Is Sleep Top Of Your To-Do List?

Whatever your dreams, ambitions or goals you need to have the energy and resilience to cope with the journey so that the excitement you feel at the idea of accomplishing them is matched by the excitement on the way there.

Key to this is sleep. In her TED talk Arianna Huffington exhorts senior male businessmen for putting sleep last and early morning gym sessions and power breakfasts first. Their lack of sleep has led to a plethora of bad decisions that impact negatively of the world around them. With the right amount of sleep you feel refreshed, your head is clear and you are ready for whatever life throws your way and you make better decisions.

What is the right amount of sleep? In my experience most people need 7-8 hours every night. There are exceptions but they are rare. If you miss a couple of hours one night you need to make it up. I keep a Sleep Balance. I mark '+1' for 9 hours sleep and '-1' for 7 hours for example. With a running total I can quickly see if my Sleep Debt is getting too low. I aim to finish every week with a balance between '-1' and '+1'. I use afternoon naps (even half an hour after lunch) and early nights to catch up as I find long lie-ins can actually reduce my energy levels.

Here are my top tips for getting on top of your sleep and making it a priority:-

1, Track the hours you sleep. You can use a number of apps and gadgets to this like Zeo, Lark, Sleep Cycle or Lift. Don't let your Sleep Debt get too big!

2, Switch off all electronic devices at least one hour before sleep.

3, Take a candlelit bath and unwind.

4, Drink a soothing tea like Sleepy Time or Camomile.

5, Massage your feet with sesame oil or whatever you have at hand. Then put one drop of Lavender under your pillow.

6, Breathe deeply through the nostrils from your belly, focussing on lengthening the out breath.

7, Write down any thoughts that are in your head so you can forget about them until the morning.

8, Be grateful and write down 3 things that you are thankful for.

9, Make sure the room is dark with a little fresh air if possible.

10, Read something short and inspirational.

Get on top of your sleep. It will help you get on top of your life.

Happy sleeping.

This is not a definitive list and I'm sure you all have your own routines and suggestions. Feel free to comment below.