3 Steps to Better Sleep

Three actionable steps to practice for improved sleep and a FREE Notion template to plan your PM routine.

Since the pandemic began last year, I’ve struggled with sleep, and my sleep cycle was all over the place, even until recently when I had to invert my day for my new job. I know that I’m not alone and that many of us are similarly suffering from little sleep or having trouble sleeping on time. In this edition, I give you three steps that worked very well for me.

It is helpful to have a wearable such as an Apple Watch or an MI Band to analyze your sleep, but I realized that keeping it simple worked best for me:   

1️⃣ A Wind-Down Practice

An hour or two before your scheduled bedtime, you need to first signal to your brain that it is time to sleep. You need to ask it to wind down so that you slowly get into a relaxed zone by the time you finally get on your bed. This is not possible if your brain is excited or is in the mood for work or mental stimulation. Therefore, you need to start early and begin to wind down much before your actual bedtime. 

Here’s what my wind-down looks like: I cross the items on my to-do list for the day, then migrate any pending items to the next day. Then I systematically close all the windows on my screen and then shut down my computer. This last step, shutting it down, is a powerful signal to my brain that my workday is done and that I can only touch my laptop after I wake up the next day. One other thing I recommend that you do is to put your phone on charge at a distance from your bed.

2️⃣ Your PM Routine

The next step is to get your brain ready for bed, and you can do that through a PM routine. Your night-time routine is a series of steps that you design to get your mind and body ready for sleep. While these steps might not induce sleep by themselves, you train your brain to associate them with sleep when practiced consistently over a few months. 

My PM routine includes a skincare routine, journaling, and reading a book (not on a device but a physical copy). I highly recommend writing about your day to empty your mind before bed. Taking a shower with warm water, wearing comfortable pajamas, using your favorite scented body lotion, making your bed and pillows comfortable are all other recommended steps before bed to ensure you fall asleep quickly.  

3️⃣ Relax and Clear Your Mind 

Finally, you need to help your brain shut down and eventually fall asleep. For this, you need to make sure you’re relaxed and calm for the hour before bed. Sometimes it might be a challenge to fall asleep, and you might find yourself restlessly turning in your bed. 

Here are a few things that work for me: 

  • drinking chamomile tea before bed is a natural way to soothe your nerves and find your calm, 

  • using Lavender essential oil in a diffuser in your bedroom helps to stimulate your sleep hormone, 

  • practice taking long breaths while lying down on your bed and focus on your breathing.

I designed a FREE Notion template for you to start your journey to better sleep and also customize your own PM Routine for each night.

⬇️ Click here to download it.

These have been my three highlights from the productivity and personal growth space this week. If you liked what you read, connect with me on Twitter and let me know. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, subscribe to GrowPro Labs here to receive it in your inbox every Monday.

I'm on a mission to make Mondays great, and this newsletter is a part of my efforts in helping you achieve mindful productivity, personal growth, and living your Ikigai.