
You may be familiar with the feeling, tired, exhausted and zombified, not feeling rested even with 7 or 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Sleep is extremely important! It impacts every aspect of our life. We need to give our body and mind the necessary time, space and optimal environment to recover, regenerate and reconnect.
Light is one of the most influential external factors affecting the natural rhythm of our body in relation to quality of sleep. Not to mention the additional stimulation of new ideas requiring processing as the mind and body naturally want to shift into recovery. This disrupts the process of incubation of our experiences and new learned information.
Megan, my beautiful wife, founder of Fuel Your Intention, initially woke this within me and continues to remind of this often. I am much better with this now then I ever was in the past and am certainly able to say that in the last few years I have shifted from needing the phone beside me as an alarm or to check emails and messages instantly is a thing of the past.
Now, my phone lives in my office, off or on airplane mode, away from the bedroom at night. Overhead lights are now off in the evening. I use low-watt lamps for indirect lighting. And the most critical shift – completely turning off screen time 60 – 90 minutes before bed makes for a powerful transition to better sleep.
Sleep is a top priority in my personal development.
I vividly recall making numerous attempts during University to establish a 10pm bedtime, but, it would only last for little bouts of a few days or a couple weeks.
With each attempt, sleep goal and statement of will to go to bed, nothing would really stick and old patterns would constantly flood back into play.
Why? Why has something so simple become so difficult?
What benefits am I missing out of from not getting quality sleep?
When did I decide not to sleep well?
How do I make a sustainable shift – a transition to sleep?
What’s in the way of better sleep? The short answer, pre-conditioned behaviours and attitude.
Self-sabotaging mindsets and attitudes:
- I’ll wait till tomorrow.
- I’ll do it the next day.
- I’ll start fresh in the morning.
- I’ll go to bed at 10pm, tomorrow.
- I’ll do it later.
- I’ll get this done first, then go to bed.
- I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
- Sleep is for the weak.
These mindsets and attitudes are certainly not a healthy way to support your best self – a prime being.
I have revisited sleep as a goal sporadically every few months over the last 6 plus years and this is something that really needs to be a positive and pleasurable recurring habit. Choosing to go to bed late and over stimulated is choosing to live in pain.
Here are a few affirming statements to help shift the mindset toward sleep:
- I forgive myself. I forgive myself. I forgive myself.
- My body is here to serve me. I recognize that I must honour and respect it by listening and giving it what it needs and not what my ego wants.
- When I try to do more or bite off more than I can chew, it is not an excuse to sacrifice my sleep.
- I will not waste my time with the non-essential, my time is precious, and sleep is essential. I will set my sleep as a high priority because I no longer desire living a mediocre life, being half asleep, droning around like a zombie. I want to live my life!
- I cannot start fresh in the morning if I am always waking up tired. Sacrificing sleep means I will end up starting slow or burning out at some critical point and crash, become ill, or worse. To replenish my energy and be mentally clear with my intentions I must be well rested.
- I am now ready to glide into a calm and peaceful sleep.
Far too common, sleep is an area deeply neglected and sacrificed as a means for an illusion of more.
Sleep is an area which many experience pain and major struggle.
I am personally tired of – pun intended – poor sleep and its struggle for attention.
I have witnessed major disconnect with peoples relation to sleep over thousands of sessions with clients and friends who sharing their sleep patterns, attitudes and stories about sleep. Sleep has shown up as a major area of improvement in nearly every goal setting session, fitness training hour, health conversation, wellness workshop and the like.
Sleep is an area where if certain uplifting habits are primed into being with great care and deliberation, it will make a radical and significant improvement to the individual and collective quality of life.
I have pondered my relationship with sleep – my entire life.
What I have come to realize in my journey is that sleep is not the problem.
Sleep is not the goal or aim to strive for.
Sleep is not the habit or hack to install or alter.
The real problem is our relation with sleep.
Our relation with our body and this planet.
We have let the ego get in the way. It is our ego that is keeping us awake feeding off of illusion – of more.
Listening to the wants of our ego and not our body.
The necessary habit that must be primed is the transition to sleep.
To connect with the benefits sleep gives access to, we must reconsider and evaluate our relation with sleep. We must reconsider and evaluate our method of preparation to ready our body and mind for sleep.
Ultimately, what is needed is awareness, acceptance, respect, honour, self-care… virtue.
Over recent years I have gathered many best sleep practices and rituals and have developed a design of my own evening ritual for setting up my best sleep.
I call it PrimeBedtime.
PrimeBedtime is an effective habit formation ritual for optimal sleep and improved daily productivity and physical vitality.
I created PrimeBedtime to help me sleep better. I only hope PrimeBedtime may serve you also.
The necessary habit that must be primed is the transition to sleep. We need to give our body and mind the necessary time, space and optimal environment to recover, regenerate and reconnect.
Shut off lights and power down devices 60-90 min before planned bedtime.
- Sleep is not the problem.
- Sleep is not the goal or aim to strive for.
- Sleep is not the habit or hack to install or alter.
- The real problem is our relation with sleep.
- Our relation with our body and this planet.
- What benefits am I missing out of from not getting quality sleep?
- When did I decide not to sleep well?
- What can I set up to better transition for sleep?