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Fix Your Sleep: Best Practices to Sleep Great EVERY Night | Dean Pohlman | Better Man Podcast Ep. 053

Fix Your Sleep: Best Practices to Sleep Great EVERY Night | Dean Pohlman | Better Man Podcast Ep. 053

Sleep is one of the most important activities you do. In fact, getting high-quality, deep, and REM sleep may be the most important thing you do for your overall health and wellbeing. 

Yet many of us struggle falling asleep and get poor sleep, which leads to feeling groggy and exhausted the next day. Lack of sleep also causes weight gain, leads us to make poor nutrition and exercise decisions, saps motivation, and negatively impacts every aspect of our lives.

So, why do so many people struggle with sleep?

Well, our modern way of life doesn’t help: Blue screens, stress from work, and alcohol consumption—to name a few—devastate our sleep quality. But the real problem?

We take good sleep for granted. 

We don’t focus on winding down before bed, causing us to toss and turn for hours before finally drifting into sleep. Or we resort to medication to help us sleep – which helps us fall asleep, but actually results in poorly restorative sleep.

In today’s show, we cover: 

  • How to assess your sleep quality 
  • What’s causing poor sleep and how can we fix it?
  • And the worst (and best) activities you can do for your sleep quality 

And more!

Listen now.

The Better Man Podcast is an exploration of our health and well-being outside of our physical fitness, exploring and redefining what it means to be better as a man; being the best version of ourselves we can be, while adopting a more comprehensive understanding of our total health and wellness. I hope it inspires you to be better!

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Watch a Clip From Episode 053

Fixing Your Sleep | The Better Man Podcast Ep. 53

Episode 053 Highlights

  • The scientific reason why sleeping 7.5 hours instead of 6 hours unlocks the most cognitive, physical, emotional, and restorative benefits (5:53) 
  • Why cutting off your caffeine by 2 pm will improve your sleep quality (even if you’re not sensitive to it) (11:09) 
  • How screens from your phone and TV suppresses melatonin production and makes it harder to fall asleep (12:48) 
  • Does taking naps in the day make it easier or harder to fall asleep at night? The answer might surprise you… (14:09) 
  • The 5 worst things you can do before falling asleep which ensures you wake up groggy and exhausted (17:14) 
  • How to “get away” with drinking alcohol without it sabotaging your sleep quality (20:22) 
  • Why taking a magnesium supplement actually helps you wind down and get better sleep compared to taking melatonin (23:54) 
  • Cal Newport’s “Work Shut Down” process for compartmentalizing your work so you can relax before bed (25:16) 
  • How to increase your sleep quality with a single piece of tape (33:55) 
  • The 6 best ways to fall asleep easier and wake up refreshed and ready to conquer your day (34:24)

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

  1. Rhone: Save 20% on all high-quality, long-lasting, and comfy workout gear from Rhone by using this link: https://manflowyoga.com/rhone 
  2. Paleovalley Grass-Fed Beef Sticks: Looking for a quick, yet high-quality source of protein for building muscle? Try Paleovalley’s Grass-Fed Beef Sticks using our link to save 50%: http://manflowyoga.com/beefstick 
  3. Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker available on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Sleep-Unlocking-Dreams/dp/1501144324/ 

Related Episodes: Ep 49: Why an Evening Routine Makes You Feel Better Physically, Mentally, and Emotionally (And How To Create One)

Episode 053: Fix Your Sleep: Best Practices to Sleep Great EVERY Night - Dean Pohlman - Transcript

Hey, guys. Scene. Welcome back to the Better Man podcast. Today’s episode is a solo podcast and I’m going to be talking about how to fix your sleep. So specifically in this episode, I’m going to be helping you identify the redoing that. Hey, guys, it’s Dean. Welcome back to the Better Man podcast. Today’s episode is a solo episode and I will be discussing how to fix your sleep.

This is a really important topic for your overall health. There’s a lot of confusion about what good sleep is. There’s a lot of confusion on what you can do to improve your sleep. And I’m also going to give you just some cold, hard facts that you may or may not want to hear when it comes to you getting better sleep.

You might have to give up some activities that you don’t want to give up in the name of your overall health. Sleep is incredibly important for you. I’m going to tell you why In this episode. I’m also going to direct you to some of my favorite favorite resources for learning more about the importance of sleep. So here we go.

This episode is brought to you by Ron. If you want to learn more about Ron, this is my go to brand of workout apparel. There’s a link in the description to how you get 20% off your purchase in the show notes here. All right. So going to start off with part one, assessing your sleep. Do you need to work on your sleep?

For most of us, the answer is probably yes. Some issues, some common sleep issues would include difficulty falling asleep. If you notice that you wake up in the middle of the night, if you wake up in the morning, but you don’t feel very well rested if you’re not getting enough sleep. So if you’re only getting, you know, a few hours of sleep, these are all things that I would be on the lookout for.

And for me, what I would say that you do need to work on your sleep. So if you if it takes you any longer than 20 minutes to fall asleep. So if you lay down in your bed and you’re tossing, turning, you’re rolling around, it takes you an hour to fall asleep. Let’s say that’s that’s it. That that is an issue.

So I would say your goal when you go to bed, you should feel tired, you should be ready to sleep. And if you do end up staying, if you do that, if you have been in bed for 20 minutes and you haven’t fallen asleep yet, you’re not tired, then it’s actually a good idea if you get out of bed and do something else, because we want to have an association between our bed and sleeping.

It shouldn’t be a place where you go to ponder the day, to scroll on your phone or take refuge from, you know, the middle of your day. This should be something that you use specifically for sleeping. You should associate it with sleep and being tired, other sleep issues falling asleep, or we talked about that. Sorry, other issues waking up in the middle of the night.

So if you’re waking up in the middle of the night for an unexpected reason, if you’re just waking up and you’re wide awake or you’re waking up in the early morning and you haven’t had enough sleep yet, if you’ve only been sleeping for 4 hours, let’s say four and a half hours or maybe 6 hours, and you wake up at four or 5 a.m. and your body’s like, okay, it’s time to go.

That’s a good sign that you are. You’re probably falling asleep because you’re tired, but you might be doing some things before you go to sleep that are decreasing your sleep quality. So we’re going to take a look in this SO episode on things that you can do leading up to bed to make sure that you have a higher sleep quality, not just amount of sleep, but also a higher sleep quality.

And I also did a solo podcast a few weeks ago on evening routines, which is going to go into a lot of that information as well. I’m trying to not double up on that information in this one. So if you want more information on evening routines and how to how to structure your evenings to prepare yourself for better sleep, be sure to check out that solo episode for that.

And then the other issues I would talk about to say whether or not you’re getting good sleep. If you’re waking up in the morning and you’re not feeling well rested, that is an issue. You should wake up in the morning. You shouldn’t wake up. And I don’t know if you feel if you wake up in the morning and you feel great and you’re ready to go do a CrossFit workout or you’re ready to go run five miles, cool.

That’s awesome. But you don’t need to wake up feeling, you know, feeling energetic. It’s more so the goal is to wake up and feel, you know, okay, it’s time to get up. You want to wake up and not feel groggy. You might be able to go back to sleep if you wanted to, but you should wake up feeling kind of ready.

And then as far as how much sleep do you actually need, 6 hours is not enough sleep. You definitely need to make sure that you’re getting it. The minimum is seven and a half hours, really, but it takes longer than that to actually fall asleep. So you should be setting aside 8 hours of time to sleep. I say seven and a half hours because we look at sleep cycles in terms we look at our sleep in terms of sleep cycles and sleep cycles for adults the last 90 minutes.

So that could be why 6 hours feels good or some you know, it can feel like sufficient to some people because you’re getting four sleep cycles in a six hour period. You do another sleep cycle. That means you’re at seven and a half hours. And really a lot of the a lot of the important benefits of sleep happen between the difference of four sleep cycles and five sleep cycles.

There’s a really cool book on that that will help convince you of the importance of sleep called Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. This is one of my favorite books and it gives you some really compelling information to help you improve your sleep. So minimum, we want to be setting aside 8 hours of sleep, and if you’re waking up feeling groggy, you’re feeling not well rested.

Might be because you’re not getting enough sleep or because you have poor sleep quality or you are going to bed, but you’re not tired enough because you haven’t done the things to help your mind and your body wind down. So these are common issues and I’m you know, I’m coming at this from the expectation that there is not a, you know, a major medical problem going on here.

So if you’ve been if you’ve been diagnosed with a sleep related issue, if you have chronic insomnia, if you had a for years, you know, I’m hopeful that some of these things, some of the information I present here will be helpful. But also, I’m not claiming that this is going to cure all sleep issues. So I just want to create some expectations for you.

All right. So now we’ve talked about the, you know, whether or not your sleep needs fixing. And for most people, I think, you know, we could definitely improve our sleep. So let’s move on to part two and we’re going to talk about what’s causing poor sleep and how do we fix it. So what you do during the day.

So I’m talking a couple of different ways. First, I’ll talk about what you do during the day that can help ensure that when you get to the evening, you get that sleep. But I’m also going to talk about what you can do in the evening, in the hours leading up to bed that are going to help with sleep.

And then I’m also going to talk at the end of this, I’m going to mention some of the things that I’ve found in my personal experience to be most helpful. And these are things that generally align with what we know about general sleep science. So nothing, nothing weird in my habits that are that haven’t already been explored by millions of other people.

So what you do during the day, your overall stress levels from work, your overall activity levels, are you exercising? Are you are you getting outside? How much caffeine are you having during the day? Are you cutting off caffeine by 2 p.m., maybe even earlier than that? If you’re more sensitive to caffeine, what time are you waking up? Are you taking naps during the day?

These are all things that we want to look at. So, you know, generally, if you’ve got a lot of stress, if you’re not able to wind down at the end of the day and if you’re still really stressed when you go to bed at night, you’re you know, you’re tossing and turning. You can’t stop thinking about the things that you’re worried about that’s going to make sleep really difficult if you also activity levels.

We want to move throughout the day. We want to be active throughout the day. This is one thing that I’ll mention at the end, but for me, exercise is something that has a profound impact on my sleep. If I don’t exercise, then I don’t feel tired. It’s kind of if you actually look at Olympic athletes, they will do workouts, they are conditioned, they are so well conditioned that even when they are, you know, even when it is the week of their event, they will work out for hours at night because they just have so much energy that they need to exercise before they go to sleep.

Otherwise they won’t sleep. That’s something that I thought was interesting to mention. Not that most of us most of us aren’t, you know, Olympic athletes, but it just goes to show that we need activity to be able to fall asleep. We also want to talk about caffeine consumption. Again, if you are sensitive to caffeine, you might have to cut off caffeine in the morning.

And if you even if you’re not sensitive to caffeine, you do want to have your last cup of coffee before 2 p.m.. The half life of caffeine lasts 8 hours. I think so, yeah. You want to make sure that you’re not consuming caffeine into the afternoon and evening if you are. You know, some people have built up such a tolerance that it doesn’t affect them anymore.

But caffeine is a stimulant. It’s a pretty strong thing. Even though it’s so widespread, it is still a stimulant. And it’s really it’s strong. So, you know, if you are having difficulty sleeping and you’re still drinking caffeine after 2 p.m. or even maybe after 12 p.m., personally, if I have caffeine after 11 a.m., I will have difficulty sleeping.

So that’s something else you would look at. And then what time are you waking up? So typically I’m going to introduce this concept later on, but there’s this idea of not an idea. There is a concept, a proven thing called circadian rhythm. And this is basically your body. This is basically how your biology works in conjunction with daylight, with, you know, the earth.

So when it’s light out, we tend to wake up. When it’s dark, our body wants to go to sleep. We’ve done a lot in modern technology and in living in the modern world that kind of disrupts our our natural circadian rhythm. So, you know, if we want to stay up later, we just turn a light on. Also, watching a screen mimics daylight and there’s blue light in your phone or your screen that actually sends a signal to your body that it is daytime and this suppresses melatonin production.

So there’s a lot of things that we could do that that prevent us from going to bed when it’s dark and waking up when the light comes out. But generally speaking, you want to wake up when it’s light up and start getting ready for bed when it’s dark. So that does mean that in the summer months you’re going to need less sleep.

And then in the winter months you will need more sleep. So that’s a good thing to consider. And if you’re not able to wake up early enough, then you’re probably not going to bed early enough and you’re probably not going to bed early enough because you’re not doing the right things in the hours leading up to bed. So it’s kind of this, you know, it’s just it’s this catch 22, it’s this it’s this circle of related events.

If you have bad sleep, it’s because you don’t have a good evening routine. If you don’t have a good evening routine could be because you don’t have a good daytime routine. So if you can work on these things, it should all create a nice snowball effect that’s going to overall help your sleep. And then the other thing I was going to mention here is naps during the day.

So I’m actually a big proponent of naps. I personally benefit naps. I’m benefiting from them now even more than I usually do because I have a newborn and I am sleeping away a few hours than I’m used to at night. So I’m tired and I take naps. Typically you want to have a nap. I would say between 12 and two.

I find that if I take a nap or later in the day that I’m not tired at night, you might find that that’s different for you. But naps can be helpful just as long as they’re not too long. I’ve perfected personally, I think I perfected the art of the NAP, and the secret for me is as soon as I realize, as soon as I feel that my energy is getting up a little bit, then that’s when I get up from my nap.

If I feel my energy going up a little bit and then instead I roll over and change positions, that’s when I know I have ruined my evening sleep. So if you want to take a nap, you know, do it for 30, 45, maybe 60 minutes, but don’t do it too long. So those are some things that are of the day.

But the more I think I don’t know if they’re more significant, but they’re what you do during the evening is also going to be significant. And that’s what we’re really going to focus on here. This also is not to mention that there are other lifestyle factors and genetics involved in good sleep or not. You know, if you have if age is a thing, there is an overall there seems to be not seems to be there’s definitely an overall trend of declining sleep as you age.

But I think that is more so related to just the correlation between overall health and and age. And it isn’t doesn’t mean that just because you’re getting older that your sleep has to suffer. I think it just means that we have grown accustomed to accepting that sleep is not as good as we are when we’re young and sleep does get more difficult as we get older, it’s it’s harder to get away with things, so to speak is harder to get away with activities that when you’re younger, would not have affected your sleep.

So it just means that you’re going to have to be more diligent with those things. But it doesn’t mean that you have to have poor sleep just because you’re getting older. Some other things would be shift working. So if you have a job where you do work, you work nights. Sometimes that’s really tough and I would suggest you go look out some other resources for tips.

With shift working. You can also listen to this because I’m going to go into tips to help you improve your sleep environment, which you can apply at any time of day, not just night. And then being overweight can cause sleep apnea that can that can cause that can cause poor sleep. Again, stress stress is huge. If you’re stressed when you go to bed, that’s going to hurt.

But I really want to focus on the actionable, the more actionable items. So that’s what we’re going to go into right now. And we’ll start that with some of the worst things that you can do before bed. One of the worst things you can do is stare at an incredibly bright screen for hours leading up to bed and then turn off the screen and then immediately try to go to sleep.

It’s not going to work very well. Again, that blue light from your phone, your TV screens, those are sending those are sending a signal to your body to suppress melatonin production. Melatonin is your body’s sleep hormone, and that is preventing you from going to sleep. So if you if you absolutely have to use the screen there are some pretty cool tools that you can use.

There’s things called blue light blocking glasses. These create a buffer between blue light and your eyes so you can wear them. There’s sunglasses, basically. There are ones that are oranges tinted. Those are going to be like kind of the lower level ones. They will create kind of an amber lens, kind of like an amber view for you to view the world.

And there’s also a step further, which are red lens, blue light blocking glasses. And those are going to block all light and you kind of just see the world through wet, through red. They’re very effective, but it is kind of jarring. So I would recommend you look into blue light blockers, especially if you spend a lot of time on your computer.

There’s also an app on your an app that you can download called F Lux F period l u x. This is something that you can use to help with fighting screens as well. And most phones now have a night shift mode. So I would go in to your phone settings, turn on your night shift mode, and I just turn it on all the time and then you want to make it as amber as you possibly can stand it.

So turn up the blue light blocker so that it’s as yellow as it can possibly look. This is going to reduce strain on your eyes. It’s also going to help you so that when you are on your phone at night, it’s going to make it less. At least the blue light aspect will be less harmful on your sleep.

So those are something those that’s the worst thing that you can do. Probably one of the worst things you can do, but that is going to help. But even the act of scrolling on your phone in bed, the light aside, it’s something that can prevent you from falling asleep. Honestly, it would be better for you to watch TV than it would to do something on your phone when you’re on your phone.

That’s a self guided activity, right? You actually have to swipe to do it. You’re clicking on things. You’re kind of engaging in the activity. Whereas watching TV, you’re you’re entirely passive, not saying you should do either of those things, but if you had to choose between the lesser of two evils, watching TV would be better than scrolling on your phone.

And you definitely do want to scroll on your phone in bed because again, that’s creating a different association, but that we want between our bed and our sleep. Sleep. The bed is for sleep. If you’re going to be on your phone before bed, I would do it in another. Even if you’re in the same room, do it in a different part of the room.

Maybe just sitting on your bed instead of laying down on your bed. Best practice would be to just leave your phone out in the living room if you can. That’s what I do. I’ve done that for years, and that way I’m not even tempted to be on my phone when I’m in bed. Something else you want to do is avoid alcohol.

The more alcohol that you have before sleep, the harder it is to go to sleep. I could go into this in a little more deep. A detail, but basically when you have alcohol before you go to sleep, yes, it’s easier to fall asleep, but your sleep quality dips drastically. Even with one drink. So the way to work around this is today drink.

So if you’re going to drink, basically you want to go to bed sober. That’s what’s that’s what’s going to help you with your sleep the most. If you’re going to drink again, drink when it’s light out, you’re out. Your body’s actually able to drink more without getting drunk anyway. So, yeah, just that’s that’s that’s what there is about alcohol.

Try not to go to bed drunk because it’s going to negatively impact your sleep. Other thing that you want to avoid is doing something intense or stressful before bed. This is going to prevent you from being able to relax. And then you also want to avoid eating a lot of food before bed. So you know, something intense or stressful that could be a workout, a medium or high intensity workout, probably not.

Want to be going for a run or lifting weights before you go to bed. That doesn’t mean that you can’t do some yoga or stretch. That’s actually going to be really helpful. And then you don’t want do anything stressful. So whatever stresses you out, if it’s work, if it’s booking a plane, if it’s going to your finances, if it’s having a difficult conversation, those are things that I would avoid before bed.

You want to avoid getting into that fight or flight fight, flight or freeze state. So, all right. Let’s talk about things that you should do leading up to bed. And again, I did mention earlier, I do have a solo podcast on eating routines from four episodes ago. Believe it’s episode 14 nine. I would go check that out if you want to hear more about that.

But basically with the activities that we do leading up to bed, we want to make sure that we are deliberately winding down, that avoiding stress and you’re getting your body and your mind ready for sleep. And this begins ideally as soon as it gets dark again. This brings up what we talked about before your circadian rhythm. You want to send your body the right signals to help with that.

So lights are going to be a signal to your body that’s still daytime. So it’s actually a good idea to minimize or dim your lights after it gets dark. So, dimmers, are your friend here if you want to get some salt lamps, those are super amber lights. Those are very dull lights that are really good for just helping to create, you know, a darker atmosphere.

And you also want to make it cooler. Your body responds to a core temperature. So turn the AC up, you know, maybe put on a sweatshirt, get kind of cozy. That’s also going to help you wind down. And if you don’t want to use a salt lamps, make sure you’re using a lamp with with a nice shade on it.

So for me, I know I like to use a certain lampshade so that I can’t see the light bulb through the top. But that’s just another extra little thing that I do overall here. We just want to make sure that we are keeping our environment as dim as possible. Naked, dark, Make it cold again, bringing this up again.

But it’s so important. Your screen is a signal to your body that it’s still daytime. So you do want to minimize, you do want to minimize the screen use. Taking a melatonin supplement is not going to fix this. Personally, I am not super knowledgeable about sleep supplements. I do know that just taking a melatonin supplement at night is not going to fix the issue the way that you think it might work.

To go more into this, I would again reference Why we sleep by Matthew Walker, but taking a melatonin supplement is not going to make up for you watching a screen. A better thing to do would actually be to take a magnesium supplement or take something that helps you wind down in the afternoon or the early evening. So something that’s going to help indirectly to help you wind down and relieve stress, but isn’t going to directly kind of mess with those hormone levels.

So again, blue light blockers are super helpful here. It might take some getting used to, but if you are going to be on a screen or maybe you’re, you know, hang out with your spouse at night and they want to watch TV and they’re not budging on that, then, you know, don’t try to convince them out of that.

Just put on your blue light blockers and and that’ll help. So and the last thing that I’ll mention here kind of leading up to bed, something to consider is this idea of creating a a work a buffer between the end of your workday and the end of or between your workday and the end of your workday. So there’s a there’s a process that I use called a work shut down process.

And this I got from Cal Newport, he has a book called Deep Work. And basically what he does is he figures out where he’s leaving off his workday. He makes a note on all the stuff that he’s working on and says, okay, this is where I stop. This is where I’m going to pick up tomorrow. And he makes it so that you are basically compartmentalizing your work and you’re setting that aside.

You know what you need to do? You know what you finish. You know where you left off. So you’re tying up all loose ends so that you can put that aside and really focus on your evening. So this is something that I’m a big fan of. So I plan out my day at the end of my workday. I make sure to write down things that I need to get done the next day.

I try to plan that out and, you know, try to tie up my loose ends so that I can just so I can leave that alone and not have to worry about it later that night. So another way that you can help with this is creating what I would call buffer buffer activity between the end of your workday and the beginning of your evening.

So it’s kind of tough to go immediately from working to not working. So doing an activity like maybe it’s cooking, maybe it’s going for a walk, maybe it’s doing a workout. But all of those things help to create more of that separation between your workday and the end of your workday. And this kind of goes without saying, but you want to have a definitive break between your workday and the end of your workday.

You shouldn’t be working into the night because that’s going to cause stress. So let’s touch on food consumption. So in general, we want to make sure that we are having our dinners earlier in the evening. Ideally, that’s going to happen at five or six. If you are going to be eating later, you want to make sure that you’re not stuffing yourself.

If you’re going to bed on a full stomach, you’re going to have worse sleep. If you need a snack, if you’re hungry. I wouldn’t recommend going to bed hungry, but if you are hungry and you need a snack, then you want to make sure that you’re having something that’s higher in protein and fats and healthy fats and not something that is, you know, high in carbs or sugars.

So those snack foods that you think of while you’re sitting on the couch watching TV, for the most part, chips, you know, those are probably not going to be a good idea. So instead, I would go for some some full fat Greek yogurt. That’s what I like to do. You could have some leftovers. You could have some meat, you could have some nuts, you could have some avocado, just anything that’s healthy fats or protein, that’s going to be your better bet if you want to have better sleep and you’re thinking about how to use nutrition to do that.

Again, alcohol, all of your sleep or alcohol negatively impacts all of the the your all your biological markers that that have an impact on your sleep. So things like your heart rate variability, your blood pressure, your heart rate, these are all negatively impacted by alcohol and it will cause your sleep quality to decrease drastically. So again, I thought I’d mention here, but just be aware that if you do drink before bed, it’s going to have a negative impact on your sleep.

So you do want to try and go to bed sober and then hydration if you’re waking up at night because you have to pee. I would try front loading your water intake at the beginning of the day and then try to stop drinking water by 6 p.m.. So, yes, that might mean that you have to drink a lot more water during the day, particularly in the morning.

But while you’re awake, it’s much easier to go to the bathroom. It’s kind of hard to do that, you know, later in the day when you’re trying to sleep because you don’t want to be in your bed and you also don’t want to get up to have to go to the bathroom. So, again, less liquid as the day goes on, minimizing stress before bed talked about this.

We don’t want to exercise at a high intensity. We don’t want to do work. We don’t want to do things that are stressful. So whatever is just for you, you want to avoid that going to bed, some things that can help. There are some ways that you can stress your body to help you sleep. So for me, I actually find that cold water or heat immersion.

Heat therapy helps. So I have an infrared sauna. I use that. That helps me more relieve stress. And ironically, the cold water immersion helps me sleep better because it gets me cold. And then I get in the bed, I feel cozy. So, you know, that’s because I’ve done this for a while, though. So, you know, I wouldn’t just jump in a cold bath and expect to sleep afterwards if you haven’t been doing it for a while.

But for me, it helps me relax. So just thought I’d mention that big stress fighter that I should mention here. Something that can help you sleep is doing things that release oxytocin. The So this is the, you know, commonly thought of as the love hormone, but it also is just the connection hormone. So, you know, you could do something, you know, love focus with your significant other.

You could cuddle with your kids, you could pet your dog. These are all things that could help with winding down and sleeping better. Even putting on a weighted blanket could help if you don’t have those other options and then you’re sleeping violent while you sleep. This is important. And also talk about sleep positioning here. But while you sleep, same thing that we talked about before.

You want it to be cool. So you have to be colder and you want it to be dark. So when you put your hand in front of your face while you sleep, ideally you don’t see it. So I’m talking really dark here. If you don’t have blackout curtains, please invest in some blackout curtains. Make sure that you put the the curtain rod high enough so that it actually blocks out the window.

And you don’t just put it where the windows stops, because then you’re going to have light leaking and through the edges. Rookie mistake. But yeah, you want to have blackout curtains. You can get some really cheap ones. They don’t have to be that expensive if you want to have nice ones. Obviously they’re more expensive, but I would definitely get some blackout curtains and if you want, I would even get some blinds to go over the curtains.

So you kind of get your doubling up there. So blackout curtains are an incredibly helpful investment. Highly recommend that you don’t have them and your room is light at night. Get some blackout curtains. You also want to make sure that you turn down the AC, make it cold, turn on a fan. And going even further here, there are little lights in your room that you might not be aware of.

So if you have a surge protector that’s going to be giving off light, if you have a smoke detector and you can notice that flashing that’s going to be giving off light, I would cover those lights with a little piece of tape. That way you don’t see them. If you do have to have your phone in your room, please put your phone face down.

When your phone lights up, that is lighting up. That is actually going to have an impact on your sleep. It might even wake you up. So make sure that you are accounting for those little lights in your room as well. And in addition to having your room cool and dark, we also want to make sure that it’s quiet, that it’s soundproof.

So I’m I wear earplugs when I sleep. I’ve been doing that for years. Took took, you know, a month to get used to that. But that’s just because I think I think I had I lived in an area where there was noise. I also had dogs that might have made noises. So I just got used to sleeping with earplugs.

And you can also put on a white noise machine, put on some ambient noise of some sort. And then you also make sure that there’s no sound is going to happen while you’re sleeping. So again, this comes back to your phone. Make sure that it’s off unless it actually has to be on. For most of us, I don’t think we have to have our phone on.

But, you know, that’s that’s a personal thing. So I would make sure that at least out of at a minimum, I would make sure that the nonessential apps on your phone are turned to silent. You need to have a phone call. That’s one thing. But, you know, if Facebook is notifying you at 230 that somebody liked your photo, that’s a problem.

So make sure that you’re turning off sound sleep positioning. So the best sleep position is on your side. But honestly, the second best position is the one that allows you to sleep. So if you have difficulty sleeping on your side but you can sleep on your stomach and sleep on your stomach, I sleep in my stomach and I also sleep on my side.

I’m not a lot of my back because I snore and I wake up my wife. So sleeping on your back can cause you to snore. Something that you could also consider is mouth tapping. So you can actually put a piece of tape over your mouth while you sleep to encourage breathing through your nose. This actually does help with sleep quality.

So this is an option as well. And then last thing I’ll mention about sleep positioning is that you want to be naked, so don’t wear clothes, be naked, kind of self-explanatory, but that’s also going to help your sleep. And then to wrap up this wrap up this solo discussion, I’m going to talk about the five or six things that I really like doing to help with improving my sleep.

So for me, I know that I want to get outside during the day. Whether that’s in the morning or the evening doesn’t really matter. But getting outside, getting some vitamin D, that’s definitely going to help me with my sleep. Second thing is exercise wise, I just basically it could be exercise, it could be could be cold water immersion.

It could be an actual, you know, resistance training workout. Or it could be doing some yoga. But for me, I just know that I need to push myself in the day to make sure that I’m tired at night. A lot of this, you know, getting better sleep is geared is involves just you doing enough to be tired when you go to sleep.

So exercise for me is something that really helps you sleep. And in particular with a difficult workout. If I do a difficult workout that day, I notice I’m much more tired at night and I get much better sleep. So that’s something to consider. Something else that’s really helpful for me is doing some self myofascial release or stretching before bed.

So South myofascial release is self massage. That means using a foam roller, using old cross ball, using a tennis ball, something to help with relieving tension in your muscles. Just just addressing kind of muscle knots, muscle tension, and then also doing stretching. Right. Getting a nice stretch and focusing on my body, focusing on my breathing without without doing it in an intense way.

Because if I do it intensely, that’s going to prevent me from sleeping. And then a meditation or journaling something to help clear my head. This is really important. I want to make sure that I’m going to bed not thinking about the day. And typically, if I don’t do some sort of meditation or some journaling before I go to sleep, I hit the bed, hit the pillow, and I’m one.

I’m thinking about all these other things. And if you do that before, before you go to sleep. So if you do take some time to meditate, take some time to view with your thoughts without distractions, then by the time you get to bed, that’s not going to be as likely. And then lastly, avoiding eating a ton of food before bed.

I know that if I go to bed on a full stomach, it’s going to be difficult for me to sleep and that is a very consistent trend in other people too. So make sure that you’re not stuffing yourself before sleep. All right. So, guys, if you want to learn more about this, again, my favorite resources for this are Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker.

Fantastic book. Really interesting, really valuable, and also teaches you the importance of sleep. I also have that solo podcast that I mentioned on evening routines. I would highly recommend you check that out to help you with crafting and being more mindful about the things that you do before you go to sleep to make sure that you’re winding down and getting to sleep, feeling, feeling well-rested.

So there. All right, guys, I hope you enjoy that. So a podcast of the Better Man podcast. This is all about Sleep without it helpful and you haven’t already. I encourage you, I ask you to leave a review for the Better Man podcast. You can do that on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, wherever you listen to podcasts. And if you haven’t already, the man for yoga members area is the best way to be consistent with my workouts and follow a program.

That’s the only place you can get a structured program. We also have community features, accountability features. We have a private mental yoga community which has since which I didn’t realize this is now over 4400 people. It was at 3000 just a few months ago. So we are growing quickly, which is pretty cool. But you can learn more and sign up at mf ly dot tbe slash join.

All right, guys, that’s all I’ve got for you today. I hope you enjoyed this. I hope you got something out of it, and I hope it inspires you to be a better man. I’ll see you on the next episode.


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