Better Sleep in Less Time

I have never been someone who needs nor desires a lot of sleep. I started to pay attention to when I required more and when I required less and I discovered a few things (at least about me.)

I found that when I am living healthier (exercising regularly being the major factor) I actually need less sleep.  The other times that my sleep patterns are shorter are when I am in the middle of a new project.  Just the fact that I am excited about what I am working on makes me want to get up and get after it.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t simply change my sleep pattern because I want to do more work.  I am actually better rested in less time.  We are talking anywhere from 4-6 hours MAX each night.

I came to realize that my best sleep has been tied to when I experience these conditions:

  • Gratitude
  • Feeling the support of those around me
  • Goals
  • Peace
  • Love & Relationships
  • Focus of Control

The higher I felt in each of these areas, the less sleep I need. It is clear and direct.

I recently started researching sleep to see if there was any science out there to back up what I had come to realize – or perhaps just discover I am bit nuts. Here is what I found:

I ran into a ton of folks out there looking into sleep hacking and discovered many different approaches – whether it be taking “smart” drugs, meditation, affirmations or prayer the overall affect was to focus on things like the conditions I mentioned.

I think the method you use to create that self-talk doesn’t really matter.  What matters (at least to me) is the focus on Gratitude and Goals. When you have those two – you can’t help but want to get up and get going.

If you don’t have all of those pieces, don’t worry. You can hack those too. Let’s say you don’t have Love & Relationships to a level you’d like… try this hack. Go into a public place and make a serious effort to make eye contact with several people. That connection of actually looking the checkout person or the waiter the in the eye – really making eye contact and holding it, fills that need. It releases those hormones and that helps your brain… and thus will help your sleep later.

I mentioned Goals and that is super important. I am not talking about world changing goals. I am not talking about curing cancer. I am talking about something you want to do PERIOD. When you do that – it can be as simple as making your bed in the morning – it not only provides you a Goal, but it gives you a Focus of Control.

When you are in charge, your brain is more effective. Again, I am not talking about commanding others… I am talking about taking charge of what you want to accomplish – even if, and especially, if you are working for someone else.

How much sleep do you need? Want? What do you do to be in charge? What are you grateful for? How much do you actually connect with people around you?

by Chris Doelle