Why is it so easy for us to put off or neglect the things we know are good for us? Today, I’m talking about getting enough sleep. It’s no surprise that lack of sleep is a widespread problem, but our cognitive performance is suffering…and all so we can stay awake to binge-watch The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.

It probably doesn’t surprise you to learn that 20% of all Americans have been diagnosed with a sleep disorder. And in 2016, our sleep deprivation problems were declared a public health epidemic.

Getting adequate sleep is becoming more and more challenging, due in part to our addiction to blue-light technology — phones, tablets and laptops — but also because of our refusal to power down and make sleep a priority.

Arianna Huffington penned an amazing article that I reference in today’s episode called “Sleeping My Way to the Top.” In it, she challenges us to think of sleep as a fixed point in our day. “And everything else should be adjusted as needed so we don’t miss it.”

In this episode, you’ll hear about the worst-case scenarios of sleep deprivation (there’s a reason it’s classified as torture by this psychologist). I also share a little about my journey to realizing that sleep is simply not something I can skimp on any longer. When I was first starting Priority VA, I told myself that getting 4.5 hours of sleep per night was enough. It wasn’t. This lack of self care had damaging effects on my health, but also my work performance.

Today, I discuss the ways I have made sleep a priority again. I share eight tips for getting better sleep. Some of these tips are things I have personally tried and invested in, others are from the National Sleep Foundation. While you certainly don’t have to invest in everything I recommend, I can personally attest to the effectiveness of the Brain.Fm app, the Chili Pad (through testimonies of my friends), the Mindfold sleeping mask, and the Oura Ring. Save & Exit

I really hope you’ll join me in trying to establish a sleep ritual or routine. Remember, it’s OK if you don’t nail it right away. Think of this as a journey, or a practice, towards better sleep.  

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Resources mentioned in this episode:

“Sleeping My Way to the Top”
“Why Sleep Deprivation Is Torture”
National Sleep Foundation
Brain.Fm
Chil Technology
Mindfold Sleeping Mask
Oura Ring
“The Promise of Sleep”
“The Sleep Solution”
“How Sleep Deprivation Affects Work and Performance”
“Here’s Why You Can’t Think Straight When You’re Sleep Deprived”