Sleep well!

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Good sleep is essential to a successful day but modern life makes it easy to disrupt our sleep patterns and reduce the quality of our sleep. 

With a few, easy habits and by avoiding some of the most negative influences on our recovery time we can restore a healthy sleep schedule.

Prioritizing sleep

Evening routines are hard to build.

In the morning it’s easy.

When we wake up, by ourselves or with the alarm, it’s a starting point. 

From there we get started with our morning habits and we feel once we regain consciousness, the day has started.

At night, it’s basically open end. 

Yes, you said you would sleep at 12 but you are not tired yet so what are you going to do, lay around awake? Might as well click “Next episode” or turn another page. 

We often prioritize our day time obligations because they have more tangible consequences.

But after a few nights of high quality sleep it’s easy to see why it’s worth focusing on it.

Because night time routines are hard to build they require some self-discipline as well as an understanding of how our sleep cycles work and how easily they can get messed up.

The rhythm and how not to interrupt it

There is actually not a lot we have to do for our hormones to get in tune with the phases of the day. 

Being outside around sunrise and sunset gives us most of what we need to easily fall asleep at the right time.

That would be true if we were living without electricity but our modern lives make it extremely easy to throw us off our natural cycles.

That’s why most of “optimizing sleep” is actually “not disturbing your sleep patterns”.

Let’s see what you can do and what you should avoid.


Seeing the sunrise is one of the most important factors in falling asleep. 

Being outside in the morning sets you up for a successful day and will make you tired when it’s time to sleep. 

Aim for 10-15 min if the sun is out or 30 min if it’s cloudy. 

Artificial lights

Make sure your lights are dimmed and ideally turn off overhead lights completely after sunset.

Even a little bit of bright light can jolt you awake so spend some time setting up the lighting in your home in a way that keeps the brightness consistent. 

Include your bathroom, don’t wake yourself up with spotlights while you brush your teeth.


Activate “night mode” on your phone, dimming down the brightness and reducing the amount of blue light. 

Install similar software on your laptop if you need to use it after dawn.

Late eating

Avoid late meals and snacks. Eating late is not super healthy in general and can disrupt your sleep. 

Caffeine / Stimulants

Stuff that is supposed to keep you awake is obviously not great for falling asleep. Consume all your stimulants preferably in the first half of the day but not closer than 8h before your planned bedtime.

Working out

Getting too ramped up on adrenaline late in the evening can keep you up. 

Move your strenuous activities more towards the beginning of the day and include light stretching or breathing exercises in your evening routine instead.


It may help you fall asleep faster but the quality of sleep decreases drastically. Go to bed as sober as possible.

Falling asleep

Even when we do our best to not interrupt our biological clock it’s sometimes difficult to fall asleep. 

Here are a few ideas and techniques that help. 

Body scan

A great technique for falling asleep is the body scan. 

Focus on each body part, starting with the feet and slowly travel up the body to the head. 

While you feel into each limb, around your torso, and your head aim to relax all muscles. 

Stay with any tightness you can feel for as long as you need to let it go.

Use your breath, primarily your exhale, to help release the tension.

Take your time and often you will find yourself asleep before you reach your hips.


Breathing practices like box breathing or the 4-7-8 technique can help you fall asleep by calming your body and keeping your focus away from stressful thoughts or worries. 

Box breathing is done by fully inhaling, holding, fully exhaling and holding each for 4s. 

4-7-8 consists of a 4s inhale, a 7s hold and a 8s exhale. 


Make sure your room is not too warm and as dark as possible. 

Layer some blankets so you can remove them if you need to cool down. Feeling too warm is one of the main reasons we wake up at night.

If you can’t darken the room, consider wearing a sleep mask. 

The effects of viewing the sun show how connected our physiology is to light. Being in a too bright environment or one in which light conditions change is very disruptive to our sleep.

Peace of mind

Laying awake and staring at the ceiling can become a vicious cycle.

You know you have to sleep. Whatever you worry about will not be solved by being tired tomorrow but worrying about being worried keeps you awake. 

Keep a notepad close by to bed and try writing your upcoming tasks and issues down to get them out of your head. 

Alternatively try meditation exercises that help let go of intrusive thoughts.


Naps are awesome and surely one of the things that will find more acceptance in future offices.

For most of us 20-30 min are effective and practical but depending on your situation up to 90 min naps are fine. More than that would be interfering with your nighttime sleep activities.

When napping after lunch make sure to take a short walk between. Napping with a full stomach can leave you sluggish for the rest of the day.

Lights out!

Waking up fresh and full of energy is the best.

Remember the core concept of prioritizing sleep, getting in your natural rhythm and then doing your best to not have it interrupted. 

This should make you consistently wake up ready to be happy and productive. 

Sleep well!